Category: Demos & Betas

In Blood – Demo Review

In Blood is the newest visual novel from indie game developer Jaime Scribbles Games, the creative team behind Pinewood Island and As We Know It. Follow Eleadora, a young woman who finds herself drawn into a world of supernatural horrors, when she unwittingly makes a bargain with an ancient god. In Blood brings together elements of Gothic romance and Lovecraftian horror to create a darker and edgier narrative experience reminiscent of games like Demonheart and Cinders, which are notable for their mature storytelling and characters.

In Blood Demo Review Nyarbalte

So, I had high expectations going into this demo and now that the Kickstarter campaign is live, I figured this was a good time to share my thoughts about the game and the premise. At first glance, In Blood put me in the mind of a CW supernatural drama series, a la Vampire Diaries—a dark and edgy supernatural romance with attractive 20 somethings…and surprise surprise, I am a sucker for these types of stories!

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Guilty Parade Demo Review – A Quirky Wartime Visual Novel

“One war. Two sides…” This perfectly encapsulates the premise of Nozori Games’s interactive visual novel. Guilty Parade.  Experience two sides of a military conflict, by stepping into the shoes of two very different protagonists on either side of the barricades. On one side is Nemo—an amnesiac young man who is taken in by the Commander of an unusual squadron of soldiers. Though he doesn’t remember much about his past, he is thrust headfirst into their cause as he and his new comrades attempt to investigate a mysterious crime. On the other side is Lien—a child of war, desperate to avenge the death of his mothers at the hand of the black apostates. There are always two sides to every conflict and Guilty Parade gives players a chance to experience both as you navigate the complexities of war through the eyes of two characters right there on the front lines.

Guilty Parade is definitely one of the more unusual demos I have played in quite some time. It features an eclectic cast of quirky characters that you’d expect to see in a comedic anime—not a post apocalyptic wartime visual novel, and yet strangely enough… it works. Guilty Parade‘s unique cast is by far it’s most distinguishing features, giving what normally would have been a grisly story a sense of levity. Though, despite it’s eccentricities, Guilty Parade is a wartime story, and it takes great pains to depict the pros and cons of military conflict.

Game Details 

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Silver:Line – Demo Review

I usually have a hard time writing reviews about demos, since unlike completed games, they don’t always have all the finalized assets that you’d expect from a full blown release. If you’re lucky, a demo will cover the common route or the prologue, which at least gives you a fairly good feel of the game’s concept and characters. But, if you’re not, a demo is more of a teaser trailer of ideas that doesn’t really stand up to much scrutiny, which doesn’t allow much for me as a reviewer to write about. So I tend to be very particular about which demos I review.

Recently Code V Productions released a demo for their upcoming fantasy visual novel, Silver:Line and I was impressed not only with the quality, but the execution. A fully realized world with an inventive premise and unique characters, Silver:Line is by far one of the best demos I have played this year!

Recruited as an imperial scholar serving the crown of Lucarene, you lead a peaceful life at the castle, responsible for researching, tracking, and recording everything there is to know about the royal city. Living a life you once thought you could only ever dream of, you wouldn’t change anything for the world. But as fate would have it, you’re thrown into a turmoil of events where you’re pinned as a scapegoat and forced to flee the country, running for your very life. You set off on a journey, featuring a colourful cast and new horizons.

Official Synopsis 

Demo Details


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Chromatose Beta Demo Review

Demos are a work in progress, meant to give you a taste of what to expect from the final release of a game. They’re incomplete works, but, if they do their job right, they’re more than enough to drum up interest in an upcoming game… Over the years, I’ve played my fair share of demos, some with fully realized assets, and others with just the barebones of what the developers hope to have in a fully realized version of their project. Now, usually, I’m fairly lenient on demos, because they aren’t full games, so I don’t hold them to the same level of scrutiny, but, every so often I stumble across a demo that completely blows everything else out of the water and that demo is Akabaka’s beta demo for their upcoming 2D visual novel/RPG Chromatose

The game follows Leroy, an EMT that awakens in a strange nightmarish world after taking a fall that should have ended in his death. The dreamworld is populated by a group of amnesiacs who are also trapped within their own unique nightmare worlds due to some flaw or error they committed in the real world. You have 12 hours to help the inhabitants reclaim their memories and escape their nightmares or else you’ll be trapped there forever. However, each world is guarded by strange creatures that will stop at nothing to stop you from reaching your goal.

