Thursday, May 30, 2013

Heavenly Playgirl Dating Sim

Author: TopazShrine
Availability: Free, Online
Format: Dating Sim
Genre: Supernatural
Rating: Teen
My Scores: (Writing: 3, Art: 3, Gameplay: 3) out of 5

Found at OR


In Heavenly Playgirl Dating Sim, you are Faith/Insert-Name-Here Allgood.  Yes, you can change your first name, but not your last.  Anyway, you've grown so disgusted with your father's womanizing ways, that' you've left home and moved to Heavenly Hills...only to learn that you've grown up to be just like him.  Now, after a car accident that should have been lethal, God has seen fit to give you a second chance: You have five weeks to atone for all the hearts you've broken and find true love.  So, get cracking!


The Writing:

This was an interesting story, and I like how the threads of all the different characters tie in to the main plot.  Major brownie points are given for the sense of cohesion, there.  Also, I appreciate the message that shallow and unfaithful people exist in both genders, and that both men and women have real feelings: the protagonist's original notion of "Guys only date for fun" doesn't fly, and her behavior is considered no less awful than how her father treated her mother.  There's some good substance, here.

Unfortunately, the English is rather painful in spots.  The author does apologize for this beforehand, and for the most part, it's manageable; but there were a couple lines that made me ask "What did I just read?".  Also, this game commits the sin of having similar dialogue options.  Authors, if you're going to have one dialogue choice be right and one be wrong, then please don't make one a rearranged version of the other.  When both options seem like they should work, it kills the suspension of disbelief when only one does.  Granted, there can be times when "How should I say this?" is a valid question, but such a choice can easily be frustrating unless the author really knows what they're doing.  If you're writing in a language that you don't have absolute mastery over, then don't even touch that question with a ten-foot pole.

The Art:

The art isn't perfect, but it's still quite nice, and some bits are downright lovely.  I liked the angles and use of closeups in the intro, and the autumn leaves were a nice tone-setting detail. The music is a little 'plinky' to me, but that could just be my taste.  I will say, though, that I absolutely hate the protagonist's outfit, and I'm not too fond of Sergio's either; it's as if they decided to wear all of their clothes at once.  Still, at least the other guys are easy to look at.

The Gameplay:

I must applaud TopazShrine's efforts at mixing things up.  The boys don't stay in one spot everyday; rather, much like people living in a town, they visit different locations at different parts of the week.  Church on Sunday, School on Monday, Movies on the weekend... It not only makes the game more alive and believable, but it also adds an element of challenge; especially since some of these locations can only be reached by taking the bus for 2 coins.  (Also, I very much appreciate the fact that talking to an unattainable shop-keeper NPC doesn't waste valuable HP).

Breaking the Food->HP->Job->Money->Food system also takes a lot more effort than in some of the other games reviewed on this blog.  Suffice it to say, you won't be getting all of the guys maxed out on day 1.  Much of this is because of a stat called Work Fatigue, which keeps you from spamming the work button forever even when you have leftover HP.

Even if you do get to a point where you have enough HP to do a month's work in a day's time, it won't do you much good.  Success with the boys depends on witnessing their events, and you only get one event each week.  This kind of forces the player to play at the game's intended pace, and I'm not sure how I feel about that.


TopazShrine calls this her first serious project.  For a first, it's very good, and it's clear that a lot of effort was put into making this.  While Heavenly Playgirl Dating Sim isn't perfect, it does a lot well and is a surprisingly strong piece.  

Of course, this is all my opinion.  You may think this game is just heavenly, or you might think it deserves an eternity in limbo.  Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. ^_^

1 comment:

  1. i like this game alot. but i simplify things but using the max HP cheat tho.