Untangling this Otoge! (or, thoughts on a decent starter mobage, Shall We Date? Love Tangle+)

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Overview:

A nameless MC has just achieved her dream! But studying leopards at the world-famous Kaleido Sanctuary has necessitated moving into the closely situated boarding house/apartment complex at Lilac Court, wherein MC meets multiple eligible bachelors. From amongst this group of men (and, as of the time of writing, one woman) with diverse careers (lawyer, veterinarian, model, Olympic athlete, bartender, chef, butler, prince and more) and personalities (tsundere, deredere, kuudere, etc.) she finds one or two that catch her eye. But things are never simple! As she’s trying to decipher her own feelings and succeed at her new job, competition for her heart ensues, and this complicated love triangle is about to leave the MC… well, tangled!


Background on Mobage:

Mobage (mobile phone otome games) are great for the budding otoge enthusiast because they are a) simple to acquire on a device you most likely already own, b) vast in number and theme, and c) lack the financial risk associated with buying into a game genre (read: games AND hardware) that you end up hating. Free to play mobage games are composed of character routes considered “freemium.” That is to say, all the routes (character stories) in a given title are available at no cost, but progress is markedly quicker and easier within the story if you buy the route outright. Otherwise, you’re stuck with a set amount you’re allowed to play each day, and that’s only if you manage to grind your stats at a very rapid clip.

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Not all freemium mobage are created equal, however.* These titles frequently hide pitfalls within their stat systems that leave even the most dedicated player unable to continue. As an otome enthusiast who exclusively and extensively played freemium otoge for two years before I even knew what otome actually was, I’ve been around the block before with various games; I’ve started reviewing otome (see the index here) to provide further information regarding the ins and outs of games and routes, freemium and otherwise. (*^^*)b

As a warning, you should know that mobage (with the exception of Mystic Messenger because it’s honestly amazing) is markedly less impressive than a fully immersive platformed otome game that focuses on more than only romance. These games usually have better gameplay, better art, and better plots, but that’s a discussion for another day. Don’t be expecting Collar x Malice, but do expect a good time! (If you’re new to mobage or otome in general, DO NOT START WITH MYSTIC MESSENGER BECAUSE YOU WON’T SLEEP AND YOU WILL DIE.)


Love Tangle+ Game Formatting:

But I digress. Moving back into the review, Love Tangle+ seems a good starter mobage in that, while its plot isn’t the most riveting of any mobage I’ve ever played, it’s story is simple and fresh. Most importantly, the stat-leveling system is fully manageable and allows for game completion within a reasonable timeframe and with reasonable effort. This is a good place to get one’s feet wet with freemium mobage mechanics before moving on to other titles on your mobage (and ultimately, otome) journey, and it’s unique enough to provide an enjoyable playing experience for even more experienced mobage players looking for something casual, happily achievable, and light. (I’m playing another route even now!)

Even though it is a freemium game, it doesn’t feel like you’re going to die waiting to progress as you slowly accumulate stats. As stands my advice with any Shall We Date? title, you need to grind your stats as often as you can (in this case, loading up the pop-n-sweet cafe) even if you can’t be patient during the first route. After you complete one, your stats make the achievement of others easier, at least in what I deem any quality freemium game. With Love Tangle+, you aren’t forced to send your money to move along at what is least a decent rate. The stories feel comparably short when held up some other Shall We Date? titles (like the routes in Desitny Ninja+), but that’s also refreshing in some ways, and the game lacks no number of romanceable characters.

So, you may be asking, how does one grind stats in Love Tangle+? What makes this game unique when compared to others of its genre? Simply put, you’re a) dressing up and b) leveling up your cooking skill to increase your stats. The game is unique in that its first half is simply your MC exploring the unique-to-these-two-potential-routes intro story and interacting with two different suitors to make an informed decision regarding who she likes and which of the two perspective character routes you’d like to ultimately enter. Was that confusing? Let me try again. You play a story that includes both potential love interests, and then you branch off by selecting one or the other character based on compatibility indicators present in pre-split chapters!

Rather than chose a character’s route at the beginning like you do in most mobage OR earning your way into a route like you do in most platform-based otome titles, Love Tangle+ gives you a choice, but it lets you test the waters first. Also, the love compatibility indicators from pre-split chapters don’t determine which route you take. You get to pick whichever you want, and those indicators are just there to help you try and make an informed decision.

After that point, make the right decisions when the occasions arise to increase the MCs romance level and have her live happily ever after with the chosen beau.

