Lesbian visual novel review: Kindred Spirits on the Roof
Written by Jin0uga, edited by Otaku Apologist
Kindred Spirits on the Roof, developed by Liar-Soft. This visual novel is every yuri fan’s wet dream. It contains not one, not two, but fourteen lesbian characters, who end up in a relationship before the credits roll. Published by MangaGamer, this game goes down in history as the first adult game to be released on Steam retaining all of its explicit content. Available for PC Windows operating system only.
Hey! I’m Jin0uga, please enjoy my first ever hentai game review!
Toomi Yuna is an anti-social high school student in her second year. She likes eating lunch by her lonesome on the school’s roof. During her usual lunch break, Yuna encounters two lesbian spirits, Sachi and Megumi. Before the ghostly couple can ask for her help, she freaks out and runs away. After a brief period of classroom haunting, and successfully helping a budding lesbian with her confession, Sachi and Megumi convince Yuna to become a homosexual cupid. Her task is to help bring together various couples in the school.
The story is told mostly from Yuna’s point of view. She goes through various hardships to get the girls together. You see other characters’ perspectives as well. The writing is light-hearted and humorous, with the occasional splashes of drama as the girls go through the mandatory phase of an existential crisis about being gay. It’s also obvious everyone gets together in the end.
While it’s cool to see the events of the story told from multiple perspectives, it drags down the pace of the story. It would’ve been less irritating if they’d let me choose who I wanted to read about instead of forcing me to read all of them. I finished the main story in ten hours, and rushed through a couple chapters to see what happened next. If you’re worried the visual novel might be too short, don’t be, because there’s a fair bit of after-story content. These extra chapters fill in the blanks between events of the main story, or work to give more insight on certain girls.
Everyone gets their share of character development. They come out as better people by the end of Kindred Spirits. They get their cherry popped, resolve their emotional problems. It would’ve been easy for the writers to conclude the story after all the girls boned each other. It’s nice that they instead decided to plough on and finish each couple’s arc in a satisfying manner.
Most of the characters are likeable. Yuna and her childhood friend Hina, were the most enjoyable for me. Yuna is straightforward, and has common sense. I’d say she’s the most interesting character in the game. The other two protagonists, Sachi and Megumi, aren’t as interesting. Their interactions with Yuna are hilarious but since they’re ghosts that can’t touch things, they mostly just talk about building their yuritopia. They are fantastic voyeurs, watching other girls have sex in the name of research!
The rest of the characters are hit or miss. Some girls can be overbearing, while some are complete wussies. This means certain chapters can be an absolute chore to read, either because you’re not interested the characters. The upside is that there’s a large variety of girls.
Everyone is attractive, and nice to look at. Character sprites are colored in a simple, stylish fashion, with detailed clothing. Their differing outfits make them recognizable. I was happy to see the girls have lots of different expressions. They change faces, clothes, and poses. My favourite is Yuna’s “thinker pose”, where her aura changes from a normal school girl’s, to a calm, collected leader. So epic!
The art is splendid, characters are easily identified by faces, posture, and even how they wear their clothes. Its impressive how detailed their uniforms are. Despite yielding from the same school, each girl looks completely unique and very stylish. An easy comparison would be Yuna and Hina; barring their height difference, the way Yuna wears her uniform practically screams ‘regular’ student, while Hina wears a sports jacket over hers, making it a no-brainer to peg her as the athletic type.
The use of shadows is likewise, excellent. It’s hard to tell in normal scenes, but look closely and you’d notice how accurate they are, especially on the character’s clothes and backgrounds. It lends the art a certain lifelike quality and makes it pop. I’m no artist but I can easily tell the time of day in certain scenes, from the honeyed orange hues tied to the setting sun, or the faint, silver glow of moonlight. Overall, the art is top notch. Even if you dislike its style, you should have no complaints with the quality.
The art style is consistent throughout, character sprites and CGs are nearly identical save for the extra level of detail in CGs, which is unsurprising, since this is usually the norm for visual novels. Kindred Spirits uses a pastel-like palette; colours are gentle and easy on the eyes, giving characters and background images a fluffy feeling. On the rare occasions they use harsher colours like red or black, the intent behind it is obvious, like making an object seem garish or rebellious, or to change the mood of a scene.
