A visual novel/sim game about life, love, and working in the entertainment industry. Play as makeup artist Sian Goodin as she navigates the world of showbiz. Make friends, forge business relationships, and maybe even find romance!
User reviews: Positive (38 reviews)
Release Date: May 30, 2014

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Early Access Game

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Note: This Early Access game may or may not change significantly over the course of development. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you may want to wait until the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“We'd like the final game to be as stable and polished as possible, and that means getting as many people as we can to test it out.”

How long will this game be in Early Access?

“Until we take care of any bugs we find. Hopefully no longer than a month or so.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“The full version will include more routes, bug fixes, new scenes, and voices. Achievements will also be available.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“Currently the four main routes are available.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“Price will remain the same.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“We are most interested in finding bugs, game crashes, and typos.”
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About This Game

A visual novel/sim game about life, love, and working in the entertainment industry. Play as makeup artist Sian Goodin as she navigates the world of showbiz. Work with upcoming talent or established pros? Focus on your schoolwork, or use your industry connections to climb the ladder and land a job as a high-ranking producer? Date a famous actor, cultivate romance with a fresh-faced pop star, or strike out on your own? The choices are yours (and yours alone)!

Story
The glamor and glitz of showbiz hold little appeal for Sian. As the daughter of a professional makeup artist, she knows how stressful and uncertain work can be, and she aspires to something more stable. When a sudden accident topples her plans for a smooth college life, she realizes she must put her own makeup skills to use if she wants to make it through the year. The entertainment world may be wild and unpredictable, but Sian's about to learn there's also a lot to love.

Features
  • Over 15 unique endings
  • Fully Voiced (English)
  • Opening and ending animated by Studio DEEN
  • Work jobs to earn money and increase your status in the industry.
  • Choose Sian's look with 80+ articles of clothing - clothing changes appear in CGs.
  • 80+ unique CGs
  • Original Sound Track

System Requirements

PC
Mac
Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: XP
    • Processor: 1Ghz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX or OpenGL compatible card
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    Recommended:
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    Minimum:
    • OS: Mac OS 10.6
    • Processor: 1Ghz
    Minimum:
    • OS: Linux x86/x86_64
    • Processor: 1Ghz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
Helpful customer reviews
80 of 89 people (90%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Early Access Review
This is an early access review, so my opinion will likely change once the game moves out of beta.

Having only played a couple routes so far, I'm quite excited for the finished product. Backstage Pass is your standard otome (girl main character) dating sim/visual novel; perform tasks to skill up attributes which open up options for you as you target each guy to romance. There's a little more to it than that, but for the most part that's the game. If that doesn't really sound like your thing, you may want to pass on this one.

Yes, the game is still littered with bugs, but those are being actively rooted out and squashed as the devs move through beta. If you can get past the issues, though, the game has a TON of promise. The artwork is beautiful, drawing inspiration from Japanese sources while adding a nice touch of western flavor, and some of the CG's are simply gorgeous. The UI is one of the better ones I've seen for this type of game, especially since there are some pretty horrendous ones out there; you'd be surprised at just how distracting a bad UI can be.

I've played quite a few translated Japanese language otoge before, and it always feels like something is slightly off with them (some more than others). Perhaps it's the cultural differences, but I find well written English Visual Novels to be a much easier/more enjoyable read, and Backstage Pass is no exception. The characters feel real with their own distinct personalities that somewhat fall into standard archetypes, but are more fleshed out and human than in other games. Our protagonist, Sian, is a believable young woman who has her faults but isn't a meek little lamb waiting for one of the guys to sweep her away. Outside of a lull in events further into the story (which is being addressed with some added scenes) the plot moves along nicely. The writing is fluffy - meet guy, become friends, fall in love, etc. I haven't come across anything that's overly dramatic or deep, but that's okay, sometimes I want a little less drama and a little more romance in my games. On a final note about the writing, I haven't come across any completely unbelievable situations nor have any of the characters done anything so stupidly groan worthy that I'm facepalming out of incredulity. These characters are written like human beings, and they are placed in believable situations that make sense for the story. That is a HUGE plus for me.

