Nicole is thrilled that she managed to get into her first choice school and is looking forward to experiencing college life there. However, as soon as she moves into the university dorms, she finds out that there’s been a series of mysterious disappearances going on around the campus!
User reviews: Mixed (58 reviews)
Release Date: Oct 17, 2013

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Recommended By Curators

"Otome dating sim."

Recent updates View all (2)

April 5

Linux achievements and cloud save enabled

Hi,
I've added the new Ren'Py Steam API, so achievements should also work under Linux. In addition I've also enabled the cloud saves. They're cross-platform so you can save and load from / to any OS! :)

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About This Game

Nicole is thrilled that she managed to get into her first choice school and is looking forward to experiencing college life there. However, as soon as she moves into the university dorms, she finds out that there’s been a series of mysterious disappearances going on around the campus! So far, three girls have already gone missing and Nicole could be next if she’s not too careful – not quite the ideal college experience Nicole had in mind.

Nicole is a dating sim that revolves around your day-to-day life as a college student. You can take up part-time jobs to earn money, explore various locations, do recreational and extra-curricular activities, and meet intriguing characters like Darren, Kurt, Jeff and Ted. You might even get to date the culprit!

Choose which actions to perform each day with a simple and intuitive interface. Improve Nicole's skills and keep her morale and energy well balanced, otherwise she won't be able to perform well in her daily activities.

The game features four male romance options and an additional four female romance options which will be released in a separate game version within a few months. You may focus solely on dating, or gather enough clues and solve the mystery to unlock an extra ending for each of the datable characters!

You can use items that can be bought from the in-game online shop or visit various locations within the game to perform certain actions, which can improve your stats and your relationship with the characters. At the end of the day, you’ll get a summary of your progress.

What are you waiting for?

GAME FEATURES


  • Four different boys to date: Jeff, Ted, Darren & Kurt with 10 different endings
  • Discover the true identity of the culprit. Careful, you could be dating him!
  • Life simulation gameplay with several places to visit and activities to choose from
  • Deluxe version with wallpapers, chibi and full game soundtrack in mp3
  • Classic dating sim with several statistics and items to buy

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: 1Ghz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX or OpenGL compatible card
    • Hard Drive: 50 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Mac OS 10.4
    • Processor: 1Ghz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    Minimum:
    • Processor: 1 Ghz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
Helpful customer reviews
6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
17.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 13
Nicole is a game which first draws you in with it's beautiful art and then gives you the task of unraveling the main mystery of the game. Of course like most VN it does have some of the stereotypical character personalities and plot devices but that didn't take away from my overall enjoyment of the story. I do wish the game was a bit longer and that the characters could of been fleshed out a bit more since it feels like a waste to have a pretty solid story and not use it to the fullest since so much more could of been added to extend the length in a meaningful way.

My only real complaint is that when you get towards end of the game after you max out the stats you need there's nothing else for you to really do so it can get a bit boring until you reach the last day and see the final part of the story.

Overall I enjoyed the time that I played Nicole and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good VN that has great art and music and doesn't mind that story has a few issues but nothing that should make you not want to play.
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: March 29
That's right, I play some Otome games :l
(I'm waiting for the one with the female interests to come out, as well).

CONS:

- Generic characters
- Odd introductions
- Protagonist isn't very... relateable.
- Reviews state "culprit is predictable", and I am starting to believe they're right... :l
- No depth to story, really. It's just... yes.

PROS:

- Great visuals
- Very well animated character sprites
- Enjoyable banter and conversational options
- Lots to do!
- Allows focus on dating-sim + studies, or mystery solving, or all of the above!
- I get the feeling that there is some replay value to be had here... :p

Do I recommend?
Yes, I do.

Buy it on sale, though, I'd say.
It's a fun, intriguing way to pass time.

