Lucky Rabbit Reflex (

A new girl begins her final year at Northmain College.  Will she find friendship or love in one year?

The game takes place in England and the story depends on which club you join, which part-time job you take, and which boy you pursue or girl you hang out with the whole year.  In all reality, there’s not a whole lot to say about it.  Just that the main character reacts differently to each boy.  You can pursue Marius, Shuppin, Rhett (my personal favorite), Beck, Per, or the secret character (also my favorite, what I can only pick one?).  The friendships you can strengthen are Merle, Dys, Lufika, Lamb (my favorite), or Petime.

As I said earlier, you can pick what club to join or what part-time job you get.  Each club has a connection with a specific boy.  You can go on dates with them, buy birthday presents for them and even make a pancake for them.  You don’t have a romantic attachment to any of the girls but if you complete their friendship path without pursuing a boy, you can get an item from them.  During the week, you select an activity to do that will increase a certain stat.  Putting on makeup increases your charm, hanging out increases your social, studying increases your intelligence, going to the gym increases your athletics and resting decreases your stress.  On Saturday, you can check your mail from Facemate and read the monthly fashion column (you don’t have to follow that to the letter unless you’re dating Beck).  Each boy likes a specific style that you can shop for on that day.

You can also make dates, check your relationship status in your diary, or go out and boost your skills.  You also have mock exams and A-level ones to complete throughout the year.  How high your stats are affects how well you do.

It’s not deep and yet it’s addicting.  I give it 6 out of 10, perfect to play when you have little brainpower.

Planet Stronghold (

A new recruit is sent to the greatest outpost a human could ever be assigned to, Planet Stronghold.  Their decisions will shape the fate of humanity and the rest of the galaxy.

The game takes place in the future where humankind is at odds with every other alien race.  A king rules the humans and your job is to find the missing prince.  After that, you have to decide if you want to achieve galactic peace or conquer the galaxy.  You do have romance options, but you won’t have access to them until you make a decision.  Even then, they write it hastily together with side quests for every single character in order to get to know them better.  To me it just seems like info dumping about each one and who you romance has no effect on the plot whatsoever.

All it does is change a few lines in the epilogue.  In Loren, the romances slowly grow and connect to the plot while in this game they’re just there for the sake of having them.

When you start the game, you have a choice between a male and female character.  Which one you choose only affects whom you can romance.  You also have a choice between four classes: Soldier, Guardian, Scout, or Psionic.  The choices you make affect your relationship with the characters.  Every battle you win and every quest you complete will give you experience points.

When you level up, you have to choose how to distribute them.  You can also earn achievements based on what you do in the game.

The game is fun but doesn’t offer much in romance and character development.  I give it 8 out of 10, the story elements have a better use in Loren, but this one has better game play.

Cinders (

Like the fairy tale of Cinderella, Cinders is under the rule of her stepmother and stepsisters.  Only this time she’s not going to be a helpless doormat and wait for some magical being to save her life.

Everyone knows the tale of Cinderella and the most common complaint about it from feminists like me; she doesn’t do anything.  In this game, Cinders has reached her breaking point and decided to do something.

She can choose the fairy tale end, but when she does, it will be her choice.  The stepmother and stepsisters also have a new take.  Instead of being one-sided villains, they all have their own back-story to explain how they became the way they did.  The romance options are also not the same.  The prince is a love interest but so are Tobias (shop owner and Cinders’ childhood friend) and Perrault (honorable captain of the guard).

During the game, you are the one who makes the choices.  What you pick will shape Cinders’ personality.  You are also responsible for who she ends up with and her relationship with her stepmother and stepsisters.  Does she mend the fences between them or does she let her bitterness get the best of her?  You also get to choose whom she ends up with and which of her fairy godmothers she trusts.  You can pick Madame Ghede, a witch withdrawn from society,

or the fairy, who’s granted wishes come with a price.

Every choice you make affects not only the variation of the four endings you get, but what reward you collect.

The game is fun and intriguing.  I give it 8 out of 10, a feminist take on a classic fairy tale.

Delicious: Emily’s Holiday Season (

It’s the holidays and Emily just got a new job working at a hotel.  She’s managed to catch the eye of her manager and a co-worker.  Not only that, but she’s also preparing for a visit from her eccentric family.

Okay, the romantic choices are both extreme.  Richard is so worried about his own issues that he makes little to no time for Emily.  Paul is so clingy and dependent that he falls in love in a day and proposes excessively soon.  It doesn’t occur to either one that there might be a middle ground.  However, I have to say that I did like the introduction to Emily’s family.

I especially loved her free-spirited sister Angela.  They’re both so different and yet you can tell that they love each other.

The game play is the same as the last one.  In each level, you serve customers who either sit at the table or order takeout.

You also have an in-game event that you can complete for extra points.

You can get the target score and have one hundred dollars for spending on decorations or get the expert score and have two hundred.

One thing that separates this game from the last one is that you answer questions based on your opinion.  When you get to the credits, you see how popular your views are.  You are also the one who gets to choose who Emily ends up with.

It’s fun and a great introduction to Emily’s family.  I give it 8 out of 10, an experiment on adding romance to the games.