As a slower reader, each of the two routes I played took me between 3 to 4 hours to complete, and I didn't get the endings I was aiming for, so replaying to complete CGs and aiming for achievements will likely double the play time per route. I would estimate that with the 4 main romanceable guys and 3-4 hidden routes, total play time for completing everything in the game could easily bring you well over the 20 hour mark, especially once the voice overs are added which will slow down gameplay a bit. A completionist by nature, I can see myself logging at least that much play time into this game.

I realize there's a sentiment that the price of the game is too hefty for what it is, and to a certain extent I understand that complaint. However, Backstage Pass offers much more than your standard Renpy EVN, the quality is better, more CG's, and the overall high polish even in this state of development is evident compared to what most other genre games are offering with a $20+ price tag (and believe me, I've played some that I felt completely ripped me off, but that's totally not the case here). It plays smoother and is closer to what you might get out of a Japanese dating sim, which is pretty remarkable considering this game is made by a small group of dedicated fans.

If Backstage Pass were to be released finished in its current state, it would be better than 90% of the EVN out there right now, but the devs are determined to continue adding to and fleshing out the game. With full voice acting and additional hidden routes on the way (including a couple of yuri for those who are interested in them), Backstage Pass may very well become my favorite EVN. Keep an eye out for this one once it moves from Early Access to Official Release.
Posted: June 1
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26 of 29 people (90%) found this review helpful
24.4 hrs on record
Early Access Review
So far I've played Backstage Pass for about 12-13 hours trying to get my hands on all the paths that are currently available. So far the only bugs I found was when Lloyd was going to meet Sian at Pho 24 to discuss what to do about Benito's magic production. The background was Sian's dorm room. Even though its not really a big scene, just thought I would point it out.

Now onto my real review. Personally, I LOVE this game. Sure it's a bit short now, but once the game is completed, it will be longer with more dialogue, more routes, and more endings. The game is actually really realistic. You're given many different types of people with many different types of personalities. Plus, the original soundtrack goes perfectly with every scene. Also, everything is set up nicely and runs pretty smoothly. The storyline is also pretty good, sometimes it can be a tad sad. Other times it just makes you wanna giggle.

I've played other otome, stat-raising, dating sims, and visual novels before. Backstage Pass has amazing originality, creativity and art. If you're wondering to buy this game or not, I recommend playing some free stat-raising/otome/dating sims before buying this game. A good free one is Re Alistair ++ (by Sakevisual). You can also play demos such as Always Remember Me, The Flower Shop: Winter in Fairbrook and more (both from from Winter Wolves). (EDIT!) I forgot! There is also another free amazing stat raising game you should try out. It's called 'Heartstring Bugs' and it's by Unbroken Hours. It's long, has 5 main guys and is over the course of 3 years. AND ITS FREE. ERMAHGERD. Go check it out! (End of edit. 6/14/14)

So far I've focused on Adam x2 and Benito x1. I'm going to start John and Matthew after I'm done writing this xD. But this game will truly come out to be something special. I can't wait for the voice acting to be done.MICAH SOLUSOD (voice of Soul Eater Evans from Soul Eater) WILL BE VOICING ADAM. I literally had a spazz attack when I first found out!!!... *cough cough* Ehem.

The price for the game is amazing at just $30 with all that's going to be included when the product is officially done. And replay is going to be high trying to get all the CG's, scenes, Steam achievements, Steam trading cards, items in game, unlocking new places to shop/hang out, and try any and all possible routes.

