{Otome Review} Ocean Pearls: Kissed by the Sea~owl. {Demo}

Nova, a sculptor, returns to the town her grandmother used to live, and while going through some of her grandmother’s things in the house she inherited, she finds pearls tied to seafolk. After a strange turn of events, she winds up in the land of seafolk, but not everybody is happy to see her.

I was contacted by the dev asking if I’d play the demo, and I’m still weak and like mermaids/the like, so here I am XD.

General Information:

  • Where to get: itch.io
  • Cost: No idea
  • Love Interests: There are at least 4 guys, probably 5? But only 3 are options in the demo.
  • Endings: ???
  • Play through time: About 1 hour and 40 minutes

I hadn’t heard of this otome yet, though I knew of the creator. When I found out it had mermaids, I was excited. Turns out they’re actually seafolk, so they have legs and not a tail. It was a bit disappointing, the advertising never actually said they were mermaids I just assumed XD.

The game has really pretty music. GOSH. I was just vibing most of the time. I really like aquatic-sounding ambient music, so I was living for this. The game has an encyclopedia with terms which was really nice. It includes info she reads, info about characters, terminology, etc. The background look drawn or 3D or have aspects of both. I honestly can’t tell, but they look good. The title screen is also really cool as it has fish randomly swimming in the background.

The route selection starts whenever you at one point have to pick a pearl. There are 5 total, though only 3 are clickable in the demo, which is unfortunate since the guy I wanted was not one of them LOL. You are told beforehand a description of each guy and their location, so you can pick the corresponding pearl based on info in the encyclopedia. Or if you’re me, you forgot the encyclopedia existed and took notes of things yourself.

Nora is the MC. She’s 25, which that’s refreshing. I’m so used to teenage MC’s. She actually has a career (that’s a bit on the rocks, but still lol). She’s also a POC, which is also refreshing. All of the current love interests are as well. She is a perfectly fine protagonist. She tries her best to stand up to people despite her confusing situation, but also shows her vulnerable side since after all, she’s stuck underwater. Oh, also, she can’t swim, so XD.

Getting to the guys~

Isven

Isven is the leader of the Arctic Ocean. He is reclusive, and artist, and at least at the moment, has no redeeming qualities XD. He was the first guy I went for because he was described as reclusive so I thought he might be a nice quiet boi who is shy and embarrassed or something. He may be later on, but for now, he’s just rude and ignores you. Nova talked to him with someone else in the room, and he literally didn’t hear her speak two feet away because he cares that little. He didn’t even know she was in the room when she was two feet away. I’m all for working to get your man in otome games, but that’s only if he’s worth it, and the demo at least hasn’t shown me that he is. He’s my least favorite guy right now because he basically didn’t exist.

Lemos

Lemos is the Pacific Ocean leader. He was described as very logical, so I thoguth he might be the strict, no fun, only knowledge type. Yeah, so he’s not that at all. He actually is sassy, kind of flirty, and not incredibly rude! He’s a little rude, but compared to the other two, it was like talking to a friend. He is by far my favorite so far if only because his rudeness comes off as playfulness and we do see him get better even by the end of the demo. So far, he does seem to follow a trope that I don’t like, but I’m hoping that once we learn more, he isn’t actually playing into the trope as much as it seems like he is.

Soh

Soanin, or Soh, is a jerk. He is incredibly rude, dislikes the MC immediately, and uses her for his own gains. He’s the only character that Nova seems to point out his appearance as being attractive, which I thought was odd. He’s really buff, which she apparently likes. Soh has a brother, Koh, who I honestly thought the route was going to be with since it makes way more sense. Unless Koh is a secret character, you’re stuck with Soh, despite Koh being a good boy who actually really really likes Nova and she likes him back (maybe just platonically for now, but still). I can see how his route could become cute eventually since he’s strong willed, and so is she, so they’ll butt heads a lot, but it’d probably lead to some form of attraction. But Koh being there hinders it a lot. It’s basically being forced to go after a guy who dislikes you versus a guy who doesn’t.

Koh, the brother you should be dating

There are at least two other guys, the guy in the Indian Ocean, and the guy in the Southern Ocean. The guy in the Indian Ocean is actually the one I wanted, but he’s not in the demo. He’s confusing because the game describes him as unreliable and whimsical, but then on the developer’s tumblr they describe him as an idiotic savant. I never got him being idiotic out of the game’s description, so he was who I wanted initially, but I don’t know anymore. The guy in the Southern Ocean we barely get any information on, so I can’t comment too much on him, though I have some theories.

Since this is a demo, there are some technical things/grammar things that were wrong/I wanted to mention, so I’m going to make note of those here just in case the developer sees so they can address them.

Technical things:
  • I could only get the game to run for me if I ran it as a system admin, and it took a really long time to turn on even with that (though my computer might just suck)
  • A lot of the encyclopedia notifications for me were delayed
  • You have to click on the prologue/chapter screens to progress, but I’m dumb and sat there for a while. Maybe consider making it automatic after a few seconds?
Spelling errors and the like:
  • “leaving me this house was a surprise upset”
  • “I kick desperately toWards”
  • “Yes! I;m telling you right now that half”
  • “Oh! No, not that one. cYou’re far away from”
  • “or if she re;;ly just said “full humans” and”
  • “what is with up all these”
  • At one point in Isven’s route, it’s said “Would you please be so kind as to come with me here for a few minutes?” but then the attendant leaves her there LOL. So I think it should be “stay here for a few minutes” instead
Graphical things:
  • The pendant on her in Isven’s route at the beginning seems to be delayed in showing on her
  • In Isven’s office, Nova’s body is gone and only her face is there for a bit
  • Isven’s legs look like they might be cut off/his sprite needs to be moved down in his office
  • The first Soh CG in the gallery is broken
  • The pearls that are clickable have a slightly distorted background or something that you can see, but I don’t think you’re supposed to be able to

Should you play?:

I enjoyed the plot of the game as well as Nova herself. I don’t like Isven, and I’m not a huge fan of Soh, though at least he has a personality. Lemos is my favorite since I like guys that tease the MC, but I’m worried about the trope in this route. Overall, I think the game is promising despite the drawbacks, and I will definitely play the full one once it’s released, even if only for the plot. I do hope I like the other two guys more than the current ones, though. I’d recommend it, but maybe wait for the full game since the glimpses you see of the guys here aren’t enough to like them a whole lot.

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