By Diego Hernandez / July 30th, 2020
|Release Date||March 28th, 2020|
|Genre||Yuri, Romance, Visual Novel|
It’s finally time to talk about Toffer Team’s debut into the yuri genre, Himeko Maid. However, for those of you unfamiliar with Toffer, let’s catch you up to speed. This developer prides themselves on their love for erotica with a simple story and emphasis on the naughty bits. In other words, games that serve as a rest for your brain and your genitalia after a long day of grind, be it from time consuming games or real life affairs. Toffer calls his games “lewd adventures” and they are often a series of outrageous events that utilize coitus as a plot device. Normally, it’d be a safe assumption to assume this is going to be a mediocre experience. However, I find Toffer’s approach to this ordeal to be quite different. Hikari Love Potion showcased tremendous progress and now all eyes are here. Only one question remains: How does it hold up?
Your name is Suzuka and you’re a girl striving to make ends meet. Your parents are gone and you have a couple siblings that need taking care of. Don’t you just wish you had more money to make things easier? Sadly, the only thing you seem to be good at is household chores. Nevertheless, that doesn’t stop you from looking for an opportunity. What follows makes opportunity an understatement. An official contest is going to be held at one of the most esteemed mansions in town: Himeko Maid. The chosen maid gets $500,000 to their name on top of a new job. It’ll take a couple of miracles for a regular girl like yourself to get in, but why not? The days pass and there’s a knock on your door. You’re in the contest! With a chance for glory in reach, you faint in disbelief. Welcome to Himeko Maid.
It’s honestly refreshing to see Toffer take a more realistic start to one of his stories. Previously, in the Hikari series, the main character would teleport to a new world and see the current drama. In this story, you merely need money and you see a contest that caters to your main ability. We’ve all been here, but how many of us bite the bullet and actually try for it? The odds are astronomically low, but she gets in. However, things are only going to get more and more ridiculous. Let me remind you that this isn’t a plot heavy game. So thinking about how this opportunity and due process might be sketchy is simply overthinking things. Naturally, you’re not alone in this challenge and you also have to meet the organizer. Furthermore, we have to get you acquainted with the mansion itself. Let’s go!
First on our list is the head honcho herself, Alice. Alice’s presence is as overwhelming as her assets and it’s quite dangerous. Why? Because she wastes no time in demonstrating just how interested she is. One has to wonder if she weren’t in a position of power, what kind of lewd demons would be unleashed onto the world. In between compliments and sexual innuendos, you’ll find signs of professionalism and productivity. As someone who has to arrange meetings and make sure everything gets done in the large mansion, she’s the top of the line in this regard. Furthermore, with a contest like this, she has to find the best maids in town. No stone left unturned. After formalities conclude, she’ll be the one to hand out daily tasks that will measure your worth during the contest. Humor her and see if you come out on top, literally and figuratively.
Honestly speaking, when Alice was revealed through the developer’s social media, I was ecstatic. The character archetype is one I absolutely love. To clarify, that’s characters that are assertive and know what they want and how they’ll get it. Through the course of my time with Himeko Maid, I often found myself wanting to spend more time with Alice. Fortunately, the game rewards you if you play your cards right. However, with the more you see Alice, the more repetitive the conversations get. It seems like she’s always horny for our main character and rather than creating any semblance of character development, it’s all meant to keep you aroused when there’s no naughty bits on screen. It’s unfortunate if you’re approaching this game with a serious mindset, otherwise it’s a green light. For me, I’m right in the middle and it sucks because I just want more Alice lore.
Strangely enough, and probably listed in the fine print, the contest has you working in pairs. For the sake of argument, and perhaps length, two outstanding options are here to be your partner. Let’s meet the first one now. Her name is Harumi. Harumi’s a bit of a klutz personality-wise, but she makes up for it with her outstanding looks. She’s as vocal and jolly as can be and will do what she can to win. Everyone loves money, after all. However, there’s something about her smile that truly makes you wonder about her. Is the money alone the sole motivator for being here? Is her cheerful personality her true self? So many questions and little answers. The next week is going to be quite interesting if you choose her. For now, just enjoy the blonde goodness to the best of your ability.