Delicious: Emily’s Taste of Fame

Emily’s back and this time she has a chance to make it big.  A television network just offered her a prime time cooking show.  Only problem is that her car broke down and she might not make it to the studio in time.  All she has to rely on is the kindness of the citizens of Snuggford.

This story is actually pretty cliché.  It’s about fame and fortune verses friends and family.  Emily makes friends that help her with her car in return that she helps them with something.  Each one makes a meaningful connection with her that she doesn’t find at the studio.  On her show, she pretends to be happy and is just selling stuff.

I won’t tell you what she chooses but it’s pretty obvious from the get go, at least it is to me.

The game play is the same with one added feature.  Each level comes with a scenario that you can participate in to earn extra points.

Other than that, it’s the same as usual.  You make products for your customers, buy stuff for each restaurant, catch a mouse each level and unlock an entertainer and cleaner.

The only place you don’t get an entertainer is the Snuggford State Fair and that’s only because you can have passersby singing on stage.

This game is fun and addictive.  I give it 8 out of 10; it’s the one where the series finds its footing.

Cooking Academy 2: World Cuisine (

After graduating from the Cooking Academy, you sign up for a contest to learn cuisines from different countries.  The winner receives a million dollars to start their own restaurant.

Like the last game, there’s not much of a plot.  You go to different restaurants and make various dishes.  There are parts of certain recipes where you have to cut shapes from the dough, but in this one, the mouse takes the form of a dough cutter to give you a better idea of how to do so successfully.  There is also another mini-game added that allows you to get ingredients from the refrigerator.

Many of the steps in the recipes are like the ones in the old game with a twist.

This is definitely a fun game.  I give it 7 out of 10, like the first game with a revamp.

Delicious: Emily’s Tea Garden (

Emily dreams of having her own tea garden.  In order to get it, she has to work at various restaurants and remember to pay her bank loans.

This game might sound like a repeat of the first one but you couldn’t be more wrong.  There is a plot in this one, only instead of solving someone else’s problem Emily’s doing something for herself.  Along the way, she interacts with new people and makes some mistakes.  The one thing this plot shows about her is that when Emily wants something she works hard to get it.

The game play is just like the last one.  Customers walk into your shop and you give them what they want.  Some eat at the table while others order takeout.

You can purchase stuff from Francois to pretty up a restaurant you’re working at.

While playing, you not only unlock an entertainer and cleaner for each restaurant, you also get one-step closer to completing the tea garden.  The entertainer is unlocked through the story line while the cleaner just randomly appears after a certain amount of time, something I really don’t get.

The game is fun with a good storyline.  I give it 6 out of 10, doesn’t quite have everything that makes the Delicious series great but getting there.

Mystic Diary: Missing Pages (

Gustav once again tries to use the mystic diary to make him powerful.  This time he wants to become immortal and it’s up to Victor to stop him.

I thought this whole mess ended in the last game but I guess I was wrong.  In this one, we learn about the relationship between the two brothers, Victor and Gustav.  The former is a powerful magician while the latter is a brilliant scientist.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough for Gustav so he was hooked on the mystic diary.  Victor doesn’t understand why his brother can’t be happy with his own talents and I get the feeling that their parents played favorites.

This game is hidden object and it shows.  You will be going from scene to scene collecting objects and using them in various locations.  Some scenes require you to play through the standard hidden object scenario in order to add new items to your inventory.

If you can find an item in those scenes or you’re not sure what it’s for just use the hint button that recharges over time.  As you progress through the game, you add a new note to Victor’s journal.

Fun, but works better as a spinoff.  I give it 4 out of 10, not necessary to play the first two games.

Kansei (

Requested by kristi78968.

After accepting a job, our unknown teenager has to solve another murder case.  With the help of his new allies, he’ll have to catch the killer.  He’s just not so sure if his allies can be trusted.

This game continues where the last one left off.  The protagonist who takes the alias Kangai thinks about life with his sister.  What I like about this scene is that instead of saying that it’s unusual for a teenage girl not to be interested in makeup and boys they call it what it is, a stereotype.  Another thing about this game is that not only are new characters introduced, the old characters return.

Detective Gurski acts as a mentor to Kangai and is suspicious of Aki.

It’s a refreshing change from the typical stupid cop who’s only there to make the protagonist look good.  Aki seems cheerful and outgoing yet isn’t entirely trustworthy.  Those are just two of the characters that make up the game.  If I described every one of them, I might as well be writing a book.  Though I will say one thing, this game has many female characters but so far, it looks like none of them are love interests.  As sfdebris once pointed out, when the creator adds women to the story, that’s often their role.

Unlike the last game, this one has three separate endings, five if you count the bad ones.  During the game, you ask different characters questions, investigate different areas and build up each character’s trust level.  It’s kind of like Phoenix Wright in a way.  You can either find the mysterious item or find the killer.  After you’ve done both, you can access the true ending.  When that’s completed, you get to view the epilogue.  I’d hate to give away spoilers but the way the true ending and epilogue play out, it’s obvious that the series isn’t over yet.

The game is intriguing and addictive.  I give it 8 out of 10, can’t wait for the next one.