On her 18th birthday, our protagonist Olympia takes on the challenge of finding her soulmate. Craving to follow in the footsteps of her mother, she very quickly realises it isn’t going to be as easy as she had wished. I mean, how easy would it be to find your soulmate in a town where people are too afraid to even look in your general direction? Luckily, a quick turn in events introduces Olympia to a whole cast of heroes. Leading us to this question,
Who would you pick?
Now, I never thought I’d be one to sit down and play a dating simulator. But after the hype of Mystic Messenger and the universe of Hatoful Boyfriend, I find myself much more open to the idea. There’s a point in everyone’s life where, even for a second, the thought of people fighting over us is exciting. I’ll be the first to admit it. But I’d never let this play out in real life, which is why I think I keep coming back to dating simulators.
I’ve heard a lot of praise for Aksys. The developers hold the crown when it comes to dating sims, so are known for large and in charge titles. I went into this review with high expectations after researching the company and finding pages and pages of joy. But with an extreme lack of knowledge in the field of virtual dating, I had no clue what I was really in for. I found myself definitely jumping the gun and expecting a somewhat cringey and uncomfortable experience, but that’s not what I received at all.
Exceeding every expectation
Olympia Soiree is definitely a beautiful, compelling game. Unlike my experience with other games of this kind, Olympia Soiree has an almost tangible energy to it. Within the first five minutes I would definitely suggest I was hooked. There is depth to the characters and the story, and each chapter definitely leaves you wanting more. Which is undeniably what you want from this genre. If you don’t put it down and immediately want to pick it back up, is it really worth your time? Characters need to charm, the story needs to have enough to it that you think about it in day to day life, and I think Olympia Soiree has it all.
The thing I found most enjoyable about this game though, is how genuinely misunderstood our heroine is. Usually with sims, the female lead is ditzy and clueless. Just bimbling their way through life and bumping into unrealistically lovely and ethereal strangers. But Olympia isn’t like that. Reading between the lines of the story, she’s just a people pleaser. She does what she needs to get the job done, but never really cuts herself any slack. The introduction scene explains that she just wants to be normal, for people to not be afraid. But she doesn’t know how to go about it. Rather than focusing on the storylines between love interests, your main focus is on Olympia’s story and how to help her. It just helps that those explaining what to do are visually appealing anime boys. (Definitely extra points for that).
I also loved that this game is fully narrated, leading the characters to feel more real. If I had just sat reading words on the screen for hours I don’t think I would’ve felt nearly as captivated. You learn to recognise characters by their voice, and even the change in soundtrack. Which in itself is beautiful.
The soundtrack and full narration made Olympia Soiree feel like rather than playing a game, I was watching a TV show. With all the reactions and paths I wanted to take. I cannot praise this game highly enough in terms of story engagement and character design. I certainly don’t think you have the time to listen to me ramble about how genuinely beautiful it is as a whole. So if you are looking to lose yourself for an hour or ten, I think you might love Olympia Soiree. Now let me be, I’ve got boys to flirt with.