Nicole’s excited about the college life only to discover that it wasn’t all she imagined it to be. Three girls have been abducted from her campus and messages from the culprit tell her that she’ll be the fourth. Can Nicole find romance while keeping herself from becoming the next victim?
For those of you who haven’t played the game, I have to warn you that there are spoilers in this review. This game is not your typical dating sim. From the very first scene, it’s clear that there is far more going on then hooking up with boys. You have to solve a mystery while pursuing a guy.
If you go there alone, you don’t get to solve anything. I like to think that this is less about a knight in shining armor saving a damsel in distress than it is about saying that there is safety in numbers. Celso Riva is working on the yuri version of this game so we’ll just have to wait and see. The guy’s you can pursue are Ted, the hotheaded southerner, Jeff, the eccentric scientist, Darren, the shy computer geek, and Kurt, the social football player. My personal favorite would have to be Ted because he has a touching storyline about his family and his temper’s not to the point where he gets abusive. Kurt, on the other hand, had a scene that was used as a joke but it made me feel uncomfortable. In that scene, he was trying to kiss Nicole even though she was saying no and she had to throw an alarm clock at him to get him to stop. Maybe they were just playing and I took it the wrong way. Jeff was also another love interest I had trouble with because he was way too easily forgiven. True, he never killed anyone but he did experiment on humans like they were guinea pigs and pretty much ruined their lives. I know that, as the player, I was the one to make the choice, but I think a far more interesting ending for him would be Nicole doubting whether she could trust him. I like screwed up relationships but I would prefer if the author admitted that they were screwed up.
The game play is similar to Always Remember Me with a few differences. In that game, you only tried to raise a particular stat if you wanted the special ending for a certain guy. In Nicole, you have to raise a certain stat for a guy if you want their normal ending. The only way to get the special ending is if you max out the clues stat and view all of the mystery scenes.
You visit difference locations and do certain activities in order to raise each stat. You also have to choose between two responses when having scenes with certain boys. If you pick the correct one, it will raise their affection level. Another thing that separates Nicole from Always Remember Me is that you have to buy five gifts for a certain boy if you want any chance of pursuing a relationship with them. In Always Remember Me, you only had to buy a few stat-raising items and one thing for only one of the guys and even that wasn’t necessary.
This game is romantic with a hint of mystery. I give it 9 out of 10; some of the suspense scenes had my heart racing.