The dating simulator type, nothing more than a variant of the macro genre of visual novels, involves one or a protagonist, usually unable to deal with the other sex, who must find a way to have a love story with one of many main characters , developing the characteristics most loved by the potential prey.
The canonical setting of the genre, despite some variations, is the school one, with the characters involved in the amorous plots that are usually students. The school, as it is structured in Japan, allows you to simulate the possible activities to be carried out by the player with greater realism and incisiveness, without having to resort to compromise solutions. In reality, it is not chosen only for issues related to gameplay, which in fact in many cases are secondary. Let's say that it offers great possibilities in terms of identification of the average user by age assonance and as many in the satisfaction of some typical perversions of the Japanese public (and not only), which are reflected in the characterization of the characters based on very specific types. For example, the apparently very shy intellectual is never missing, but he turns out to be a great panther under the covers (where there are erotic contents), as is always part of the cast some sexually more aggressive character who makes the game of seduction immediately clear. No, you are not reading a special on dating simulators. The truth is, you can take everything you've just read and apply it seamlessly to Sunrider Academy, which doesn't do much to stand out from the competition, at least from a plot and setting point of view. Now let's find out if it has enough character to rise above the crowd.
The Steam version of Sunrider Academy is censored, so no sex scenes. Don't worry though, because you can restore more explicit content by downloading a free patch from the game's official site. Unfortunately we can't provide you with the direct link, because the aforementioned is full of cream-coated girls. Anyway, just search on Google, or any other search engine, for the string "sunrider academy restoration patch" and ... magic. Don't say that here at Resources4Gaming.com we don't care about the development of our readers' eye / hand coordination.
Sunrider Academy doesn't come out of nowhere. Those who follow the world of visual novels may have already met some of the characters in Sunrider: Mask of Arcadius (available for free on Steam). In the story they take on the role of Kayto Shields, vice president of the student council, who has a thankless task on his shoulders: to restore luster to three disastrous school clubs, namely judo, kendo and science. At the same time he must also carry on his school career, with all that goes with it: studying, taking exams and so on. Being the protagonist of a dating simulator, the good Kayto must also be able to find a girl with whom to exchange some fluids. (to restore the uncensored version of the game, which we strongly recommend you to install, read the appropriate box with all the explanations).
If he fails, he will have to suffer the humiliation of a negative ending. In terms of gameplay, what does it all translate into? In reading a lot of text and in some choices to be made related to the main plot, which will break up the daily activities, which can be planned using a convenient calendar. We do not believe that there is a need to specify that developing intelligence will help in intellectual activities, while improving athletic skills will make you more toned, reducing the risk of disease (they waste precious time) and so on. Those who just want to read the plot can lower the difficulty level until the possibility of making mistakes is completely eliminated. In a normal video game, such an option would be seen as smoke and mirrors, but in a dating simulator it can be and, indeed, it will make happy those who just want to read history without worrying about the rest. By "rest" we mean having to decide what to do during the day. Studying to prepare for exams? We have to find the time to do it if we don't want Kayto to fail. And all the other activities? How can we think of hooking up if we spend more time on books than seducing our beloved? And the clubs, how to raise them? Nice problem. Fortunately, it takes little to understand how to act: having chosen the objectives to be pursued, one must concentrate on all one's strengths. It is much simpler than it seems and fans of the genre will have no problem whatsoever in concluding the four story arcs, one for each of the seducible girls: Sola, Chigara, Asaga and Ava.
Will Sunraider Academy succeed in establishing itself in the world of dating simulators?
From a technical point of view Sunrider Academy is not bad at all, despite the developers, Love in Space, have openly declared that they did not have all the desired budget available. What paid for it was more the quantity of content than the quality, although it must be said, to avoid misunderstandings, that we are not dealing with a short or poorly curated visual novel, given that each narrative arc can last from three to five hours and that the drawings of characters and scenarios are very good, certainly with some elements more accurate than others, but with a high general average quality, which also manifests itself in the soundtrack, excellent accompaniment when reading. Unfortunately, they are not all roses and flowers, since there are some defects. Meanwhile, the full adherence of the plot to the clichés of the genre. While Kayto is a slightly deeper-than-average character, some situations are all too predictable. Another flaw is a certain arbitrariness of the situations that can cause a certain frustration. We understand that we wanted to introduce gameplay with the possibility of failing, but sometimes really absurd events happen that remain so until the logic of the game is fully understood. Not bad, given that, as already mentioned, the risk of failure can be completely removed, but a few more explanations of certain mechanics would not have hurt, given the difficulty.
Sunraider Academy is a good dating simulator with statistics to manage and an average higher difficulty than other titles of the same genre. Surely he is one of the best exponents of the genre among the most recent published in the West, so if you are passionate, you can not miss it. If you are on the hunt for pure visual novels, and you don't like the idea of failing, rest assured, because Sunrider Academy can also be read. Too bad for some flaw, not solved despite the period spent in Steam Early Access.
- Four story arcs
- Beautiful designs
- Great music
- Story full of clichés
- Some seemingly arbitrary deaths