Six of the best reasons to pick up Lover Pretend

Six of the Best banner

Lover Pretend released in the United States on December 1, 2022, while Europe and the United Kingdom got it a day later. It is now available to purchase exclusively on the Nintendo Switch via the eShop’s store page as well as from selected retailers for physical copies. The Online Exclusive version from Aksys Games’ storefront is still available at the time of writing, and this version comes with the soundtrack and art cards.

So, while we are still in the midst of playing through it to full completion, here are plenty of reasons to purchase it sooner rather than later instead of keeping you waiting for our final thoughts.

A heroine you will truly vouch for

Lover Pretend

There needs to be a big enough draw for players to want to embody the leading character of any and all otome titles. In the past, many otome games have come under fire for their heroines functioning as “doormats” for the other characters thanks to their uninspiring personalities and lack of depth.

Luckily, with the sheer variety of newer titles hitting the west, we’ve certainly not been short of striking heroines in more recent times, and Lover Pretend is a good example.

Chiyuki Ueda is on a quest; one that may or may not take a back seat depending on which of the five routes you play, but one that well and truly defines and gives her depth and her own agency.

Chiyuki is an amateur screenwriter, one who is following in the footsteps of her deceased mother. As she finds her footing in this industry, she is also attempting to locate her estranged father, who seemingly had something to do with to the one and only movie her mother was involved in. She has her own reasons to work hard to get her life together and find answers to who she is as a person.

It’s easy to warm up to her — especially with how self-sufficient and assertive she is — but her motivations add a lot to her character.

A cosy experience

Lover Pretend

Lover Pretend can quite simply be summed up as a low-stress, unproblematic delight of an otome. It is arguably one of the cosiest otome localisations of this year, let alone for otome games in general. There are no Café Enchanté-style tricks at play here in an attempt to make us into emotional wrecks by flipping genres, and no sign of sudden, horrifying revelations during the true route as seen in Variable Barricade.

There is no trickier at play here unlike what Cafè Enchantè devolved into that made us all into emotional wrecks as its genre flipped, or by throwing a sudden, horrifying revelation as its true route as seen in the harmless until the final route of Variable Barricade.

Lover Pretend is the antitheses of something like Piofiore. The conflicts within the narrative are almost always work-related factors, which is to be expected for a story that explores the film industry. There’s extremely little angst to be found here, and no dark themes to worry about. This is unabashedly light-hearted, wholesome and fluffy all over.

“Pretend Time” adds a layer of interactivity

With so many otomes making it to the west in 2022, it can be tough to determine which should be at the top of your priority list. The standard visual novel format can be both a blessing and a curse depending on the player, especially since otomes often don’t include other features to provide a touch more in the way of “gameplay”.

Refreshingly, Lover Pretend presents itself as a revamped and refined, alternative take on the genre through its “Pretend Time” feature. Within the common route, you’ll choose from up to five selections — sometimes even more — to steer you towards one of the love interests over the others. Once on a route, “Pretend Time” makes up the majority of how these paths deviate. These sequences can and will affect what ending you get, with four bad endings, one good ending, and one happy ending.

Pretend Time segments are timed, adding a sense of urgency and actual deductive thinking to the title that is absent from games where you can agonise over your choices as much as you want. You will be hit quick with a bad ending if you completely butcher your responses to the guys here, so think ahead and be considerate of your words!

A nice range of love interests

I mean this in a number of ways. Lover Pretend is another otome that explores life in the workplace, making it a title that will particularly appeal to older players. This is still a somewhat underutilised setting in the genre, since most titles follow younger heroines and love interests. In Lover Pretend, meanwhile, the main cast ranges from the 20 year old childhood friend love interest Kazuma Kamikubo to the 32 year old screenwriter and mentor Eiichirou Asagi.

Most of the love interests have had to come to terms with personal matters in regard to working in the film industry, especially as up-and-coming talents. Each of them have their own unique perspectives and stories to tell about leaving their mark and making their career choices matter within such a competitive workplace. It is nothing too dramatic or intense and is instead uplifting and encouraging, always ending on a high note of coming together and making it as a joint effort to go above and beyond in their respective roles and field.

A refreshing setting grounded in slice-of-life goodness

Lover Pretend

Lover Pretend is grounded and set in reality, with no surprise genre turns or over-the-top plot twists anywhere in sight. It does what it sets out to do in presenting a main story with plot-threads concerning the highs and lows of working within the film industry, with none of the events being farfetched – from what we have currently experienced, anyway. Each and every story beat is a realistic possibility and while these can sometimes feel quite overly convenient, it never detracts from the themes of its romance stories and character motivations, instead playing into them while remaining as relatable origin tales or character-building story blocks.

It doesn’t yet rank as my favourite comedy otome on the Nintendo Switch, since Cupid Parasite has yet to be bettered in that regard. But Lover Pretend also has plenty of laugh out loud moments from the common route alone, especially in interactions between the love interests.

Voice actor favourites without typecasting

Lover Pretend

We do love to highlight the voice acting talents of otome games, a factor that is a particularly big draw for many enthusiasts. In Lover Pretend, the names who are bringing these characters to life will be familiar to many of us. For example, we have Makoto Furukasa as poster boy Kazuma, a hair and makeup artist apprentice.

Kazuma’s personality definitely falls into the genki type, which is a completely juxtaposition to his past roles – Crius from even if TEMPEST, Lugus from Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk, Allan from Cupid Parasite, Minamoto from Birushana and Adage from Steam Prison.

If you enjoyed Noritsune from Birushana, meanwhile, his voice actor Kengo Kawanishi returns as the reserved and intelligent love interest Harumi Makino, a college student. And playboy fashion model love interest Sena Yukito’s is played by Tatsuhisa Suzuki, previously heard as Akuroou in Dairoku and Vinfleit in Palais de Reine.

Also featuring in the game are Miho Ishigami, previously heard in the Code Realize series as Delacroix II and Cafè Enchantè as Kororo, and Kanako Akahori, who voiced Hibari’s BFF Noa Arimura in Variable Barricade.

Finally, the quiet and stoic pretty boy and rising actor star Riku Nishijima is voiced by Tomoaki Maeno – Arsène from the Code Realize series, Radius from Period Cube and Red Riding Hood from Taisho x Alice. Quite the all-star lineup!

That is everything we have to say about Lover Pretend until we finish the game for now. So take this as an early impressions piece and look out for our review appearing sometime soon! Happy otome gaming!

Join The Discussion

Rice Digital Discord
Rice Digital Twitter
Rice Digital Facebook

Or write us a letter for the Rice Digital Friday Letters Page by clicking here!

Disclosure: Some links in this article may be affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on them. This is at no additional cost to you and helps support Rice Digital!

Lilia Hellal
Spread the love!

Related post

This will close in 0 seconds