By Diego Hernandez / August 18th, 2020
|Title||Nyan Café Macchiato|
|Release Date||July 9th, 2020|
|Genre||Romance, Harem, Visual Novel|
Nyan Café Macchiato is certainly an interesting visual novel on many levels. For instance, people might look at this story and think this is just riding NEKOPARA’s coattails. However, Nyan Café Macchiato actually launched a year prior to that massive success story. Another angle to consider is that this is our first look at developer, Skyfish, in the West. However, again, we’re looking at their eroge-focused brand rather than the main branch. I’m not going to waste your time pointing out all the small details. The theme here is that there’s little intricacies popping up left and right around this release, and the more you look at it the better it gets. Perhaps it’s a lesson of how even the simplest synopsis can still contain plenty of surprises. This 2013 release finally touched Western shores this past month, and you know I have a question. How does it hold up?
Here’s the game plan. Your name is Yamane Kouya and your life absolutely sucks right now. Any company that dares to hire you will end up going bankrupt within a short time frame. You wish you could go home to cry about it, but your apartment actually caught on fire. Tough break. You can’t keep being depressed forever, so it’s time for some change. You follow the path to your dream job starting as a part-time educator while also helping your grandfather’s café. Oh yeah, your grandfather is hospitalized. He’ll be okay, just give him some time, hope you don’t mind the extra work. The early going proves to be most difficult and you wonder if you’re even going to pull through this. But the wheels of fate work in mysterious ways, dear reader. Two of the most beautiful girls in school, plus a hidden gem, notice you.
These three damsels are about to flip your luck for the better. You see, while your luck may be in the slumps, your will to push through all the pain has actually caught their eyes. These aren’t your average girls, either. Mike, one of the school’s most prolific in terms of academics and athletics; Persia, the star of the Drama Club; and lastly, there’s Ameri, the hidden wild card who knows more than you think. Just when you think that nothing could go wrong, it does. For you see, they all notice you at the same time and much insanity ensues. On what level, you ask? Have you considered the possibility of all three confessing at once? Too late to consider as it comes faster than you can process it all. Three girls, one “unlucky” man, and suddenly a harem?! Welcome to Nyan Café Macchiato.
As outrageous as this prologue may be, this game is aware of what you’re here for from the get-go. In these kinds of stories, where the lore takes the backseat, the characters are the ray of hope. Let’s start with Mike, who is the first girl we see. An incomprehensible level of talent beyond her years and yet her hot and cold behavior is a blissful reminder of her age. This kind of template can be found within all of the girls. You’ll notice this as we go through each one. The differences between the three lie in their approach to their new circumstances. Mike is about as confused about this as we are and characters like these are easy to fall for because of simple moments of connectivity like that one. Never mind the perfect sized bosoms, her personality is key!
Mike Nekomori carries only the purest intentions of the three as her genuine love for you is what carries her story. As you defy your luck to fulfill childhood aspirations, this girl aims to do the same for her own future. Again, this overlap in personalities and goals is going to create tremendous moments of connectivity that allows interactions between them to truly thrive. Plus there’s nothing wrong with adding a pure love story within a harem, you know. Personally, I found her route to be akin to inhaling a nice breath of fresh summer air. Unfortunately, you do it only to realize that it’s over a hundred degrees outside and you’re sweating bullets. In this case, the heat stems from the more intimate scenarios with her. You’re going to need more than just a couple tissues.
Next on the list is Persia Nekoyashiki, the star in drama club’s spotlight. Before going forward I should probably make this clear that there’s a lot of references to cats in this game. Everything including our character names are going to be riddled with them, so if you’re more a dog person please bear through this. The secret to great acting always lies within the ability to recreate each character within your own self. The mask is a popular symbol within theater for this very reason. Now where am I going with this? Simple, Persia is a crafty woman. She possesses a very confident demeanor and as a result if there’s something she wants, she’s going to get it. These types of characters have their own audience and I sit in the front row. Trickery is the name of the game. Are you ready to play?
