So you are interested in knowing more about Mobages but you don’t quite know where to start. I wrote a long reply to someone I talk to fairly frequently on Reddit so I will copy paste it here and edit or add more lines. This is just a general guide about Mobile games. It’s not detailed enough to really talk about all the mobages I’ve played.
Hmm.. First things first, I don’t know if I would recommend Mobile Otome Games (mobage) as they’re a whole different style of writing and themes than Steam/Vita games had to offer which most people have been more used to right now. I would say the Shall we Date series has some collaboration with Idea Factory and is probably closest to the games we are used to. However, so far, most of their games I’ve played are… really serious? Draggy? And is a lot more story/plot heavy. Prices mentioned below are in Canadian Dollars and may be a lot less when converted to USD.
Voltage games are more into slice of life type stories, they’re shorter and may be boring to someone looking for fantasy themes. However, you definitely won’t skip on much content. It’s normally new in 95% of the routes. Except if you buy the guy’s POV routes which is only necessary if you’re a completionist and want the bonus CG, video or wtv lol. Also, because it is a pay per route, it can get quite expensive. WAY more expensive than buying a game outright. Voltage games can run you up to probably $15~$25 CAD per season of 1 character. And sometimes, a character could have up to 2~3 seasons. :-/
The “Shall we Date” PAID series I guess is a bit more forgiving. 1 Character could be around $6-$8 CAD depending if it has a main story + sequel together and they generally do not have a lot of “seasons” like Voltage games do. Generally there are about 3-5 characters to choose from. So I guess it is fairly close to how much most games cost on Steam or on Vita. OH also, more importantly to those that love VAs – there is no voice acting for mobile games. One of the games I played just now (Scarlet Fate) doesn’t even have a BGM =_=. Didn’t know about it until I paid for a route and checked their FAQ page and confirmed it really is like that. So far all the other games I’ve played at least has a BGM.
From my experience, Shall we Date generally has a lot more chapters than Voltage games. If you still want to check out the Shall we Date series, make sure the icon has a white border around it and not the red when downloading from the APP store/Google Play. I accidentally downloaded Destiny Ninja 2 with a red border and I ended up paying an insane amount of money which I don’t want to disclose how much cos it was ridiculous. I slipped up and purchased a lot of “game currency” and I didn’t realize to first check how much each route required to be able to read without stopping. Lesson SERIOUSLY learned the hard way. LOL
Shall we date has Demons’ Bond (yes, they spelled it that way lol) which actually has very pretty art (same artist as Code Realize – though I think the MC looks a bit weird imo in a lot of CGs) and is quite like Hakuoki. Apparently it’s a prequel to it and are the ancestors to some of Hakuoki’s chars. It is very heavy on Japanese history (though prolly inaccurate – I didn’t bother checking) and can get draggy if you aren’t too big on history + war type stuff. As the name suggests, the chars are demons including the MC. The MC kind of makes me angry though cos she’s stupid/slow from being closed off to society in general.
One thing I noticed about Shall we Date’s MCs so far is that they have this AWFUL habit of repeating the same shit over and over. For example, in Scarlet Fate – the MC keeps saying over and over how she deserves and is just waiting to die because she killed her mother in a ritual which has been passed on from generation to generation. I mean, I’m not taking this lightly.. but it’s like she’s so trapped in this nightmare that she can’t really think of anything else. WHICH is understandable if she really is so traumatized and she can’t do anything else. BUT, she is actually a very capable leader of Kifu Village and is quite level headed. I’m not saying it’s impossible but it’s a bit of a stretch and personally I don’t feel it meshes well. It’s like they’re a robot and are having a very difficult time moving on from what they’re used to – however in the end they do make SOME progress and grow up. -.-‘ But, well, I guess they at least have a bit more character than Amnesia’s MC lol. However, the one thing good about her is that she’s always willing to help out and fight – though sometimes a bit useless ahaha.
