Aksys Games is back with yet another otome games from the minds of Otomate and Toybox Inc.! If you don’t remember Otomate, they are the developers under Idea Factory that have given you games like Amnesia: Memories, Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly, Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~, and Norn9: ~Norn + Nornette~. Just to name a few. If any of these wonderful otome games have appealed to you in the past, then this game review is for you. Today we’re talking about the newest Otomate game brought to us by Aksys Games, 7'scarlet!
What to Expect
7’scarlet was released by Aksys Games as part of the “Summer of Mystery” campaign alongside the games Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly and Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk. For gamers who wish to buy all three games, buy them together as that will make you eligible to receive enamel pins, although supplies are limited to 1,000! So if you snooze, you lose! However, if you purchase the physical copy of each of the Summer of Mystery games, you will receive character cards.
Like most otome games, you can expect the main character’s future to be in your hands. There are branching storylines that will make it so your playthroughs are not repetitive. The artwork is absolutely stunning (what else can we expect from the minds of Otomate and Toybox Inc.?) with a soundtrack that really captures your attention. However, as it is part of the Summer of Mystery campaign, 7’scarlet has a lot of mystery and intrigue that you’ll just have to play to solve. There’s a reason why 7’scarlet was the 16th best selling game in its debut week in Japan. Find out the truth behind everything and why this game was such a hit by playing this romantic visual novel game!
7'scarlet Opening Movie
In 7’scarlet, you will play the role of a young woman named Hanamaki Ichigo who is searching for her missing brother. Along the way, Ichigo will discover there are many dark and dangerous truths involving his going missing. It is in Okunezato, a remote town that is crescent moon shaped, where she is led to. Alongside her is her childhood friend, Kagutsuchi Hino. Together, they will find that there are many dark legends involving the town of Okunezato.
If you have never played a visual novel, then the gameplay for 7’scarlet may be a bit new to you. It’s actually quite off putting to some new to visual novels, but if you like reading and plot based gameplay, then you will enjoy 7’scarlet in a different way. 7’scarlet is entirely text based, which means you will be doing a lot of reading. The text is usually just dialogue between characters, though you will have the main character, Ichigo, narrate her thoughts and the things going on. This can make the game feel long as for the most part, you are expected to just read. From time to time, you will be allowed the option to make choices that will ultimately affect the game’s ending, but those are few and far between.
Most visual novels will have an affection meter or something along that sort that will allow you to gauge your romantic interest’s affection towards you. 7’scarlet does not have this feature, although you do have the option to turn on the Love Up feature that will let you know if your actions are moving you towards a positive direction. This shows up as a pink-ish flower on your screen letting you know you picked the right option. If you want to make the game more difficult, you can turn off the Love Up feature and play the game blind.
Of course, most of us play visual novels for the stories and 7’scarlet does a really great job at telling one. If you pay attention, you can tell that there are many mysteries that lie behind many of the random facts you are presented in the game, like why does Ichigo absolutely hate strawberries (ironic name, no?), which they ask multiple times no matter which route you decide to take on. This propels you to finish all the routes so that you can know exactly why things are as they are.
However, make note, there are only 2 different endings: a normal ending and a happy ending. While we managed to get both playing the Hino route, we had a much more difficult time getting both routes with the Isora route. It does not appear to be based on affection either, rather it is based on one of the choices you make towards the end of the game. There are 5 love interests in the game, so this means you have 10 different endings to get so that you can get all of the CGs! So plan accordingly.
Speaking of CGs, the graphics in 7’scarlet are absolutely beautiful and feel like a step up above Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly that was released recently. We can understand why Aksys Games was so proud of the graphics. This and the soundtrack really made the game aesthetically pleasing in every manner so each minute was a joy.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
As far as being part of a Summer of Mysteries campaign, 7’scarlet does a great job with the amount of mystery that is involved in the gameplay. You cannot go down one path without being compelled to go down all of them to figure out why things are as they are. You cannot just pick one bishounen; you have to pick them all! The plot feels really shallow at first for a mystery, but as you play through the routes, you’d be surprised to see what you uncover about the tiny details you weren’t even considering. While we cannot say that this game is creepier than Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly, we do feel like they match up in their own way when it comes down to mystery. You can be sure that we will keep playing to hit all the routes and get all the CGs because we need to know what happens next!
Characters don’t feel boring or cookie-cutter like; They are expressive in their own way
Love Up indicator may be turned on or off to make gameplay simpler or more difficult
Spectacular graphics and CGs
Difficult to figure out how to get set on a path at the beginning
Very slow start to the story
Honey’s Final Verdict (Thoughts)
If you’re a fan of otome games and visual novels, 7’scarlet may be on your list, especially if you just finished up with Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly and are looking for more. If you are a fan of otome games, what do you think about the premise of 7’scarlet? Do you think you might want to pick it up and play? The game was highly rated upon its release in Japan, so maybe you should consider it? Share all of your thoughts in the comments below and share your experience once you pick up the game!
California based workaholic. Current mottos are “I don’t care” and “I’ll try almost anything once”. Interests include traveling, eating, video games, and weightlifting. Currently living life to the fullest, pursuing my happiness, and conquering my fears. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu!