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: Very Positive (65 reviews)
Release Date: May 30, 2014

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Early Access Game

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Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if 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.”

Approximately 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)!

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.

  • 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

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: XP
    • Processor: 1Ghz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX or OpenGL compatible card
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • OS: Mac OS 10.6
    • Processor: 1Ghz
    • OS: Linux x86/x86_64
    • Processor: 1Ghz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
Helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 14
Early Access Review
I played this game a lot when I first got it and it's a lot of fun! I don't want to play any more until the voices are finally added in though, because I don't like doing the same things twice. :/ Please add the voices! It's been a while. ><
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34 of 39 people (87%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 10, 2014
Early Access Review
Just viewing the trailer, it's easy to tell that the game is high quality and a step up from Sakevisual's old game Re:Alistair...but when I played it, Backstage Pass was way better than expected. The characters are lovely, the art is beautiful, and what I've heard of the voice acting so far is fantastic. Sian, the heroine, is also a very believable character who is better than most other vn/dating sim protagonists I've come across. There's also a huge amount of represenation of difference races, sexualities in this game and multiple characters with ranging disabilities.

My only complaint is that there may just be little too many possible endings. In my game, Sian and John were dating and I merely was half a heart away from having full hearts with him..and absolutely nothing happened in the end. It was a little disappointing since I wasn't sure where I had gone wrong and it's tough to find guides online.

It could be helpful for Sakevisual to include a walkthrough for each character online. I realize that many people enjoy finding out on their own, but if someone wants to unlock every CG and is just missing one or two they don't know how to get...an official walkthrough could be very beneficial.
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40 of 55 people (73%) found this review helpful
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 2
Early Access Review
Once again, another otome game where you have to do everything perfectly and play off a guide or else you're screwed.

And it's been months and months (years now?) and the game's still not finished.

The music gets very grating very quickly. The voices still aren't implemented fully. I've unselected all the voice boxes (which is how you turn them on) and I've never heard anything.

Maybe if they ever finish the game it would be worth it.

I regret paying full price. It's not worth it. Maybe half off, and that would be when it's complete.
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21 of 25 people (84%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 1
Early Access Review
Finally, I can date boys without having to leave my house.
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20 of 29 people (69%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 13
Early Access Review
Kind of regret buying this game now. Not worth the price for the content it has now (way too expensive). It's been a while now and the game is not finished yet.
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11 of 14 people (79%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
63.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 23, 2014
Early Access Review
Even in Early Access, Backstage Pass is easily one of my favorite visual novels to date. The storyline is interesting, the art is BEAUTIFUL, and the voices we've heard thus far have been top knotch. Funny, charming, and had me at the edge of my seat during the month of January FINALLY sealing the deal with one of the many guys every single time. Wholeheartedly recommend, can't wait to see this once it's in its full glory.
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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
14.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 15, 2014
Early Access Review
For a game that is still in progress/early access, Backstage Pass is remarkably polished. I didn't notice any real bugs, though it's obvious that some routes are still (sadly) unavailable, so I'm definitely looking forward to the updates when they open. The game has really great graphics, interesting storylines, intriguing characters, and an easy to use stats control system. My only real complaint right now would be that the game REALLY makes you work for achievements (10 hours in, 4 romance routes played, only two achievements!).

That said, what really makes the game great isn't the graphics or the characters or the storyline, it's the way the game represents and portrays social anxiety and other mental illness with sensitivity and heart. None of the characters shown with mental illness (and there's three I've found so far, including Sian, the main/player character) are mocked or made the butt of joke or just written off as "crazy" because of their disability (one character even calls out this kind of reaction within the game!). I didn't realize Backstage Pass would have this kind of representation going in -- I thought it'd just be an interesting industry-based game -- so I was pleasantly surprised to see it and how well it was handled.

I also really appreciated some of the realism to the industry element as well. It's obviously a "light" version, compared to the real thing, but the terminology and the basic shape seems accurate, given what I know from friends who do work in the industry.

Finally, there's a ton of content for each route. It took me about four hours to complete my first route (and sadly I got a bad ending) and another hour and a half to complete the next route I tried (with the skip function used liberally). Each subsequent route took about the same hour and a half. Right now the four main routes (Benito, Adam, John, Matthew) are all open and I've only completed the romance routes on all four. So I expect another good six hours to unlock the friendship routes and even more game time to try the non-romance routes suggested by the achievements (I'm definitely looking forward to being a director!). So there's plenty of story in the game and you won't finish everything in four or five hours like a lot of VNs. So if you're worried about the price (and it does feel like a lot of money for a VN), think of the potential amount of time you'll be playing. Not to mention what is apparently in the pipeline for the game (more routes, fully voiced, etc.) so it's definitely worth the money even at this stage in the game.

