Tuesday, March 22, 2011

2nd Teen Story: Xmas

Author: Nyu
Availability: Free, Download
Format: Visual Novel
Genre: Romance (with some Horror/Mystery)
Rating: Teen
My Scores: (Writing: 2.5, Art: 3, Gameplay: 3)

Found at --Apparently, this game has been taken down from its original locations.  If anyone has any information, please share.


In Xmas, you are Nguyet Ly. It's the night of December 24th, and you currently have no plans for Christmas. What will you do? And will you find love while doing it?



In my last Nyu Review, I lamented the general lack of information surrounding our protagonist. In Xmas, though, that problem is finally solved; our girl has a name, and she definitely lives in Vietnam. For a game of this type, that is the perfect amount of flavor.

The English is still imperfect and peppered with anime smilies, but it's readable. Also, the story contains actual dialog this time, so hooray! There were still parts where the dialog was cut in favor of a summary, but as these mostly boiled down to recounting what would surely be a long story, it's more excusable.

As for the story itself, it had its share of strengths and weaknesses; but for what it's worth, I actually found myself caring about the characters, and as that is the primary goal of any author, kudos must be awarded. There were parts that caused me to laugh out loud; for example, the fact that Nyuget basically prevents a guy from killing himself by beating him up. That has got to be the most unorthodox suicide prevention method I've ever heard of.

The santa-murderer plot was an interesting change of mood, and possibly genre, taking us from a light-hearted romance into a dark murder mystery with possible supernatural overtones. It almost seemed like it shouldn't be part of this game; the tone is just that contrasting, although it keeps the motif of meeting and hanging out with a cute boy. I actually think it should be extrapolated into a game of its own; it's creepy, interesting, and I would love to see more of it.


The art is much better than in the first game. I like the style; it has a few elements vaguely reminiscent of manga, but it's longer and thinner, with a bit of sketchiness about it. I really like it. I'm also crazy about the art in the menu and option screens; Nyu seems to have pulled out all of the stops.

The photo-backgrounds are also less annoying. They help establish the setting further, giving us the sense that, yes, we are in Vietnam. They're also interspersed with black-and-white drawings. Personally, I think the lack of color in the drawings makes for a more intense contrast with the full-color photographs and keeps in step with the rough, informal feel of the rest of the game's artwork, but your opinion may differ.

There were a couple points where the anime-esque expressions creeped me out, though. The eyes and mouth would suddenly get too big, too white, and stare out from a body that simply did not match the superimposed face. It was...disturbing.


The gameplay is simple; there are only two choices in each menu, and choosing incorrectly may loop you back around to someone else's path as a sort of second chance. It doesn't drag like the last game did, though I admit that the change in mechanics compared to the last game did initially feel like a step backward to me. It seems to work, though.


I like this game. While it has room for further improvement, it's a definite step up from Lolipop Love. The mechanics are simpler than the first game, but this allows more story to exist in what would otherwise have been empty space. Overall, it's short and compact, but still satisfying. The Santa murder path was an incongruous yet fascinating change of pace, and I hope the author does something more with it.

Once again, of course, this is all one girl's opinion. Your experience may well differ, so feel free to share in the comments section.


  1. The Santa murder path freaked me out... I can't wait for Nyu to release a new version of the game because I need an epilogue. I got the bad ending before the good one in that path, and even now I'm wondering how that's going to work out. O_o

    Personally, I loved this game so much it nearly killed me, probably because the MC stops a guy from committing suicide- it's kind of sweet to see a stranger saving a stranger's life. Also the sick boy's path made me cry. The ending is so sad, and the epilogue is so bittersweet.

  2. Yeah, Sick Boy got to me too. I was not expecting something so sad. =/ Come to think of it, between Sick Boy and the Santa Murder, there's a lot of emotional twists and turns in this game. o_O

  3. Anyone have this game? I want to play it but I can't find.