While Mike is a pure-hearted gal with only the best intentions, Persia seems to do it for the fun of it. At least in the beginning if the game goes on any further things might get serious. For even the best of actors fall victim to their own emotions under the veil that we call love. In this route there’s mystery, tension, and a search for knowledge. What are they searching for? More creative ways to heat up in the bedroom. Seriously it seems like these two try something different every opportunity they get; it’s like a wildfire with how hot this is. In addition, if you have the opportunity to flip the switch on a girl like this and you’re in charge, you have to do it, and proudly. Persia was my favorite route in terms of lust events.
Finally the wild card, Ameri Nekokawa. Very little is known about this girl, even our main character has a difficult time finding her, let alone making her feel better about herself. It’s almost the complete opposite of her cousin, Persia. Yes, this just got weirder. Ameri views the main character as a hero following a life changing event on the first few days of school. While Ameri doesn’t possess the amount of sheer beauty and talent as the other two members of the harem, it’s merely an illusion to let your guard down. I would word this situation as crouching tiger, hidden Ameri. I prefer to dodge the specifics as I do want you to play this game down the line. Ameri’s story hits differently from the two that came before. There’s lore here and it’s rather deep for a game that loves to shove sex scenes down your throat.
It’s easy to start this game up and immediately dismiss Ameri for her lack of presence and overwhelming personality when compared to the other two. Do not make the same mistake I did. For if you’re a fan of sex, but also want story with that sex, this route’s the best in the game. This route has more emotion, more character development and it’s a ton of fun to read. Admittedly, I was sad when the credits rolled because I wanted more of this. If you’re looking for a designated playthrough, you might be better off saving this one for last. You’ll definitely thank me later.
Now that the girls are here, let’s start talking specifics. The story is practically non-existent outside of Ameri’s route. There’s very little theatrics involved which is perfect for those who hunt for the great pleasure wave. In contrast, the characters and their respective voice actors really shine as you can take away small tidbits of their personality and make them last in your head for ages. For instance, Persia’s sadistic laugh and Ameri’s speech pattern are some of the most addicting sounds in this game. The music is cheerful as the cute cats in the café, but the lack of more sensual tracks make the lustful moments a drag. On the subject of coitus, Nyan Café Macchiato really puts an emphasis on the love-making process. Several scenes spanning these three characters and even bonus ones should you play your cards correctly. There’s genuinely a scene for all readers to love.
In terms of other technicalities, while I can’t speak to the accuracy of the script, it was solid throughout in terms of its dirty talk. Because let’s face the music, if the dirty talk sucks you might as well keep your finger on the skip button. Getting back on track, MangaGamer really showed up and kept things perfectly dirty. The UI is full of pink, but a lot of options are easy to access within a single click. Sound and image editing really shine in this game’s bedroom adventure scenes. To put it simply, once you’re in these scenes, you’ll feel like you’re on a path to lewd enlightenment. I have a small list of cons, but they’re big ones. Among these are exceedingly linear event sequences and the lack of overall story for the harem as a group.
When it’s all said and done, Nyan Café Macchiato is a wonderful present for lewd connoisseurs such as you and I. The issues regarding linear plot lines and lack of the good old lore can be overlooked. Unfortunately, the elephant in the room that even I can’t defend is the time spent. Value is always going to be subjective, but a lot of people will look at $34.99 for 7 hours of slice-and-life story and 3 hours of passionate love-making and think it’s not worth it. I will have to agree with this crowd and advise you to wait for a sale. If you’re still on board this lewd ship, join me in looking forward to Wan Nyan a la Mode next month! Thanks MangaGamer!
Game provided by publisher for review purposes. This opening is also way too addicting to listen to.
haremlocalizationMangaGamerNyan Cafe MacchiatoSkyfish Pocovisual novelVN