Beware of the fangirlism ahead! Asagao Academy is a free visual novel dating sim that has been out since April 21. It’s totally free, but the creative team behind the game definitely deserve a donation if you are able to spare it.
The game is by Illus Seed founded by Cara Hillstock, who happens to be the writer and director of the game, and Danielle Hargrave, who is Asagao’s creator, sprite and CG artist, and also the wife of one of the men you can date in the game. You can date the Normal Boots guys giving you seven different paths to take. Normal Boots is a group of video gamers, each one having their own YouTube channels.
Another group of YouTubers known as Hidden Block, and who are good friends with Normal Boots, also make cameos (and there’s been plenty of clamor for some DLC or a sequel to the game to date them!). All the guys are adorkable nerds who mostly focus on video games for their YouTube content.
But enough about the guys… The game is based off of them, yes. But there is so much more to the game such as the writing, the artwork, the voiceovers, even the way the game is played is just fantastic and really well done.
Excuse you, what do you mean enough about the guys? Yes, this game definitely had so much preparation and work put into it. If you’ve ever tried to write a “Choose Your Own Adventure” type of story, you’ll understand how complex the writing for the story lines and the multiple choices can be. Each route is brilliantly written with its own story and focus, not only with the dude you’re trying to woo, but with also the main character’s friendships and her own development.
Each main route is subtly added into the other routes. You won’t get a full understanding as to why some of the characters act the way they do in certain situations until you’ve played their route. The writing really is brilliant, as is the artwork. I can’t get enough of how beautiful the backgrounds are. The sprites themselves are true to the real life people and their expressions are wonderful.
Yes, we found ourselves smiling like idiots with the sprites’ expressions. I just can’t sing enough praises about the writing and the artwork. There weren’t as many choices as I thought we would be able to make, but the ones that we do make definitely have a strategy to them in order for the player to get the best ending.
There are four endings total for each route: Best, good, bad, and worst. If you get the best ending, you’ll unlock an extra scene. In order to get the best ending, you need to have a good balance between the guy you’re after to like you as well as whether you’ll win the game tournament or not.
There are a few guys who have an extra ending (and effectively driving us crazier). After unlocking all the endings of the seven routes and the two hidden routes, there is a completion bonus that we’re definitely looking forward to. Seriously, Asagao Academy is a fun visual novel, and the YouTubers that were gracious enough to allow their likenesses to be used are fantastic entertainers on the video game scene. If you’re looking for a casual, new game that may give you some feels, go and check out this game!
Have you played Asagao Academy or another dating sim game? How did you like it?