In Demons’ Bond, I heard Shin had the best route which I can’t verify yet cos I’ve only played Chitose and Kazuya’s routes. Kazuya’s route was a bit too draggy for me. D: Chitose’s route, the MC is a bit more annoying there but helped out a lot in the end. Shin is the intelligent one of the bunch and is quite sarcastic. I liked his personality during the prologue and is one of the few long haired guys that I find quite attractively drawn. XD;; Not sure why! lol. But yeah I bought his route and will be playing it in a bit after I finish this freaking long ass Kuso no Mikoto’s route from Scarlet Fate, lol. I tried to finish it last night but it was so long that I couldn’t take it anymore and died. I just decided to sleep even if I only had 2 chapters left, hahaha. XD;;
One awesome thing about mobile games is they allow you to read the Prologue (and for Voltage + 1 chapter of the main story) for free. If you don’t get interested/hooked AT ALL in any way – I suggest you don’t buy the route. Though there are some characters that become so much better overtime – I still found that usually my gut feeling is right for most cases. I can talk about Voltage games but with the price I am not sure if anyone would be interested. To be honest, so far I haven’t been extremely wowed by Shall we Date yet and I liked 2 games (not all the chars though) from Voltage so far.
From Voltage, I liked My Last First Kiss (famous childhood friends) and Our Two Bedroom Story (co-workers in a magazine company who are step-siblings).
The routes I liked from My Last First Kiss were (in no particular order) :
(Left : Ichiya Misono, Right : MC + Riku Morimachi)
(Makoto Morimachi + MC)
(From Bottom Left ; Counter-clockwise : Takamune Kitami, Ayato Hidaka,
Ichiya Misono, Makoto Morimachi and Riku Morimachi)
(Ichiya Misono + MC)
(Riku Morimachi + MC)
- Ichiya Misono : Owner of an Interior Design company. Had a rough, loveless family growing up. Parents are married but only together for appearances. Very brash and mean towards the MC because of their long-standing feud from the beginning. He had trouble coping and was jealous of people who had close knit families and ended up lashing out constantly at everyone. Not very honest with himself but still stuck around their childhood friend group. This route has the most “childhood/misunderstanding drama”. (Admittedly, I have a soft spot for this character though and I guess is my favorite.)
- Riku Morimachi : Talented up-and-coming photographer. Normally has a “I don’t give a fuck” face until he plays with his pet dog. MC’s first and only bf but broke up in a few months in high school. Broke up very awkwardly. Complete opposite and have not much in common with the MC so misunderstandings ensue fairly constantly. Somewhat quiet but very direct and has a bit of a sharp tongue. He is a bit of a Kuudere but not really? Not sure how to explain it. His route has probably the most “relationship drama” between him and the MC. Has kind of slept around (a bit, as hinted in Ayato’s route – he changed of course though) and is a little twisted. Younger brother of Makoto Morimachi.
- Makoto Morimachi : Researcher that specializes on Food Science. Quite obviously very in love with the MC since childhood and is very open about it. MC doesn’t notice cos she is dense as shit, lol. He is the “Big Brother” of the group. There is a bit more to him than just being sweet, reliable and intelligent though. I normally find Big Brother types boring but I actually, very surprisingly liked his character a lot more than I expected.
The routes I liked from Our Two Bedroom story (in no particular order) :
(Left: Chiaki Yuasa, Right : Akiyoshi Zaizen)
- Chiaki Yuasa : Youngest of the group and is 1 year younger than the MC. Extremely talented and specializes in Art type columns. Abhors women, feels that they deserved to be used and can never be trusted. Surprisingly the most “sexual” guy of the bunch, lol. Yes, a lot more than the other guys who sleeps around so much, lol. Most intelligent and devious in the group. Aims to be the CEO of Shiki Publishing one day. I just have a strange soft spot for him even if I technically like Tsumugu a lot more overall. He is so hilarious and is constantly tricking and teasing the MC in so many ways, lol. Is constantly called an Angel but who is actually really a Devil. XD A lot of people get fooled by his angelic smile, lol.
- Tsumugu Kido : Has 2 completely different personas. I really love this character and is probably my favorite (but I love Chiaki a lot too TwT~). He is really awesome in so many ways and I like his personality a lot. I think he goes very well with the MC. He is very talented and even has a rivalry thing going on with Minato Okouchi. Extremely obsessed with Strawberries and is constantly eating them, lol. A miser who loves money. Makes the LAMEST puns! (all stories related to him, I buy it up immediately – they’re always so good I don’t know why!)
- Akiyoshi Zaizen : The chief editor who is called the “growler” as he constantly growls aka shouts at everyone a lot, lol. He is the big brother type. Talented at cooking and is extremely emotional when it comes to watching movies/documentaries involving animals. He is so sweet and cute, but very mature at the same time. XD Extremely loyal and has a stark personality contrast when at work and when at home. He is the oldest in the group (29) and has the least amount of racy “bedroom scenes” lol.