「恋忍者戦国絵巻」by Solmare (2011)
Website: http://www.moregames.co.jp/koininja (JP)
According to the app: Shall We Date: Ninja Love is a visual novel dating simulation game that allows girls to fall in love with handsome men from the Heian period. The player gets to choose from multiple-branching paths through the story.
I’ve never played any otome phone games but I figured I wanted to experience playing one so this was the first on my list. It was pretty amusing despite it only being an app. I thought it’d be short but it was quite long (or maybe I’m just a slow reader)!
It’s the year 1581 at Kawachinokuni village. You play as the grand-daughter of the Chief Priest of the temple. Apparently you’ve lost both parents and as a result, the temple took you in. You’re also referred to as ‘that girl’ from some of the people and you don’t find out why until later on.
The monk from the temple warns you that there have been bandits who work under Nobunaga Oda hunting ninjas. Eventually, you overhear a conversation between your grandpa and Lord Hattori/Iga elder that he plans to destroy all ninja clans and that you are needed for that to happen. The Chief Priest aka. your grandpa hasn’t been very honest so he reveals that you are actually the daughter Masahige Kusunoki and princess of Kusunoki, the origin of ninjas. He also reveals that you and him aren’t blood-related at all (LE GASP!).
In order to oppose Nobunaga, the Iga, Koga and Fuma clans join and you are the supposed ‘symbol of unity’ as the princess heir to the ninja origin. You are then told to head to Iga village for some training. “It is time to step out into the world,” is what your grandpa says and he also reveals that your parents didn’t die of illness, but were murdered by Nobunaga. So, after all that chit-chat about you being the only hope to stop Nobunaga, you are to choose one ninja out of the six to guide you to the Iga village. The ninja you choose will be the one who’s route you want to take. From there, you encounter all sorts of situations with the enemies, endure training and a closer relationship with your ninja!
Each character has 14 chapters. I thought it’d be shorter, but in my eyes, 14 chapters is pretty lengthy. It was surprising since I expected it to be much shorter since it was only a phone game. Guess I was wrong!
Sparks fly when you choose a correct answer. Like some other otome games, you have a list of options to choose which will effect the ending you get. There are three possible endings: GOOD, NORMAL and BAD. Only the GOOD ending has an ending CG though.
You cannot save. This was one of the biggest problems for me since you can’t redo choosing the wrong option. In other words, you’d have to start again. Utterly crap.
No voice-overs. Unfortunately there’s no voice-overs which isn’t so surprising since it’s a phone game. The characters do not blink or move their mouths so they lack animation xD Don’t expect much in the animating and music department!
My room > mailbox system. After certain chapters you get emails from the character, which is weird since I don’t think emailing existed in the Heian period. Maybe it’s meant to be mails? Also in the my room option, there is the album which is where all the automatically saved CGs are. My room also tells you your play status!
History feature. The history feature allows you to go back to read dialogues you’ve accidently missed or need to reread.
More characters and stories = more money. You start off with only a few characters, but in order to unlock other routes, you’ll have to pay. Same thing with the other stories!
Options allow you read story and character introductions, how to play, watch the movie, edit your character’s name, change the game to English or Japanese (everytime you do that, all your data will be deleted), scroll speed and vibrate on/off.
Lots of grammatical/spelling errors. Yeap.
※ Information is according to the game.
Job: Koga ninja, uses sickle and chain, cool and sadistic ninja.
A master of disguise, and more intangible than fog. He is especially adept at infiltrating enemy territory and gathering intelligence by using disguises. He may feel cold and distant, but he takes good care of his subordinates, and he is generally well-liked.
Job: Koga ninja, uses claws, a young and mischievous little ninja.
He’s still young, but he’s considered one of the biggest assets of the Koga clan. He’s as nimble as a monkey, can fly from tree to tree and take down enemies in a heartbeat. He still has some childish qualities to him and is pretty reckless, but those are some of his strong points as well. His cheerfulness is especially invigorating.
Job: Iga ninja, uses giant throwing knives, an elite lady-killer.
As a ninja, he has great authoritative powers. He stands out a bit when moving on his own, but he takes his job seriously and can be trusted to do anything all by himself. However, he’s quite a player and has been instructed not to lay his hands on the princess.
Job: Fuma clan, uses matchlock, an emotionless lonely ninja.
An exemplary ninja who is guaranteed to successfully complete any mission you give him. Considering the extreme difficulty of most of his tasks, this is saying enough. He doesn’t talk much and doesn’t seem to have many friends. It seems he’s had a rough past but perhaps he will open up to the princess.
Job: Ronin, uses two swords, a ronin looking to find strength.
This master swords-man is known for fighting with 2 blades at a time. He doesn’t belong to any clan or region and his sole purpose is to find strong fighters. He has no interest in anything but swords, and it is said he doesn’t even think about anything else. Apparently, he’s pretty cute when he’s not carrying his swords, but once he grabs them, he becomes a merciless warrior. What will his quest for power lead to?
Job: Doctor, uses sword (only in emergencies), a brilliant doctor with a selfless love of living beings.
He has studied medicine under many teachers and has been offered positions as a doctor by many feudal lords. But, he has chosen to keep following the path to improvement to deepen his knowledge. Ren even came to Iga to further his studies. Some people are deeply moved by his desire to save lives. His only flaw is that once he falls asleep, not even an earthquake can move him. He tends to sleep anywhere he wants, which has caused considerable trouble in the past.
Job: Yagyu family, uses sword, a reckless tactician.
The leader of the Yagyu family, he’s famous as a tactician as well as a swordsman, making himself both a good warrior and scholar. His actions are in the name of his family is always rational. Only a few people know his true feelings. The Yagyu family is known for its swordsmanship, but it seems some of them move around in the shadows just as much as ninjas do.
— Other characters —
Job: Iga ninja, the most powerful female ninja in all of Iga.
The size of her body is only matched by the beauty of her skin. She’s been known to have a cute side as well.
A sexy Japanese beauty (lol).
Job: Oda army, Nobunaga’s advisor.
Nobunaga derides him as a coward, but he continues to serve without complaint. He is very fond of his family.
Job: Oda army, leader of the Oda clan.
A ruthless and violent warlord who is trying to take over the world. He fears the powers of the “ninja” and has ordered his son, Nobukatsu, to “wipe out all ninjas”. (They should mention he’s a huge rapist too.)
I actually quite enjoyed this game! The characters were hilarious, the dialogues range from cute to crazy (despite the countless grammatical errors lol), and the CGs were surprisingly satisfying in the cute and hot department (｡´艸`｡). Don’t expect too much from it, but the game exceeded my expectations. A bit pricey, but in my opinion I’m glad I bought it. Though, IF ONLY THEY PUT THE TWO CHARACTER PACKS TOGETHER OR SOMETHING INSTEAD OF MAKING ME PAY MORE! Sigh, well that’s how companies make money I guess. I might want to try Solmare’s other games, but being a careful spender I’ll stick with Ninja Love for now. I’m not too sure if I’ll buy the side stories, but I’ll definitely put a post up for that if I ever do.
I am planning to write a separate post for the character CGs and more detail into their character because I do like them, as well as some hilarious and memorable scenes. I am not sure however if I want to do a separate post of each character and their 14-chapter route instead because…well, not everyone can play this game and I want to share it? And the fact that I enjoyed playing the routes! Being the indecisive person I am, I made a poll (which applies not just to this game, but all mobile games I play). It ends in a month so I’ll have time to work on other posts (❛ᴗ❛人)✧
Thanks for reading!