I Love You! (好きだ！, Suki da!) is an indie otome game created by Shinogi Shiohara and localized in English by Moonchime Studios. In these trying times sometimes you need something cute brighten up your day and if you’re itching for a bit sugary sweetness to add to your gaming library, look no further than I Love You! Follow a silent heroine as she navigates her high school days in this quirky otome game that puts a fun spin on the usual gender norms!
Enjoy a super cute high school romance between a strong-willed heroine and a group of cute boys who she, quite literally falls for. Live out the spring time of youth, as you and your classmates plan an unforgettable school festival, this year’s theme is a maid cafe~ Whacky hijinks and cute teen romance are right around the corner in this super cute otome romance!
So, Tsuda is the obvious first pick; he and the MC are pretty close, in fact most of their classmates joke that they’re practically a married couple. He’s on the track team and he seems to get along with most of his classmates. Tsuda’s route was hilarious, because he’s such a chill guy he kind of ends up in a lot of compromising situations—and I dunno which is better, seeing him in a maid outfit, the MC princess carrying him in a maid costume, or getting to smack his ass… not once, but two times (and it is GLORIOUS)! The MC tends to tease him a lot and not gonna lie, I had a lot of fun at his expense; he is just so much fun to tease~
Every time I see a megane in an otome game it sets my fangirl heart a flame~ Kirishima is such a cutie pie!! While he is technically a year older than the MC, he’s kinda shy and likes to keep to himself; you can usually find him in the library or the cafeteria, snacking on matcha pudding. Kirishima gets easily flustered and the poor dear is just too pure for this world, he cries during the confession scene and it was just so precious. But, my fave moment in his route is the MC’s “accidental” train kabedon the blush on his face is just, *chef’s kiss* He is a member of the Calligraphy club and during the school festival you can visit his club’s booth and some of the things you can write in that scene had me on the FLOOR—”See You in HELL” is my personal fave!
Onodera is like a cute puppy, he’s younger than the MC and he pretty much spends most of his route trying to get her attention (one of his hobbies is listed as “Senpai”). He’s part of the “Go Home” Club most of his time with the MC is spent playing 100 questions as the two of you walk home from school. He’s a soft boi like all the others and the MC definitely gets a kick out of teasing him—Onodera is absolutely an M. But, Onodera’s true charm point is his cute doggo, Omochi; he is such a good boy and seeing him in his little doggie raincoat was the highlight of the entire route!
Now, I’d be lying to you if I said I was excited to dive into yet another high school romance, but I’ll be damned if I Love You! didn’t subvert my expectations—this game is a riot! Some of the choices you make in this game had me on the floor, not only do you get to smack one of the guy’s ass, you can also tease the hell out of your cute kouhai and princess carry them to the nurse’s office—this is the high school experience I’m after! It’s playful and fun and honestly, it’s a game that doesn’t really take itself too seriously and that’s just how I like my rom-coms, it puts a fun twist on some of the more over used tropes and cliches and I had a blast.
The whole game takes about three hours to get through and takes place over like ten days—seven days of planning for your school festival and three days of the actual festival—which is the perfect length for a story like this. Spend time planning events with your classmates (stuff like picking out food and choosing outfits for your theme) and even squeeze in some time with some cute boys. The LIs are cute, but pretty standard as far as high school boys go and that’s perfectly fine—there’s narry a tragic backstory or unnecessary drama to be seen—just cute boys ripe for teasing. My fave route has to be Tsuda’s, he just had way more funny moments than the others and I love his chemistry with the MC. Though, Kirishima is a close second, shy boys are just too precious. But, the real stand out is the super secret unlockable character, they are hands down my favorite character. Their route can be unlocked through Tsuda’s route and I highly recommend playing the secret route—trust me it’s worth the effort! Also, I wanna say, the class president is the most relatable character in the game, every line from her had me on the floor!
The MC, though… *chef’s kiss* So, when I saw that this was a silent protagonist I was a little worried this would be one of those blank slate, self-insert MC of days past—but this MC is HILARIOUS! She may not say a lot, but she definitely makes a big impression. She’s head strong and not afraid to take charge in her pursuit of love. She kabedons like a champ and homegirl can princess carry a high school boy without even breaking a sweat. When they said this game subverts otome gender norms, they weren’t kidding; the MC—this girl is a national treasure, hell, an otome hero!
While the story is pretty simple, I Love You! does have some fun extras. Each route has two outcomes, a Love Ending and a Friendship Ending (and there are two special endings—one for the secret LI and the other is more of a solo end), but there really isn’t all that much variation between the routes. Some events play out a little differently, but the basic plot stays the same. However, it is fun to play around with some of the in-game choices if not to unlock some of the funnier dialogue variations. Some extras can only be unlocked by completing specific actions, like completing every ending, so there is definitely an incentive to full clear the game. The art is cute, and I like there’s a lot of variety in the types of CGs you get, and while we never see her face, the MC is in a few of them. Unfortunately, I Love You! is not voiced, but it’s not a big loss, though I would have loved to have some audio during the butt smacking scene… ah well, I’ll just have to use my imagination.
Heck yeah! At first I thought this was just a generic high school rom-com, but y’all I Love You! is hi-larous! The story is simple, so don’t expect anything too out there, but sometimes short and sweet is what you need. I Love You! is perfect for someone just starting out on their otome journey or heck someone looking for a quick laugh. So, if you’re a fan of strong female leads, cute high school boys, and lots of laughs, I definitely recommend giving it a shot—it’s a three hours well spent!
Thank You to Moonchime Localization for providing a copy of the game for this review!