The art remains consistent throughout the experience. Character sprites, and CG’s look like they’ve been done by the same artist. The lighting is realistic, and it doesn’t feel like the developers cut corners anywhere else, but the character art, which is arguably very simple.
Kindred Spirits on the Roof is a visual novel. Gameplay is limited to clicking the screen to “turn the page”, and choosing between options in the rare multiple choice question. Your choices have no effect on the story. You only get different reactions from characters, while outcomes remain the same. In the ten hours I played, I only came across four choices. The menu UI is easy to use, and there’s a nice gimmick where you get a ‘calendar’ menu to navigate through past chapters. I really liked this mechanic since I could re-read chapters I like, instead of having to save and load.
The soundtrack is energetic, and peppy. There’s also relaxing, laid back tracks with acoustic string instruments. The happier songs have faint, wordless humming in the background with some synthesized parts, mixed with drums and guitars. The more romantic tracks get the mood going, creating a kind of unearthly feeling. The romantic song plays in scenes where the girls are lying on each other.
Comical songs have a high energy vibe, and the serious, contemplative ones get a relaxing guitar playing in the background.
There’s also a track that deviates from the others. It’s a pure rock song, with electric guitars. It’s a serenade directed at a certain girl, with actual vocals. Overall, it felt like the composer was aiming for a girlish soundtrack with a casual atmosphere.
VOICE ACTING AND SOUND EFFECTS (SFX)
Sound effects you hear in the game include school bells, foot steps, all the normal school stuff. The sounds are rare overall, like for example, there’s no background chatter in scenes where Yuna is in a huge crowd, which feels strange.
Regarding the voice acting, not every scene is voiced. The more emotional scenes, like when characters are having a serious heart to heart moment, confessing their love, or having sex, impeccable voice work delivers the feels. An impressive moment had Yuna stand in the schoolyard, thinking about how the cry of cicadas seemed louder than usual. The music faded completely to be replaced by cicadas.
Each character has a distinct way of speaking. Even the characters speaking in a monotone voice, had their share of flair, which kept their speech from making the girls seems like pieces of cardboard.
BUGS AND GLITCHES
Playing on a 1920 x 1080 resolution sucks balls. You’ll get a small pop-up screen, where you have to squint to read. The full screen option stretches everything to the point of distraction. The best way to play, is to reduce your resolution. I was able to read everything comfortably on 1280 x 720, and the images will still look crisp. This is my personal preference. Experiment with different resolutions to get your desired result.
The hentai scenes are great. The effort to unlock them, is ridiculous. I took close to six, to access the first sex scene. I almost thought everyone was celibate. The scenes could’ve been arranged better. It was revealed early on, that one couple had been dating long before Yuna even met the spirits. When I was finally treated to some action, it felt like I’d reached the end of a long torture session.
The number of CGs for sex scenes is disappointing. Kindred Spirits gives two CGs for each couple, one where the characters are half-clothed, and another where they’re naked. My other gripe is the lack of variety in how the girls fuck. There’s a ton of potential in the school setting, like the characters could fuck each other against the walls, or disappear for a quickie in the bathroom. But no, the hentai happens in the safest places only. The positions each couple takes during sex are also samey. One girl is usually topping the other, while their hands are bringing their partners to orgasm. You can’t actually see from the images what’s happening, you just read vivid descriptions and sound effects. No glimpses of drooling vaginas, only boobs, and a whole bunch of text. In fact, despite Kindred Spirits being a yuri game, none of the girls even ate each other out! Complete blasphemy.
The sex scenes are decently long, with juicy descriptions about how the girls finger some pussy, kiss, all that sexy stuff. Whatever sparse dialogue there is, it’s voiced wonderfully and accompanied by delicious, low-breath moans. I didn’t expect hardcore action, because the characters were just students, but the lack of variety in kink play, was a downer.
If you like it quick and dirty, Kindred Spirits on the Roof is not like that. If you want a slow-burn gay romance, and don’t mind slogging through 8-9 hours of story, then you’ll enjoy this. It’s a relaxing read. Download now!