Availability: Free, Online/Browser
Format: Dating Sim
Genre: Summer Romance
My Scores: (Writing: 3, Art: 3.5, GamePlay: 2.5)
In My Sunshine, you are Alice. After four years of being separated from your best childhood friend, You have come to Sunshine Harbor to reconnect. Your friend has invited you to a party she is throwing in 30 days, but since it's a couples' costume party, you'll need to find a date!
This game is definitely meant to be light-hearted fluff. There's no major, epic drama going on here. However, the characters knowing and talking about each other still gives this piece a very nice sense of consistency, giving the sense that this is a world and not just a series of unrelated characters and locations. You're in your old town for the summer, meeting up with familiar faces and some new ones, and the game does a good job of getting that across.
I sort of like how the author tried to weave the game instructions into the dialog, having Alexa tell you about the party instead of just sticking a note to the player in front of the game. It's a neat idea, but I don't think it was pulled off all that well; so much of what was said sounded a little bit like "As You Know", though maybe that's just the result of many hours wasted on TVTropes affecting my mind. Regardless, some of the opening dialog just didn't seem quite natural.
Speaking of not seeming quite natural, I'm not quite sure how I feel about the art in this game. It seems to be well done, but the style -- Western, slightly 3D with soft outlines-- just seems a little bit uncanny-valley to me. Maybe it's just the result of getting so acclimated to anime/manga style art in most of these games; I don't know. All I know is that it looks fairly well done, but something about it put me off when I first saw it.
I hate mini-games. Did I mention that I hate mini-games? I do. So here's my reactions when I discovered:
1) Working a job requires earning points on a mini-game.
2)Playing the minigame requires switching from the mouse to the keyboard
Me: "Say wha--?!"
3)After all that, the minigame doesn't even work anyway.
4) #1-3 is true for every. single. job.
Me: ............ (Response omitted)
Yes, this game is broken. What makes the working-bug worse is that unlocking one of the boys requires a swimsuit, which requires money. However, the reason I didn't give the gameplay a 1 is that, despite this bug, the game is still playable; it's relatively easy to find a cheat that will give you $1000, and the other two boys are still available regardless.
EDIT: Apparently, other people are able to play the mini-games just fine. I'll have to see if there's a problem with my computer. In the meantime, an extra half point has been awarded in good faith.
One other thing that annoyed me is that sleeping forces you to wait for 10 seconds before continuing the game. There is a star-moving-around sticker-type thing that you can do while waiting, but I find it to be pointless and not very fun, and having to wait 10 seconds every single time you progress through a day -- for 30 days -- just seems like cruelty.
This game isn't very deep, but it doesn't need to be. It's light and fluffy, but still cohesive and tells a story. It has its flaws, and a major part of the game itself is broken, but regardless, it's still playable, and a fun way to waste an afternoon.
Of course, this is all just my opinion. Feel free to spout your own in the comments. ^_^