Shining Song Starnova

Shining Song Starnova

Oh my, it was a fun long adventure! This visual novel is about the ragtag band of seven cute idols and you play as their producer trying to make them great again. I can’t say I was too excited when I just started. Not my cup of tea absolutely. But I realized once again that when a game is really well done, it doesn’t matter if it’s up your alley or not.

My first impression was very positive. All those settings, nicely organized gallery. In this regard everything was just flawless. Artwork is lovely. Each girl’s sprite is beautiful, CGs are so pretty and there’re also cute chibi images. Even being so far from my actual preferences I still have made 100 screenshots. Plus, the game is partially voiced, has cards and achievements.

Real player with 88.7 hrs in game

Read More: Best Crowdfunded Mature Games.

Shinning Song Starnova First Impressions

(Completed Mika’s Route)

Love in Space is probably my favorite Visual Novel developer. They seem to always be put on a budget via crowdfunding but they always deliver. The Sunrider series is a great blend of sci-fi opera, fanservice and story payoff, I was always a fan of the spinoff academy entry more than the main series, but they are all treasures.

Shining Song Starnova is the latest visual novel created by the team and joining up with Sekai Project they once again release a top-notch visual novel. Multiple routes, great writing (I was a bit fatigued from the use of “oy”), and great characters make this entry a must have and possibly a great starting place for those new to the visual novel genre.

Real player with 50.2 hrs in game

Shining Song Starnova on Steam

Memory’s Dogma CODE:01

Memory’s Dogma CODE:01

So, imagine you see a luscious, appetizing cake, copious amounts of fluffy white cream topped with a juicy, plump strawberry beckoning you to taste it. You take a knife, cut yourself a slice, and lo and behold, to your delight, you see a layer of chocolate cream sandwiched between the two layers of sponge cake making up the treat. Mouth watering, you spear a piece on a fork, carry it to your mouth, anticipating the sweetness about to bloom on your tongue, only to discover the chocolate cream is, in fact, dog shit, what you thought was sponge cake is just regular dish-scrubbing sponge, and the strawberry is plastic. The whipped cream is the real deal, but will that make you feel any better? Memory’s Dogma is in fact just that: an attempt to pass a pile of garbage off as something appealing, at least outwardly. The core of it is completely rotten though.

Real player with 56.3 hrs in game

Read More: Best Crowdfunded Sci-fi Games.

Short story, most people will be able to complete it within 2-3 hours or less.

The story is actually rather generic anime plot and predictable, but I still enjoyed the content nevertheless. Just come in with low expectations and have the characters, environment, and music immerse you, since those are the selling points rather than the story itself. Art and CG is very good.

However, there’s a particular scene (actually, a character) that didn’t make any sense to me. Felt it was extremely forced drama. But if I rambled on about this character or this scene in particular, it would be spoilers. This character’s motivations are basically illogical and the story doesn’t give them a chance to redeem themselves and the point of this scene. Felt like it was just there to create some delusional pain or attempt to frighten the audience, but it didn’t quite work on me. This scene could’ve been much better but they failed to execute.

Real player with 16.1 hrs in game

Memory's Dogma CODE:01 on Steam

Caffeine: Victoria’s Legacy

Caffeine: Victoria’s Legacy

Coffee! ( In all seriousness it’s a pretty good visual novel and a fantastic story) I feel like this visual novel is on par with Crystalline which is one of my favourite visual novels that I have read. It also reminds me of Spice and Wolf. When I heard the opening song of this Visual Novel I knew I was going to be in for a treat. I loved the soundtrack of this visual novel and the art was fantastic. This Visual Novel also has a lot of good emotional moments and there are not a lot of visual novels that I could say made me feel moved in a emotional way before. The only thing about this visual novel is that it is a shame this visual novel wasn’t fully voiced but it doesn’t stop it from being a really good visual novel and story..

Real player with 78.2 hrs in game

Read More: Best Crowdfunded Fantasy Games.

To begin with, I would like to thank my Steam friend KnightAvenger for helping me contact the developer, answering all my questions, listening to my suggestions and explaining various things connected with the game and its plot. You are amazing! Also, this is the person who helped with game’s text and editing, so this deserves additional kudos. And, of course, huge thanks to the developer for providing me with a key for this lovely visual novel.

Now, pleasantries aside, let me tell you about Caffeine: Victoria’s Legacy itself – and boy was it energizing due to the sheer amount of coffee facts!

