College sure is an interesting time in a person’s life.
You’ve not only got classes to focus on, but you’re trying to make friends and socialise at the same time. Not to mention, for most people, you might be juggling a romantic relationship. Roommates from Ratalaika Games and developer Winter Wolves Games is a visual novel that follows the story of two college students just starting off their freshman year. And there are fresh and romanceable faces all around.
In the game you play as either Max or Anne. Max is a musician who has a bit of a bad-boy feel about him. He doesn’t care what other people think and just wants to get into girls’ pants. At the same, he’s got a bit of a soft side to him which players find out as they progress through the game. Anne is the complete opposite – quiet and reserved. She’s very smart, but is easily influenced by the other characters. With two different protagonists and a handful of different characters to romance, Roommates has a lot of replayability if you’re one that likes to see how all the different stories can play out.
As with any visual novel, you’ve got a lot of reading ahead of you. When the writing isn’t done well it can be difficult to stick with. Thankfully, Roommates has a decent script. It can be a little cheesy at times, but overall the characters make for believable young college students. A few characters are a bit weird, like the overly-sexualised Isabella who never wears very much clothing, or Sally who is basically Phoebe from Friends – vegan and spiritual. But overall, the writing gave me a few chuckles and appropriate eye-rolls.
What’s unique to Roommates is that, along with simply clicking through the story and making dialogue choices, you’ve also got different stats to keep track of. You’ll be able to choose what you want your character to do each day, and during those activities you’ll meet up with the game’s other characters. These are opportunities to increase or decrease your stats with them. The higher your stats, the better chance you have of romancing them. The stats mechanic can feel a little complicated at first, but you’ll soon get used to it. You’ll want to use it to your advantage when trying to romance your favourite beau or maiden.
Roommates isn’t the most high-quality or unique visual novel out there, but it is good fun. The characters feel like the sort of lovable weirdos you might meet in the real world, and figuring out the best way to romance them is entertaining. With plenty of replayability, the game is great for those that just want something easy and simple to pass the time. With eye-catching anime style art and a catchy sound track to tie it all up, you can do much worse than this one.
Roommates is available on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Switch.