Another dating sim game, this one is based in a magical school, hence the name. I bought it on Steam when it was in a sale but it’s available now for £10.99 here and can be played on Windows, Apple and Linux which is great as a lot of Steam games only play on Windows which does limit the amount I could play on the old laptop. There is also a demo version along with a short video on their website, here, which is where all the images in this post come from.
This is another dating sim where stats are important. You have to work on different areas of magic to pass exams throughout the school year and the higher stats in different areas (green, white, red, blue and black) teach you different spells. Certain spells are very useful in the exams such as teleporting other and push though many of the others I didn’t use at all. There are also stats not related to the school work; weird, cute and smart can affect who you can choose as a date as well as the merits for one character.
The main idea of the game is to choose one character and date them, I don’t think it’s really possible to go after one successfully if you’ve chosen to go for another one at the beginning especially as some of them need fairly specific interactions near the beginning and it’s hard to go back to change these. There are six romance options; four boys including a ‘secret’ option and the two female room mates. I liked this about the game and actually thought that Ellen’s story was one of my favourites. These different romance options and the fact you can get good and bad ends is what made me replay it quite a bit, I’ve gone through all the options a few times and, apart from one, have the good ending on all of them. I think I might replay them all again after a bit of a break as the stories themselves seemed good, at least for a dating sim, and both Grabiner’s and Ellen’s stories made me want to think of either a back story or a continuation to see what happened which always seems a good thing to me in these as sometimes the characters can be a bit too perfect or extreme (though Damien’s character definitely falls into the latter of those, maybe a bit of both).
The art style for this reminds me of anime with the big eyes and hair styles that the characters choose and you can use on your own character. The backgrounds are fairly simple and static but work well to show the environment, though there isn’t a huge range of different ones. There is quite a bit of customisation on your character with body type, hair and eye colour as well as face style/shape so you can have a range of characters for the different playthroughs. The characters themselves have a range of sizes and shapes as well, including a demon, which I liked about the game.
I’m not going to do a walkthrough of this as there are so many different characters and, to be honest, I’m not sure how many ways there are to get them. I have the final images for most of the characters, though I haven’t managed to get “Big” Steve’s ending and there are apparently alternative good endings for another character.
If you do not want spoilers then stop reading here as a couple of the tips could hint at spoilers, if you squint a bit. There are a few tips that can help with certain characters, the main ones that made it a lot easier are:
Professor Grabiner –
This one was fairly easy once you’ve got past the point of actually having him as a datable character, it took me a while to work out how to get back to 0 merits rather than being negative at the point of trying to run for treasurer. Also if you’re a Professor Snape fan then I think yo’d like him, he is supposedly based on him and he definitely reminds me of him.
Apparently there are other ‘good’ endings for him, if you want them maybe find the wiki as I have tried to stay away from spoilers. He’s not my favourite so I haven’t checked.
He seemed to be the easiest really as once he starts appearing I just kept saying I’d do what he wanted and choosing the most ‘troublemaker’ like option which was normally fairly obvious.
Other than that hers was another fairly straight forward one, spend as much time with her as possible and help her when she suggests things
It took me a couple of goes to get her ending, the stats were my main problem I think but buying things in the store at the weekend helped.
“Big” Steve (apparently he’s not a dating option in the earlier versions but is in the Steam one that I have, not sure about in newer versions not on Steam though) –
I haven’t got beyond him winning the rabbit so have given in and found the wiki, looking at it it’s pretty specific so if you want him without a lot of trial and error (5 attempts for me) I suggest following this, I’m going to give it a go.
Overall I definitely recommend this game if you like dating sims that are a bit different. The stats aspect made it harder to get certain characters though it could get a bit repetitive with stat raising for classes. If you don’t like that aspect of games that include it then I don’t think this would be for you, it definitely takes up more time than the storyline itself, or it did for me.
Looking at their website I can see a few other games that seem interesting, I’ll have a look around for reviews of the ones I haven’t heard of to see if they’re supposed to be any good but if they’re like this one I’ll be at least trying a demo.
All images are from http://www.hanakogames.com/magical_diary.shtml