I picked up Highway Blossoms, along with a bunch of Sekai Project titles, thanks to an incredible offer via Humble Bundle and then it sat on Steam for a long time. Maybe a year. Maybe two. All I know is that it sat there unplayed, until one evening I booted it up and I found myself wholly enraptured by its beauty.
Highway Blossoms is a yuri title which follows two girls, Amber and Marina, as they get swept up in a treasure hunting trip which is grabbing the attention of hundreds of people across America. Amber lives her life on the road and just wants to be alone, distraught by the loss of her beloved grandpa, when she comes across Marina who’s car has broken down. Realising that Marina knows next to nothing about the world outside of her town, Amber decides to let Marina journey with her. Marina convinces Amber to search for the treasure too, and what follows is a beautiful story which I’ve fondly thought about a lot since I played it roughly a month or so ago.
I found myself wholly enraptured by its beauty.
There is an adult patch you can download with, thankfully, doesn’t make the game feel like smut and it doesn’t devalue it at all, but it’s up to you if you want to see some nudity and passionate sex at some point. It’s a mature story which strongly resonated with me and, as I’ve said earlier, I’ve thought about it a lot. For developer Aliensworks’ first project, they couldn’t have come out with a bigger bang in the world of visual novels — it even enticed me to leave my first Steam review, as brief as it might’ve been!
It’s poignant, emotional and incredibly well-written.
I’m not a big fan of driving or of being on the road, as I get pretty bad motion sickness, and so the fact that this game takes place almost entirely on the road didn’t particularly appeal to me at first. However, this is where a lot of the charm and personality of Highway Blossoms comes from. A sense of adventure and the ability to travel across one of the vastest countries in the world makes for something unforgettable.
It’s poignant, emotional and incredibly well-written, and the writers have a great understanding of human emotions and behaviours. I fell in love with the entire cast – particularly Amber and Marina – and although it’s relatively short, it’s a complete adventure which leaves you wanting to go through it all over again.
Found myself itching to experience it again immediately.
I finished my first playthrough in a little over four hours, and quickly found myself itching to experience it again immediately. I held back because there’s soon going to be a free update which includes voice-acting, and I’d like to see how that goes.
Admittedly, I’m not entirely sure if I’ll enjoy it because I like the voices I’ve thought of already, but it’ll make for the perfect reason to put some other games aside to return to Highway Blossoms — oops, that’s how the backlog grows! Upon completion, you include a new mode which is, shall we say, a lot more ‘meme-y’. It’s good fun, but it’s not where the unique identity of Highway Blossoms truly lies.
A very pretty and striking game.
You might’ve noticed in the screenshots, but Highway Blossoms is a very pretty and striking game. It crafts an intimate atmosphere and captures the thrill of adventure, plus it’s also got a great sense of humour. The character designs are simple but they’ve stuck with me, and the CG artwork is gorgeous. It’s clear that Alienworks had a very clear vision for what they wanted to achieve with Highway Blossoms, and they’ve certainly done themselves proud.
Highway Blossoms is a wonderful visual novel, and it nails both the writing and art — I really have nothing to complain about. It’s rare a game touches me in the way that Highway Blossoms has done, but I find myself often, and happily, thinking about it.
It’s rare a game touches me in the way that Highway Blossoms has.
Another aspect where Highway Blossoms excels is in its soundtrack. Like mentioned earlier, it had no voice-acting when I played it (and it in no way hampered my experience) and an English voice-over is now in the works, but it’s always had a stellar soundtrack. I bought it from Steam shortly after finishing the game, and it’s been a staple in my daily life since.
Anna Logue, now known as Smoke Thief, produces many of the songs on the soundtrack equipped with with his delicate guitar playing, and its almost etherial. The soundtrack in its entirety is a wondrous work, but it is Smoke Thief’s work which really enraptured me. Holding On and Eleven are downright pleasures to listen to.
One of my all-time favourite experiences in both gaming and reading.
At this point, it goes without saying that I absolutely fell in love with Highway Blossoms, and it’s quickly become one of my all-time favourite experiences in both gaming and reading. It hit all of the right notes for me, and the way it portrays human emotions and how humans behave is superb.
An engrossing narrative, brilliant artwork and an excellent soundtrack come together to create an unforgettable experience that you should check out for yourself. If you like first-rate characters and an equally as impressive story, then you can’t go wrong with Highway Blossoms. You know what, you owe it to yourself. Go experience for yourself one of the most beautiful games around.
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