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 (137 reviews) - 89% of the 137 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Aug 22, 2016

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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
Customer reviews
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Very Positive (137 reviews)
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126 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
25.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 28
After playing most of the game, my impression of this game is that it is simple.

That is to say, that the story itself is rather simple and feels lacking much depth at times. The characters deal with some problems, but tend to get over them pretty easily and the dramatic element just doesn't feel there. Not to say that all games have to have a complicated story, but when playing a visual novel type game where the focus is the story, it feels a little lacking. There are stat management elements to it to break up the story, but those end up feeling like quite a chore, with week after week ending up being more of the same, struggling to keep fatigue low (since it can only go to 30 before it causes issues, but a single week will put it up above 20) and to keep earning money all while keeping your grades high enough.

I do like this game even though it is simple, just because I do tend to like 'slice-of-life' games and I also enjoy the setting, but people should not be expecting a riveting experience from this game. It's unfortunate, but the stat management elements make the game tiring so unlike many visual novels that I like to play all the routes one after another, I'm finding myself having to pause from playing the game after each route for a week or two. Even the solo routes still feel like more work than they should be since you still have to manage the fatigue, money, and your GPA.

Other than like ~7 main events with each main male (spaced over an entire year, so they are somewhat far between), the main interaction is just going on dates with them which have just a few lines of light dialogue that repeats and that's about it.

In my opinion, if you are looking for a school-life dating game, games like Tokimeki where you follow the main character for all 3 years of her high school and manage her many stats while having quite a variety of options for datable characters (9) and many unique date spots and events (such as museum exhibits, movies, etc) are what I would expect for $30.

I bought this game because I was watching Dodger's Let's Play of it on Youtube and found their videos to be entertaining and didn't want to wait for more of them before seeing where the story went. In the end, I'm a little disappointed with this game, especially for the cost.

Overall, the stat/fatigue system makes this game a bit annoying and I still want to finish all of the routes for sake of being a completionist, but I don't think this is a game that I will be returning to beyond that. It's a relatively fun game for what it is, but be aware of what you're getting.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
118 of 136 people (87%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
2.0 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: June 1, 2014
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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74 of 87 people (85%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.3 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: June 21, 2015
Honestly, I don't know what to say. It's a game of good quality but the waiting for the game to get past beta stage got me weary. I was honestly very enthusiastic, preordered the game the moment it was possible because I couldn't wait to see how the system worked.

I was dazzled by the pretty art and the GUI. However, I also noted the story didn't have enough backing to get past the famous RE:Alistair stage. Pretty art, short story and few small scenes. They share the same basis. But I feel like it lacks a little more story and dating considering this one is no freebie. This game should have more story line which is why I quickly told myself to replay it once it was complete... but then again, considering the last news our dear dev made, this is basically the storyline which I find a little lacking.

If all I'm waiting for right now is the voice, I can tell you I'm not going to play again.

Besides, I have been waiting for over a year now to see more of this and I am tired. I am very, very tired to see that the game is not finished.
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68 of 90 people (76%) found this review helpful
153 people found this review funny
1.6 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: February 1, 2015
Finally, I can date boys without having to leave my house.
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62 of 83 people (75%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
7.0 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 11, 2015
The characters are interesting but frankly not that charming. The art is very good. The dialogue is okay. I looked up all the information I could on the internet, made all the right choices, and ended up alone at the end.

This game has been in Early Access for over a year now, with no updates to the game, and no word from the creators. Their "weekly updates" on their blog stopped in May 2014, and after that there are just a handful of tweets and tumbles about voice recording in April 2015. Frankly I would consider calling it abandoned: they've suckered $30 out of enough people in Early Access and their work is done.

