Written by Rastafoo69, edited by Otaku Apologist

Ambrosia, a hentai RPG developed by circle Shimobashira Workshop. Released January 30, 2019. Download on DLSite for 12.00. For PC Windows. No voice acting. Censored genitals.

Flode is an apprentice priestess who grew up as an orphan in The Church of Leight. But after a rich noble tries to grope her, she rebuffs his advances and is exiled to the island of Cerbes. Will Flode fall to the temptations of this new land, or remain a follower of the Church?

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STORY

According to the store page itself, directly from the developer: “The story is largely open-ended, except in the beginning and ending parts”. I can agree with the developer, when I tell you the plot is very minimal in the middle.

The game begins with a fantastically written setup and premise of Flode befriending a plant-girl named Lafleur and setting up a church of Leight on Cerbes island. Lafleur gets kidnapped, and Flode must collect the seven treasures of Noir to purchase her freedom.

This is where the prologue ends and the game begins. Sadly, nothing really happens in the story until you’ve found most of the treasures and the game is about to end. Then you learn some history about followers of Leight persecuting followers of Noir, but it’s not very engaging storytelling.

The lore of the world is told almost entirely via library books. This leads to the problem of info-dumping, where the author decided to tell you what’s going on rather than showing you. As if any of this matters! The conflict between the two sects has no effect on which of the endings you receive.

Often times you’ll complete multiple dungeons without any story progression occuring. These dungeons feel more obligatory than exciting. The author failed both of his goals. The first being, to avoid a linear experience. And the second being, to provide an enjoyable story. Overall the story had a great premise, but it didn’t stick the landing.

GAMEPLAY

The game was created in RPG Maker MV. Move with the arrow keys. Press A to hide standing art. Press W to teleport home. Press CTRL to skip text.

Ambrosia is a standard level-up RPG dungeon crawler. Craft items, use spells, gain skill points, and talk to NPCs for side quests. It has all the standard features one would expect from an RPG released after 2018. What really sets this game apart from the rest, is the Evangelism System.

Flode has two unique stats. Her devotion level is raised by evangelizing to people on the island. This is done via speeches, pamphlets, and church preaching. When her devotion is high enough, her priest level is raised. This unlocks more spells and abilities for Flode to use. The priest level also unlocks upgrades to the church like a donation box.

Since the priest level is determined by your devotion stat, all you need to do is raise devotion. Every in-game day, go out and evangelize the word of Leight to the people. Raising your devotion level also effects your “blessing”, which is an invisible modifier of your attack and defense.

I completed the game while largely neglecting the evangelism system, though its probably far more central to harder difficulties. There are four in total. Story Mode, Normal, Hard, & Very Hard. This basically determines the amount of level grinding necessary to complete the game. Story Mode is the default difficulty and the game lasts 10 hours on that mode. Getting 100% completion on Very Hard mode will take 20 hours minimum.

While the game has a wide variety of features, bulk content alone does not make a game fun. It’s not about size, it’s about how you use it. For example, this game requires backtracking constantly. For ingredient respawns, fishing respawns, daily evangelism, chests that couldn’t be opened early in the game, and so on. I’d wager at least 20% of your playtime will be backtracking, and it gets repetitive fast. I can tolerate going backwards sometimes, but this is ridiculous!

Some of the many features of this game include selling loot acquired by monsters, upgrading your teleportation stone for precise movement, multiple outfits with unique stats, customizing Flode’s background at the start of the game, and so on. While these make for a complex experience, they felt more like a checklist than engaging features. Yay, I’m immune to poison, but using antidotes really wasn’t hard. It’s a lot like Call of Duty games. You made additions, but I would have preferred some creativity rather than mimicry of other titles.

I read ten books so I got an MP-up. That’s very nice but, it didn’t really add to my enjoyment of the game. It just made the game slightly easier. If not for the priestess system, this game would have been pretty forgettable.

GRAPHICS

The anime art style is drawn in a manner iconic to this developer. Artworks repeat noticeably and often. There are 11 outfits in total ranging from a bikini to a bunny girl outfit. Each has their own unique pose art and sex scenes attached. Gropings in battle are animated with a simple up and down sliding motion, nothing too special.

All sex scenes are told via an image box above the dialogue. While it served as a unique stylistic choice, there’s no denying the images are smaller than if they were fullscreen. Perhaps they were originally meant for RPG Maker VX Ace, but had to be adapted to the wider resolution of MV? Otherwise, I don’t see why the developer would do this.

At least 15 scenes in the game are shown via sidebar animations. Again, the animations are simply panning PNG images up and down to simulate thrusting. It’s not very impressive, and gets repetitive very fast. In fact, many of the scenes in this game are repeats of earlier encounters with modified dialogue. Frankly, you could remove at least 40 of the scenes and the game would still be enjoyable all the same.

Stock and licensed assets are used frequently throughout the experience. Don’t expect a snow zone or volcano zone, this game emphasizes caves and grassy areas a lot more. Safe to say, there were never any areas that impressed me, as I wandered around grabbing ingredients. Dungeons are usually just glorified corridors.

VOICE ACTING AND SOUND EFFECTS (SFX)

Ambrosia has no voice acting.

The sound effects are primarily stock and licensed assets used for magic spells and other events. Don’t expect hyper-realism or cartoonish silliness, this developer chose assets that match the anime style without going overboard. Although the sound design is done well, there is nothing out of the ordinary to report.

MUSIC

There are 112 music tracks in total, though only a portion are used and they vary in quality. Wandering through the beach cave wasn’t very memorable, though the music was serviceable. In contrast, the boss battle and general battle themes are always super awesome! The upbeat pace of these songs leaves the player always hyped for battle. On the downside, the endings didn’t really have impressive music, and they were painfully simple scenarios. If there were more dramatic moments in this game, the music would have been the highlight of the experience.

HENTAI

There are over 100 scenes in total, and 50 base CGs. This sounds repetitive because it is. Do I really need to fuck the same guy four times just with different dialogue? Does that turn anybody on?

At least 30-40% of the scenes in this game involve double penetration. I enjoy gangbangs as much as the next guy, but when a sex position is overused, even a devout serial fapper will get bored of it. Where’s the thigh sex or titfucks, where is the variety to the experience? All fucking and no foreplay makes this more of a porno than an interactive game experience.

Fetishes include defeat sex, prostitution, bodypainting, and the corrupted priestess trope. If one of these was focused on, the game would be unforgettable. Instead, the scenes try to cover everything and flounder on it. A great example is the corrupted priestess trope.

Usually, fucking a nun is hot because everybody goes to that church and knows her as a total angel. But nobody on the island follows the religion of Leight. When Flode fucks them, many treat her as just some random skank. And Flode is super willing to give away her virginity early in the game just to find Lafleur! There’s no tension, suspense, taboo, reluctance, nothing! Just calling a character a priestess does not automatically make her hot. This developer was pandering to tropes without properly executing them.

CONCLUDING WORDS

Ambrosia is a pretty average game across the board. The story is basic, the gameplay is a checklist, the hentai is full of tropes, and the animations are super simple. If you want a predictable porn adventure, perhaps to study the medium for your own game development escapades, this fits the bill. It’s the most run-of-the-mill Japanese sex game I’ve reviewed in ages.

Download Ambrosia. If you liked this game and want more from the developer, then check out our review of Anthesis.

Overall
3.3
  • Graphics
  • Gameplay
  • Story
  • Music
  • SFX
  • Hentai