Game Details

  • Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • 2+ hours of Gameplay
  • RPG Gameplay: Turn-based Card Battle System
  • Genre: Mystery, RPG, Visual Novel, Fantasy, Supernatural
  • Similar Games: Angels of DeathZero Escape, Persona series, Sweet Fuse, Danganronpa, Catherine

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Murder, Mystery, and Meddlesome Mind – When the Shutter Stops Alpha Demo Review

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, I recently discovered this really great demo and I just had to share my thoughts about it! Unlike most of the games I cover here on Nice Job Breaking It, Hero this one isn’t a romance per se, I know, le gasp. This time around I’m covering a visual novel that’s more akin to investigative adventure games, like Ace Attorney and Professor Layton but with the grittiness you’d find in the film noir of the 40’s and 50’s. When the Shutter Stops is an upcoming mystery detective game and the debut title of the up and coming indie developer Remort Studios. The game follows Priscilla “Pri” Vate a former child detective who finds herself being dragged back into the city’s gritty underbelly when the serial killer she put away years ago suddenly has his conviction overturned.

The game is currently on Kickstarter and I strongly suggest throwing your support their way while they work to reach their $10,000 USD funding goal. When the Shutter Stops is a mid-length commercial release, with the final asking price of just $25.00, but, if you support the game during the KS campaign you can snag a copy for just $20.00. This is an alpha demo so there are a few assets that aren’t fully realized yet, but, it does cover a good bit of the expected gameplay, including the investigative and interrogation portions of the game.

Demo Basics

  • Available for Windows, Linux, Mac
  • 4 Paths, 3 Endings per Route
  • Commercial (Demo is FREE)
  • Demo Length: 30-50 minutes 

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Magic, Mystery, and Romance – Reimei no Gakuen Alpha Demo Review

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, I am slowly working my way through a rather long list of games and demo, but there was one demo that caught my eye recently. Reimei no Gakuen is the debut title from fledgling indie developer and artist Raikon Kitsune, with her team at Raikon Kitsune Arts,  Rai is hoping to make a splash with her upcoming modern fantasy otome game. The game takes place in a world where magic and the everyday exist side by side, with a chosen few individuals possessing special abilities known as “Shin”. However, despite possessing these heightened abilities Shin wielders are plagued by misfortune, so a special school Aurora Academy collects these individuals in hopes of teaching them how to hone their skills and counteract their cruel fate.

Recently, I sat down and gave the demo for Reimei no Gakuen, a try and while it is only an alpha demo, I was impressed with the overall quality of the storytelling and the richly diverse cast. Granted I am not a huge fan of games that take place in a high school like setting, however, I found that the well fleshed out lore and mythos of the game and the unique cast more than made up for an reservations I may have had about Reimei no Gakuen going in.

Demo Basics

  • Available for Windows, Linux, Mac
  • 6 Potential Love Interests (7 routes and 14 endings; 2 endings per route)
  • Commercial (Demo is FREE)
  • Demo Length: 2 hours 

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Wishes in Pen: Chrysanthemums in August Demo Review

Afterthought Studios the folks behind the supernatural romance, Purfectly Ever After and the fantasy visual novel, When Our Journey Ends have decided to put their hat into the otome ring with the announcement of their new otome focused subsidiary, LunaniereThe first title in their new otome line is a supernatural fantasy currently on Kickstarter (they’ve already exceed their goal), Wishes in Pen: Chrysanthemums in August. An ambitious undertaking to say the least, Lunaniere has teamed up with game production company Sekai Project to bring their vision to life.

Recently, I sat down and gave the demo for Wishes in Pen: Chrysanthemums in August, a try and while I am impressed with the execution, I couldn’t help but feel like, Lunaniere is playing it safe with their debut title. Wishes in Pen is a fantasy historical romance otome in which a 20-something young woman is magically transported back in time to 1860’s Japan at the end of the Tokogawa Shogunate, following our heroine as she navigates her way through political and social unrest as the legendary Boshin War unfolds. This isn’t a new concept, not by a long shot, historical Japan has been the subject of many otome games, from mobile games like Voltage Inc.’s Sakura Amidst the Chaos and NTT Solmare’s Sengoku Darling, not to mention Two-Five’s Yo Jin Bo and Idea Factory’s Hakuoki franchise. Historical romance otome games are a dime a dozen and guaranteed some success, especially given the popularity of the Hakuoki series in the West.

