After becoming more focused on sinking my time into physical only releases of otomes, I began to turn my back on my initial exposure to the genre with the mobile exclusive titles. The most notorious titles developed by prolific companies many otome players will come to quickly learn of consist of names such as Cheritz (Mystic Messenger), CYBIRD (Ikemen Series), Voltage Inc. (Love 365: Find Your Story) and NTT Solmare (The Story Jar) to name a few, with the latter being the company responsible for this increasingly popular title. I was interested in returning to my roots but questioned which game to explore with so many options available on the platform.
If you happen to share with me the same cookies I’ve ended up with through my searches of anything and everything otome related, I can imagine many of us were exposed countless amounts of times to Obey Me! by a YouTube advertisement in particular. I was hounded for months to play this, so I caved in after seeing Obey Me!’s Play Store page showing over 1 million downloads since December of last year and an average score of 4.5. I just had to see what all the fuss was about, so I’ve been playing the title for the past couple of months to see if Obey Me! lives up to its hype.
A fan favourite company
I would like to dedicate a section to exploring the game’s company first as it’s where my obsession with the genre originated from. NTT Solmare have provided otome players with many amazing dating sims exclusive to android devices since 2002, most being originals, and some being ports of highly regarded titles (Princess Arthur, Scarlet Fate, Demons Bond). As one of many other companies to capitalize on the platform for its female audience’s craving for dating sims, I personally find Solmare’s the most accessible despite the vast amount of available ones always being free to play. I find this is due to the much less severe waiting times for tickets to refresh over a certain number of hours, with viable options to accumulate them back within a few hours (watching adverts being surprisingly quick and easy to do) and even when you did have to wait, their games provided side activities to preoccupy yourself with if you really couldn’t wait around.
Even if these were merely customizing your character and room, this simple mechanic was the single reason to categorize the company as different from their rivals on the mobile platform. In a move that would blow all the competition out of the water is with the creation of their very well-known series “Shall We Date?”, involving a magnitude of beloved otome titles on the platform, from Ninja Shadow, Wizardess Heart and Blood in Roses, with my personal favourites being The Niflheim, Oz, Destiny Ninja, Love Tangle and Lost Island. One of their newest additions in the series is Obey Me!, but this is all coming from memory, as the change of putting the majority of their titles into a single app is only one altercation the company has gone through.
Their standard usage of tickets to progress the story through chapters (checkpoints) has been scrapped for Obey Me!, being just one aspect of Solmare changing up their staple and what we usually expect from them. Obey Me! uses an unconventional F2P system, as well as omitting their avatar and dress-up mechanics. The game is often compared to Mr. Love: Queen’s Choice as two notable otomes that play as a mixture of a card gacha and a visual novel. This was a surprising change of pace when digging into the game, and I can safely say I am blown away by what they’ve produced and changed up with Obey Me!.
A story worth obeying
When it comes to what we expect from both Solmare and an otome title, Obey Me! is quite unusual. Seen with the initial question by being described as a dating simulator like every other one of their otome games but with no real indication of routes during its story (there is still zero to this day in fact), Obey Me!’s romance is instead explored as side stories obtainable the further you get through the main story and rise up your intimacy with the demon boys. This is very unconventional, but actually makes Obey Me! stand out since it involves so much more than a typical mobile otome. The initial screen when getting through the prologue is jam packed with subsections and odds and ends to familiarize yourself with if you’re in it for the long run. And it truly is worth it to stick around.
But first, let’s go over the story and characters. Players find themselves as the human MC, waking up in a school for demons. You have been brought to this world to tighten the bonds between humans and demons, and sustain peace between the three worlds, randomly assigned by the exchange schooling program. This involves the three worlds of Earth, Devil Kingdom and Heavenly Realm. Devildom’s ruler Diavolo himself greets you to his realm before allocating your job of guiding six demon brothers for the better in their studies. By becoming a student at RAD to complete a pile of tasks while whipping six demon brothers into shape within the year (their eldest brother is whipped enough I’d say!), it’s up to you to learn more about the worlds, their relations to one another, and the family, and maybe crushing on a handful of demon boys along the way. After all, that’s inevitable.
