With all the flashier titles in their catalog, Love Calls You Home is one of their underrated gems. It doesn’t come with all the gimmicks and angst of some of their more popular Otome Romance titles, so it’s pretty easy to overlook this unassuming slice-of-life romance. An overworked young woman finds herself in close quarters with a handsome and supportive guy, and while the circumstances for their cohabitation differ by route, the romance between the MC and her chosen love interest remains largely grounded in reality. The only “gimmick” is that a majority of the guys are secretly famous or have lucrative careers. I kind of got the impression that this was what Voltage was going for with their older title, Serendipity Next Door, which has a similar premise.
Currently, four out of the five love interests are available—Taiyo, Arata, Liam, and Hazuki. Because, I’m biased towards kuudere and tsundere, I picked Arata’s route as my first conquest of the game.
Also, because folks (myself included) are fussy about spoilers. Here’s your one and only spoiler warning. This review will have minor spoilers for Arata’s route and Love Brings You Home.
Voltage Inc. games make up about 45% of my gaming backlog. The company was my first introduction to the world of otome games and over the years I have amassed quite a few stories from each of the many, many Otome Romance titles they produce. Because I have so many stories I tend to have a hard time deciding which routes to play… So, rather than making the agonizing decision on my own, I ran a Twitter poll and let you guys decide for me. Unfortunately, that backfired since the poll ended in a tie between Diary of a Step Sister and Love Brings You Home, so I still had to choose in the end and I went with the latter.
Love Brings You Home is one of the “newer” Otome Romance titles, having been released exclusively on the Love 365 app and not as one of the standalone apps (at least here in the west). Given all the fantasy romance games I’ve been playing lately, I was looking forward to diving into something with a slice-of-life vibe and Love Brings You Home was exactly what I was looking for; something grounded in reality (at least for an otome game). If I had to sum this game up in one word, it would be ‘wholesome’, no gimmicks just a wholesome romance…
The Japanese mobile otome games company Voltage Inc. is the latest publisher to jump on the Nintendo Switch bandwagon. Earlier this year the company announced that a few of their mobile Otome Romance titles would be made available on the Nintendo Switch and the first game to make the move is their supernatural romance, Enchanted in the Moonlight. Rather than release one game with all of the characters, the Switch version of the game is split into two titles: Enchanted in the Moonlight: Miyabi, Kyoga, & Samonand Enchanted in the Moonlight: Kiryu, Chikage, & Yukinojoand comprises of all the season 1 to season 3 main stories from the mobile app Love 365.
Enchanted in the Moonlightwas released as a standalone mobile app for Android and IOS back in 2014 and even after the termination of the app in 2018 has experienced a revival as one of the titles on the new Love 365 portal app. In the game you play as a young woman who finds her life turned upside down when she is attacked by malevolent Ayakashi drawn to her unique blood. A group of handsome Ayakashi come to your aid, but there protection comes at a price: they’ll protect you from evil Ayakashi that lust for your blood, but in exchange you must bear their child. With dangerous Ayakashi after your life who will you choose as your defender?
So, Voltage Inc aka Otome Romance (or whatever they’re calling themselves this week) released a brand new title on their Love 365 portal app, a supernatural fantasy slice of life game titled, A World With(out) You. In the game you play a young woman whose boyfriend dies unexpectedly leaving you to face the world without him, but, your love is so strong that he comes back as a ghost to help you find happiness without him… *cue the Korean pop ballads* Cus this sounds like something straight out of a Korean drama.
But, I was intrigued, a romance game where the love interest is already dead at the start of the game can either go one of two ways: Either he stays dead and the MC finds love with someone else ORthe power of love brings dude back to life, at least that’s how it works in Korean dramas.
Love Choice: A Cliffnotes Crash Course
Unlike their usual paid format, A World With(out) You is one of their Love Choice stories, so you can read the entire story for free. But, you need hearts, which can be purchased through microtransactions, to unlock premium choices and endings, also there is a 5 hour delay between chapters, which is annoying as fuck. I’m not a big fan of the move to Love Choice stories, because I’m not a fan of freemium games. But, during the initial release of Love Choice routes, Voltage gets rid of the 5 hour wait time and you can unlock new chapters immediately. Which is the main reason I even picked up the game in the first place, until 5/27 Saku Fukazawa’s Main Story is available without the 5 hour delay!! Yay!
So I’ve played through a few chapters of his route and I have some thoughts that’d like to get out… Usually I edit my reviews, but, this time I kind of like how my notes sound so other than some minor edits for structure, here are my unfiltered thoughts on A World With(out) You and Saku Fukuzawa’s route so far… I’m going to take my time with this one because, hearts cost money and I did the math, it would cost me like $20 bucks to finish it in one go and I’m not about that life.
It’s been awhile since I last played a Voltage game, before the switch from the standalone apps to the Love 365 portal app. One of the first games introduced in the new Love 365 app was Rose in Embers a Cinderella-esque historical romance set in the Taisho Era. I checked out the prologue a long time ago, but never got around to playing any of the routes until now. At the time of its release only two guys had been released: Kyosuke Takatsukasa and Takahisa Togo. Since I usually don’t care much for the suave alpha male types, I went with Takahisa as my first choice pick. I mean come on a man in uniform, what’s not to love?!
After the transition from the standalone apps to the Love 365 portal app, I kind of fell out of the Voltage Inc. game for awhile. Since the change quite a few new apps have been released, but among the first new apps was the historical fantasy Rose in the Embers (Romaji Taishō Roman, Unmei no Hito). This is the third historical romance game from Voltage Inc. following on the heels of Sakura Amidst Chaos and Era of Samurai: Code of Love, which were set Sengoku and Bakumatsu Eras, respectively. However, for Rose, Voltage bumped up their timeline a bit, setting the game during the Taisho Era (1912 – 1926).
I’m not really a history buff, but from what I gather the time period continued the Meiji Era’s push towards modernization and more western ideals, modeled after the Victorian era. So there’s this unique blend of Japanese fashion and ideals meshed with the more “modern” Western ideals, which makes for a visually interesting story. So, I was pretty optimistic when I loaded up the prologue in the Love 365 app…