I’m committing myself to playing through these NaNoRenO 2020 game releases and next up is Demon Kiss, a short indie boys love visual novel from Foleso. This is my first experience with this dev, but the art looked nice so I figured I could give it a go. The game follows Felix Wright, an IT guy, who’d much rather stay at home and play his favorite MMORPG with his online friends. Fed up with his antisocial attitude, his bubbly bestie manages to convince him to be her plus one for a Halloween house party. But what should have been a night full of watered down booze and awkward socializing turns into a night of horror when a hunky demon lord gate crashes!
Demon Kiss is exactly what I’d expect from a NaNoRenO title—it’s a straightforward game with a simple premise that knows exactly what story it’s trying to tell. There aren’t any extra trimmings or gimmicks, and that works exceptionally well for a game jam like NaNoRenO, with a shorter production time. The writing is pretty snappy and there were quite a few fun Easter eggs and references to other media that will definitely get a laugh when they pop up.
While this is a boys love game, don’t expect to find any hanky panky, Demon Kiss trades in mature content for a more wholesome romance that is just so cute to watch unfold. Far too often you boys love media relies on physical intimacy to as the basis for romantic development, so it’s refreshing to see a boys love game that doesn’t revolve around sex. The game takes its time building up the relationship between Felix and Trisetar, and it’s cute watching them get to know one another—there is some great chemistry there and I loved their interactions early on. Demon Kiss has a smaller cast, but each of the characters is memorable (special kudos for the team including a wholesome female character in a boys love game). Felix is fun character, he’s a nice happy medium between the naive protagonist and the I’m-unfazed-by-everything protagonist you see a lot of in games. I also liked that even though he’s terrified of Trisetar, he occasionally stands up to him (with comedic results). On the flipside, Trisetar comes off as a bit antagonistic early on (threatening to kill Felix more than once), but as the game progresses he reveals a surprising cute side.
The art is the main reason I started playing this game and it is gorgeous! The character sprites are beautiful, nice clean artwork and unique character designs that are really pleasing to the eye. I especially loved Trisetar’s design, it’s bold and sexy, exactly what you’d expect from a demon love interest—horns, wings, the whole nine yards. Felix’s look is more or less grounded in reality, though I did like his purple hair and hilarious graphic tee (it reminded me a lot of Hiroyuki’s shirt in No Thank You). The backgrounds did a great job of giving depth to the story and various locations both in Hell and on Earth. As far as NaNoRenO games go, Demon Kiss is definitely one of the best looking games I’ve seen in a long time.
The gameplay is pretty standard for a visual novel, there aren’t any special features. There were several in-game choices that guide the course of the story and help shape Felix’s “personality”. I tried to get a “bad ending” by choosing options that directly opposed Trisetar, and as far as I can tell you can still bag your demon either way… Like I said earlier, Demon Kiss has a set focus and it sticks to it (for better or worse) and I feel like that’s more than acceptable for a game like this.
All in all, Demon Kiss is a fun game, with stunning visuals and cute premise. It’s definitely one of the most polished NaNoRenO offerings I have seen in a long time and I’d be lying if I said the art didn’t pique my interest. There were a few glitchy moments (due to the use of Unity) but nothing that took away from my enjoyment of the game. Demon Kiss is a short sweet boys love title that will keep you entertained and… who doesn’t like seeing a hot demon?
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