This game does not feel at all like it would be worth $30 even after completion, much less at early access. Consider waiting until the alleged "release" before picking up this one.
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39 of 46 people (85%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.1 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: October 10, 2014
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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31 of 36 people (86%) found this review helpful
33.3 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: June 8, 2014
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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37 of 48 people (77%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
11.5 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: June 23, 2015
I wouldn't reccomend this game to anyone until the final verson of it is released. It's not very fun, the voices aren't complete, you need a guide before you can even begin to understand how to jump onto a character path. Honestly, I regret buying it. Worst part? Since buying it last year, I've heard nothing about the development, or any predictions on when the game will be released in it's full version. Stay away from this game, hold on to your money for something better.
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32 of 41 people (78%) found this review helpful
21 people found this review funny
6.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: June 23, 2014
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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66 of 100 people (66%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
4.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: January 2, 2015
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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Recently Posted
20.8 hrs
Posted: October 11
Another fantastic game by sakevisual! I'm NEVER disappointed with these folks! Beautiful CGs (That change depending on your character's outfit?!) Tired of cookie-cutter, bland otome game characters? Fear not! Backstage Pass features a likeable, multi-faceted main character (who actually has other interests besides chasing boys!) as well as interesting and unique characters all around. Tired of choices in otome games that don't actually seem to matter or affect anything? No worries! Your choices can lead to a variety of endings; you're in control here. This game has tons of replay value as well, especially if you're like me and you have to collect all possible CGs and achievements. You will not regret playing this, and if you enjoy it, I highly suggest trying out other games by this developer. Cheers!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
33.2 hrs
Posted: October 10
Fluff? Check
Hot characters? Check
Somewhat plain protagonist? Check

Yup. That's an otome game, alright. Not a bad one, but not a specially brilliant one either. Nice artwork. Nice voice acting. Nicely written. Not especially creative.
If you are into otome games, then you'll surely enjoy this. I know I did. If you want a revolutionary storyline...you're probably better off looking for something else.
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67.1 hrs
Posted: September 19
(Even though I got this game when it was in early access, I intentionally didn't start playing until it was finally out of early access so my review will be a reflection of that.)

Backstage Pass is a visual novel/simulation game where you take on the role of Sian Goodin, a young makeup artist entering university and wanting a quiet life. However, when an unexpected life event happens, Sian is forced to use her professional makeup skills to make it through the year. Backstage Pass plays as a visual novel so there are choices that reflect how characters will react, and there are simulation elements as well where doing certain tasks or jobs will increase skills and/or earn money. Money can be used to purchase clothing items and just items in general which can be used to increase affection with certain characters or help Sian improve her skills. Also, there are several locations to explore and, of course, many characters to interact with. While some characters do not have either friendship or romance paths, many others do, including the four main guys that you will notice right away when you access the Extras option on the main menu. In addition, there are paths where Sian doesn't have to be paired with any character, and these are various career paths, provided that the right conditions are met to get their various endings. Of course, as a visual novel, there are tons of CGs and lots of music tracks so there's definitely a lot in this game. I almost forgot but the characters are fully voiced as well, except for Sian (but her voice will be added in a later patch).

Now I'll move on to my opinion of this game. When I played it initially, I completed a couple of paths but I encountered a Steam achievement bug. Fortunately, the dev was very good in fixing the bug right away so I was able to get this achievement (as indicated by my 100% achievement completion of this game). Since then, I've found the game to be relatively bug free although some paths were more difficult to complete than others. Also, there were minor bugs such as when one event would occur for three weekends in a row or when a line wouldn't be voiced correctly. Despite these minor bugs, I found myself to enjoy Backstage Pass very much and I was invested in completing all of the paths to see what they were like. It's difficult for me to say which path would be my favorite but I'll name a few. I did like Matthew's (one of the main guys) paths as well as Alvin's and Nicole's paths (both of them being more minor characters but they become more prominent if Sian gets on their path). I even liked the professional paths, as Sian could still interact with various characters despite not becoming friends or romancing any of them.

Overall, I did enjoy Backstage Pass and I would totally recommend it for those who like visual novels and simulation games. It is a bit expensive for the price (even though I believe it would be worth it because there are so many paths to complete; however, if you're the kind of person who only plays one path, then it would be a little pricey) so waiting for a sale would be the best thing to do. Still, Backstage Pass is a fantastic game and I'm happy I had the chance to play it and see it through to completion. (Also, seeing all those extras added outside of the game itself makes it worth playing.) ^^
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Vitamin H
71.1 hrs
Posted: September 15
Full Review On YouTube

A stunningly ambitious, sprawling stat-raiser with compelling characters and a ton of replayability. Some routes are more difficult than others, but overall this game is an insane achievement. This may just be the best Western otome game out there.


-Sixteen endings, all of which have distinct and varied plots
-Complex, multi-faceted characters who're charming and memorable
-Mature, realistic storytelling that doesn't fall into the typical otome "tropes"
-Incredibly high production values, the music, art and animations are all top-notch
-Up to around eighty hours of gameplay, depending on whether you're a completionist or not


-Ending requirements can be fairly strict, and some routes require a LOT of stat juggling
-Important events aren't always telegraphed - you'll sometimes miss out on a romantic date because you had already agreed to work on that day.

