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:
Overall:
Mixed (85 reviews) - 65% of the 85 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Oct 17, 2013

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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
    • Storage: 50 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Mac OS 10.4
    • Processor: 1Ghz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    Minimum:
    • Processor: 1 Ghz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Mixed (85 reviews)
Recently Posted
Kira User
7.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 17
Totally worth giving it a try if you love otome visual novels. The art is great, the characters, though a tad stereotypical, are endearing. Might not be the best game out there, but definitely entertaining and worth obtaining.
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Scarey
20.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 5
Worst dating game I have ever played
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FantasyKT
17.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 11
“Nicole” has a lot of negative reviews, but I thought it was really enjoyable and one of the best otome games I’ve played.

Pros:
  • The characters and romances are well written and likable (though stereotypical)*
  • Plenty of scenes to break up the monotony of stat-raising
  • The slow progression from acquaintances to friends to lovers feels natural
  • The normal endings are just as satisfying as the special endings, and if you get your stats up enough, you can unlock both without needing to play through it again
  • Good graphics
  • Nice music that goes with the different moods

Cons:
  • Some of the character’s personalities can be grating (Ted especially)*
  • It’s pretty obvious near the beginning of the game who the “bad guy” is, but he’s still likable

*I don’t mind stereotypical in an otome as long as they are well written, which they are. And the somewhat grating personalities didn’t detract too much for me personally
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secret20_2000
21.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 5
This game literally is the best otome/dating sim in my opinion but I had just gotten a new computer and had tried to download it again to play it and it just keeps crashing. I dont know whats wrong with it but other than issue, it was amazing!
If I could only just open it...
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ydulkb
38.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 2
(Please read review before taking the thumb's up at face value.)

I wasn't sure about getting this game at first because of all the negative reviews, but I got it when it was on sale and I was pleasently surprised how much I enjoyed it. Though I can see why there would be quite a few thumbs down on this game, especially at it's full price.

Pros:
- The art and backgrounds are nicely done, and appealing to look at through the whole game.
(The Chibis of the characters are freakin' adorable!!!)

- Nicole herself is not a blank slate character. She has some personality, which seems to be a rarity in otome protagonists.

- Buying your guy gifts.... <3 (Though you might want to save the game if you don't want accidently give a $100 gift to the wrong guy.... like me.)

- I LIKED EVERY GUY!!! I can't stress this enough. Usually in otomes you have a favorite guy, but with this one it's hard for me to pick one! Jeff had his ' rough ' moments but, every guy had their sweet moments with Nicole that I loved. Darren was THE SWEETEST!!!!! <3

Cons:
- One of the biggest drawbacks the game suffers from is it's execution of it's premise. While the premise of Nicole has the opportunity to make a compelling story for the protagonist, it just ends up falling flat. And by the end if you choose to ' solve ' the mystery, it just makes Nicole look kinda dumb by running headfirst into danger without a second thought. The mystery ending feels like it was just put in there to have Nicole be the damsel in distress. Also, why did she not keep the texts as evidence, or tell literally anyone she could be the next to disappear?!? Okay fine , go get that guy yourself- but bring a weapon or mace or something!-_-

- While the stat raising wasn't a problem for me, it can start to really feel like grinding. Especially if you want to see both endings, which causes you to raise two stats all the way to full.

- Nicole does have a personality, but sometimes she can seem pushy and a bit unlikable at times.

- There aren't many CG's. The only ones you get are in the endings, and the only way to access them in the menu once you're done is to play the ending over.

- That Price. While I did enjoy this game, I'm sure my mood would sour if by the end of the game I realized I paid $20 for the stuff in the game that really irritated me. I got it on sale for around $12, and that was the main reason I bought it in the first place.

So in conclusion would I recomend this game,.... yes, on sale.

I got this game for around $12, and the amount of stuff I liked seemed to balance out with what I paid. There are some things in this game that just irritated me. The mystery aspects didn't really play that much into what I truly enjoyed about this game. The best part of this game really is the guys, which, to me at least, were all well done.

So, go get this game on sale if you're looking for another otome game.
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Vitamin H
16.0 hrs on record
Posted: May 18
Full review on YouTube.

An interesting premise brought down by its horrible execution.