Definitely one of the better VNs I've ever played (and I'm definitely planning on trying out Sakevisual's other games after playing this!).
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
14.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 14
Early Access Review
I really enjoyed this game. High replay value. It can be a little repetitive to go over the same things several times but i still like this game a lot. Benito is my favorite. <3 :) I would reccomend to anyone who like Otome/Visual novels/Stat builders.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
15.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 8, 2014
Early Access Review
I really enjoyed playing this game! The artwork was nothing to look down on and the characters themselves are some of the most realistic characters I've ever seen/interacted with in any visual novel game I've played!
Even though it's still in early access, the storylines are well written and the characters personalities are unique. The only thing I mildly dislike is the fact that there is a lot of reading and not as many choices as I'd like. But that's my own opinion.
I thoroughly enjoyed the feature where you could change your character's outfits. Honestly I've never come across that in other visual novel games where you can actually decide what top goes with which bottom.
So I reccomend this game to people who like visual novels with stories that will draw you in and make you like the characters more!
(Edit made 21/12/2014)
I have come across a problem with the loading feature, I don't want to change my review suddenly but it's too big to ignore. If I try to load a saved game it will play the scene to the end of the sequence then it will freeze and soon after send me back to the title screen.
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
6.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 12, 2014
Early Access Review
Backstage Pass is a really well made game, and for early access it seems quite polished to me! I really can't wait to be able to hear voice acting, because the samples sound good, and it would add a lot to the dialogue. The dialogue is fun, and I found myself giggling on more than one occassion - this game really sucked me and got me excited to keep playing. I really wanted Sian to do her best, so I tried my hardest to build her good states and keep her career on track. Honestly, stat raising games can get a little tedious; I've played my fair share of them and while they've never particularly bothered me personally, I find Backstage Pass general has a good interplay between story and stat raising gameplay.

Notably the art is fantastic, though I always felt Adam looked a little... awkward. I dunno, something about his sprite. But aside from that, I loved the character expressions, and the change in clothes, and the cg's were looooveellyyyy - I remember seeing the one where Benito broke his arm and I just - wow, nice gore dude!

I have to say I love the way the story handles issues like social anxiety and other disorders as well - it's not mocking or insensitive, and it really made the whole experience and plot better as a whole. There was also the forum for Vice/Versus which I personally loved reading - the fans were funny and totally accurate to life. That's another thing about Backstage Pass - with a few exceptions, the dialogue often doesn't feel forced.

Having said all this however, I do have my gripes about the game. While it's mentioned that excercise is supposed to lower your stress, no matter what I did with it, my rates never really seemed to change, and it seemed I was having to sleep more often than not just to prevent Sian from getting sick, with no real improvement. This was frustrating, and if I hadn't been so convinced my stats just werent high enough, I would have just stopped having Sian excercise altogether.

Another thing, having only had the time to play through Benito's route, I'm not entirely sure if it's just my ending or what, but it ends verrrryyy suddenly. Sian and Benito kiss and pronounce love for one another and the game just ends. Suddenly I'm done playing. It was very jarring, and kind of completely tore me out of the experience - it was really frustrating. I didn't feel like I reached any closure. Forgive me if the comparison isn't known, but in Tokimeki Memorial you get a follow up from your year; "I did this well in school and this happened for me" etc, and then a short piece about the protagonist and their love interests continued relationship.

I didn't feel that at all with the ending I got; Benito's arm was still broken, Sian's future was up in the air, and while I could speculate all I like about what happened after I never got any of that closure. Did Benito become world famous??? What happened to Sian's career? Did they end up travelling together? Did Benito ever talk to his parents?? Not even a little hint of that. They kissed and confessed their love and that was the end. I honestly thought my game messed up and reloaded a save but it was the same.

So basically, I really hope the endings are fleshed out way more in the future - and hey maybe it was just the route I took, or maybe I had to do something else?? I don't know. Either way, it was kind of a sad finish for a really good game.

