The annual one month game jam, NaNoRenO 2020+ has come and gone bringing with it over 100 new game titles from a wide range of genres from veteran game devs and newbies alike. NaNoRenO is a treasure trove for indie gems and throughout the next month or so I’ll be reviewing quite a few of them. Since these games tend to be on the shorter side, rather than writing the usual long-form reviews, these will be mini reviews.
First up is Enamored Risks developed by Crystal Game Works, the team behind the josei romance visual novel, That Which Binds Us and the supernatural romance, Memories on the Shoreline. This is the third game I’ve played from the team, and I think they’ve finally hit their stride, Enamored Risks is a much more grounded title, than their earlier offerings (at least the ones I tried). The game follows Alex, a recently emancipated nursing student, struggling to find herself now that she is free from her overbearing parents. One day she overhears some classmates discussing a mysterious urban exploration social media account full of photos of ruined buildings, rooftop views, and rooms trapped in time, desperate add a bit of excitement to her life, Alex decides to a little exploring of her own. Along the way she meets three urban explorer who help her uncover sides of herself she never imagined existed.
One thing I will say for Crystal Works Games, is that they think outside the box with their stories. I can’t think of any other game that focusing on urban exploration and while the story itself is grounded in reality, there is something fun and exciting about a group of college students exploring abandoned buildings in the dead of night. While, I wouldn’t call myself an urban explorer, I have fond memories of late night wanderings with friends during my undergrad days. There is something thrilling about unearthing something secret, and Enamored Risks does a phenomenal job of capturing the sense of adventure associated with urban exploring. After playing the game I got the urge to go out and explore a bit myself (only to remember the standing stay-at-home order in my state).
As a complement to the unique premise, Enamored Risks has a strong cast of characters that both interesting and fun. Alex, reminded me a bit of Heejung from Dandelion Wishes Brought To You—a young woman struggling to live up to the expectations of her overbearing parents—early on this is her sole character trait, but as the story progresses she really comes into her own. The three love interests—Finn, Paxton, and Zaina—have their own conflicts, some of which are a bit heavy, but I really like how the writers tackle some of the more serious subject matter. There are some strong personalities among the cast and each one brings something unique to the story. I LOVED Zaina, usually I am not a big fan of female love interests, but her in-your-face attitude was just such a nice contrast to Alex’s more reserved personality. Paxton was such a sweetheart, and the one that I felt had the best chemistry with Alex, since they are very similar to one another. But, my bias is Finn, I am a sucker for leather and purple hair… and he has the CUTEST BUNNY!!!
Enamored Risks has some shortcomings—some of the endings were abrupt and there were some plot points that I feel were kind of glossed over (Finn mentions dealing with depression)—but, a lot of that can be attributed to the shorter production time. But, in spite of the time constraints, Enamored Risks is an extremely well put together game—the art is gorgeous, the music is good, and the story and characters really hold up! I had a lot of fun with this game, and I definitely recommend giving it a try, especially since it’s absolutely FREE~
You can also contact Crystal Game Works on Social Media through the following channels:
- Official Site: crystalgameworks.weebly.com/
- Twitter: @CrystalGameWork
- Itch.io: Get the Game
- Steam Page: Get the Game
- Discord: https://discord.gg/vE2Yng4
Thank you for reading and supporting Blerdy Otome! Which NaNoRenO 2020 games are you looking forward to checking out?
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