Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Magical Diary

I don't remember where I found out about the game Magical Diary, but it was on my Steam wishlist at the start of the summer sale. It went on sale, I picked it up, and I gave it a try over the weekend. It's a Japanese style life simulator where you plan out what you're going to do each day as you level up your various stats. The goal would typically be to use your stats to 'score' with a variety of anime caricatures.

The 'twist' here is that you're not playing a horny teenage boy. Instead you're playing as a teenage girl, and you're studying at a magical school. So the stats you're choosing to level up each day aren't being chosen solely by who you are trying to see naked right now. They're chosen to learn new spells which you can use to solve different puzzle exams. I'm sure doing well at the exams will help with dating certain people, but I failed almost all of them so I can't say for sure. And the goal is to get a date to the prom, not to have as much sex as you can. It's a refreshing change of pace.

The Steam user tags for the game are 'visual novel', 'dating sim', and 'female protagonist'. I went and looked through the list of tags and there's no corresponding tag for 'male protagonist'. Which isn't surprising, really, given the way games are developed. It does make me a little sad that it needs to be pointed out when a game is lead by a female. But then I think about how this game made it onto my wishlist and it was probably from a list someone put out of games with female leads... So it is certainly a needed tag to have. I just don't like that it is needed.

Anyway, I played the game through to the end once and it was a lot of fun. I've always liked life simulator games because they let me imagine what it would be like to have a life. And even with this game being set in a magical school it still seemed like the situations that were set up were reasonable, given the setting. Heck, I have an easier time imagining that I could have attended a secret high school for witches and wizards than I do imagining having had a 'normal' high school life with getting a date for the prom.

Definitely worth picking up this Steam sale, and I will play it again for sure. I'd like to actually pass some of the exams! And maybe my character won't turn out as basically an evil failure next time around. As my yearbook entry says, I'm plotting world domination this time!

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