Love Choice has caught me off guard. While I’ve played a few visual novel type games by now, it’s generally understood that if you’ve tried one, you’ve tried them all. The stories may change, but the actual interactivity usual amounts to hitting A to skip the text. Here though, there’s more to things and despite some initial sour impressions I ended up enjoying my time with the game.
We’re presented with three short stories to go through, though we need to clear the first a couple of times to unlock the rest. This follows the tale of two young love birds who have a chance meeting at a Game Jam event. From this opening set up we follow their relationship as it blossoms through awkward first date, the moment they fall in love, trials and tribulations, and the eventual conclusion to the story. This can one on of three ways depending on the choices made, and it’s this aspect that is both entertaining and frustrating in equal measure at first.
You see, the dialogue options are presented on the bottom of the screen, and outside of one or two moments (such as when we must complete a small mini-game to unlock options in the next scene) remain the same on each playthrough. Luckily, this only takes around 10 minutes per go. After going through the story four times and getting the same result I began to sense something more was going on here. I won’t get into specifics, but suffice to say the artwork up top is not just for show. Once this was made clear – something the game doesn’t do, instead it fell to trusty internet guides to point this out – we can really start to unravel the full story.
This aspect is what made Love Choice far more enjoyable than most visual novels. Sure, all it really amounts to is clicking around the screen to see everything, but the way some scenes were implemented made smart – if simple – use of the mechanic. Finally getting the correct answers to some of the dialogue options resulted in a much happier ending for sure.
The next two tales make use of the same mechanics, though the third offers a little more in the way of ‘traditional’ gameplay. Each are just as short as the first and also feature multiple endings. The stories told are interesting enough to hold the attention for the hour or two it’ll take to complete them all, and while the translation job can leave a little to be desired at times it still gets the point across just fine.
That artwork-that-is-more-than-just-artwork is pleasant to look at, with a simple yet effective minimalism to things. The music also does a nice job of playing on the emotions of the scene, though it stays in the background for the most part.
All in all, Love Choice is a pleasant title to sit back and relax with for an hour or so of an evening. The stories are short and sweet and the interactivity is more than we’d expect from a visual novel.Become a Patron!
This game was reviewed based on Xbox One review code, using an Xbox Series S|X console. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by publisher.