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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Host Holic


            Host Holic is developed by Since English otome games are really rare, we have something to be thankful for. Well, I'm not really gonna talk and steal their spotlight, so I'll let their official site do that talking: complete info here.

            I was supposed to do this review last October 2012. It's late March-early April now. Oh God, I hope Lex-shi forgives me. (>o<;) I'm really sorry for my poor time-managing skills. School forced me to have a life. *sigh* First update in a while!

                 Well moving on.

            You travel to Japan for one year to teach English, and quickly become culture shocked by the dating scene in downtown Tokyo. After a few failed attempts at blind and Internet dating, you decide to try your luck at the most popular host club in town.
           Manage your daily life as a foreign teacher in Tokyo by controlling your wild students and maximizing your return rate to ensure your performance bonus. Can you balance your job and navigate this new dating world?
           Discover the secrets to becoming a successful teacher by day, and surround yourself by a group of professional playboys at night in this original and exciting dating-sim and time management game.

TITLE: Host Holic
GAME LENGTH: Medium (10 - 30 hours)


           Target Audience: Well, one thing for sure, this is not for those young ones. I wouldn't go as far as to say that this game is a rated 18+ game but it does contain a mild sexual context that surprised me. The site's own rating of 16+ really suits it. (Thank goodness I'm 16+) Just don't play this if you are not prepared for a shocking plot. 

           Story: How do I say this... Let's say, the story is very unexpected. In what way? In a lot of ways. Sorry for the stupid vague answer but that about sums it all up.  The story is not really that special, frankly speaking. It borders normalcy however, the plot twists are really something. I was thinking of giving it a good thrashing (if I happen to buy this) if it weren't for those awesome twists. Man, thumbs us to the scriptwriter. He/She managed to get me to "SHOCKU" mode. ∑(O_O;)

           Characters: I commend the attitude of the protagonist. She's very brave for a foreigner in a foreign land. +1 point for a one less doormat heroine in games. Thank goodness. Plus, she's the kind of teacher most students would be lucky to have. Where the heck will you get a martial art-capable beautiful and smart teacher nowadays. *sigh* I hope my school (right. I just recently graduated.) Alma Mater had a lot of teachers like that. ANYWAY. For the hosts, I found it a hard time to get Rui's way of thinking. I still can't, to be honest. That's one more target in my Agenda list.

           CG/Art: The art is very well-done, considering that this came from an indie company. Which means, little or no initial funds/time/help/staff for that. I like the light colored art style. It's ironic that the the art style is very light yet the story is so dark though. Haha. Another surprise element. The character designs are unique for the main characters. I can't say the same for the kiddos. Change the hairstyle, eye color or color of the top/shirt and that's basically it. They all have the freaking face it's freaking scary.  I can accept the clothing if they just wore a uniform instead of just changing the color. I think there would be less hassle that way too, anyway.

           Music: Same goes for this one. It's a trap. The music is very light-hearted, amusing even (for the classroom music bg), that it covers the dark plot twists. Blame yourself if you fall for it like how I did. Console yourself a bit since it sheds a bit of its trap-ness when it comes to the dark part since well, the music is dark creepy too.  It matches.  

           Setting: Maa-maa (So-so), I guess. There's just basically four most important places to you anyway: school, home, night market and of course, holic.

           Difficulty Level/Gameplay: It's a bit higher than average, I guess. Host Holic features a common visual novel element with mini-games that can go from the following rating: a.) cute, b.) so-so, c.) useless to d.) annoying. I can't help the "d.) annoying" part since I'm not a big fan of stat-building. I prefer in-depth story so yey to typical visual novel choices. I hate stat-building. It takes more time for me to achieve the story that I'm drooling for. I also hope that there's more interaction with the students or at least, paid more attention since they're practically the supposedly selling point of this game. Instead of the uncalled-for dress-up thing, we could have more student interaction. I prefer more time spent in wrecking my mind on how to handle the kiddos than playing shopping with the host. One more thing that can get more work done is the user interface. I can't save anytime I wish. No quick save/load either. It definitely sucked when I had to leave it for a short while and found the laptop dead on me and I haven't reached the savepoint yet.

           Opening Video:



           Too bad, I won't support piracy here. Believe it or not, I still avoid it as best as I can, okay? Unlike with Japanese otome games, it will contribute little even through buying since you, English-speakers, are not the target audience.  Though it may cause them to think to license the game, the market for them would still be generally for the lucky Japanese-speaking folks. Here, this is a different matter. Since there is a means to get a legal English game through legal buying, of course, I would point that. Seek my help only for hopeless Japanese games.

Demo (Click the "Free Demo!" button from their site, of course)


  1. Thanks so much for reviewing our game! I know that you were busy, so I appreciate such a well thought out and thorough review.



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