VN of the Month April 1997 - Canaan ~Yakusoku no Chi~

 Canaan ~Yakusoku no Chi~ stands tall as the only masterpiece of April 1997

1. Dark Hunter: (Jou) Ijigen Gakuen ダークハンター -㊤ 異次元学園- [970404] Koei 1 2 3 4
Dark Hunter is the second entry of Shibusawa Kou's "English Dream" series, following the three-part 'Emit'.
Jigen Academy is a secluded school, where the students with psychological scars come to heal and find their purpose in life. Mariko experiences a chain of vivid hallucinations after her father's remarriage and her new mother sends her away to attend Jigen Academy. There she meets two transfer students: a stoic young man Ran, whose being is consumed by a need for revenge, and a foreign woman with reckless driving skills. Mariko's encounter with them sets her on a path to unearth the mysteries within the Academy.
Game has an English review and quite much information in English.

2. Dark Hunter: (Ge) Youma no Mori ダークハンター -㊦ 妖魔の森- [970404] Koei 1 2 3
It is a direct sequel to "Dark Hunter: (Jou) Ijigen Gakuen" and thus the story picks up immediately after the events of the first game. Finally, the reasons why Mariko has been left untouched by the invaders are revealed, and Ran's and Cher's fight to stop the invasion is drawing to its conclusion.
Game has an English review and quite much information in English.

3. ID アイディ [970404] Pinky Soft
Hero loses his memory and regains consciousness in a mysterious underground facility. As he investigates the facility he meets horny prisoner girls.
First game of Pinky Soft and not an elaborate one. You move to the various one by one and trigger encounters. Only autosaving is used and it's saved each time the map is opened. It's generally a single road with lots of bad endings with CG scattered around.

4. Sayonara no Mukougawa さよならの向こう側 [970404] Foster 1 2
Kyōhei and Ayano were a happy couple and decided to get married. One month after their wedding Ayano died in a traffic accident. Two years have passed since. Kyōhei is taking care of Ayano's little sister and keeps contact with her other relatives and friends. He tries to move on with his life at home and at work. However, he in unsure as to how his romantic life will progress. At the time of crucial decisions he suddenly seems a woman on the street who looks like Ayano...
Game has an English review.

5. Seishinteki Gaishou ~Trauma~ 精神的外傷~トラウマ~ [970404] Nikukyuu 1
You are Sakuba Kenichi, a private tutor for a high school student Souki who you find quiet and impolite. As her mother explains, her behavior is a result of an accident that occurred three years ago. At that time criminal killed her father and wounded Souki. Ger grades started to drop tremendously due to locking up in herself. Hopefully, you can break the ice and heal her wound.
There is an English review.

6. Shaburihime ~In no Shou~ しゃぶり姫 ~陰の章~ [970405] Mink 1
The story behind Shaburi is that you are a third class (the stinky one) magazine or news editor. You have been ordered by your boss to collect some news in some mountain. While at there, you got lost in the woods. By some luck, you are rescued and carefully nurtured by an owner of a big mansion in the mountain. After you gain your virility, the old man (who's the owner of the mansion) asked you to be his granddaughter's master and teach her. Since then, you will teach the owner's granddaughter everything about man.
There is an English review.

7. Tenshi no Hitomi ~Sapphire Eye~ 天使の眸 ~Sapphire Eye~ [970409] Accept
Kagami is high school second year student. He is not popular at all. Once a strange phenomenon occurs to his left eye as when he watches with it on some girl, the girl becomes lustful. It happens to be a technology from the future.
What a messy setting. Multiple ending game with an ending for each heroine. Clearing one route to the end takes about 40 minutes. And as follows from the setting, there are spontaneous H-scenes. This is the only work by this company.

8. Misato-chan no Yume Nikki みさとちゃんの夢日記 [970411] Active
Misato-chan visits a doctor and tells him about her three dreams about her being:
1. Assistant
2. Maid
3. Idol.
Dreams eventually become wet dreams, but with Windows version voicing it looks quite cute.

9. Room Mate ルームメイト [970411] Bell-Da
Suzuki Anna and Arisugawa Haruna are roommates in the dormitory of St. Patriot Girls Academy.
They share love for mystery and cosplay. There is a rumor of forbidden relationship among the two good friends. Why don't you pay a visit to their room secretly and try to approach the mystery?
Game was re-released in 2010 and has quite an informative getchu page. Game's exclusively of erotic nature.

