Title: Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa
Developer: Art Co., Ltd
Genre: Adventure, Role-Playing, Strategy, Puzzle
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Audience: PEGI 12
Release Date: 31/05/19
Price: £19.99 – Rapid Reviews UK was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
Kotodama is a Japanese term for the belief that there are special powers that can be found within certain words and phrases. This is a core component of the game, and while it is somewhat explained, it took a Google Search for me to realise it is a true belief and not something just conjured for the game.
At its core, Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa is a gem puzzle game. The core gameplay element is moving gems around to match up at least three colours to clear the board. Sounds above board and legit right. Well, there’s the catch, this game is not NSFW, and as I found out while playing it for this review, it is also not suitable for the bus, train or any other public location. Unless you are not easily embarrassed and playing a game where you have to undress buxom students is of no issue to you.
You are a transfer student on his first day at a new school. You are guided by the invisible demon fox that acts as your pseudo-conscience.
Audio & Visual
The audio elements of the game can be broken down into two sections; soundtrack and dialogue. Let’s take a quick look at each.
The music of the game is fun and upbeat. You can unlock new tracks as you go along, and each has an equally jaunty tune to it.
The game is in Japanese, with English subtitles. The voice acting is good, albeit as a non-Japanese speaker I can only assume their delivery the text is of spot on. The different characters you meet have different and clear personalities, and that comes through regardless of linguistic capabilities.
Visually speaking the game looks nice, and I don’t mean that tongue in cheek. As someone unaccustomed to the strange tastes of some Japanese game styles, I was a little uneasy at the concept of undressing students, however, while never mentioned explicitly, the characters themselves are all over the age of consent.
Presented in a manga/anime style, there are a series of static backgrounds with character images layered on top, and it has a charm to it that fits not only the storytelling but also the hidden adult theme.
The puzzles look like any other puzzle matching game, and what is there to say about undressing the characters you meet along the way? I’ll just let you make your own decisions about that one.
Ok, I want to get this over with first. The stripping of ambiguously aged students is unnerving and makes no sense in terms of the overall story. It is given an explanation, but it is about as deep as a paper cut, and there is any number of alternative strategies that could have been taken that made more sense and didn’t devalue the quality of the game.
The gameplay for this element is simple. You clear gems and the more you clear, the more the ‘happiness’ meter increases. Every quarter of the meter you get a special challenge, in which would do something to your character, feed them, or tickle somewhere on their body. If they like it, you get extra turns, if they dislike it, you get a punishment on the gameboard.
Each quarter meter also sees the character shed a layer of their clothing. The game ends once the character’s happy meter is full and they climax. Yes, you read that right, they moan, groan, and the screen gets filled with their smiling, sweaty face.
Why do you have to do this to these women? Well, it’s because you believe they are hiding something, and you use the power of your words to get them to confess/be honest with you. The gemstones are the manifestation of their mind, and the removing of clothes is you stripping away the layers of their thoughts to get to the truth.
For the rest, the gameplay is almost non-existent. You have to read a lot of text. It is essentially a visual novel. Now and then you have to make a choice, but for the most part, it’s a lot of reading setting the scene for when the next gemstone orgasm game gets played.
Now, while that element may slightly throw me, the plot and story created in the game are pretty good. You are new at school and befriend a slightly hyperactive and skittish girl who happens to belong to a local supernatural club. She’s one of two members so that you can imagine her social standing among her peers.
You are drawn into helping her solve the seven mysteries associated with the school, aided on your way by the invisible (to others) demon fox that acts as your pseudo-conscience.
The seven mysteries are:
- The Principal of Fujisawa Academy
- The Library of Wisdom
- The Curse of Mikoto
- The Wandering Gentleman
- The Clock Tower Angel
- The White Wolf
- The Future Reflecting Mirror
If you take this narrative and combine the supernatural elements of these mysteries with your power to use words to uncover the truth and shed light on the secrets that lurk around every corner, you have yourself a good solid game.
The gem puzzles themselves are even fun. It’s a different take where you don’t rotate two connecting pieces, but rather select one stone that is removed and placed at the top of its column. There is undoubtedly some thought and planning involved if you want to build up some good combos.
It once again comes down to the erotic component. It takes a game that could have been very solid and makes it a cheap, sensual experience.
There are two core game modes. You have the main story and then practice mode, or rather, as the game calls it, fantasize mode. Here you can pick your favourite characters and fantasize about them, undressing them over and over in practice runs.
Unless you are a lusty adolescent that has yet you learn you can click the I am over 18 button, there is no real need to replay this game, and despite its best efforts, the good story and interest characters are overshadowed by the unnecessary shedding of clothes.
While it may be a satisfying time for the students whose minds you need to conquer, for the player, it is a somewhat unfulfilling experience that leaves you feeling a little awkward and at times, uncomfortable.
Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa is a game with a great premise and a very cool art style. It has good and varied characters, and the dialogue in the game is also strong. It merely is let down by random adult themes. If you were to take that away and replace it with something more fitting, then the game would have a much higher score.
Rapid Reviews UK Rating
You can purchase Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa from the Nintendo eShop at the following link, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch/Kotodama-The-7-Mysteries-of-Fujisawa-1544876.html
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.