My Secret Pets follows the MC who just got dumped by her boyfriend. Once she comes home, she realizes that her pets have been turned into humans (except one).
- Where to get: Steam page
- Cost: $16
- Love Interests: Five (male)
- Endings: Ten
- First play through time: Roughly an hour
- Time to get all endings: 6 hours (I can’t decide if this game was significantly shorter than most other Dogenzaka games, or if I was just so invested that I was reading it quicker)
To start this off, I want to quell the idea that this is like Cheritz’ Dandelion game. I have played both. Yes, in both games animals become human, but here they are your pets, and in Dandelion they are animals that suddenly all appear in Heejung’s (the MC’s) house. Both games have a sort of “magical/other-worldly” cause for the animals becoming human/being there, and characters in both games face some form of negative consequence (not necessarily the same consequence) if they don’t get with the MC. That’s it. That’s all they have in common. The plots are in no way the same. The characters don’t look anything alike. I can’t say that one company didn’t see the other company’s game and maybe get general inspiration from it because I would have no way of knowing, but believe me when I say they really have almost nothing in common. If you have played Dandelion or you have played My Secret Pets, neither is going to spoil the experience of the other.
Now that that’s out of the way, of the Dogenzaka Labs games I have played, this one definitely wins out for being the most engaging plot-wise. I became incredibly invested in the plot of the game. Each guy’s route explains a different aspect of why the animals turned human, and at the end of each route, there is a kind of weirdly meta part where you can select a detail/character and a character will tell you which route that detail is in/what detail is in that route. It was a bit odd, but if you were playing and really wanted to know a certain aspect of the plot before another, then that could be useful.
It never really made sense to me was why the MC had such a weird array of pets. In total, she has a pig, a cat, a rabbit, a cockatoo, and a dog (who doesn’t have a route). I know some people have a lot of animals of varying types, but I can’t imagine this is common. Also, since the MC lives in the city, having a pig as a pet seemed really odd.
The romance in this game is quick to start, and while that was off-putting at first, I realized that it actually made sense. The animals already love the MC, and she already loves them (not to the same extent though lol), so them developing a romantic relationship so quickly was understandable.
Assam is the pig. He is very proper and is often stuck with mitigating fights. Even when he gets in a fight himself, he is calm and collected. I’m not really a big fan of “proper” characters, and I found him to be the least attractive, so Assam wasn’t really for me. Even so, I did enjoy how he had a habit of making tea to calm down every situation, even for people they don’t like, and different characters had to keep telling him to stop lol. Assam is a very good starting route for the game as his route doesn’t give away many important details.
Lufna is a cat who is gruff around the edges, but is basically a tsundere. I found Lufna to look the best just because he looks the most like a thug and I have bad taste in men. He really is pretty sweet, and he frequently got in fights with other characters, which I found funny. His route also doesn’t tell much about the plot.
Ramin is the cockatoo whose name looks like “ramen”. It was very distracting and also made me hungry. Anyway, Ramin is the oldest character and he is also pretty suave. He very much embodies the “older-brother” type and likes trying to take care of the MC and the other guys. Unfortunately, this meant he also didn’t openly view the MC romantically for a long time, which meant his route wasn’t very romantic. However, more elements of the plot were shown, so it still kept my interest.
Lize is a rabbit who is a manipulative turd. He is manipulative from the very start, and keeps being manipulative for his entire route, and really, everyone’s routes. However, this is where the plot of the game starts to thicken. Lize’s route reveals a lot of the plot, and figuring out more about what was going on was exciting. I can’t hate on Lize too bad since it’s not clear how much of his manipulative personality was there before the time period of the game, and how much is caused by the plot of the game itself. I’m assuming it was a combo of the two, but the plot of the game at the least amplified his manipulative personality to be where it’s at.
Reito is the MC’s ex-boyfriend, and the game paints him as a villain. The animal guys are trying to cheer her up after her falling out. However, in the game where the selling feature is to date pets, the pets aren’t the true route. It is clear that Reito is the true route. This was slap to the face for a game where you think you are going to be dating animals. But you know what, I was actually okay with it by the end. You know why? Because Reito is a perfectly nice guy who isn’t even bad. Yes, the guy who kick-starts the plot of the game by breaking up with the MC, isn’t even that bad.
I shipped her with Reito more than any other character. I’m not a fan of OTP’s as I feel it devalues the other routes, and here it certainly felt like it did, but having him be the OTP helped to make up for the fact that 3/4ths of the game made him seem like a bad guy when he wasn’t. To make it worse, the human option in a game where you get with pets is the OTP. The problem with that is clear. People aren’t going into this game wanting to get with a human; they want to get with pets. Reito’s route shoves the plot in your face, though by Lize’s route, you should have a good idea what’s going on.
The MC also has a dog named Georgie who doesn’t have a route. I was disappointed that he didn’t. The game somewhat explains why he didn’t have a route, though it wasn’t enough to satisfy me.
For plot reasons, I’d suggest Assam/Lufna>Ramin>Lize>Reito.
The 18+ moments in the game were vivid enough to be kinda squicky, but not that intense. They were very copy-pasta throughout the game, so after the first few, they didn’t really bother me much anymore. The CG’s aren’t graphic either.
Should you play?:
If you like otome games where plot>romance, then definitely play this game. It also has a mystery element to it, so if you enjoy mysteries, you’d probably like this game as well. All of the characters were fine except Lize, and I do attribute much of his personality to the current situation of the game rather than him being that big of a turd before the time period of the game. Reito being the clear OTP in a game where you date pets was a really odd choice, and would probably be a big turn off for people. However, if you’re looking for a Dogenzaka game to play, this is definitely one of the best, and is personally my favorite in terms of plot.