How To Take Off Your Mask – review

20160402195345_1This game was part of a recent IndieGala bundle – I’m glad it was included because I would not had thought to try this game otherwise due to the price ($15). I was looking for something cute and simple and this seemed to fit the bill. It’s also available on Steam.

The game is in English, although it’s voiced in Japanese… the screenshots from the official site is in Japanese but I couldn’t find the option anywhere to change the text to Japanese, so I guess the option’s not available.

Alternate Title Screen

Alternate Title Screen

The story (taken from the official website):

Lilia is just an ordinary girl who works in a bakery.
She spends every day happily with her clumsy childhood friend, Ronan.

One day Lilia finds her body has shrunk.
Moreover, she grows cat ears and a tail?!

She doesn’t know that she’s actually a Luccretia, a half-human and half-cat.

She panics, jumps out through her room’s window, and runs towards the town.
And the first person she bumps into is the reliable city guard, Ronan.

The mask of “Big Sis” and “Luccretia Girl” she wears.
The mask of “Lil Bro” and “City Guard” he wears.

Which one of them will be taken off first?

Lilia is pretty much a tsundere

Lilia is pretty much a tsundere

As the story above suggested, this game deals with how the heroine perceives herself, in relation to how she perceives her childhood friend. It actually made for quite an interesting read, and by the end of the game I was hoping there’d be more in the series, or maybe a sequel showing Lilia and Ronan as a couple… but anyways. Be warned that this game only has 1 target, so if you’re not into the childhood friend theme you’re out of luck. Although different from the usual trope, at least he didn’t start out already in love with her. Also, I liked the seiyuu they picked for the characters – pretty much every character was voiced, and none of them sounded out of place. I quite liked the art style as well – having played East Tower series I can say for certain I prefer the art style in this game…

Chapter select

Chapter select

Thankfully I got this game on Steam – I’ve actually finished and uninstalled the game, then remembered that I didn’t take any screenshot… so I reinstalled the game and to my surprise my save file’s there so I didn’t need to replay the game to take screenshots. Steam cloud to the rescue \(★ω★)/ One thing I really like about this game’s system is the chapter select – as long as you’ve seen the chapter, you can go straight to that chapter when you select “Start”. And as you can see from the screenshots, there’s a Bonus after every Chapter. There’s also an extra Chapter that gets unlocked after you’ve seen everything else. As for the Bonus, you have to select the correct answers during the Chapter to unlock the Bonus, and as for there being more than one Bonus after each Chapter…

Lucretia side increases

Lucretia side increases

Basically, throughout the story, your answers determine whether you’re trying to keep up your usual relationship (human side), or whether you’re trying to be more honest with your feelings (lucretia side). The game does tell you after you pick an answer which one increases, which makes it pretty easy to play this without a guide (although if you need a guide they’re easy to find too). Likewise for love points, the game shows you when you’ve picked the right answer to increase your love points. To unlock the Bonus after a chapter, you need to select all the answer to increase your love points, as well as all of the answer for 1 side – ie., the answer you pick have to be all human or all lucretia. You only need to play this game twice to see everything – pick all human answers for one playthrough and all lucretia answers for the other playthrough. At the end of each chapter the game will always show you how you’re travelling so that’s nice.

Love up!

Love up!

Romance in this game was actually pretty good – nothing randy (unfortunately) and if anything everything’s pretty vanilla. Throughout the story you can see both sides slowly realising their feelings for each other and wondering whether to change the status quo, so that’s pretty nice – at least the confession, when it happened, didn’t happen out of nowhere. The game as a whole was pretty short to me, but I think the fact that it only has 2 major characters and a handful of supporting characters helped, since there’s enough time for each supporting character to shine and for the main characters to grow. The story itself was OK – has enough cuteness to keep it going, and the ending solved the bigger questions (but left others unanswered).

End of Chapter

End of Chapter

Even though there are 2 endings, playing a full human or full lucretia route doesn’t change the ending – it only alters it somehow, but the key element stays the same. There are 21 CGs including variations… I’d have loved more but given the total price I paid for it I’m not gonna complain. My only complaint, in fact, was the bonus scene you unlock once you’ve seen every other scene. I understand that that scene was probably there so there’s some kinda set up for a sequel, but it kinda made the whole thing… unsatisfactory. Like…
Me: Yay it’s a cute ending and everything’s good and happy!
Game: But wait! There’s more! Dun dun dun!!! 
Me: *sighs*

…jokes aside, I do recommend this game. Maybe not for $15 – maybe the next time it goes on sale (if ever).

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Bundle Giveaway | Otome Gaming Diary

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About…

Just an otome game fan. ...who spends a lot of weekends playing otome games on PC with a Japanese dictionary propped open on her lap.
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