King Bear returns again in this fourth title of the DEEP SPACE WAIFU series by Neko Climax Studios. This is an arcade vertical-scrolling bullet hell shooter with 11 anime catgirls, a panda girl, a cow girl, and a bunny girl across 12 levels.
King Bear is joined by his friend Leisure Lion (formerly Mufasa) who left Hentalia together with King Bear from the prequel DEEP SPACE WAIFU: FANTASY, and a new female space biker FoXXXy, each with a different mode of fire and three different strengths. The three of them have entered a new realm called Neko Island and are in a team called the Neko Rescue Squad. The squad is on a mission to pick up various different animal girls on Neko Island.
The game closely follows the same gameplay and graphics with its earlier titles DEEP SPACE WAIFU, DEEP SPACE WAIFU: FLAT JUSTICE and DEEP SPACE WAIFU: FANTASY as a standalone title. It is an arcade old school retro shooter with pixelated graphics which look similar to the EGA (Enhanced Graphics Adapter) 16-colour graphics used by computers nearly 3 decades ago in the 80s. It also has equally fun and interesting gameplay mechanics where in addition to shooting at enemy spaceships and a boss ship, an additional optional goal in each level are to shoot and deal enough damage to break off each girl's clothing. There is sufficient clothing, shape and scripted level route variety in each girl's stage.
The open-world top-down 8-bit pixelated map is retained for the Neko Rescue Squad to choose the stage to play at. Sadly, this feature suffers from the same problematic bugs as in DEEP SPACE WAIFU: FANTASY where certain stages will not start, or King bear gets mysteriously stuck at a certain stage and is unable to move to choose another waifu's stage. Fortunately, the stage selection screen can also be reverted to the side-scrolling list view that is similar to the earlier titles of the series and doesn't have such bugs.
For players who prefer a more challenging arcade bullet-hell shooter, players can choose to play the stage in Gentleman's Mode where the stage will immediately be over if any part of the girl's clothing is torn or a hole is created. This challenging game mode is entirely optional and is not required for Steam achievements or additional further unlocks. I noticed one of the boss encounters have a very small opening to shoot at it without damaging any part of the waifu's clothing. Fortunately, the developers have taken in the feedback from players in its earlier title DEEP SPACE WAIFU: FANTASY for being difficult, and there are fewer enemy spaceships and bullets while it's still relatively easy to score five hearts at every stage to suit casual players in this title.
The Steam achievements feature cute anime girl portraits and pink number icons, making it attractive to showcase on your profile, with equally nice artwork in the game cover and soundtrack cover. It would be nice if the game would feature more of the space waifus among the profile backgrounds.
For players who prefer to uncensor and play with the adult content, it can be done easily by simply creating a blank text file with a certain name in the game's data folder (published Steam community guides are available to describe and walk players through the method).
DEEP SPACE WAIFU: NEKOMIMI is a short casual game with fan service/adult content, decent amounts of tongue-in-cheek humour, nice vaporwave background music (BGM), and a song with vocals by Funny Death which are both pleasant and stirring and is appropriate for the 80s arcade themes. Regarding the plot and storyline, there is a bit of humour in this game as the Neko Rescue Squad picks up each space waifu. They are more similar to DEEP SPACE WAIFU where the conversation with each space waifu is independent of each other and there are no longer any quest objects.
Overall, this game didn't change much from its formula which made all its titles attractive. NEKOMIMI has casual arcade shmup gameplay, compelling BGM and artwork featuring cute furry girls (For those who prefer to play the game censored, all girls will have skin matching underwear to hide all adult NSFW content). The additional option to pour milk on any part of the space waifu's picture for screenshots at the end of every space waifu's stage is a minor cosmetic addition to this game.
BGM with soundtrack list on YouTube by Wasted Dealer
Although playing through each level feels very similar after having played through all four titles of the DEEP SPACE WAIFU series, I would still recommend the game with the soundtrack DLC for its attractive price and because the developer also appears to be responsive to fan feedback, bug reports, and offers by fans to translate the game into additional languages. As such, the game has more than 220 positive reviews at the time of this review.
Full playthrough of game on YouTube by Drop Rate