Overall, this game is incredibly impressive, and a must-play for any fan of otome visual novels.
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7.8 hrs
Posted: September 6
Here is my first review on steam, as a huge otome fan ^^

+ Characters are REALLY likeable, even side ones
+ The game is FULLY VOICED in english !! And the voice actors are good !!
+ The art is very pretty
+ Tons of CG
+ Lots of endings : good replayability
+ Sian is an awesome otome heroine !
+ Secret paths (Alvin, why are you so cute <3)

~ There are some bugs and typos, but I hope it will be fixed with later patches (like, it say that I played it 7 hours, while I played at least 15 hours...)
~ The routes are a little dull : It's my personnal opinion, but I prefer when there is a little of angst, when characters face harships, and so on. Here, it's cute, and that's all, so some may like it, other not.

- When you retry the game for the 10th time, the grinding becomes redundant
- The romance isn't very good... Like, it feels poor in comparison with other otomes games : In 2 paths (Benito and Matthew), the romance route and friendship route are almost identical
- Sometimes, you don't understand what the heroine is thinking : Suddenly, she's in love in some paths, and it appears a little of nowhere
- Some CG aren't as well done than others

In conclusion, I really liked Backstage Pass and I recommand it, even if it's not the best that exist out there ! I grade it 7,5/10
Sakevisual is a good studio, and I will keep on following their future work.

PS : If you don't have the money and you want to play otome games, I recommand RE: Alistair++, a free game made by them :)
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11.9 hrs
Posted: September 6
I wanted to like this game. I really did. But with the hefty price tag, the way that one tiny scheduling error could lock you out of multiple endings, and the ever present skill grinding - I just can't! After watching a youtuber play this game, I even decided to use a guide, and I *still* found myself locked out of routes because of a tiny error here or there. It's absolutely infuriating! Not to mention that the way the game is built, the most that guide writers can do a lot of the time is give you a rough estimate of when or where to do something.
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22.5 hrs
Posted: September 1
its kinda dificult to get any of the endings (for me at least, im pretty sure you have to play the route youre on exactly right in order for it to work but maybe im wrong) but the storylines are awesome, and i LOVE the voice acting! (never played a vn with voices before)
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Cia, Black Sorceress
10.0 hrs
Posted: August 31
Backstage Pass is a visual novel that lets you take the roll of Sian Gooding, a professional makeup artist that works with her friend Adam Eaton. She is about to start college and its up to you to help her through it.
The game features 15 different endings, and has animations from Studio DEEN. Now that is an impressive name for an indie game, for those of you unaware, Studio DEEN is a studio in Japan that has made a large Variety of widly known and critically acclaimed anime. Some well known anime they have done are Higurashi No naku Koro ni, Hell Girl, 07 Ghost, Fate/Stay Night and Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Bladeworks, Umineko no Naku Koro ni, (while not a very good adaption of the vn, it is still known by the public), Hetalia World series, ETC.
Wow that is an impressive company to have helping oyu out as an indie studio. On to the important part of the review, the game.
This game, oh man, this game is a good visual novel. I am currently trying to get Adam as romance. I will then return to try to get all the other endings. Anyway, this game is an amazing game. The art is really good, the dialogue is good with little to no typos, and there is full voice acting, aside from Sian but I usually just try to do a voice, not easy being a guy and all, regardless, this game is amazing I would highly reccomend this to anyone who wants to play a really good visual novel.
There are some bugs with the voice acting, for instance I was talking to Lloyd, and for some reason his line was said with Benito's voice. Which is fine and all its a tad bit jarring, there was another time when I was talking with Benito and he spoke in Adam's voice, but thats it, there are also some comical issues with the voice acting where you will hear multiple takes of the line someone said, but its usually only with background characters and happened to me only 3 times. Either way, i would give this game a 7/10. Really good, would like a bit of these issues solved, as it is jarring and takes away from the Immersion. Regardless this game is really good, I would advise play through the game once without any help from walkthroughs, as it will be fun. I did it and almost ended with a 4.0, sadly it was a 3.99 but all well. Anyway, try this vn it is really good!
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7.0 hrs
Posted: August 31
I reccomend this game buuuuut I ran into a problem, winter hit and I don't have any wintery shoes. Anyone know what to do?
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