Pros:

-Unique premise (solving a mystery whilst looking for love)
-Great background art
-Characters have multiple outfits for different occasions

Cons:

-Overly snarky, unlikable characters (especially the MC)
-Painfully obvious mystery (you'll know as soon as you meet him which guy is the kidnapper)
-Cheesy dialogue filled with lame pop culture references (eg. Marble Hornets is called "Rock Wasps")
-Monotonous stat raising
-Generic music

For just under twenty dollars, there are way better otome games you can find on Steam.
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Helena
10.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 30
This VN was so bad, oh god. Not only you have to raise status (clues + status related to the character you wanna romance up to 999), but the story was bad and the characters were also bad. Like other Winter Wolves games, this one fails because it gives more importance to status raising than story and character development. Having a nice art style, BGs and decent BGM is for naught if the characters are empty shells and if the gameplay is annoying instead of being fun. This game was really boring in my opinion, and I don’t recommend this even for free.

Also, after you raise the clues + status related to the character you wanna date up to 999, there’s NOTHING else to do on the VN. You simply gotta wait for the limit date to watch the ending. Argh.

1/10.
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Errapel
53.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 30
Enjoyable but ridiculous.

I really enjoyed playing this game, but it is not without it's flaws.

The game is your standard dating sim. Your protagonist is an attractive, somewhat ditzy youngwoman at college. You meet 4 cute boys. You raise the state
of the skill that most appeals to the boy you want to date. You say the right things and give the right gifts, and a relationship begins.
Also one of them is totally an evil abductor. The mystery was way less mysterious than it could have been. I guessed the culprit the moment I met him,
before I knew anything about him besides what his major was. For a while I entertained the idea he was a red herring, or that the culprit changes depending on your choices.
Nope, it's always the same guy, though to the game's credit, things play out differently depending on which boy you cosy up to.

Of course the mystery is entirely optional. If you don't investigate it, nothing happens. You just date a guy. (Who might be an evil abductor).
I did find it frustrating that Nicole stubornly decides to tell NO ONE (including the police) about events she REALLY should have.

The game has what I've come to see as standard for games of this type, an utter lack of compatibility with ANY of the romance options.
You're capable of getting a happy ending with any of these utterly differnt guys, despite there always being some quite serious personality flaws (on both sides), that do not mesh well.
One poor romance option is painfully shy and introverted. How does our lovely protagonist handle this? By dragging him kicking and screamign out of his comfort zone, then being confused when he gets upset.
Also the stats, aside from morale and energy, are only useful for one specific guy. Upping any stat will increase the rate at which you find clues, and how much money you make at the assocciated job. But there really is no reason to develop unrelated stats. Which means if Nicole isnt' dating the relevant guy, she will never bother doing her homework or taking extra classes.

All in all I loved the game, but I fully admit parts of it make very little sense.
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MistyWaters6
30.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 29
Alright, I finally got around to fully completing Nicole (otome version). Although I’m sure many have already pointed out the pros and cons of this game I feel like I should also point out how I feel about this game. Before I begin I want to let you know two things. I played this game on ‘hard’, so some factors affecting my critiques may differ to others who have played the game on other difficulty modes. Any “examples” I use in my explanation are not actually in the game itself, they are merely a way to show what I am talking about.

Pros
+This game meets the basic requirements of what it’s set up to be which is a mystery, dating, choice simulator and visual novel.
+The music and sound effects all add to the atmosphere of the game.
+The game has a basic system of ‘skill building’ and time management.
+The characters all have basic differing personalities.
+The backgrounds are very well drawn and colored.
+The chibi characters are adorable. (However the guy’s chibi characters are only ever seen when you want to give gifts)