Demo Basics

  • Available for Windows, Linux, Mac, and Android
  • Five Potential Love Interests
  • Demo Length: 30 mins- 1 hour (Prologue)

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Red Wolf Hiding- Demo Review

Indie VN developers, Vagrant Muffin already have two games under their belt, Fool’s Helper and Lucky Days, but, I’ve only played the former, and for what it’s worth it’s a pretty fun game. So, when I saw that they’d just released the demo for their mystery romance visual novel, Red Wolf HidingI made a bit of time in my schedule to give it a playthrough.

Synopsis

After a yearlong undercover mission, Janet Dover (name changeable) is now assigned to Gerald Reeve’s team. Headquarters believes there’s a traitor in the ranks, leaking information to a dangerous enemy known as the “Wolf”.

Her job is to find the traitor, but what else will she learn along the way?

Red Wolf Hiding Game Page

I can honestly say this promises to be a quite the undertaking, with six romanceable characters each with three distinct endings, and a mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat… this game hits all my gaming qualifications!


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Will Bang a Demon for Magic Powers: My Magical Demon Lover- BL Demo Review

Check out the full game review: My Magical Demon Lover – BL Game Review

Fuck a demon gain his powers, I shit you not, this is the premise of Yaoi Press‘s upcoming 18+ BL fantasy visual novel, Magical Demon Lover. The game follows Tristan, a young man who must take on a powerful demon lover in order to gain amazing magic powers and become a fabulous wizard! If you’ll remember, I covered the Indiegogo campaign for this game a little while ago and now it’s finally time to test out the goods!! Magical Demon Lover will be a commercial release available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android!

I’m always down for a good romp into the wonderful world of BL/Yaoi, so when Yaoi Press hit me up, I happily clicked that download faster than you could say ‘Power Bottom’. Because, who doesn’t like a good BL supernatural fantasy?!

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Full Service- Demo Review

Check out the full game review: Full Service 18+ BL Game Review – Find Your “Happy Ending”

Double entendres and buff naked hunks abound in Herculion’s upcoming 18+ BL game, Full Service. The game follows Tomoki Nakamoto an overworked young office worker with a rather cynical outlook on life. When a stranger hands him a business card to the Full Service Spa, he encounters a colorful cast of characters that are more than happy to help Tomoki relieve a little “stress”. The game is currently on Kickstarter, so feel free to stop by and show your support, there are still a few days left in the campaign.  Full Service will be a fully voiced commercial release, and will be available for PC (Windows, Mac, Linux) and Android.

You know, I knew there was something familiar about this game, and after re-reading the Kickstarter page again, I discovered something that genuinely surprised me. Herculion isn’t a new group, Herculion is Black Monkey Pro reborn! I thought I was done with BMP after I reviewed the Bacchikoi Expansion Pack, but nope…they are the gift that just keeps on giving!

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Ghosts of Miami- Demo Review

Check out the full game review: Big Hair and Even Bigger Cases: Ghosts of Miami – Game Review

Big hair, questionable fashion, and a mystery, all accompanied by a wicked synth beat! Take a trip back in time to the 1980’s with Pillow Fight’s upcoming commercial visual novel Ghosts of Miami! Follow Chelo Martinez a private investigator that specializes in finding missing persons. Follow leads, chat with witnesses, crack the case, and break a few hearts in this totally radical mystery VN. The game is set for a Summer 2017 release date and will be available for Windows, Linux, and Mac, but there are plans for a mobile release as well. Ghosts of Miami is currently on Steam Greenlit, so cast your vote if you want to see a Steam release!

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Chess of Blades- Demo Review

Check out the full game review: Chess of Blades BL Game Review – Danger Lurks Around Every Corner

Chess of Blades is an upcoming commercial Boys Love (BL) mystery romance visual novel from indie English game developers Argent Games. When Rivian Varrison, the disillusioned son of a famous nobleman, is forced to attend a five day celebration for the King, he finds himself in danger when a crime is committed. With enemies around every corner, Rivian must tread carefully if he wants to make it home alive. Navigate the gilded world of the aristocracy and socialize with other party-goers in order to uncover their secrets and get to the bottom of the strange goings on in this imaginative period drama. Upon its release the game will be available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, but the the game was recently greenlit for steam. The demo covers  roughly an 30 mins to an hour of gameplay (it really depends on how fast you read).

I never get tired of saying this, but it does my heart good to see another BL game in development, since the genre is still pretty niche despite how large the fandom is… hopefully more developers will start producing even more BL titles in the future! *nudge nudge wink wink* Argent Games has been on a roll, it’s been a year, but Chess of Blades is their second title and it promises to be a thrilling addition to their lineup!