Yet another glorious cast of 2D husbandos – take your pick!
As you can expect from an otome title, the LI’s are very different to one another, catering to a wealthy amount of preferences to all players. Each have very specific likes (this will aid you to learn these asap!), hobbies, dislikes, motives and wants, but as a tight unit, it makes for countless amounts of humorous shenanigans while being a very interesting group dynamic. With a main story that involves certain brothers more so than others, your favourite may change as the story progresses, or maybe leaving you feeling desperate for your man to have more screen time (Beezlebub!). In each paragraph, we’ll discuss the traits and aspects of each brother to give you a head start in who might take your fancy to focus on because no matter who it is, they’ll love your attention, even if they don’t want to say it. This may very well be the best (demon) reverse harem out there.
Lucifer is the avatar of Pride and the older brother (pictured right). He is the always serious, always stern looking LI, who does not hold back when it comes to teaching others of the rules and following them himself without question. As someone so serious, he is often the one to keep his younger brothers in line, and in doing so, he appears to be overprotective and strict. He takes pride in being loyal to Lord Diavolo, spanning a magnitude of years and being the one thing he deems important. He does his all to uphold a perfect image for his pride, so it’s always entertaining when that mask slightly slips, revealing a more kind and playful side to him.
Mammon is the avatar of Greed and the second oldest brother (pictured front left). On the surface, Mammon appears to be as shallow as they come, with his one and only care concerning money. He seems irresponsible, reckless and immature, but he actually has a good head on his shoulders, and is supportive of those he values but tries not to show it. He also happens to be at the brunt of a lot of his brother’s jokes, making it even easier to find him endearing. And don’t get me started when he turns tsundere, his possessiveness and empathy towards to MC exclusively is a winning move for a lot of the player’s hearts.
Leviathan is the avatar of Envy and the third oldest brother (pictured back left). He happens to be a favourite of mine due to feeling relatable. He is an otaku and hikikomori, with interests ranging from video games, anime and shows, often referencing them throughout his conversations, and in my favourite way of showing this, breaking into Yoda speech at certain times. As you would expect from the brother of Enzy, Leviathan constantly compares himself to others and has a superiority complex due to it, making it hard for him to communicate with others and making friends. Leviathan may be difficult to talk to initially, but consider his situation, and you quickly see his sweet, caring and my favourite, flushed, side.
Satan is the avatar of Wrath and the fourth oldest brother (pictured third right). He has the most interesting development and background, most obviously telling from the initial sight of him being not at all angry. Despite him appearing as distant and uninterested, Satan is actually quite a sweetheart, with a keen interest in animals (specifically cats), dramas and reading. The latter shows that he is partial to learning and being analytical, being the most logical brother.
Asmodeus is the avatar of Lust and the fifth oldest brother (pictured second right). As you can expect of his namesake, he may be good-looking, but try not to tell that to his face. Asmodeus doesn’t love anything more than himself, and while he encompasses a lot of annoying characteristics, from being lazy to being overly narcissistic, it’s a shame he’s also so charismatic, humorous and romantic since I find it really hard to not fall for him. He is unapologetic in his troublesome behavior, but underneath lies more insecurities than you’d expect.
Beelzebub is the avatar of gluttony and the sixth oldest brother (pictured second left). As my absolute favourite not just because he’s a constant reminder of the amazing anime show he shares the same name with and as the same sin as Seven Deadly Sins’ Merlin, Beezlebub is the cinnamon role of the game. He may be constantly hungry and cannot go a scene without eating, but he has only the best intentions at heart, and wears his heart on his sleeve. He provides support and help to those around him (but maybe it’s because food is the reward), and especially so towards his brothers despite his feelings he holds inside that hurt his mental state. The more intimacy raised with Beezlebub reveals even more considerate and kind moments with him, making it a true challenge to not gush about him. This is especially so when he’s the brother who is the most affectionate and touchy.