When I saw Harumi, I didn’t expect much because a lot of marketing was done surrounding Alice and her grand event that brings everyone here. However, it didn’t seem like there’s a dull moment with her. She’s so lively that in a “tense and competitive” atmosphere, she just seems to give life to this place. Learning about her was a ton of fun, and the week spent with her was true bliss. Opposite of what I wrote from Alice, it’s all smiles around here. Naturally, these games are on the short end, so what I’d say is I wish I had more time to spend with her. Her design, alongside the customization options which we will discuss momentarily, cater to fans of many styles and her voice work was amazing. In truth, a best girl that snuck up on me.
Finally, we have the other partner option in Saeko. Saeko is, personality-wise, opposite of Harumi. If Harumi’s a bright sun, then you could say Saeko is the ice queen. A cool beauty with a shroud of mystery. However, she’s not entirely cold. While in the beginning it’s a fight to see who’s the best maid, these are all girls at the end of the day. Competitive scenes bring out all aspects of a human, beautiful and ugly ones included. What I’m trying to say is that you’ll spend a lot of time in a figurative fireplace warming this ice queen up. Furthermore, you’ll receive something truly beautiful if you play your cards correctly. You know what they say, the grass is greener on the other side.
Saeko is the first route I chose for Suzuka when I played Himeko Maid and honestly, it was good. While the contest only lasts one week, I feel like I got a new side of Saeko every day. It’s like getting a birthday present every morning and I love it as a reader. This, combined with what I would later see with Harumi, left me in complete disbelief that I was playing a lewd adventure. There was genuine character development present and I was starting to realize that it wasn’t all about the sex anymore. It is about the girlfriends we make along the way. Jokes aside, Saeko is a strong woman, and while not as assertive as Alice, you’ll end up liking her a lot more because of her demeanor. It’s an A+ job that makes me sadder that Alice is not the same.
So if character development isn’t the issue of this game, what is the main problem? That, my beautiful readers, is the story. The story is absurd and how we get here is crazier. A top maid contest for half a million while you romance your fellow competitor and the head judge consistently flirts with you. It’s too bizarre and it’s what kept my feet grounded, and with all the sex I feel like I was watching a longer Pornhub video. Let me make this clear though, it’s a long Pornhub video with a ton to love. In particular, the partial voice acting got a big boost this time from the version in Hikari Love Potion and the free choices allow you to create your own couple dynamic with your route partner. Furthermore, customization options for hair and outfits let your wet dreams roam wildly.
Sex is a crucial part of Toffer’s games, so how is it in Himeko Maid? I already disclosed that the contest lasts a week, and in that time you’re meant to get closer as a pairing with your partner. Things will get spicy early on and it will incur some action. However, these actions are actually all one big build up as it’s actually part of the contest. That’s right, sex training is a part of the contest. Now you see where the story got ridiculous. Nevertheless, the writing for girl on girl love making, a first for Toffer, was actually incredibly arousing to read and see on screen. I’d say vastly improved over past releases. Furthermore, with really high quality art and the writing getting better, voice acting also steps up with some decent sound editing and makes for near complete package. What’s missing? Lack of different sex positions.
For all of this, Himeko Maid is still Toffer Team’s best release to date. The character development found within Saeko and Harumi’s route show a writing promise of things to come while the naughty bits are better than ever. An outrageous story and a very horny Alice drags all of this down slightly. However, when you realize why you bought this game, you’ll see that you got more than what you asked for. No doubt that this yuri experiment ended up being a success and I want to see more in the future. Himeko Maid took me 5 hours to read in its entirety which justifies picking it up from Nutaku for a mere $4.99. If you want more Toffer, check out our interview with him here and follow his Twitter for more information on upcoming games.
Game provided by developer for review purposes.
English Visual NovelevnHimeko MaidLewd AdventureToffer Teamvisual novelVN