Media

XOXO Droplets Review

September 07, 2017 Written by

For lack of a better term, thirsty

GB Patch's newest release, XOXO Droplets, sought to capture the self-involved, angst-filled, hormone-fueled dating scene of high school, and it succeeded. The biggest blunder of the gaming industry is its inability to accurately capture and re-create the dating scene of being a junior in high school; the industry has attempted again and again, and failed again and again... until now.

At the start, after making the difficult and important decision of the color of your ribbon, you carefully choose your first and last names. You first meet Lynn, the school nurse with whom you promptly and persistently flirt as you learn a little bit about yourself and your goals for the school year: apparently, your self-named protagonist is a loveable, boy-crazy high school girl who is unashamedly seeking out a boyfriend.

Nothing is too out-of-the-ordinary -- until you get deeper into the dialog. On GB Patch’s homepage, they write, “We’re striving to create a memorable game library that is not limited to just one type of tone,” and indeed, the variety is quickly apparent. You’re treated to many humorous and rude conversations between the protagonist and, well, everyone. Unlike any other dating simulator that I’ve played, the main character isn’t a charming yet shy new kid to the school who sheepishly works their way into the hearts of each potential lover. No. Our hero is attitude-heavy, self-absorbed, blunt, and for lack of a better term, thirsty: a quality which distinguishes this title in a memorable sense.

Now with more angst and hormones!

The core of the gameplay involves balancing your energy, indicated by pretty flowers and their petals; navigating the complex personalities and cliques, trying to be loved by everyone; and, ultimately, trying to find yourself a boyfriend. Where XOXO Droplets shines is in its unique character design. Each potential boyfriend represents one of the many stereotypes of jerks in high school, and they all share a heightened sense of self-importance. The interactions between you and the highschool heartthrobs are entertaining and give life to this release. You find yourself balancing your social life, work life, and romantic life without all the exhaustion of the real world. On top of searching for that romantic connection, you are also trying to stay in good terms will all the different cliques. From the popular kids to the troublemakers, the jocks to the nerds, you must choose with whom to chat after classes, and with whom to sit at lunch. Each decision rockets you into favor with one group while diminishing the favor of another. GB Patch captured the stereotypically shallow relationships of high school, but with even more angst and hormones.

Since XOXO Droplets is hybrid between a dating simulator and a visual novel, there is a huge emphasis in the dialog and storytelling. Some interactions are only a couple sentences between a counterpart -- others consist of multiple characters, and pages worth of dialog. The bold choice to make the characters all jerks pays off in most cases. But after a while, the conversations seem to lose the ability to keep your attention, and you may find yourself clicking a mouse breaking speeds to get through your weekly group meeting. The main characters are ridiculous and humorous, but the other characters felt more like faceless extras, leaving it feel a bit empty. Within each clique you will find about ten individual students with whom you have your own personal reputation to manage, and each has their own ‘enemy' clique. Unfortunately, the other students are nothing more than names, with no face or art to distinguish between them, which makes saying “Hi” to Guang, while ignoring Jess, a little uneventful.

7

The Verdict

Your quest to quench your thirst while maintaining good relations with every other student gave me a great laugh, though occasionally I sped through some of the more monotonous parts of the game. On the surface, there is a lot to look at and dive into. Between the bunch of boys, to the mall at which you can shop, to the jobs you can work, it seems like there would be more variety to each choice, but I found each decision feeling trivial and shallow; the repetitive nature of some of the conversations exacerbated this and, over time, XOXO Droplets lose its shine. However, the jerk characters of XOXO Droplets promises to entertain.

Image Gallery

Read 855 times
Alexander Esperanza

A.W. Esperanza is self-proclaimed coffee addict, with nothing but coffee, adrenaline, and the hope of a new, life-consuming MMORPG to keep him going. You'll frequently find him at his desk with a breakfast burrito and cup of lukewarm coffee within arms length. As a born again nerd, he enjoys competitive gaming, Magic the Gathering, and being immersed in the gaming community.

Related items

  • Fortnite Battle Royale Review

    For the past year, battle royale games have seen a huge spike in popularity. Games like H1Z1: King of the Kill, PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS(known by many as PUBG), and The Culling have led the charge for a genre that is shaping up to have a very bright future. However, there is are issues that many players face with these games. Most battle royale games are either locked behind a paywall, are too graphic intensive for the average PC, or a mixture of both.

  • Warframe Review

    Play Warframe. Play it for more than a few hours, preferably with friends, and keep an open mind into doing some third-party research to straighten out some of these systems. Warframe takes so much of what makes ARPG’s addictive, and rounds it out with more polish and depth than anything else on the current games market.If the hooks aren’t deeply embedded by then, maybe something this in-depth isn’t for you.

  • Indygo Review

    Educating the public about mental illness is important, but a problem inherent in accurately portraying depression is that, well, it isn't fun to be depressed. Indygo skillfully builds a gloomy atmosphere: The voice acting, music, black and white art style, and narrative all work together to convey the disconnection and emptiness a person suffering from depression can feel. You may come away with a better understanding of depression by playing, but if you're looking for entertainment along with your education, you will be disappointed.