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Changeling-Demo Review

Check out the full game review: Changeling Review – An Imaginative Supernatural Romance VN

Changeling is an upcoming commercial GxB supernatural romance visual novel and the debut title of indie English game developers Steamberry Studios. The game follows a high school girl, whose normal life is turned upside down when she finds out that she isn’t exactly human. Meet other supernaturals, learn their secrets, and unravel the mystery surrounding Nora and an incident from her past in this intriguing upcoming VN! Upon its release the game will be available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. The demo covers three chapters of the common route, which is roughly an hour of gameplay.

I can’t believe it took me so long to write this review, but I’ve been swamped with various projects and then I went to Katsucon and that threw a wrench in all of my plans! Things are still kind of hectic right now, but I was so impressed with this demo that I just had to make sure I got it out to you guys!

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A Foretold Affair- Demo Review

A Foretold Affair is an upcoming steampunk fantasy romance visual novel from indie English developers GB Patch. After getting a glimpsing their own future, Abnormal, Buffalo Seer, will leave home on a journey to locate their intended spouse! But, the road to the future they foresaw won’t be smooth sailing, with enemies all around, Buffalo Seer will have to keep their wits about them. Upon it’s release the game will be available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and Steam for ONLY $12.99.

There’s less than a week until the game’s official release on Janurary 30th, so I figured it was high time I wrote a review of the demo, just in case any of you guys are still on the fence about the game! The demo covers about thirty minutes to and hour of gameplay for each of the potential love interests and includes some interesting features and extra content.

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Wicked Love- Demo Review

There was a bit of controversy surrounding this game and the developer. After receiving the funds from the Kickstarter campaign the creator stopped responding to backer messages and took down all of the sites associated with the project. Wicked Love is believed to permanently canceled. 

Wicked Love is an upcoming GxB/GxG supernatural romance visual novel from indie English developers Spirit Kinder Games. The game blends elements of various underworld mythos with that of the biblical seven deadly sins, for a wholly unique story of love, desire, and adventure.  Upon it’s release the game will be available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Steam, however for the time being the demo is only available for Windows. The demo is pretty short covering roughly 30 minutes of gameplay.

wicked lovers cg 1.png

So this is a special collaboration demo review that I’m doing with my bestie, Bishie! She runs a phenomenal Let’s Play channel over on YouTube and in honor of her reaching 100+ subscribers, we decided to do double reviews… She’d do an LP on YouTube and I’d write a review over here on WordPress, you can watch her LP for Wicked Love, HERE! It’s so good, her voices are perfect for all of the characters, so definitely check that out!! So with out further ado, my review of the demo!!

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A Very Important Date- Demo Review

A Very Important Date  is an upcoming Alice in Wonderland themed visual novel from indie developers Naive Sprites.  Upon it’s release the game will be available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. The developers are also working on getting the game greenlit for Steam. The demo covers the Prologue and the first three chapters of Gwyn and Emil’s routes, for a total of 6 chapters total, which amounts to roughly three to four hours of gameplay. So with just a few hours left in the Kickstarter campaign, I decided to bring you all a review of the demo version of the game!

I should stress that this is a loose adaptation, and that while Naive Sprites borrows many elements from Carroll’s iconic story, AVID is a wholly original work that promises to breathe new life into the popular tale.

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Beauty and the War (X Playing Pieces)-Demo Review

If ya’ll will remember back to my doomed Summer Blogging Plans post, I was supposed to play another game by Poison Apple Tales called, War: Valentines Edition, but like all things, I got distracted and that game kind fell through the cracks. So, when Dreamgazer contacted me a little while ago about the beta demo for their new and improved title, Beauty and the War (X Playing Pieces), I knew I had to find a way to fit it into my schedule!

 

It took me a month, but I finally got around to playing this game and I must say, I am impressed with the sheer scope of this demo! Upon it’s release, Beauty and the War will be available for PC (Windows, Mac, and Linux) and will be completely free!

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TinyWars- Beta Demo Review

So, a little while ago, I was asked to participate in a beta test for an upcoming anime themed tower defense game from Bizurk Software, TinyWars! The game has been in development since 2015 and will be available for PC and mobile devices upon it’s release.

I’ve played a few tower defense mobile games before, but they were never more than a way to pass the time on the commute to and from school. So when I was asked to participate in the beta testing for the game I didn’t expect much, but TinyWars proved to be both fun and challenging!

