Rejoice! 7’sCarlet is the visual novel fans have been waiting for. With all the most recent releases in the genre, this is the one that stands out the most and in the best way. It’s simple to follow and the game mechanics are pretty similar to the more popular visual novels currently available on the market. It starts out with your friend telling you about a Supernatural Cub meeting and that there is a meet and greet in a little crescent moon shaped town known as Okunezato. A town consisting of approximately 2500 residents, it seems like a weird place for a meeting. That is, until you decide you want to search for your brother who visited there and just happened to go missing just over a year ago.
Publisher: Aksys Games
Available On: PlayStation Vita
Reviewed On: PlayStation Vita
Release Date: May 25, 2018
Game Provided By Aksys Games for the Purpose of This Review
As you enter the town of Okunezato, you will immediately notice that 7’sCarlet offers more than just static images, as there was actual animations taking place at the same time. Nothing extreme, but we felt it was a nice touch. For example, there is a scene involving fireworks and instead of just having the sound with a picture of fireworks going off, there is actual movement as the fireworks explode. Again, it isn’t revolutionary by any means, but it’s a nice touch to the genre that uses mostly static images throughout the games.
7’sCarlet offers six potential love interests to choose from. There’s your childhood friend, Hino Kagutsuchi. Isora Amari, a chef who runs the cafe at the hotel you’re staying at. Toa Kushinada, a clumsy cat lover with a secret. Sosuke Tatehira, a quiet and smart doctor in training. Yuzuki Murakumo, the owner of the hotel. And then the last one we’re going to keep a secret, as it isn’t initially revealed to players, so we want to avoid the spoilers.
The art style is pretty normal but in some scenes the color palettes used are nothing short of beautiful. As you progress through each story, you will notice that some of the playthroughs leave a lot of questions unanswered. Even though it feels that way, have no fear. The story really doesn’t start making a ton of sense until you unlock the story route involving the hotel owner, Yuzuki. In order to actually do that, you must play the other four stories. But they’re fun and interesting, so that shouldn’t be a problem!
Even with leaving some of the story lines unanswered, you will still be satisfied and happy with the different endings. 7’sCarlet can get pretty dark at times, but there is humor and goofy moments all the same to lighten up the mood. The actual narrative does feel as if it’s slacking at times, but it does a good job trying to make up for it by really giving you and your love interests some much needed attention. We’re sure we aren’t alone in this sentiment, but when it comes to otome visual novels, we would rather there be a focus on the relationship building as opposed to the same story being presented in each character’s story with minimal changes. If you feel the same way we do here, we promise this will be one of your new favorites just like it is now one of ours.
To briefly give an overview of what happens after meeting everyone in the Supernatural Club, you are asked if you would like to stay by working for the hotel to cover the cost of the nights spent there. Throughout your progress and depending on who you are trying to build a relationship with, the narrative will begin to branch off and the respected love interest will offer to help in the search for your missing brother. All the while, hints are being dropped through each story about who your brother actually is, why he went missing, and oddly enough, why someone is also currently trying to harm the main protagonist.
One playthrough is never enough, as any seasoned veteran of the genre will understand. The more stories you play through, the better the game actually gets. And just a heads up. There are two additional endings that unlock after you open the hotel owner’s route. So keep on playing until you finish them all completely, as you won’t regret it!
One thing we always look for when going through these games is to see if getting the platinum trophy is possible without having to use a detailed guide or walkthrough. 7’sCarlet is straightforward and easy to achieve if you like gunning for the platinum. If you do end up needing help, there are guides out there which will assist in picking the right answers to ensure you get the good endings and to unlock all of the vocabulary words. Sometimes we felt as if these tips were not necessary, just because after reading what the word meant, they would mention the meaning of it right after in the dialogue. It was a small thing we noticed that didn’t help nor harm the overall presentation.
We really enjoyed the fact that as you progressed, more and more mysteries would unravel as the stories kept coming. It’s fun being able to put two and two together on your own before the answers are even presented in the game, as we really enjoyed the mystery aspect and that we had to wait to find out certain plot points. Out of all the otome visual novels we’ve currently went through this year, 7’sCarlet is the one we had the hardest time actually putting down. We love the simplicity of a good romance story and this one definitely did not let us down.
If you’re looking to get lost in a mystery and adventure with goofy interactions and a slower paced story that progresses the further in you go, 7’sCarlet is the otome for you. We truly wish it had been longer, because we were devastated when we 100% completed it. But hey.. there’s always hope for a sequel!
8.0 / 10