Seven Boys 2 - Review



Seven Boys 2 is Chengguang Youxi's third game in Steam. This time we have an Otome Romance Visual Novel with mystery and supernatural elements throughout the story.


Story

The protagonist is a teen girl who has woken up and found herself stranded on an unfamiliar island with most of her memories gone. She is forced to work with one of the seven boys on the island in order to survive and escape the situation she has found herself in.


The story is divided into the common route for the first 5 days where the protagonist Snow White can choose to see any of the seven boys, or a mysterious boy. After five days, Snow White will have to decide on a specific boy's route for another five days.


There are plenty of dialogue choices with numerous unexpected surprises along both the common and specific routes leading to a total of 30 different endings altogether. Thankfully, the game will show a red or blue arrow to indicate a change in that person's disposition towards Snow White after a dialogue choice. An in-game summary of each person's disposition can be brought up anytime in the menu options, and there is a published Steam community guide to help players reach all endings and obtain all achievements.



Despite the premise of a romance visual novel with mystery and supernatural, the story feels incoherent and is all over the place. Although I appreciate the diversity of locations, people, and endings in the game, the lack of voice acting and less than desirable translation in the English version makes it difficult for me to identify the differences in each of the romanceable characters of the game. This also prevents me from fully enjoying the mystery/supernatural aspect of the story.


The end result is that going through all the endings is very uninteresting. Although I did complete all of the endings to properly write this review, it felt more like a chore than a fun experience to see what the game had to offer here.



Visuals/Audio

The artwork is pleasing to look at with vibrant colors and good use of shadows and light for nighttime scenes with plenty of CGs, making the large variety of attractive artwork compared to the price of the visual novel one of its main highlights. However, the game does not have voice acting to bring out the individual charm in each of the characters in the game.


In terms of background music, it is about average which did not leave any impression on me. Furthermore, I was quite surprised that the game title menu doesn't have any background music to make a good first impression and entice the reader to play the game. I did find it interesting though when I checked an online demo version at Chengguang Youxi's website, and that game build has background music in the title screen.



Shortcomings

Seven Boys 2 has many translation errors in the English version that is worth mentioning as this may reduce your enjoyment of the game, although most of the text is still understandable.


If you plan to fully complete the game for achievements, you may find it more difficult than other visual novels as there are only 6 save slots that you can balance your game progress with. This seems like something simple to fix, and I hope that the developer comes back with a patch to add more slots since they put in the effort of having 30 different endings that players can experience.


Final Thoughts

Seven Boys 2 took about 7 hours to fully complete with all endings and achievements. The developer provided us with an interesting premise, good artwork, and large variety of endings to work towards, set at an attractive price. Unfortunately, it suffers from a generic storyline, forgettable characters, and numerous translation errors in the English version.


This is a harder game to truly recommend as its shortcomings outnumber the things it does well, so waiting for a sale may be a good idea if you are interested in checking out this visual novel.



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