Cons
- (This one’s more of a personal preference) While having characters have different outfits is nice, there is no correlation to when a character wears a particular outfit. For example Nicole can wear the exact same outfit for consecutive events happening in the same week one day after another and no character happens to comments that she’s been wearing the same exact thing for more than once. (I’d like to point out that there is no option available for the player to choose what Nicole wears at any point in the game).
-Some of the character’s clothing doesn’t look as polished as others and some of the guy’s outfits are basically the same thing except for a change in the coloring.
- (Personal preference alert) some of the guys clothing doesn’t quite fit their personality in my opinion.
-The text window often increases in size to accommodate for more text which can become slightly distracting.
-When images are transitioning or fading out it often is either abrupt or results in a fuzzy pixelated look which degrades the art style and distracts the eye until the frames refocus.
-After going through route after route the dialogue tends to get very repetitive.
-There is a big lack of CG’s (meaning images that tend to show a particular interaction between characters and scenery or characters and other characters, often these images/drawings tend to be of very high quality and are used to emphasis something or show emotion) within this game and it disappoints me since there are a lot of scenes in which CG’s could’ve been used to really express what was being described.
-The game lacks explanation or introduction to uses tools such as the manual skip button “Ctrl” or the somewhat ‘automatic’ skip button “Tab” to fast forward ‘seen text’ instead of just spamming the left mouse button.
-After the first route the system of skill building can become somewhat robotic and tiresome from its lack of any ‘special events’ tailored specifically for each route. Everything follows a basic pattern, for example: on day ‘X’ event ‘Z’ will occur regardless of the route you are pursuing; This in itself is fine however it would be nice if there were occasionally ‘random events’ that occurred to prevent the droning and mashing of my left mouse button during ‘skill building’ while I slowly counting down the remaining days until a said event will occur.
-Many of the ending scenes contain chunks of the same dialogue regardless of the route the player chose.
-Sometimes there is no music or background noise for such a long time that it breaks the player’s immersion in the game.
-There is no possible way to ‘win’ the game without fully romancing one of the characters.
-Sometime the dialogue will mention information regarding the scenery; however the background shown will not match that description.
-Some of the dialogue is poorly written often seeming ‘unsophisticated’ for a novel (meaning that it lacked purposeful word choice, detailed explanation/description, etc). I also noticed a few grammatical errors.
-After solving the mystery once and playing again the game mostly follows the same exact process and ends with basically the exact same result regardless of the route. Meaning that basically once you have uncovered the mystery there remains very little content in the game that you don’t already know.
-I often had to redo routes because the game tends to be picky about the ‘date’ that your skills have to be maxed out by in order for you to get a ‘good’ ending. So even though I maxed out the required skills days before the ‘deadline’ the game wouldn’t register it. (This led to me to have to redo many past weeks for some of the routes which was slightly annoying and repetitive to say the least).
- The character sprites do not always reflect what the text is saying. Example: “Guy Character looks at me (the guy character sprite’s face looks neutral). But when our eyes meet he frowns… (the guy character’s face remains neutral)”. Beyond that often times the text will talk about a character being out of breath, or an action that they are preforming and that character’s sprite does nothing but stand still on the screen(this is where CG’s or more sprite drawings could be added to show the movement described within the text).
-No choices made negatively impacted a character’s relationship. (At least as far as I could tell)
-The game is kind of pricey for the content within this game.

Neutral
=This game contains no voiced characters
=Some character’s fall into typical stereotypes, for example: The flirtatious jock.
=There are no hidden ‘Easter Eggs’ (at least as far as I could tell)
=The structure or anatomy of some of the character’s bodies isn’t quite ‘right’ looking, however those features do not stick out so badly that it negatively impacts the immersion.
=I would’ve liked it if there were choices available to choose that would help to shape Nicole as a character, because often times it seemed like the game gave us choices that would possibly shape who Nichole was but then later it would become apparent that she was still the exact same character/personality regardless of the choices you made.

The Verdict
Overall, I believe that this game has potential, but ultimately it falls short of my expectations. I give it a score of 6 out of 10. The game was fun at first but become repetitive fast. The ‘reward’ players get for their relentless efforts of button mashing, in my opinion, don’t outweigh the time and effort spent to receive that reward. The characters seem to bond slowly at first and then before you know it they are best buds and possible romantic partners with little to no build of emotional attachment between Nicole and the characters to explain why. The story itself is simple enough, but for a mystery visual novel it falls flat after ‘winning’ the game since most if not all of the suspense and mystery are gone now that the player has already solved the mystery once. Honestly I ended up skipping most of the dialogue when I replayed the game because I had already seen it; this made the game seem kind of shallow for a lack of diversity in routes or dialogue options when replaying the game. However, the game itself can be enjoyable at times (especially some of the character’s dialogue). I highly suggest that if you are deciding or considering buying this game that you buy it on sale and understand this game has its faults.
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CrazyBugLady
12.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 8
First of all, Nicole was an overall good experience. I wouldn't call it the best vn I've ever played but it was good enough to play through all of the endings from the romanceable characters (I've postponed playing the bad ending for the time being but I will... sometime).

