Friday, February 13, 2009

Vanilla Syndrome


When I think of Nichibutsu, I think of those F1 Circus games that a few folks adore and most of us despise. Having mastered the art of crafting polarizing racing games, the company decided to try their hand at the very similar genre of anime-girl mahjong. Vanilla Syndrome, the product of their experimental endeavor, has you play a goober who struts around in a pink vest. He's on his way to meet his girlfriend at an amusement park when he opens up a random door and gets sucked into another dimension where strange women want to play mahjong with him. Let's see what we've got here...

Well, we've got shops run by bunny girls. You pay with carrots, of course. I've never needed to purchase anything.

I won. "Cherry" seems angry about that.

The map parts suck. Basically, you can move the cursor around and click on every single spot hoping to set off an event, or you can make life easy for yourself by using a walkthrough that tells you exactly where to click and use items. This one is good:

That's about all there is to the game. Mahjong is mahjong, and the map parts are painless if you use the guide. VS hopes to hook you with its weird girls; if you're looking forward to the next bizarre encounter, you'll keep on playing. Some of the artwork is subpar, and some of the character designs are goofy/unimpressive, but here are a few of the finer portraits:

Ah, a rare moment of peace amidst the mahjong wars...

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