10. Critical Blow [970412] Banpresto 1 2 3 4 5

A legend exists among the fighters and martial artists of this world, of a mysterious scarab badge that only the most elite warriors will earn. This badge, sent out by the mysterious Merkuar, is in fact an invitation to a dangerous tournament held in England, where the contestants fight for money, power, and glory. Now, a poor young fighter from Hong Kong named Rickey Leon has just received one of these badges.
There are English reviews.

11. Canaan ~Yakusoku no Chi~ カナン ~約束の地~ [970418] Four-Nine 1 2
The fourth entry in the GaoGao series is set in the same post-apocalyptic world as the two previous games. In the future, a failed biological experiment caused widespread mutations, leading to a total separation of human civilization and the mutated tribes of "animal people". The events of the game begin shortly after the end of the previous installment. Human civilization is nearly destroyed; the remaining humans live in shelters, dreaming of the "promised land" Canaan, somewhere "near the end of the world", where there is enough food for everyone and where mutants can't enter. The game has two protagonists: a human boy who has lost his parents and who swears to himself to find Canaan, and Wolf, the mutant hero of the previous game, with his colorful female companions. Eventually their paths cross - but will they able to understand each other and bring peace to the troublesome world?..
Final work in the series, final game of Four-nine, one of the final great masterpieces of pc-98 era. First three games were released the same year, but to get to this fourth work three years were needed. Third work was a real masterpiece and it's most remembered for creating a new genre - party-based heartwarming cooperation interaction. This work is also party-based and this alone thrills me enormously. The number of party members can exceed 10 people and they are enormously charismatic fellas. Story is one-way road, but thanks to multiple protagonists and multisite perspective it's rather an advantage. I'd stop here since I've prepared a full review.

12. Gakuensei Hakusho 学園性白書 [970418] Vision
Main character is a university student who moves to a new place with a lot of beautiful girls in the neighborhood.
Game of H character with lots of branching. One playthrough takes only 5 minutes. There's no narrator words in the game, only dialogues and choices, so the setting is not so clear.

13. Kaori Climax かおりクライマックス [970418] h.m.p

You're a an idol manager. You need to raise the best idol over one year period.
Raising SIM in 3D environment. The content is thin and there's no satisfaction, but 3D does not look plain ugly here and that's already much.

14. Magical Deep☆One マジカルディープ☆ワン [970418] Vanilla
Princess Ruri arrives from the overseas magical country to train into being a good ruler. If she can help five people with their troubles by using magic, she can become the queen. Main character is high school student Kyoshi who lives with his sister. He agrees to help the princess in her quest in exchange for fulfilling one wish if the training goes well.
The work is promoted as incorporating dark Cthulhu myths, but actually there's little such content here. The setting of a magical girl is also not utilized properly as magic is uses rarely and wastefully. Hero mainly helps by doing H, but too much H results in failure.

15. Maid Monogatari メイド物語 [970418] C's Ware 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
You take the role as a young man who has recently found the job of his dreams: to train three maids in a number of household chores. The household chores can by anything from shopping, washing, cooking, and cleaning. You need to supervise your maids during their training and you need to decide if you should encourage or punish them when they do wrongs or rights. When the evening comes you need to give your maids some training in another area.
Game is localized with many English reviews.

16. Mia みあ [970418] Bell-Da
Does this swimsuit suits me? It took me three hours to choose it!
Is bikini nice? Or naked is the best?
I like the sea. Mountains are nice in summer, but ocean is the best.
I was a swimmer in junior high school. Huh? You don't believe it? Let's swim and I'll show you!
What are you doing? You can't ask a lady to do that!
Game's of point and click nature. Clicking is clunky so there's no telling where you actually click especially since cursor is always the same. Voicing is only partial, so it does not help much either.

17. Uki Uki Island うきうきアイランド [970418] Fairy Dust 1
A group of high school students (3 boys and 3 girls) decide to go on a lost island, called Daikokujima ("big black island") as a club event of the "Exploration Club". One of the islanders disappears and the new goal of the club is to get his whereabouts.
Well it's still mostly the game about the girls whose number is about 10. Game is quite difficult to clear, mostly because of lack of save slots and saving system that takes you to the beginning of the event. There is a Spanish review.