While I must say that I was enjoying the characters, the story itself and the art, the vn was lacking serious depth. I mean the case was actually quite good but I've felt that I - the player - could have gotten more out of playing and reading the story, whereas the romance parts where quite good. They weren't great but really cute.

The character profiles were quite profound. Jeff, for example, was the most intriguing one. I've begun with his path and thought the others would pale in comparison. I was mistaken. The romanceable scenes were always nicely written as I've already mentioned.

The only thing that was really bugging me, is the gameplay. The idea itself seems to be good but unpolished. You can choose a variety of actions every day but you could almost go on choosing the same option over and over and - to be completely honest here - it's gotten on my nerves. That was the only thing that would keep me from playing. IF there would have been an option like skipping that part completely or make it shorter, this would have been nice.
It's just a little sad that it doesn't really matter where you "level up" your skills. I would spend my days in-game just clicking the same option over and over again until I've reached the special ending.

All in all, I suggest it to everyone who wants to play a nice romance/mystery - VN but doesn't care too much for the latter genre.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
126 of 142 people (89%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Recommended
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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103 of 124 people (83%) found this review helpful
Recommended
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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72 of 83 people (87%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
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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26 of 29 people (90%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 3, 2015
I'm a big fan of the developers of this game, Winters wolves, so I had no doubts when buying Nicole. Undeniably it has great graphics, regular soundtrack, not caught my attention, but fits well to the climate of the game. The scenarios are beautiful, despite having few backgrounds ...

I was wondering whether I should recommend this game or not, because it is extremely monotonous. You basically spend all the time choosing between tedious activities, which are summarized in you click, get some points and goes to the next day, while waiting an event appear. This system has appeared in some of them games like Heileen 3, but it was not something boring like in Nicole, because if you invested in one of the jobs, you earned one ending with it.

Now about the characters ... My God, Nicole is a pain in the ♥♥♥. She is too stupid, I could name several dialogues that I stopped and stared at the screen without understanding how she could be so stupid. And futile. It was to theoretically I identify with her? I dont see how anyone would identify with that dumb character.

As the romance options ... I did not like Kurt, Ted was passable, but the pleasant surprises came with Jeff and Darren. Initially I had found Jeff boring, but his personality change gave a new breeze in this tedious game. Darren started very well for me, but then entered fully into the shy scholar boy stereotype, and lost what made him be interesting, ceasing to be a pleasant surprise. And I was investing my points for all romance with him, unfortunately.

I thought I would have to investigate to discover the mystery, but its only you raising the Clue status over and over, choosing the options to "Look for clues", get some events and done. That was disappointing. I have not finished playing, and probably will not be able, I am striving to continue, but Nicole's personality keep me from liking minimally game.
So it pains me to give a bad review for a game of Winters Wolves, but unfortunately I did not like Nicole (and I struggled to try).
This is my opinion, and games of Winter wolves tend to be very good, so if you are interested in the game's premise (assuming the mystery part basically does not exist in the game), it may be that different from me, you like it, then try giving it a chance.
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16 of 16 people (100%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
13.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 13
Eventhough the game has it's charms, the game mechanics and timing ruin it. I, like many others who have played this game, have followed the games directions of:

1.Romance the person to 100%
2. Get the character trait that corresponds with that romance up to 999
3.Get your clue bar to 999.

However, even if you do all three, if you don't do them in a specific order at certain times you will not get the good endings. It is infuriating to put in so much work and get none of the rewards. If the developers would fix this I would reccommend playing it, but since it is a common problem with all of their games I will go ahead and say save your money and buy a well constructed dating sim.
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16 of 16 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 8
Main flaw about most Winterwolves games, is the stat building to get to the route you want, and the time schedule. Basically, you'd have to know which stats you need to get what route, and where to go on which day exactly, to get a scene with the person whose route you want in order to build up points with them. It's the same in 'Always Remember Me', and in 'Roommates' as well.

For me this really draws away from the story, which is a shame because the stories in these games aren't half bad. I got almost all Winterwolves visual novels in several bundles once (Except the flower shop ones, which aren't any different apparently), and I know most of them are aimed towards a female audience, but that doesn't really matter to me if a story is good in a game, I enjoy it, such as 'Amnesia'. But this game, just like the others I've mentioned, is too focused on stat building, and it causes me to not be able to really get into it. The game becomes more of a chore.