Guys, if you're not comfortable with your sexuality, wait until the one with female interests comes out.
I know I am :)
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118 of 131 people (90%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
22.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 21, 2014
Nicole is one of those games that I have a hard time understanding exactly why I like it as much as I do. With tedious gameplay that is neither engaging or interesting and a predictable storyline riddled with clichés and unbelievable situations, you'd think I'd have played an hour or two and tossed it in the "File and Forget" bin of my library. On the contrary, I found myself plugging 15+ hours into the game, playing through all four character routes, and falling in love with each of the guys along the way (well, 3/4 of them anyway). Perhaps this review is my way of figuring out just what makes Nicole so appealing to me despite so many flaws.

Our story begins with the title character arriving for her freshman year at college. She's a plucky, perky 18 year old girl who has spent most of those 18 years loving fashion, getting straight A's, and finding herself amongst the popular group of girls in high school. Oh, and she's never had a boyfriend or been kissed before. Not exactly the most realistic protagonist in the world, but she's likable enough despite being a tad annoying at times. After getting settled in, she stumbles across an article detailing the mysterious disappearance and reappearance of 3 female students who inexplicably have no memory of their time gone, but are so rattled by the experience they either drop out or transfer to another school. One would think campus kidnappings would have Nicole practicing a little caution, but it's not long before she's contacted by the kidnapper and warned that she'll be next. Logically, going straight to the authorities is out of the question; Nicole has no choice but to investigate the kidnapper herself. Yes...the story has some issues, but the mystery isn't what kept me playing.


As mentioned previously, the plot is predictable and character routes cliché-fests. BUT...I couldn't stop reading. For an OELVN (Original English Language Visual Novel) the writing is exceptionally good. Aside from a bit of annoying slang here and there, the characters are all well developed with their own distinct voices (something so many of these games lack), and the dialogue is fluid and for the most part believable. On top of that, I may have caught maybe 2 typos throughout the 4 routes, and that's pretty dang impressive considering how so many games in the genre are littered with typos, misspellings and awkward phrasing. So, despite my boredom with the overarching storyline, reading through the game was a pleasant experience.

And then there are the boys. Yes, they're your stereotypical romance tropes, but they're written believably well. If I had to boil it down to the one thing that kept me playing, it was the romance between Nicole and the guys. Watching the relationships go from acquaintance to friend, and ultimately on to something more, was enjoyable and interesting. The gradualness of the friendships and Nicole's slow realization of her own feelings was refreshing. Much of the romantic dialogue and situations were hilarious, other parts touching, and some scenes downright steamy. For an otoge, they hit a bulls-eye with the character romances. Granted, the premise for getting Nicole and each guy in the same room for the relationship to flourish was kind of boring and predictable, but easily forgiven considering how much I enjoyed the result of those encounters.

On the visual side of things, the artwork is quite impressive for the genre and a highlight of the game. This artist has worked on previous Winter Wolves titles, and I'm a big fan of hers. The style has a soft feel to it which is accentuated by the pastel palette used to color the work; this complements the romantic tone of the story quite well. The character designs are not particularly detailed or inspired, but they're nicely conceived and pleasant on the eyes. My only disappointment is that we don't get any CG's outside of the character endings. But this is a small price to pay to have polished and professional looking artwork for the entire game.

Now, to detail the most boring, drudging, soul crushing aspect of Nicole, which is the simulation gameplay. I generally do not find life sims to be very engaging, but Nicole's gameplay felt so much worse. You spend a good 80% of the 4 game months picking the same activities over and over to level up your clues in order to further the mystery storyline while also leveling the requisite stat for the guy you're pursuing. And that's it. You can literally go weeks without a single event scene triggering, and when all I want is to get to the next steamy romance bit, facing days upon days of nothing but the same monotonous activities again and again is torture. We're not even given flavor text after each activity to spice things up either. Unfortunately, by the time I realized how mind-numbing the gameplay was, I was already hooked on the feels that I forced myself through for that next romantic "hit". Thankfully there's a skip button (hidden away in the options menu, by the way, but at least it's there) that helped me fly through things a bit faster on subsequent playthroughs, because I don't know if I'd have survived it otherwise.

