When you’re on a quest for something as noble as love, there’s no stopping you from achieving what you want – and in the case of Otaku’s Adventure, that includes jumping through a TV connected to a retro console, travel to the center of the earth, or turn into a bunch of goo on an alien planet. If that sounds weird to you, there’s more where it came from in this dating sim-slash visual novel – but are all of these oddities endearing, or are they just too out of this world?
OTAKU’S ADVENTURE STORY
You begin your journey in Otaku’s Adventure as a lonely guy whose sole purpose in life is to find love and live happily ever after. A self-proclaimed “otaku,” the main protagonist (going by whatever name you give him) is a socially awkward geek who’s never had a girlfriend before, and you’ll start the day eager to meet that lady you met online. the night before that.
Of course, all of this is a recipe for disaster, because the date – if you can even call it one – doesn’t go as you planned. What ensues is a series of happy – or unhappy – circumstances that range from being sucked into an RPG to saving the world from an apocalyptic meteor.
The beauty of this bizarre tale is the fact that there are even more bizarre endings you can unlock based on the choices you make. Even something as simple as what to buy with your meager cash at the very start of the game can have a huge impact on how your story plays out. In that sense, the replayability here is simply off the charts, which is a delight given how entertaining each branch of the narrative can be.
OTAKU’S ADVENTURE GAMEPLAY AND VISUALS
Like other point-and-click games, Otaku’s Adventure lets you tap various elements in a scene to learn more about the world around you. You can usually open cabinets, enter number combinations, and combine items you collect from your inventory. These puzzles are neither too difficult nor too ridiculous. But given the nature of the game, there are tons of things that will only make sense if you have a sense of humor – with that in mind, even the most illogical things can seem perfectly logical at the time. .
Tapping everything in sight during trial and error is a thrill in itself thanks to the game’s vibrant visuals. The comic book-style art makes you feel like you’re in a real manga, and the cute characters will hand in hand with the lighthearted nature of the game. There were a bunch of laugh moments that came out of nowhere for me, like the Narrator character breaking the fourth wall and the very many references to Easter eggs and culture pop in the dialog.
Spoofs and goofs aside, Narrator insists on saving often – you can’t just rely on the autosave feature here, because every decision you make can lead to a branching result without even that you realized that. There are over 35 different endings, after all.
WHAT IS THE CALL?
My favorite route out of Waifu, Gohard, and (´?ω?’) is definitely Gohard’s mainly because I could relate to the gamer geeks and comic book references during the convention. It’s a goofy, whimsical ride that makes absolutely no sense, but I really can’t say much more without spoiling anything.
To be fair, the personalities of the three female leads – and the male lead himself – aren’t anything out of the ordinary, as they’re mostly just models of your average anime stereotypes. It’s the gameplay and presentation that really amused me – throughout the title there are mini-games that depend on the road you’re on. For example, Waifu’s route features a bunch of hilarious target shooting mini-games while (´?ω?’)’s route throws you into random turn-based battles in an isekai adventure.
The game also applies that classic point-and-click feature of you dying on the most ridiculous things and then the game is instantly over. Although the game’s visuals and light theme can lull you into a false sense of security, you can’t let your guard down because one wrong decision could end the game for you.
There were times, however, where I felt like things got a little too repetitive, and often a little frustrating, especially if you can’t beat certain minigames to progress through the game. Plus, while the possibilities of these 35 different endings sound appealing, I didn’t feel compelled to unlock them all after I had already gotten the endings I wanted.
Still, Otaku’s Adventure is a fun, albeit bizarre title that at times almost feels like three separate games. It’s not the most intellectually challenging point-and-click game, but it’s a great waste of time when you’re ready for a whole lot of enjoyable nonsense on your mobile device.