Real player with 30.2 hrs in game

Caffeine: Victoria's Legacy on Steam

Black Geyser: Couriers of Darkness

Black Geyser: Couriers of Darkness

Cant recommend this yet. I have no problems with the usual early access stuff; broken game mechanics, bugged quests, and balance issues. Those are all easy to fix. However, I do have some main concerns that the small dev team may or may not be able to fix for main release:

1. Performance issues. Long load times and poor frame rates on high end machines with SSDs. Not acceptable from a game that looks like 1998. Since you get a loading screen every time you enter/exit an area or building, long loading times severely impact the overall experience. Pretty much every streamer who streamed this said the same thing.

Real player with 66.2 hrs in game

Party-based computer rpg similar to NWN, Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale, et al. If you like those type this game should fit your needs. It is RTwP for those who only play one type of combat.

I think there is enough here to support for sure:


Quite a large variety of stuff to find for the hoarder in all of us.

Melee combat is fairly robust and healing gets the job done.

The painted map backgrounds are mostly pretty.

Good variety in classes.

I will cover cons in detail since they need fixing:

Real player with 23.3 hrs in game

Black Geyser: Couriers of Darkness on Steam

LoveSick Darlings

LoveSick Darlings

LoveSick Darlings is a grounded, realistic, emotional story about a close group of friends at school growing up and trying to understand their own feelings - as well as the feelings of those around them. You play as Syd, a sixteen-year old boy who goes to Foster Hill High - a school in a quiet Australian town. The school year is coming to a close and Syd has to decide whether he confesses his feelings to his crush - all this while juggling the several other friendships and potential love interests in his life.

Such as Maisy, the wild and outgoing girl who lives on the same street as Syd and calls him her “best friend.”

Jayda, the sweet and awkward artsy weeb who loves anime and video games and thinks the world of Syd.

And of course the cool and intellectual Steph, who loves books and music… and who happens to be the person that Syd has been crushing on all year.

Spend time with these characters in a close-knit friendship group over the last four weeks of school, developing your friendships potentially into something more! But be careful, each decision you make can affect the entire friendship group. Spend too much time with one character, and another may get jealous. Or say something mean to someone, and someone else may think less of you for it. Or alternatively: maybe if you say something mean, another character might like you more for it! LoveSick Darlings is packed with group conversations where you get to know characters by watching how they interact with others as well as yourself.

Determine the fate of Syd and all his friends as you help him make some of the hardest decisions in his life. Choose whether to confess your feelings, accept or deny the feelings of others, sabotage or repair broken friendships, and get to know Syd’s friends in a way that he never did before. Enjoy these last few weeks of the school year while they last, and make your limited time count to the fullest!

And ultimately decide: who will you ask out to the school dance?

Game Features:

  • An engaging and emotional story rooted in reality and real relationships

  • Gorgeous original sprite artwork

  • Romance multiple different characters

  • Characters with agency and who react in natural ways to your decisions, giving them more impact

  • Week and day system where you choose how you spend your limited free time!

  • Original soundtrack with 25+ songs

  • 30+ CG artworks

  • Develop close relationships bit-by-bit with each character as you spend more and more time with them!

  • No set “routes.” The game seamlessly flows between events and scenarios based off of your decisions in a natural way

  • Multiple unique outfits for each heroine

  • Highly customized playthroughs featuring dozens of variables that make each “ending” unique

  • 15 hours of gameplay per run - with dozens more hours in alternate endings and scenarios!

  • Comprehensive “Player Review” system that assesses your relationships at the end of each play-through! It also tells you what each character thinks of you by the end, how to get other results, and maybe even hints at a few secrets!

And not to mention an increible cast of artists and creatives working on this game!

  • Ippers: Original character design and sprite artist. They’ve done so much work for this game. You will notice their distinct style has given LoveSick Darlings its completely unique visual identity. This game simply wouldn’t be here without them.

  • Phiphi: CG artist. Phi has done a great job of showing the characters in LoveSick Darlings in all kinds of situations and bringing their personalities to life in their artwork.

  • Edhelsen: Colouring. They’re responsible for all the vibrant colours and little touches you can see on the sprites for LoveSick Darlings. Their work is amazing, and they’re an amazing person too.

  • Maddy: UI and misc asset artist. She did several UI and text box elements. Made the logo, and did original art for sections of the story and various icons!

  • Awan: Promotional artist. Has done a ton of additional promotional art for LoveSick Darlings!

  • Tim Reichert: The offiicial composer for LoveSick Darlings and countless other VN hits!

Voice Actors:

LoveSick Darlings also features an all-Australian all-star voice cast! This game features partial voice acting from all these talents.