The rest of the gameplay consists of visual novel reading with a few dialogue choices tossed in to level up affection with the guys. Honestly, the game would have been much better as a straight visual novel using dialogue trees to further the storyline, although it would have probably cut the play time down by at least half. I wouldn't have minded this myself as I feel it would have made the experience MUCH more enjoyable, but I think it'd be hard to justify the $20 price tag for maybe 6 hours of gameplay.

In the end, I can only recommend Nicole to other female players who enjoy otome and a good romance now and again. Unfortunately, there's just not enough meat to the story to pull the guys in, and I'm not sure most would be interested in the romance aspects which is the game's biggest strength. Still, for a game that was painful to play at times, there are much worse examples of the genre out there. I'd suggest waiting for a good sale to pick it up. At the right price it's worth it for the steamy bits alone.


Bottom Line: 6/10
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101 of 120 people (84%) found this review helpful
17.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 25, 2014
I would say this is probably my second favorite dating sim from Winter Wolves at the moment (the top one being Roommates).

The game can get a bit grindy as well. You have to raise certain stats to garner the interest of one of the love interests, balancing it with keeping your rest up, and increasing the clue stat to uncover the mystery. It is a shame they didn't do more with the stats to affect the game.

First, I liked Nicole; she isn't a perfect character, and I appreciate this is a girl who will try to get things done on her own (one problem I had with Always Remember Me is the character seemed to cry more than anything else).

Be warned this game is definitely darker in tone than other Winter Wolves dating sims, especially if you decide to dig further into the mystery surrounding the missing girl. Without trying to give away any spoilers, while it is darker, don't expect any R rated violence and blood.

The male love interests are a bit of a mixed bag, some definitely hitting stereotypes like jock and nerd, though the writing for them is still well done.

As seems to be par for the course for Winter Wolves Games, some people may find the price a bit high. Be aware Winter Wolves does hold several sales throughout the year, and this includes to their Steam games.

One disappointment I have is that the GirlxGirl version still isn't ready yet, though it is definitely in the works.

Finally, if you are new to Winter Wolves games, I highly recommend trying the demo available on the developer's website. This will get you used to the game, and give a good idea whether this is the game for you.
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56 of 65 people (86%) found this review helpful
19.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 8, 2014
I had high expectations for Nicole after reading the positive reviews on it. However, I was highly disappointed within the first 5 minutes of playing it. The writing is extremely cheesy, like a middle-school girl writing fanfiction. I did my best to overlook it and continued playing through 3 of the 4 character routes. It's very obvious in the beginning who the culprit is, and each character has a stereotypical personality. The only one I particularly liked throughout the progression was Ted and maybe Darren. It was very difficult to find Jeff or Kurt appealing. The story is brief and non-engaging, and I felt like there wasn't much to explore, even with the dialogue options. It was very linear and tedious, what with the last month having nothing to do but gather clues and randomly clicking activities just to get the days over with. It was such a pain to go through that since there were no more stories or events going on for that whole month. Even the ending was quick and unsatisfying. Another problem was that the characters all pretty much looked the same aside from Darren. And Nicole? She's really pretty but her personality just made me cringe half the time.

Aside from that, I found myself enjoying it when I went through Darren's route and Ted's. I was just irritated that the story halted for that month as if they ran out of ideas. The game seemed very half-♥♥♥♥♥, and the after school "activities" were horribly boring.

On a good note, I enjoyed the art, and the story wasn't too bad. The music was nice and set up a pleasant ambience, though I don't particulary pay any attention to that for more than a few seconds. All in all, Nicole is a very lacking game that is definitely not worth $20. I have quite a bit of regret spending that much on such a short game with little to do aside from clicking what stat you want to raise. Over. And over. And over.

If it ever drops to at most 10 bucks, I'd recommend it then.
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