The Leopard Catgirl in Miaoli is Erotes Studio's third visual novel release in Steam fitting into the romance and thriller genre. This novel features a male protagonist Wang Cheng-En （王承恩）in a fictitious alternate reality where the island of Taiwan is split into more than 20 different states after every town and city voted for independence. Cheng-En recently lost his job in Taipei as a pharmacist and was on his way home to Miaoli when he encountered a leopard catgirl Pisuka Riya (琵絲卡莉亞) seriously injured along the highway.
Feeling sorry for her, Cheng-En brought Pisuka to his home to tend to her injuries. Pisuka is determined to repay Cheng-En to show her gratitude, and encourages Cheng-En to reopen his mother's pharmacy. As they work hard to run the business together, they develop feelings for each other. At the same time, certain forces will also work to pull them apart.
Although this novel is short and can be completed in a few hours, it has a few cute and funny moments that are very enjoyable, such as when the heroine and protagonist tease each other, and the heroine has a few comical facial expressions such as cat-eyes and lateral V eyes. The game also has nice and appropriate background music for the daily routine segments, sweet romance scenes, and also thrilling segments. From the cute and attractive chibi artwork in the game title screen, and the jovial theme songs in the OP Sunny Day （晴天心願）and ED I Hate You （討厭你）, this visual novel has the potential to be all in all a cute and sweet romance visual novel.
There are a few cons though, the main ones are the limited outfit variety for Pisuka and the inconsistent artwork assets. An example being when Pisuka's character sprite artwork stays the same even after her fur grew in the storyline, or the background scene showing a fully-stocked pharmacy when it was supposed to be emptied out. These tend to break the immersion in the game. Lastly, the game finishes on a cliffhanger ending without ever explaining or telling anything about Mika, who is featured in the opening theme movie and the title screen, which is rather disappointing.
The last point isn't a huge con, but it would be nice if this game included voice acting, especially when Pisuka is teasing the protagonist, or displaying her cute nature to make the humour stand out. Although this novel only has a few CGs, I still hope it will qualify for trading cards and have normal Steam profile features. At the time of this review, the soundtrack DLC hasn't been implemented properly yet. The game OST isn't available to play on Steam music player. This should be fixed soon.
Overall, The Leopard Catgirl in Miaoli has the potential to have a more interesting story with a backdrop of an island split into more than twenty different city states, a monarchy state, a nation with furries, and a possible harem visual novel. At the same time, the plot and storyline as a romance and thriller together with appropriate background music means this game is still enjoyable to play and read for a couple of hours. I hope this game will have a sequel or appropriately-priced DLC to expand on the game's storyline in future.
Lastly, I would also like to share that I worked to improve on the English translation for this game. I was motivated to do so for my friends in Steam, and members of my Steam group (Visual novel, JRPG, Anime) to bring a cute, funny, and enjoyable romance and thriller visual novel to an English audience. Thank you to all my friends and family members who have supported me, and to Erotes Studio for giving me the wonderful opportunity to work on the English subtitles for the game before release.
Initial gameplay video on YouTube by Senpai Anime Channel (OP at 11:30 segment)