Right now my current rating for Backstage Pass is 8/10. Which is stunning because this is only the Beta version! I've played a few finished games, and their no where near as good as Backstage Pass. If you want to follow Sakevisual about new updates on the game, visit their official website weekly. You can also sign up for mail updates, follow them on Twitter, Like their page on Facebook, view their Tumblr and more xD
Posted: June 8
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17 of 20 people (85%) found this review helpful
8.1 hrs on record
Early Access Review
This game is amazing. I have been waiting for it to come out for a while now, and I have played all of Sakevisual's other games, The artwork is far superior to most EVNs that you see coming out. It has an animated opening and closing. You play as a female, freshman college student named Sian, who has been trained in movie makeup. Sian's friend Adam is an up an dcoming singer, who Sian does the makeup for, and John is his producer. You have to keeps your grades up to keep your scholarship (this hit home since I am in college on scholarships), you have to work to get money to buy things, and there are stats to raise to get your guy. There are 4 guys, Adam, John, Benito, and Matthew, and each has a friendship and a romance route. There are other secret character routes, but I have not discovered them all yet. Each main guy has about 14 cgs, and then there is a section for other cgs. Did I mention that the cgs are gorgeous, Tooya did an amzing job. There are a total of 15 endings (8 total from the main guys, 1 alone ending, and 6 others that I have not discovered). The storyline is well written, and it is fun to see Sian be sarcastic. I did not run across any bugs while playing, and I did not notcie any incorrect grammar. It is a stat riaisng sim, which I do not particularly enjoy, but there is enough scenes in between so that the game does not become monotonous. Each week you pick what you are going to do during that week, and sometimes depending on the date, stat level, etc. scenes will unlock during the week. Then on the wekend you can hang out with a friend, sleep, use items, bake cupcakes,go to the arcade, go to a restuarant, or go shopping. Different places unlock depending on events you unlock during the game.This game is one of the better EVNs that I have played, it is on the same level as Dandelion, Nameless, and Starry Sky in Sring. I can't wait till the game is completely finished, and I can't wait to see Sakevisual's next game.
Posted: June 9
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17 of 22 people (77%) found this review helpful
7.4 hrs on record
Early Access Review
So far so good! Before I knew it I had dumped 5 hours into this game and I haven't even completed one playthrough yet. The story is a lot of fun, the characters are fantastic, and I love the art style! One of the best visual novels I've played to date.

Far enough along in the game I did start noticing a few errors and it's obvious that the game still has a lot of work that needs to be done. I absolutely cannot wait for the game to be compelted and to hear the voice acting!
Posted: June 3
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31 of 48 people (65%) found this review helpful
12.1 hrs on record
Early Access Review
NOTE: Since this is an early access review, I'll probably do another one/edit this one after the early access is finished.

I've been following this game for a while, was happy when it got Greenlit, and even more happy that it's finally been released. I just completed the game (I think, I got put back to the main menu after a certain event happened). I got one guy's approval full, didn't even get an ending, and I didn't see many CGIs... I'm guessing it's because it's early access and not everything is in the game yet. But anyway. The price is quite high considering it only took me a few hours to complete the game. I'm guessing the replayability with all the extras and 16 unique endings when early access is finished will make it worth it. Looking forward to replaying it when it's complete.

I enjoyed the game, the artwork is really nice, as is the music. The voices haven't been added yet, so I can't comment on them. There are some problems with fullscreen that I'm not sure are intended, when you play the game in fullscreen, it has black borders on either side. The opening animation/song was nice, but the quality was quite bad (compared to the one on the store page. EDIT: after contacting sakevisual about this, they fixed the quality), and was in a rectangle in the middle of the screen, black borders on all sides. Again, not sure if intended or not. I haven't found any apparent bugs so far, there was one bit where I couldn't click Reply on an email. And I'm not sure if the abrupt ending is a bug or intended.

I played RE: Alistair, which is sort of like a prequel to this game. Backstage Pass has a lot more content than RE: Alistair does though, as expected. You can choose things for Sian to do during the week and it will affect her stats and relationships, for example studying will give you a better grade at college, going to town will allow you to discover new shops and people, working will trigger events and give you money, etc. Some dialogues allow for conversation options, as most visual novels do. I think Benito is my favourite guy at the moment. Dat rebellious look and spikey green hair is just too awesome.

Right now, I'll give the game 7/10 cos I enjoyed it, but it was too short and ended so abruptly (cos early access). So 7/10 is just my early access score, once its over, I'll probably up the score the 9 or 10 because the game will have all the content and I can review the complete version.
Posted: May 31
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