Backlog Update #4: Of Cats and Maids
4 min read

Backlog Update #4: Of Cats and Maids

March was a big month for me! I cleared a ton of games from my backlog. A lot of misses, but mostly hits!
Backlog Update #4: Of Cats and Maids

Alicemare: Cute and simple game. It was supposedly based on Alice In Wonderland (with a twist, of course), but gave me more Brothers Grimm vibes. There were also mentions of suicide and loss of parental figures. I meshed pretty well with some of the characters, though I wish there'd been a bit of a followup. The puzzles weren't too difficult, either.

Blackberry Honey: I enjoyed this one a lot! Well written and researched, and aside from some questionable anatomy choices, is a solid 8/10! The relationship between the two women was slow to kick off, but rewarding when it did. There were a lot of sex scenes (optional), and they felt a bit much, but I thought they were tastefully done. And if I had to pick favorites...

Bloody Chronicles, New Cycle of Death: This, unfortunately...I have nothing really nice to say about it? It had an interesting premise, decent art, and even voice acting! But it lacked depth and relatable or likable characters. I got bored of it very early on and only stuck around to get the rest of the achievements.

Gemini Rue: Clunky interface and just really tedious to play. I liked the idea of it (and cyberpunk and detective games), but this didn't live up to the hype.

Hiveswap Friendsim: Ditched this one almost immediately after booting it up. I was a Homestuck fan a few years ago, and I probably picked this up out of nostalgia or something. But looking back at it now, I don't think the humor or story itself really grabs me anymore.

Hustle Cat: This one was very cute and had a lot of potential, but wasn't as polished as it could've been. And not just in terms of the story; the controls were rather lacking, but I was able to make do. That aside, my favorite routes and characters were Finley, Mason, and Graves, your goth and witchy boss. I was a bit unsettled by the age gap, since Avery is only 19 and their boss is in his late 30's, but I appreciated Graves a lot in general. I really enjoyed the premise of the game, despite the story's shortcoming. It almost felt like something I would've written myself.

Lake of Voices: A spooky game about travelers being guided across a treacherous series of magic bridges. And under these bridges, humanoid monsters that rise from the depths to drag you under and steal your light. I felt a bit of rush while playing this one, as some of your choices were timed and required you to think fast. There was also the very real danger of losing part of your group. AND it even had some rather nice voice acting! And the ability to romance the only other woman in your group.

Memory's Dogma CODE:01: Yet another VN with a good premise, but weak storyline. It was going strong at first, then turned into one big mess near the end.

Our Life - Beginnings & Always: Cute game that allows you to grow with your character and the boy next door. Seemed very inclusive; very LGBT+ positive, and even included intersex people. I had the option to make my character nonbinary and intersex, which I've never really seen in a game before? I also appreciated how I wasn't forced into a romance with Cove. I was even given the liberty of clarifying that in the story itself, which was cool.

Purrfect Date: This one was...interesting, to say the least. You play a series of scientists studying cats on an island. You also have the opportunity to "romance" the cats, as you're destined to turn into one yourself, if you can't find the cure. I thought it was alright, but the lack of a skip or even auto function was a real buzzkill. I ended up using an autoclicker for this one.

Shardlight: Yet another Wadjet Eye game. It had an ok premise and was especially relevant to the covid 19 pandemic, but was...really tedious to get through. I followed a guide to get the achievements I wanted, but otherwise would've dropped it much sooner. At least Gemini Rue had something going for it. This was just a slogfest.

The Silver Case: This one just rubbed me the wrong way. The game plays in a small window within a large background of flashing words and such. And there's this relentless sound effect with each progression through the visual novel scenes. I also had a fair bit of trouble getting around without a guide. The story seemed interesting, though. I just don't know if I can keep on playing it.

Tacoma: Spaceship exploration game! I remember picking this up a few years ago, as it's the same dev that made another game I liked, Gone Home. There was a good bit of diversity in this one, including a married wlw couple. Ignoring the circumstances of the crew, it was fun to explore the game and find interesting details about the characters and the world. And then all the cats!

"To me, kissing her is the most relaxing thing in the world." - Maera

The Waters Above, Prelude: Really short; I completed this in under an hour, and enjoyed three of the four stories. I didn't care for Iris at all, but loved the romance between Maera and Clio. It was really gay and heartwarming. Unfortunately, I can't get too attached, as apparently the main game has been canceled. I still recommend giving it a try. Despite the game being so short, the emotions I experienced gave me a nice little dose of endorphins.