Developer: Alcot Honeycomb
Release Date: 29th August 2014
Age Rating: 18+
Length: ~10 Hours
Links: Official Site, VNDB
After an argument with his adoptive father turned sour, Kanou Izumi finds himself injured and tossed out on the streets in the middle of winter. With nowhere to go, he lies dying in the snow in front of the local train station. There he meets a strange young girl, Yuu, whom claims to take ownership of him and allows Izumi to live with her under the condition that she’ll be able to eat him at some point in the future. But just what does she mean by this? An inexplicable love story now begins…
Izumi was adopted into the Kanou family a few years ago but due to his adoptive father often coming home drunk, the pair regularly fight and it’s not unusual for him to end up on the streets for a few days. Izumi is quite a pessamistic person and feels that he has nothing really to live for. He has a reputation at school for being scary and a bit of a delinquent.
Shirahase Yuu (CV Kusuhara Yui)
Yuu is the young girl who “saved” Izumi on that fateful night. She’s actually his classmate but never actually attends school and instead spends all day arguing with strangers on the internet. She has quite a silly personality, often making jokes and just generally getting on Izumi’s nerves. She claims to be an immortal mermaid but in order to awaken to her full powers she must consume the flesh of a human. Yuu enjoys singing and has previously uploaded videos of her performing to the web but it didn’t go quite as planned…
Kawashima Nao (CV Ichikawa Hinako)
Nao is a bright and cheerful girl whom was the first friend Izumi made at school. She chats a lot and tends to get on well with everyone. Her family own an inn which she tries to help out at and has offered as a place for Izumi to stay. She’s a member of the school’s newspaper club and pretty much forces Izumi to join as well.
Nitta Ruri (CV Arisugawa Miyabi)
Ruri is a classmate of Izumi and is the class rep. She has a very serious personality and tends to tell off Yuu often. She seems to know more about the situation than she lets on and warns Izumi to stay away from Yuu…
Character design and artwork for this game was handled by Kazami Haruki, whom has worked on a few of Alcot Honeycomb’s older titles. SD artwork was done by Aona Masao who tends to do this style of artwork for most of Alcot’s games.
Opening: Blue on Blue – Rita
Ending: Yuukyuu Renka – Rita
The game’s BGM was composed by a group called Trinote, this appears to be the only game that they’ve worked on.
Because I’m an idiot, I forgot to take a screenshot of the title screen before finishing the game, where it changes to a lovely (but completely spoilery) image so apologies about that!
This game’s system is incredibly simple – there’s only one real choice in the game & Yuu’s route is locked until the two others are finished.
The rest of the system design was simple but nice enough – the sprite viewer was fun as always.
Satsukoi is a game that I’d had my eye on for a while, with the wintry setting and its unusual portrayal of mermaids catching my interest. Did it manage to live up to my expectations?
Given that this was originally a “mid-price” title, I was surprised that the production values seemed nice and the game length wasn’t too bad (I can’t really complain because I got this game on sale for 1.5k yen).
This game has a bit of an odd sense of humour that makes it quite hard to get in to and this is compounded by Izumi’s pessimisim. However, once you get used to this the character interactions are pretty enjoyable and I liked the dynamic between Izumi and Yuu in particular.
The one thing that this title does best though are the endings to each route – don’t go into this game expecting cop-out happy endings, pretty much all of them vary between bittersweet and downright depressing. I personally really admired the fact that the game didn’t shy away from these and some were definitely quite emotional!
As far as protagonists go, Izumi is definintely on the more proactive side which I appreciated. I enjoyed that the game gave him a strong personality and backstory because it made him seem more like a character in his own right rather than the bland self-insert that galge tend to have. His actual character design was more ikemen than the usual too which was nice & I liked that he actually had a face in many CGs.
Quite clearly Yuu is the “true” heroine of the game and her route greatly reflects that, with it tying neatly into the game’s actual title (nice touch!). Her ending had me in tears, especially when you get back to the game’s title screen. Anyways, I thought Yuu was hilarious and could also be surprisingly cute at times. A great heroine overall!
Nao’s route was really interesting as a significant portion of it takes place “in the past” which just builds on the backstory about her and Izumi’s friendship. She’s such a sweet girl & I just wish she got a happy ending!
Ruri was the girl that I was least interested in before playing the game but I did find her more interesting once you get to know her backstory and real personality. Her route probably had the most shock value, with one scene in particular being quite unexpected.
The game’s artwork was of good standard, with there being quite a lot of CGs given its lower price & shorter length. The SD CGs in particular were super cute!
I really like the games opening song and the fact that the ending song only plays during Yuu’s ending gives it extra meaning which was really interesting. The BGM was decent, with quite a few of the tracks being arrangements of the opening theme which I enjoyed.
The game features 9 H Scenes – 3 per heroine so a pretty standard number. Content was generally pretty standard except there is one scene of dubious consent & one 3P scene.
My Score: 8/10
If you’re looking for a plot-heavy game that’s on the shorter side and has bittersweet endings then this is the perfect game for you. The darker portrayal of mermaids was an interesting touch and there’s plenty of action/mystery to keep you on your toes throughout this game.
Playing this game has definitely interested me in Alcot Honeycomb’s other mid-priced games, I bought a couple when they were on sale recently so hope to get around to them soon!
Sorry that this review is on the shorter side! This is definitely a game that I enjoyed so I tried not to spoil anything about the story~
Thanks for reading!