**Disclaimer: I DO NOT own any of the images used in this review, ALL images, screenshots, and characters belong to Bizurk Software.

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Take a Trip to the Sunny Alola Region: Pokémon Sun and Moon Special Demo

It’s exactly one month before the official  Nov. 18th North American release of the new seventh generation Pokémon  games Sun and Moon and Nintendo has a special surprise for us… a special demo!! As if the slew of recent Sun and Moon leaks and reveals weren’t enough to wet your appetites for Gen 7, the new demo is here to hold you over until the official release!

sun and moon.jpg

Right now you can download the demo from the Nintendo eShop for free! All players who download the demo will be able to obtain a special Pokémon that can be transferred over to the either Sun and Moon upon their release in November. The special Pokémon, Ash’s Greninja is modeled after the Pokémon owned by the anime only protagonist, Ash Ketchum. But, that’s just one of the many perks the demo has to offer and I’m going to cover them all in this special Pokémon Sun and Moon demo review!!

*Update [10/19]: I want to give a shoutout to Phya, she definitely helped me out with the 3DS screencap issue, I’ll definitely be using it for future 3DS game reviews!!

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Chronotopia- Demo Review

Chronotopia  is an upcoming commercial visual novel from French developers Träumendes Mädchen. The game features aspects of both visual novels and point-and-click games and borrows elements from the French fairytale, Donkeyskin by Charles Perrault. Upon it’s release the game will be available for Windows, Mac, and Linux in both English and French. The developers are also working on getting the game greenlit for Steam.

The young Donkeyskin lives a peaceful existence in her castle, enjoying her days with her best friend and confidant, Nahima. That is until her father, gone mad since the death of his beloved, decides he should wed the princess instead. Donkeyskin has to find a way to escape from this fate, but how? She doesn’t know it yet, but it’s the beginning of a long nightmare that will take her to the edge of madness…”

-Official Description

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Cinderella Phenomenon-Demo Review

Check out the full game review: [Full Game Review] English Otome- Cinderella Phenomenon

Cinderella Phenomenon is an upcoming English otome game that follows a young cold-hearted princess, Lucette, who suddenly finds herself the unwitting victim of a terrible curse. Magic and fairytales collide in this impressively entertaining riches to rags story from Dicesuki, the developers behind the free otome game Locked Heart. Follow Lucette as she learns an important lesson in humanity while attempting to break her curse… and maybe find love along the way.

Prior to the events of the game, there were two crystals that maintained the balance in the world: the Crystallum Lucis and Crystallum Tenebrarum. Each crystal possessed great power, so they were each entrusted to equally powerful magical beings in order to contain their power. The Fairies were given the Crystallum Lucis, which drew its power from positive emotions; while the Witches were given the Crystallum Tenebrarum, which drew its power from negative emotions. Over time people began to associate witches with dark magic and began persecuting them. In retaliation the High Witch created the Fairytale Curse.  Setting in motion a series of events that would have far reaching effects on not only our sullen princess, but all of humanity.

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Seiyuu Danshi- Demo Review

Check out the full game review: [First Thoughts] Seiyuu Danshi – BL Game Review

Seiyuu Danshi is all about choice! In this upcoming 18+ BL visual novel the player takes control of an amateur seiyuu (voice actor) who likes to take things at his own pace. But, years of slacking off have finally caught up to our lazy protagonist (MC-kun) and he finds that his job is on the line… that is unless he wins the prestigious Seiyuu Awards. Follow MC-kun as he attempts to become one of Japan’s top seiyuus and maybe find love along the way!

It has been some time since the Kickstarter campaign for Seiyuu Danshi wrapped up and I am finally getting around to playing the demo… I’m terrible, I know, but better late than never!

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Sentimental Trickster- Demo Review

A few weeks ago, Justyna Pustelnik contacted me via Twitter about maybe taking a look at the demo for her upcoming BL visual novel, Sentimental Trickster. However, when I received the request I was wrapping up the 30 Day Anime Challenge (and in need of a break), so I wasn’t able to play the demo right away. But, I was able to talk with Justyna through Twitter and after reviewing the Kickstarter campaign, I was able to bang out a Kickstarter Support post for the game.

I originally planned on getting back to the demo after my Blogging Vacation, but one thing led to another and the demo ended up further down on my To Do List than I would have hoped… forgive me! So, I know this is late, but better late than never… right? So, with the Kickstarter winding down, I figured the time was ripe for a demo review in order to generate more buzz for the game as it nears its final days!

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