Well well well, you know what time it is! It’s time for the Steam Halloween sale, and that means time to get some more otome games on sale! I’m guessing that since it was Halloween and all, they put 7’sCarlet on sale since it’s 3 spoopy 5 U, so I snatched it up and once and a while played it (frequently interrupting my playthrough of course to make snide backseat commentary on the Twitch streams of the REAL games for REAL gamers, of course.)
Aaaaaaaaaaaaanyway, 7’sCarlet (wtf is a “carlet” anyway?) is the story of our our protagonist, Ichiko Hanamaki moves to the small town of Okune for a year while her parents go overseas on business. While there she learns about the urban legend surrounding the supernatural forces that are killing people through the mysterious Midnight Channel after (spoiler warning!) meeting with the Shinto goddess Iwanagahime at the local gas station. Ichiko and her gang of newfound friends set up their home base at local onsen the Amagi Inn and use their newly discovered personas to catch the killer!
Okay fine it’s not REALLY Persona 4, but yeah it still is about solving a small town murder mystery where the gods are messing around with humans, in this case by cursing some of them to rise from the dead as zombies, sometimes forcing them to complete some kind of unfulfilled desire and sometimes just causing them to go on murderous rampages. (Side note: I don’t THINK that the game ever explains why some zombies are bloodthirsty killers while others are just sad?)
Now before I start on the review proper, I gotta get this off of my chest: Ichiko has the worst case of crazy eyes that I have ever seen in an otome game. Her sprites always make it look like she’s on the verge of going full Edda. Her CGs are usually fine, and none of the other characters have this problem, but the whole time I’m reading the text box and there she is looking like she’s about to reanimate Avere’s corpse or something.
Anyway, first things first: lol just lol at how basically all of the routes are “childhood promise friend routes”. Normally that’s just one of the love interests in a visual novel but nope, that’s every single character this time, heh. Or perhaps, it’s just like when a little kid is like “I have eweven giwlfwiends” as Ichiko builds up her shota harem as a loli.
On to the manwaifus. Hino (also, lol at how everyone has mythological names) is probably the most stereotypical childhood friend-y of the bunch. He is probably the least interesting, but hey at least he is ripped and gets naked a lot so at least he has that going for him. Actually on second though, Isora is probably the actual least interesting bishie (he does, however have an UGUU WAREHOUSE OF LOVE). Plus he gets a zillion negative points by giving Ichiko a permanent aversion to strawberries as a loli after making her a cake using rotten ones (GEDDIT ICHIKO HATES ICHIGOS HURRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR). Sousuke is probably the best route, because he DEMOLISHES irrational females with facts and logic. Yuzuki the manager is probably number two behind him, because while he demolishes irrational females he mainly just does it with misogyny rather than facts and logic, which isn’t as fun. Last but not least is Toa, who lets Morikubo demonstrate to the world that he doesn’t always have to be a CHCHCHOTTO! like in Code Realize, Persona, or Nier and is actually capable of being normal (NANI THE FUCK?????????????)
Then there’s the true end. The simultaneous good news and bad news about it is that while it’s the onii-chan ending, it isn’t even real incest (nevermind not blood related wincest). He’s only a METAPHORICAL onii-chan, you see. Now that all said, it was actually kind of hard for me to take his ending seriously because even though it’s supposed to be sad, the whole time I was rolling my eyes about how ultra-pedo it is. You see, metaphorical onii-chan is actually a zombie who has been alive for millennia, who one day noticed Ichiko and how she’s basically a zombie attractor. So he simultaneously wants to help her (by uhhhhhhhhhh doing the classic pedo move of “come here little girl and check out my van”) so that she stops having zombies drawn to her like moths to a flame, but at the same time he’s also like “Now that is what I call nubile, mmm, mmm, mmmmmm…” over his newly adopted imouto as she starts to…ripen.
On my Amnesia scale, the game leads heavily towards the “solve the mystery” side rather than the “hold the bishie’s hand” side. You’re not going to die because you picked chocolate ice cream rather than vanilla ice cream while at the cafe, you’re going to die because you’re running away from zombies and like, went the wrong way and hit a dead end. You will pretty easily be able to make your way to the good ends just by making logical choices rather than having to slog through annoying trial and error.
One last thing I wanted to point out is that a lot of the Steam reviews for the game gave it a bad rating for technical problems. From what I saw, the game can crash a lot if you play it with Steam Cloud enabled. I’ve pretty much always had that off myself because of the many games that have had problems with it in the past (like FFXIII-2), so I only had a few random crashes over the entire playthrough. That said, the keybinds in the game are not only very weird, but they’re also not visible in the game (only in the launcher) and when there are onscreen popups, they’re probably referring to controller buttons and not keyboard ones when they say like “press X for the menu” when you’re really supposed to press C.
Final Thoughts: Negging women good, being a giant pedro the bear creeper, bad.