Having said that, people should totally buy this game, it is well worth the price, and considering this is still early access there is plently of room for improvement in all areas! Backstage Pass is a wonderful game with a good outlook.
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97 of 109 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 1, 2014
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.
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28 of 31 people (90%) found this review helpful
25.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 8, 2014
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
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27 of 31 people (87%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
6.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 23, 2014
Early Access Review
I spent $100 making cupcakes. Gave one called The King, with banana cake batter, peanut butter, and bacon to a love interested. Turns out he was allergic to peanuts. 10/10
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20 of 23 people (87%) found this review helpful
8.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 9, 2014
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.
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17 of 22 people (77%) found this review helpful
7.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 3, 2014
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!
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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
197.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 10, 2014
Early Access Review
**Update 1/16/015**
They added voices (Which sounded pretty good) then removed them in another update and then it feels like the development has been pretty on and off, they have still been working on it but it'd be a lot better for the testers if they gave more updates, so it is currently slow, they haven't stopped development but yea. . .
**Back to original review**

What I think so far of the game as an early access:

Amazing! This game has so much potential! I'm glad that the creators of this have thought of new ways to this game less bland and the same ol' same ol'.

I would say that once it's finished it will be worth the money, you can tell a lot of effort went into this and that makes me all the more glad that it's all coming together! None of the date-able characters are bland or annoying, they all have pretty good character development and all and all I had tons of trouble choosing which one to go with.

Early access flaws:

So this is indeed an unfinished version at the moment, so there were a few bugs, although I'll be glad to say none that were game breaking, the worst one that I encountered was when I brought up the in game reply to mail screen the sound started skipping and it froze for about 3-4 seconds, it did that about four or so times, no biggie.

Another thing is that sometimes during transition it fades twice, comes back tot he screen, then fades again to show the correct thing, not so much a bug as something that needs polish, and of course there are some moments where you can tell that more is going to be added.

What do I think overall?

If you want to be able to help the creators with feedback and are patient then, go for it! As long as they finish this game (Which I believe they will.) then it'll be worth the price.

If you're not good at waiting and you don't care to write a review or give feedback then wait, wait until the full version of the game is released.
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17 of 25 people (68%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
18.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 6, 2014
Early Access Review
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
73.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 29, 2014
Early Access Review
Im not gonna say anything in its current stage, but i have to add that this is my favourite game by far.
When the complete game is released, this is just gonna top the chart for me.

Ok so now i have a better grasp of the actual game, So here we go:

The dialogues is very good paced, Its not like some other VNs where they have put tons of text in the same "picture".. which can get pretty boring.

The artwork it self is brilliant.

When you finish it you will have that satisfaction, that tells you this was a damn good novel xD
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
11.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 4, 2014
Early Access Review
This game is long and lot of fun, there's a few moments strange enough to pull me out of it but with the polishing this beta will give them I'm sure it will be even better finished.

I was surprised how long it took until I hit anything interactive, my first choice was about three hours in and that's after I read a novel which mostly centered around 2/4 of the love interests. Mostly focusing on Adam with a side of Benito. The weekly planning was nice, the sleeping didn't decrease the stats so much I felt like I wasn't advancing at a good rate and dropping out of college would have required an actual effort to do.

My biggest issue, and I address this because it won't likely be changed as it's such a huge part of the game, is the protagonist. I do not like her at all. She is at best a buzzkill and at worse she seems shallow. Way too often she responded to light banter with a blunt and logical response which was in no way fun to see. Also a protag bad in crowds is not really all too original which was a disappointment, but that seemed to be forgotten on extra day on the V/V set but remembered later for the sake of drama when it made little sense.

A character like Nicole being the protagonist would have been much more likable. With Sian, I was making mean comments to my computer as it seemed like Sian was excusing the action of a boy sexually harassing someone (mall scene with the elf outfit and Nicole).

Though the art was great and the opening cinamatic was polished and a great touch. One play through took 13 hours so I feel like I am getting my money's worth out of it and given a good range of handsome, different love interests to choose from. The continuity in Matt's route was impressive, if you gave him a gift early on he uses it to make something for you much later in the game. I was very impressed and pleased with this.

I would suggest this to people who don't mind reading, as there is a large chunk in the beginning you kinda need to power though, once you get to the actual interactive part though it's very addictive, pretty put together for an early access game, and very fun.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
28.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 10, 2014
Early Access Review
My first experience with an Early Access game. It's a fairly normal otome with multiple endings and plenty of adorable characters. The four main guys are each amazing in their own way, and the story is fun and fast-paced. There are still some minor bugs and flaws as of now, but if the product is this good currently, I can only imagine how wonderful the final product would be.
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