Voice of Maisy Anderson: Aimee Smith. The energy and passion Aimee brings to a character as big as Maisy is unmatched!

Voice of Jayda Silvestri: Emily Goeman. Her performance as Jayda is filled with so much love and care.

Voice of Stephanie Azoulai: Sarah Kennedy . The cool and kind Steph comes to life with Sarah’s wonderful and considered take on her troubled character.

Voice of Sydney Ivankovic: Alec Shea. Last but not least, Alec brings it home voicing our young and hesitant hero.

… Oh, um, and also me I guess! I am the writer, director, producer, and pretty much everything else you can think of for this game!


The game is still in production you encounter any bugs or issues in the demo at all, let me know ASAP. Contact me over Twitter (@LoveSickDarling) or via Steam, and I will make sure that it gets fixed :)

LoveSick Darlings on Steam

A Light in the Dark

A Light in the Dark

Our main protagonist is a boy born into a rich, but dysfunctional family. As fate would have it, he gets kidnapped and held to ransom by a pair of girls, who have been living in severe financial troubles for who knows how long. Throughout the lives of these girls, one of them has come to despise the rich and their tendencies to take all the little things in life for granted, so for her to be able to hurt or even kill her hostage seems pretty straightforward. Our protagonist can either try to escape through force or coaxing, or die trying either. Either way, throughout this entire ordeal one thing would become clear to both sides: the world is not fair.

Real player with 17.8 hrs in game

50:50? 51:49? Ugh. Well, all I can give is a neutral recommendation. I don’t really against this VN. Artwork and music background are well presented here. I couldn’t ask for more. Both can express emotion and situation perfectly. Some artwork probably doesn’t look optimal yet, but I didn’t find that disturbing. I will also never forget to mention the facial expressions and gestures that with no doubt are clear and expressive. Music background that changed accordingly also accompanying me well during the game.

Real player with 14.7 hrs in game

A Light in the Dark on Steam



ChronoClock is very enjoyable visual novel. In fact, its such treat, i am totaly in love with it.

Its moege in its best form! If you are not looking for anything complicated and just want to have fun, i would be hard pressed to think of another VN with such high entertaiment value!

Character design is higlight of this VN. All the characters are incredibly well written, they are also out of usual stereotypes which makes interacting with them really refreshing. For example Makoto is girl with yakuza background, who has quite oldtimer beliefs and holds honor and chivalry in high regard (also she is totaly crazy into rabbits), then you have Misaki who at first glance is tsundere, but when teased a little she comes out spilles out her real feelings (come on, honest tsundere? you have no idea how fun she is), or Cro who is goddess but due to certain circumstances she becomes human girl and is expiriencing everything “human” for first time.

Real player with 48.3 hrs in game

It’s a very enjoyable and straightforward game where you always know on which girl’s route you are. It took me 36 hours to complete.


I won’t write any details here but I’ll say it’s mostly slice of life type of story. The game promises you it’s nothing serious but that doesn’t mean you won’t cry. I did. It just means there are no bad ends.


You have your typical anime archetypes: tsundere, overly attached sister, shy girl, blonde from overseas, etc. Despite beign clichéd they are not boring by any means, in fact I feel each one of them brings something fresh into this pungent bog of stereotypes. There are 6 girls to court, 4 initially available and 2 unlocked after.

Real player with 36.9 hrs in game

ChronoClock on Steam

Root Double -Before Crime * After Days- Xtend Edition

Root Double -Before Crime * After Days- Xtend Edition

Short review:

Having played Root Double, I’d easily recommend this to any visual novel fan, especially those looking for a story filled with mystery, suspense and a strong cast of characters. Not only is the story filled with many heart-pounding and emotional moments from start to finish, but the world, story and characters are all extremely fleshed out and detailed while remaining coherent, and are all tied together by the end to make for one of the most satisfying and ‘complete’ stories I’ve experienced. It’s easily one of my favorite visual novels, and my current favorite game on Steam.

Real player with 107.7 hrs in game

Root Double: Before Crime * After Days -Xtend Edition (ROOT√DOUBLE) is a mystery/sci-fi visual novel video game developed by Regista and Yeti collaboration. It was first released on 2012. An updated version called Xtend Edition was later released in 2013 and finally 2016 for PC.