Now if you look at a game such as 'Gakao Love 100 days', that one does it right when it comes down to managing stats. It doesn't draw away from the immersion. Naturally, you CAN get a bad ending, and if you wanted to get to every route you'd have to most likely resort to guides, but point is, in all the other non WinterWolves novels I've played, in those even a bad ending doesn't leave you empty handed and unsatisfied.. A bad ending in those, is still a route. But it's not, in WinterWolves games. it leaves you with a sense of not having achieved anything at all, and just having wasted a whole lot of time.

Also, I can play those other games, without a guide, going with personal choices, that appeal the most to me (That's always how I do a first playthrough of visual novels) and see where that gets me. It's the most fun, but I feel that in a game such as this one, I really can't. I can't go meet up with a character by choice, whose route I want to play, I have to run into them by going to the right place, at the right time.. That's just.. Not cool.

If you're into visual novels that you have to play with basically a guide to get anywhere, then I'd say this game isn't too bad, but I personally find it a flaw that really doesn't make this worth playing. I quit almost all of their games halfway through due to this. The only one that I can truly recommend from WinterWolves is: Loren, the Amazon Princess. That one's pretty awesome. I really think WinterWolves isn't bad at the stories they present in their games, I just wish they executed it differently.
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21 of 25 people (84%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 6, 2014
The story is incredibly shallow and so are the characters. Predictable stereotypes.
There is no 'mystery', anyone can figure it out immediately after you meet all the characters.
Solving the mysteries involves leveling up a 'clue' stat that unlocks cutscenes, and doesn't have any interactions related to solving the mystery yourself.
The game is easy because it's predictable, but if you're not immediately sure who to date, it's punishing.
All-rounding stats is simply not possible because of the sheer amount of points you need in a single stat.

Overall, VERY disappointing. When I bought the game, the reviews were positive.
It's at least a relief to see it sliding to Mixed, already.
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14 of 14 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
10.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 30
This VN was so bad, oh god. Not only you have to raise status (clues + status related to the character you wanna romance up to 999), but the story was bad and the characters were also bad. Like other Winter Wolves games, this one fails because it gives more importance to status raising than story and character development. Having a nice art style, BGs and decent BGM is for naught if the characters are empty shells and if the gameplay is annoying instead of being fun. This game was really boring in my opinion, and I don’t recommend this even for free.

Also, after you raise the clues + status related to the character you wanna date up to 999, there’s NOTHING else to do on the VN. You simply gotta wait for the limit date to watch the ending. Argh.

1/10.
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15 of 17 people (88%) found this review helpful
Recommended
18.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 6, 2015
This is a fun and breezy otome game. In it, you play as Nicole, a college freshman, who is investigating the abductions of three girls at her university. The goal is to collect clues throughout the semester in order to solve the mystery by winter break. Since this is an otome game, you also need to build up your relationship with one of four guy characters.

Without giving too much away, the romanceable characters are essentially:
-Kurt - a flirty jock on the football team
-Ted - an obsessive workaholic
-Darren - a painfully shy classmate
-Jeff - an intelligent upper classman

My only complaint is that even if you collect enough clues by the end of the semester, the bad end seems to trigger if you don't have a relationship with one of the guys. I would have liked to have seen an alternate ending where, if you gather enough clues, Nicole effectively handles the mystery by herself without needing to also be in a relationship.

All in all, this was a fun otome game that I would recommend to fans of the genre. Also, if you're going to play this one, I would recommend romancing Jeff first.
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13 of 15 people (87%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 17, 2014
As a person not from USA I find it impossible to relate to the characters.

- Too much and not enough personality is given to the main protagonist. On one hand she's very much your typical valley girl (talks laudly, likes clothing blogs, is not interested in studying), which makes sure that you can't project any of your own traits onto her, but on the other hand by being a typical stereotype she is very bland.

- all of your date choices feel very one sided. The jock guy is all about sports with no smarts, the smart guy is all about evil (and nonsence as he is into alchemy of all things), the country guy is very country and the shy guy is shy. There are some details that you can learn about them that make them sort of human, but there's just not enough variety.

Really as a dating sim it's not that bad. There's your stat grind, there's boys to chase, but... I just really can't stand it, because I can't relate to any of the characters at all!
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