Review for Garnet Cradle * Sugary Sparkle… mostly spoiler-free.
To sum it up though, it’s something you play only if you like the main game. The game wouldn’t give you any explanation about the relationships established in the main game, so if you try to play this one before playing the main game, you’ll most likely get confused… also, the mini-games will probably get you annoyed.
The story took place 6 months after the main game, in December. The school’s Christmas party was coming up, and since the school director (Miku-papa) liked parties, this one would be a lavish affair, where people would come wearing costumes etc. The story always started with Miku wanting to go to the Christmas party, but somewhere in time she’d quarrelled with the guy and wasn’t sure anymore if she would go. Miku-papa, worried that she seemed gloomy, decided to help by throwing her and her guy to a fantasy world, where a sparkling Christmas tree had lost its light and they had to collect Christmas ornaments to return light to the tree, or Miku would be trapped forever in the fantasy world and her memory of the guy would be erased. So they went around collecting the ornaments from the other Princes, cleared up the misunderstanding that occured (the guy would apologise to Miku, although in some of them I thought it was more Miku’s fault…), and returned to the real world just in time for the Christmas party to start.
…that’s really all there was to the story. I have to admit I was rather disappointed… each route took me about 2 hours to clear, and still no answer to some of the questions I still have from the main game… ah well. It’s good entertainment though.
After the prologue Miku will be asked to pick a candy, and that would decide whose route you’re on. Questions were pretty simple to answer, and in some cases if you picked the wrong one it’s Game Over immediately. The only tricky one is if you want to complete the CG gallery, there were 2 bad endings which weren’t obvious as to how to get… there’s a guide here. Some of the Princes wouldn’t give their Christmas tree ornament unless you won their mini-game, but it’s not that difficult either.
- Black Jack : You start with 1000, and win when your money reached 2000.
- Peg Solitaire : The goal of the game is to get the last remaining marble in the middle of the board.
- Jewel Polyphony : Repeat the pattern. Note that if you make too many mistakes you’ll lose.
- Dungeon Escape : Pretty odd, but basically you have to navigate your way around and try to find your prince (shaped like a snowman). Avoid monsters and take sweets.
- Cookies Quest : Find matching pairs. Have to win 2 rounds.
Sadly, after you finished the game, only the Black Jack game got unlocked. I rather liked the Dungeon Escape game…
Music reused the ones from the main game, with 6 new tracks. As usual, nothing to complain about there. …sadly, the tokuten OST CD that came with the game only contained that 6 new tracks, and still no news of an OST CD…
And of course, since this is Carnelian the art was superb as usual.
Is it worth it? …only if you really, really like the main game. Other than that, save the money for something else…
For a synopsis of each route (with spoilers, of course), you can read Hinano’s review.