ROOT√DOUBLE is a beautiful game. 60-70 hours long of story. Nice visualization and bgm. Fully japanese voiced dialogues with mostly famous voice actors. All-round interesting/likeable casts. Several mysteries and plot twists will thirst a player with curiosity as they want to find out more and more. The great thing about this game is that every single phenomenon that represented here are explained by sciences which are all existed in real life topics. And most of time, plot twists and explanations are worth the wait. It’s well-educated writing that even rare to find in most sci-fi of a same genre or what not.

Real player with 90.7 hrs in game

Root Double -Before Crime * After Days- Xtend Edition on Steam

The Banner Saga

The Banner Saga

Fantastically well done story and presentation, but one of the most AWFUL gameplay designs imagineable.

Story+Dialogue: 9/10

Presentation: 10/10

Gameplay: 5/10

The banner saga tells the epic tale of individuals fighting for survival in a dying world that dead Gods no longer watch over.

The story was great, interesting characters, dramatic plot twists, and serious consequences you wont see coming.

Your choices DO matter. And while watching the overworld slowly crumble under the pressure of enemies, there are many fun choices you’ll make.

Real player with 34.0 hrs in game

I have mixed opinions about The Banner Saga, but I’m still very happy to have played it. Most of the time, when I find games to be surprisingly brief, it’s generally to their benefit. However, this is one title where I felt like it ended before it could really shine. I’m appreciative that it didn’t drag itself out, but at the same time it’s always a bit jarring when the end credits sneak up on you.

The Banner saga is some weird mesh of grid based strategy rpg (Fire Emblem, Tactics Ogre, FFT/A) and…the Oregon trail. And Vikings (or something resembling Vikings). However, only the first part of that hybrid combination does the game feel polished, gameplay wise. The game’s most notable feature when it comes to the primary battle engagements is the Armor/Strength duality, as well as Willpower and Exertion mechanics. In order to deal a lot of damage to most enemies, especially Dredge, you first have to spend time working down their armor instead of trying to outright lower their health to zero. This is only a small wrinkle to the normal rpg standby, but it is implemented well enough to have two interesting results. One, it creates some very real consequential moments where you’ve got a unit able to do decent armor or strength damage and you can’t be certain whether you should really strip the armor down further or if you should take a chunk out of the enemy health so that they might be finished off sooner. Secondly, it creates much needed class specialization where certain units are much more adept at stripping armor while others are better set finishing weakened foes. The game then allows you to use some basic accessory-equipment to either further specialize (giving an armor-break boosting equipment to someone already well equiped to break armor) or to make certain units more versatile. One thing that I suppose I wasn’t used to is that the class-roles are specified and listed on the heroes pages, but they still don’t seem as iron-clad or strict as those in games such as the Japanese srpgs I listed earlier (where the class given to a unit is much more defining). I couldn’t tell you which units were which class off of the top of my head, only what each given unit was good at performing in battle. I suppose it feels a bit more organic this way.

Real player with 33.6 hrs in game

The Banner Saga on Steam

Royal Alchemist

Royal Alchemist

Tl;dr: I absolutely love every aspect of this game and I think every fan of visual novels/dating sims would enjoy it as well.

World building and writing.

World building might be one of the strongest points of this game. Yes, this is a generic medieval fantasy setting, however, in my opinion, this works to it’s benefit. With how common medieval fantasy is, the setting doesn’t prompt any immediate or obvious references, allowing its original little twists to shine. More importantly, the world feels alive and consistent being a great background to the main plot points and characters. The writing style itself complements the overall ambiance in a couple of ways. It is not overly fancy or complicated by any means but it can definitely feel fancy at times by throwing in some more sophisticated terms for a bit of flavor, helping you feel more immersed in the royal court setting (or at least that’s how it felt to me, a non-native english speaker, so take it for what it’s worth, it might be that my english is simply worse than I give it credit for). The first person narrative also helps with immersion, as the protagonist is not some starry-eyed self insert who has to learn everything with the player, but an expert in their own field and no stranger to the history and society of their world. This provides the player with a more interesting perspective and no awkward lore dumps.

Real player with 87.0 hrs in game

Finally managed to reach all romance ending for all 3 princes. I have to say the game was well worth it. I’ll probably go back and get the friendship endings (+ opposite gender variation CGs).

• Now, I was more interested in the story than romance side of things, so the romance being kind of secondary I personally didn’t mind. In fact, games which rush romance too quickly bothers me a lot… I find the slow-burn type romance more realistic.

• Regarding the plot, it’s extremely well-written and full of twists. For that matter, some of the dialogue was hard even for me and I’m a native speaker!

Real player with 45.5 hrs in game

Royal Alchemist on Steam