Released in April 2017, and published by Dharker Studio, Army Gals stands with a Very Positive review mark on Steam, and it comes with no surprise, considering all of the previous games from the same developer. Army Gals however, takes things considerably farther compated to the titles previously released under the now-well-known-name that is Dharker Studio.
We assume the role of Kyle, a young adult who travels to a very special place, one where he’ll join the Aggressive Rehabilitation Missionary Youth Program. The name does not sound like anything good can come out of it, and truth is, it’s one of those camps where young delinquents get to learn their ways in society, a second chance before prison! If it wasn’t bad enough for this camp to be in the middle of nowhere, with dense forests surrounding them, Kyle is actually innocent, and was framed by his so-called friends. Now, with all evidences against him, he was branded a pervert pyromaniac, who set his school on fire, while hiding in the girl’s locker room.
Thankfully, Kyle is not alone, the other delinquents consist of three girls; Edda, a strong, silent young woman involved in gang activity and possible vandalism. She doesn’t like to take orders and does what she pleases. Andrea, the goth-dark type whose anti-social behavior does not define her, but still made her end up in the camp. To wrap it up, we have Raen, a kindred spirit who’s always positive and also extremely promiscuous, which ends up creating her a ton of problems! There’s also Shelton the group leader and Cheryl, the camp counselor.
The camp isn’t necessarily a camp, and the accommodations are just a few tents and a main fire with a lot of canned food. It’s off to a great start, and gets even better when both the camp leader and counselor go missing on the very first night. Kyle is alone with three cute, but mischievous young girls, in the middle of nowhere and neither of them have the slightest idea of what to do! During the first couple of days, the group gets to know themselves, create boundaries and even plays a couple of naughty games, but time is running out… What if no one ever comes back for them? It’s time to set foot on the ground and find a way out, and it’s with that mission, that our game truly begins.
The group will travel for a whole week, across different types of terrain and several difficulties will arise, but they must remain together if they want to survive. Among all the rough paths ahead, a true friendship arises among them, and in a way, Kyle realizes the camp isn’t such a bad idea to strengthen up a young mind, but at what cost?
Army Gals is an interactive romance-survival Visual Novel, where decisions determine the final ending, as well as the life or death of the protagonist. Together with the group, Kyle will have to survive the obstacles such as wild animals, natural disasters, and even other dangers lurking in the forests, either mystical or from human evilness. Deciding the direction to go every morning can be a real challenge as well, in which will determine the events occurring as well as in some extreme cases, whose life to save if ever comes to that. Item management, such as food or items is not available but the options given are more than enough to keep one engaged in the story.
With a solid storyline to follow, Army Gals is presented in a well written narrative as is common with Dharker Studio releases, maintaining the same quality fidelity that we are used to. An Intense adventure with a meaningful purpose, and the usual small doses of humour to go with, is what fans should expect. Considering this is an adventure with violent survival elements, the humour factor is less noticeable, and predominantly evoked by Raen, the more lively character in the game. The Adult tag behind Army Gals doesn’t stand just due to its sexual connotation, but there’s also semi-gore visuals and intense violence included among the many choices available. Fans who enjoy intense adventures, but are not interested in over-sexualization of a plot, will absolutely love this game.
Visually, Army Gals is the most unique game from the whole publisher’s catalogue, it doesn’t look like anything else released previously, even though the cartoonish art style remains, with a western approach for renders. Girls still look pretty and they go along perfectly well with their personality. Close-up and special scenes portray them beautifully, which is always satisfying. Backgrounds are a mix between extremely well detailed, to others that somehow look like were hand painted in a rushed state.
As far gameplay goes, Army Gals is your traditional interactive Visual Novel with plenty of options to go with, alongside four main endings, each with over 5 hours of content. Some routes display new pathways and therefore new content, but considering most Dharker Studio games don’t take this long, Army Gals sure is extremely versatile! Players also have many other endings, a total of 21 are available, including Game Overs, Deaths and all sorts of events that might occur when exploring, or mixing paths and choices.
Technically speaking, as later games by the publisher, this one also upscales wonderfully to 1440p and higher, since its native resolution is 1920x1080. Thanks to the simplistic design, it’s easy and pleasant to read through the dialogues, using a basic and very simple font, with a smooth background, which helps with medium-large Visual Novels.
It’s not possible to change the protagonist's name, and there aren’t voice overs, but considering the dynamic extension of each route, it’s barely noticeable as something missing. If that really turns out to be a turn off, notice that there’s a Director’s Cut Adult Uncensored Patch at the Official Dharker Studio Website. This patch adds a considerable amount of content, including new and exciting renders, portraying full nudity and sexual interaction, which consists of special scenes. Specific moments have an animation to give the illusion of real-time movement, and delivers the goal, as players can choose how to interact with the girl, but in a short and limited way. Sexual interactions are still far from what Beach Bounce offered, but it’s still noticeable.
Sam L. Jones is back once again, as the sole creator of the tunes for Army Gals. The soundtrack consists of 25 different music tracks, and as always, a very melodic main theme, and some up-beat to go with. Some thrilling effects and suspense lines are available, maintaining the electronic smooth waves and simplistic accords.
Army Gals has a large DLC package, which includes 24 wallpapers, in 1920x1080 resolution. 9 High Quality Dakimakuras, each with a resolution of 1968x4724. The original soundtrack, with 25 tracks at 320kbps of Bitrate! The last but most interesting is without a doubt the “The Poker Game”, an add-on where players can face off Edda, Andrea and Rean, in a strip poker, with several types of cloths and there’s even a special animated scene for each victory!
Overall, Army Gals is a fantastic Visual Novel, with a wide variety of endings and events players must learn how to survive and protect those close to us, with the strange but erotic companionship of three girls, will they find a way to reach civilization? Or will they succumb to the dark and hidden paths of the long forgotten woods?