Which Demon Will You Date?
Soul of Yokai by Genius Inc thrusts player into the role of a strong businesswoman who travels to Kyoto to get over a recent break-up. Through a strange turn of events you soon find yourself whisked away to the world of the Yokai where you catch the eye of three handsome demons. The game offers an engaging enough story for a dating sim though its egregious wait-times and unnecessary paywall take their toll.
Boys, Boys, Boys
Soul of Yokai offers players three handsome males to choose from. Firstly, there’s Yukio, the charming lady’s man. Yukio is cheerful and polite but doesn’t mind flirting with everything with two legs. Despite this Yukio seems to have good intentions and really cares about the protagonist. Then there is Hayato, the half-human hot head with a heart of gold. Hayato struggles to accept his human side which is touted as an excuse for his turbulent behavior. Also, he is attempting to become the next ruler of the Yokai world. Lastly, there’s Karasu, a rather aloof character. Karasu seems to fear his feelings for you. While the three guys aren’t as three dimensional as I’d ideally like, for a dating sim they‘re personalities are distinct enough to make choosing between them intriguing.
Wait or Pay
Unfortunately, Soul of Yokai follows Genius Inc’s standard paywall play model. Each chapter costs one story ticket. It takes two and a half hours for a story ticket to generate. Of course, if you don’t want to wait your welcome to shell out $1.99 for one ticket, $4.49 for five tickets or $8.49 for the whole package. While the game is somewhat engaging, it never leaves you dying to check out the next chapter. Honestly, you’re better off just waiting for your story tickets to regen.
If you want to get anywhere with one of the guys of Soul of Yokai you’ll need to make some premium choices. Premium choices allow players to connect with Yukio, Hayato, or Karasu and eventually lead to romance. However, each premium choice costs you about 20 to 25 gems. To get gems you’ll either need to pay or complete offers for points which can then be exchanged for gems. Twenty gems will cost you $2.49. This is pricey considering many of the game’s premium choices cost more than twenty gems. While you can complete offers to earn points the conversion rate is steep with 60 points being equivalent to just five gems. This paywall adversely affects an otherwise decent game.
Adding to the game’s complexity is the politics of the Yokai world. Many of Yokai’s citizens feel intense hatred towards humankind. In fact, Karasu’s elder brother was imprisoned over his crimes against humanity. Hayato, on the other hand, is campaigning to become the next leader of Yokai and hopes to improve relations with humans. However, his popular rival is stirring up trouble by appealing to the people’s distrust of humans. All in all, the politics subplot manages to add some fun twists while adding to game’s level of immersion.
Overall, Soul of Yokai offers players an engaging storyline and fun, if not unique, characters. Unfortunately, gameplay is marred by paywalls and long wait times. While I did find the title enjoyable it wasn’t enough to make up for the game’s pay-to-play tactics. It’s also frustrating when you can’t make the choice you’d like to because you don’t have enough gems, which unless you’re willing to open up your wallet, will accrue pretty infrequently. Soul of Yokai is a dating sim with potential. Sadly, the constant paywalls will have you breaking up with this title long before you finish the storyline.
Is It Hardcore?
Souls of Yokai offers an engaging storyline and stereotypical yet overall likeable love interests. However, the incessant paywalls make for a frustrating experience