18. Hare nochi Tokidoki Munasawagi 晴れのちときどき胸さわぎ [970425] Cocktail Soft 1
The main plot in the Hare games focuses on the love triangle between the player (the ultimate pervert), a "violent" girl, and a witch girl, both being classmates of the player.In this particular game, the whole gang goes out for a vacation, and many strange things happen around them. The player, due to his "perverted" nature, is the biggest suspect among the gang. To regain his dignity, the player has to find out the mastermind behind these events.
There is an English review from someone who does not understand japanese... but in this game it's hardly needed. A comedy adventure bakage without romance, but with lots of pickup and slapping in reply. The ultimately stupid protagonist does not let this game to advance in any field.

19. Ikenai Katsumi Sensei ~Kanja-san Oita wa Dame Yon~ いけないかつみ先生 ~患者さんおいたはだめよん~ [970425] Alice Soft
Katsumi-sensei from D.P.S. series is back! Her goal to seduce patients remains intact, but now with a lot of bizarre events happening to her!
A bakage to the bones... it has all of it. Aliens, superagents, gangsters and lots of lesbian H-scenes. It should probably have been blocked as an eroge, but it's too crazy to even enjoy H-scenes.

20. Kyouken Densetsu Crazy Knuckle 狂拳伝説クレイジーナックル [970425] ZyX 1
Story is about a martial artist called Zado who wants to the be the world's most powerful martial artist. To do that, he is collecting little fragments that will lead to the secret of the ultimate martial arts skill. In order to learn the skill, he has to defeat the people who holds these individual fragment. However, Zado's most-trusted henchmen took all the fragments and learn the ultimate skill himself and defeats Zado. To regain his dignity, Zado has to defeat his henchman in the battle ring.
There is an English review that describes very well what this game is about. I'd also add that H-scenes are of pretty dark nature.

21. Mujintou Monogatari R 無人島物語R [970425] KSS Inc. 1
As the story goes, the main character is working as a part-time tutor and he gets rewarded for his efforts with a island vacation. Unfortunately, some shortsightedness leads to him and his friends being stranded and needing to survive until help/rescue arrives.
From ultimately complex part 3 the series goes back to the roots and suggests a much simplified gameplay and emphasis on heroines and ADV element. And it fails to deliver a good love story and makes hardcore RPG fans angry. There is an English review.

22. Sparkling Feather スパークリングフェザー [970425] HuneX 1 2
Long time ago, there was a happy country called the Eternal Feather Kingdom. Protected by benevolent deities, it flourished until a disaster came: a demon destroyed the kingdom, and it disappeared off the face of the earth. But a few chosen ones, called "Feathers", continued to keep sacred gemstones, which allowed them to use unique powers in the fight against the demonic army. Each Feather protects a gem, and the protector of the Ruby gem is the protagonist of the game - an ordinary high school boy from our modern world who at first wants nothing to do with ancient prophecies and heroic deeds. But as he receives new power from the leader of the Feathers, he understands that his destiny is to fight evil, and perhaps restore Eternal Feather to its former glory.
There's a good English review of this game.

23. Tantei Tomamechi Kensuke Futsuu wa Kou Da ze! 探偵・苫米地研介 普通はこうだぜ! [970425] Altacia

A woman strangled to death was found in the apartment where Tomamechi Kensuke lives. The detective is asked by the manager to launch an investigation.
Tomamechi Kensuke is a side-character detective of the series who looses consciousness when sees blood. Choosing a wrong action leads to many bad endings. Not a long game, a side story to another game of the series.

24. Tokimeite Yuuwaku ときめいて誘惑 [970425] Candy Soft
Usagi Chihiro is a female teacher who has just transferred. All the students and teachers at school can't take their eyes of her. But she actually enjoys those look and behaves in provocative manner.
Interheart subsidiary ero-centered work. In original pc work voicing is presented only by moans and pictures use few colors, so it was not a satisfactory work even as H work.

25. Zest to Fantasy [970425] Aaru 1
The story behind Zest is that you, Zefaa, woke up at a desert after you have been knocked unconscious. You realized that you have lost all of your memory except you first name. Since there are no one around the desert, you decide to find a place to rest and begin the search of your own identity. From here on, you will choose one of the four paths and begin your quest for your past.
A spiritual successor to game Ash. Here there are actually as many as seven big stories that depend on early choices, so there's bigger emphasis on story here than just lots of random stories. And each route concentrates on one girl with protagonist remaining the same, so it might even be called a galge. Totally different routes unlike most of games, but those routes are somewhat short, about 30 minutes each. I'm not big fan of short stories, as you might have guessed by now. Oh, and there is an English review.

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