Belphegor is the avatar of Sloth and the youngest brother (pictured third left). He is actually seen the least of his brothers initially because he’s sleeping every day away. Despite how dismissive Mammon and Asmodeus appear to be before raising their intimacy, Belphegor is easily the most unlikable of his brothers until you spend more time with him, revealing a more vulnerable side. He is cunny and prone to lying when it benefits him, even being manipulative at times. Belphegor is a specific type of LI I won’t mention to avoid possible spoilers, but that I’m sure plenty of players will enjoy seeing certain traits surface.
As the number one reason why I’m so currently invested in the game is due to this category. Unlike how standard otome games play, Obey Me! seems to have followed in the footsteps of the extremely popular Mystic Messenger considering both games involve new and innovative ideas for the genre.
Obey Me!’s mobile interface is very appealing and what made me see parallels with the title and Mystic Messenger. You can even change the whole layout and appearance of the interface to whatever you may fancy from the options, select your favourite demon brother to be the one to welcome you into the game, and change his outfit. One of my favourite aspects of the overall look and function of this unusual otome is with the Devilgram, the most humorous Instagram rip-off I’ve ever seen. It includes specific character stories that will unlock once your intimacy level with the Demon is at a certain threshold, with the required demon cards and keys to unlock the scenario.
The game allows you to replay chapters to go through each and every possible dialogue change if you so wish (but just do so, some of the options are hilarious!). Most importantly, for romance sake, the game works with an intimacy system that changes depending on certain choices sprinkled around occasionally when interacting with the LI’s in the story. You still have plenty more ways to increase these all important points however, since once obtaining the right response, no further backtracking will give you any more points.
As I mentioned in the title, Obey Me!’s visual novel structure is only half of the game, with the other more unusual side of its story being progressed through roleplaying gameplay. This is a card game section where players collect cards, level them up, and use them during Dance Battles. This section also involves tapping so you’re constantly involved, and be sure to be organised and strategic when formatting your card stacks for maximum effect as all card types will have weaknesses and strengths over other ones. And if you’re lucky, you’ll be approached by a special guest for your hard work. One of the seven demon brothers will congratulate you on the win (I mean, maybe, depends on the guy!) and a touching and gifting mechanic will ensue. You can treat them or punish them, it’s all up to you, but assess the feeling in the room if you don’t want to annoy any of the demons. And by choosing their wanted treat or punishment, intimacy can increase.
It is also up to you on how involved you want the game to be, because depending on how often you play the game and have its notifications on, the LI’s will frequently remind you to open the app up again because you have tasks to do, or they miss you but won’t specifically tell you it for obvious reasons (coughMammoncough), or just simply reminding you that there are deals and updates happening in the game. Characters will regularly text and call you through the function of the phone and call system, possibly the most exciting and well done aspect of the title. The game is heavily focused on the interaction of the MC and the LI’s, with plenty of these opportunities arising and giving unconventional, adorable moments in an original premise. Who knew the Demon realm and mobile phones could integrate so naturally and entertainingly?
Coming back to what I said for the company as a whole, they continue to be one of the most giving when it comes to being a free to play mobile game, from very little amounts of advertisements, to extremely frequent hand outs of items such as daily log-in rewards and the very giving birthday gifts (sign up for the game just before your birthday, you will not regret it!). Another interesting point worth noting is the nonexistent showing or confirming of the player’s gender, merely their name is all the information needed to portray our MC. I loved this choice, as it really reinforces that these games can be played and enjoyed by anyone and everyone and does not have to be judged as unfairly as they do considering the majority of dating sims have engaging and engrossing stories and worlds worth experiencing. I feel this is a step in the right direction when showing our beloved otome companies that there is a significantly large audience wanting these games.
Obey Me! is partially voiced with Japanese VA’s, has dynamic animation and a very colourful palette. It is a humorous, modern take on the otome genre, striking an engaging balance of visual novel and gacha mechanics. While I am thoroughly enjoying the game as it is, I’m sure I’m not the only one praying for routes to be added since I find it absolute torture in being unable to outright profess my love for Beezlebub yet. I guess I’ll take my impatience out on here instead!
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