Last week we spent some time with a Magical Creature dating agency. Sinister underbelly aside, the goal was to pair humans up with life-partners, marriage candidates that would keep these dangerous critters safe and calm. However, sometimes forced marriage (paperwork or otherwise) doesn’t really work out. So, it seemed only fitting for our next specimen to be the agency that works to split them apart.
This is My Magical Divorce Bureau. The concept of splitting marriage under duress is a unique concept for Otome. But with little to no meat on its bones, can it deliver a compelling experience?
This fella is super short, so no gigantic spiel. In this magical world of random, fantastical creatures, all marriages are considered valid. This includes any under kidnapping and forceful ceremony, meaning many important figures are routinely snatched and hitched before the authorities know what happened. Thus exists the Magical Divorce Bureau.
You exist to help those in forced marriages fill out the paperwork to legally split. If that sounds boring, don’t worry: you don’t play a game where you fill in the bubbles. Your goal, actually, is to help counsel the couples to make the split as painless as possible. Will there be a real relationship on the horizon, or will it all end in disaster?
This game is one of the shortest projects I’ve ever played through. Such is life for NaNo projects, though this one felt like I had minimal input all around.
As mentioned, you’re the agent of the Bureau who helps the couples dot the i’s and cross the t’s on the paperwork. But you’re not there to just answer questions, oh no. Our character sees him/herself as a therapist as well, there to console the couple into starting again in their relationship. In short, she’s looking to hook up the two people who probably want nothing to do with each other.
But let’s suspend our disbelief and say these matches can be saved. The game gives you three of nine possible scenarios, where some kind of communication problem is keeping the couple from getting on the right foot. Since the characters in the game do most of the talking (almost all of it in fact) you’ll be prompted twice per round to say something that will hopefully guide the conversation in a more productive direction.
If you can’t get the couple to chat they’ll fill out the paperwork and leave to never see each other again. If you really mess up they’ll be reassigned to another agent with a black mark on your record. However, if you managed to get the clients talking in a better fashion, the end of the paperwork will give you a cute little chibi picture of the two of them before they leave.
There’s not a lot to talk about with art, as you’ll be seeing the same office background for the whole game. For what it’s worth, the background itself really is lovely; Darksin did an excellent job with the abundance of cool colors and heavy detail. If I have to be trapped in an office, I’m glad it’s this one.
The sprites are also well drawn, but they seem too simple by comparison. They have a very basic anime look to them, which classes a little bit. But this is not a slight against SilverHyena; it’s a request to polish and detail her sprites. I think they could look fantastic if they put more time into it.
So, as you can imagine, the only relationships here that should be forming are between your clients. But just who are the people you’ll be working with for this short little endeavor? They break down into Villains (people who force the marriage) and Victims (the well-to-do folks forced into marriage).
Jeska the Witch:
An elf who likes to convince people she’s smarter than she actually is, Jeska has dedicated her life to studying witchcraft. For all her bravado, though, she is no joke when it comes to her magical skills. She’s more clever than people give her credit for and usually forces her prey into marriage as a means to some kind of end in her various studies. Though she’s oddly tight-lipped when you bring up what a lonely existence such a life thing would be.
I feel like Jeska is supposed to be intimidating, but I find her not all that remarkable. That does, however, make her harder to figure out in each scenario she’s in. So, points for her chess master skills.
Nerium the Dryad
Nefarious, flowery in every sense of the word, and honestly rather funny, I enjoy the situations with Nerium. He’s usually completely infatuated with whoever he’s tied himself down to. After all, he only accepts the best, so he has to find his forced partner the most beautiful thing ever.
This means getting his victim to see the situation through his eyes and that can be tricky as most of his captives will find him annoying. Nerium’s situations are usually pretty interesting, complete with excellent comedic timing. If this product ever goes through edits, they simply must keep this villain.
Lexis the Golem
Lexis was created by a society that died out a short time later. With all the people she was made to protect now dead and gone, Lexis was left to wander and do whatever she saw fit. Apparently, this meant kidnapping her clients and forcing them into marriage. The problem is that Lexis doesn’t understand most social interactions. She may very well not know what she did wrong so some gentle coaxing may be the key to success. It’s mildly frustrating to work with Lexis, but rather simple once you get the hang of her.
The problem is that Lexis doesn’t understand most social interactions. She may very well not know what she did wrong so some gentle coaxing may be the key to success. It’s mildly frustrating to work with Lexis, but rather simple once you get the hang of her.
Po the Blob
Our best-looking specimen, no doubts, none at all, has to be Po (just look at that majestic body of slime). He’s the only child of the Blobs’ Chief, meaning lots and lots of people would like to snatch this eligible bachelor for themselves, literally. One has to wonder why the poor fella hasn’t had a nervous breakdown as of yet.
As Po only seems to react in extreme fashion to everything, be prepared to slowly calm him down and get to the root of his problem. I hope you don’t mind talking to a hysteric.
Lilium the Demon
Hot-headed, foul-mouthed, and queen of several little demon minions, I still don’t quite understand why anyone would force Lilium in matrimony. Not because she has a language problem, nor because she’s cocky and self-assured. I don’t understand why anyone would want a woman who’s so downright mean that she’d sooner insult you than kiss you.
Getting her to cooperate is a pain in the keister, especially as she’s far more villainous than she lets on. More or less, she’s just pissed to have to go through this process at all, rather than the whole kidnapping business. So, in short, I don’t usually enjoy the case involving Lilium.
Baird the Werewolf
The alpha wolf of a werewolf pack, Baird has remained a bachelor due to his more violent, aggressive wolf-side. He can change at will, it is true, but both forms have a mind of their own; convincing his wolf-side to become human again is like pulling teeth. When Baird’s sprite comes into view, be prepared to deal with three clients all at once.
Out of all the candidates, he’s the one who makes the most sense to me. After all, if you were the head of a wolf-pack with a dangerous wolf-form, why wouldn’t you be worried about forced arrangements?
I have a hard time forming a real opinion on My Magical Divorce Bureau in the end. The game is super-short with very little in forms of gameplay, meaning you’ll finish up right as you get the hang of it. The game works as a NaNoRen title for creativity and presentation; with polish and more scenarios added to it, I can see this being a better hit. For now, however, it’s little more than a brief distraction.
Next Time: B.A.T
What’d you think of the concept? Feel free to comment below. Don’t forget to like and comment for more just like this.