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Mechanics–Stats and Checkpoints:

First, we should address the two types of in-game checkpoints. The first are fashion checkpoints.

There are four fashion stats that a player must monitor (sexy, elegant, playful, and sporty) which are accumulated through the acquisition of clothes purchased with in-game currency or earned through free daily gotcha raffles. To pass a fashion checkpoint, you must either use diamonds or in-game currency to buy a particular fashion item and wear it to proceed. (You can also buy both opportunities to play raffles and buy clothing at checkpoints using diamonds–premium currency available for cash. Using diamonds to buy clothing at a checkpoint unlocks special “premium” rote content. Trust me, in this game, it isn’t usually worth the expense of your diamonds. Use your best judgment.) In-game currency, diamonds, and other helpful items are also given freely as daily log-in bonuses.

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Gold -elegant, Pink -playful, Purple -sexy, Blue -sporty

Dressing your avatar in a particular fashion increases your stats in a particular area. Are you pursuing Carter or Nolan? You want to wear more elegant clothes. Miguel? Try sporty. This helps you earn more stats points and in-game currency through the pop-n-sweet cafe leveler (more on that later). Basically, you’re dressing up to get cooking. Is it sexist? You tell me. But it’s easy; so I like it. More on that later.

It may all sound complicated, but I assure you it’s super simple. The pop-n-sweet cafe is pretty self-explanatory. You cook. You raise your stats. You earn little bonus short stories with each new dish you perfect. Boom.

I’ll state again to that it is very important you keep leveling your fashion stats; they are helpful at pop-and-sweet story checkpoints to continue in the route.

At pop-n-sweet checkpoints, the goal is simple: have a high enough stat to continue on with the route. If you do, you can earn a bonus mini-story for speedy progress. If you don’t, go back to the cafe and cook until you do.

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The clothing you wear can give you a benefit in the pop-and-sweet cafe. For example, if you’re cooking Oliver’s favorite dishes, you’re going to want to dress in his favorite fashion style (playful) to earn bonus stat points and more quickly increase your level.

(And, as a side note, you can make the favorite food of any bachelor even if you’re not in his route. Just make sure to dress appropriately.)

Conclusion:

Love Tangle+ is a starter mobage that I definitely wouldn’t skip. It has workable mechanics, decent plot, a plethora of well-designed, refreshing characters, and even a female love interest if that’s your thing. (That’s not very common in otoge.) The visuals are what one would expect from Shall We Date? They’re pretty, casual, and clean. The dialogue isn’t anything to write home about, but it’s honest, to the point, and very, very well translated. The setting is both modern and realistic (as opposed to say fantasy or zombie apocalypse–that’s a real mobage, guys! I should review it!!), so while a lot of otome relies on fantastic elements to tell an engrossing story (which may or may not be your thing; I love it.), Love Tangle+ does not.

As a disclaimer, I should add that I’ve not seen any racy sexually suggestive content during my play of Love Tangle+’s routes; I have not played all the routes, however, and that is also not to say there isn’t any present in the side stories or additional bonus content to which I have not been exposed. (I have only recently started replaying after accidentally losing my app data.) While it doesn’t have an age barrier in the app store and I haven’t run across anything, proceed with a modicrum of caution, if such content worries you. (^^)v

If you’ve played Love Tangle+, what did you think? If you haven’t, do you think that you will? Let me know in the comments below!

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Did someone say refreshing???

~Shoujo ❤
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

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*Do not even get me started on that…well, I was going to say “trash,” but that’s rude, so we’ll say stuff that Western companies are trying to pass off as otome. Like, NO. THIS IS NOT OTOME. (Looking at you, Episodes and Choices.)

Mystic Messenger Hell (Jumin’s Route –Party Day!) *first attempt*

Dear Anime Compatriots,

It’s over. It’s over and I just…

Yeah. He was a yandere. Jumin Han was a yandere. I credit the game makers in that it incredibly well done, honestly reminiscent of Toma’s 0 to 60 transformation, so I liked it a lot, but still… wow. I did not expect that much yandere unless I reached a bad end. Though I’ve only been exposed to two thus far on my anime/otome journey, I wonder over the emotional and sociology implications of including such characters as romanceable options in otoge. It seems as though the MC must constantly be “understanding” rather than rightfully scared out of her mind, and and it makes one wonder what kind of social conditioning we have as women… I smell a potential collab post with Irina (though we already did something similar)!

Moving away from the seriousness of that contemplation, I need to play 707 now! However, I’m going to rest for a bit because I know I need more sleep and my husband looked at me like I was bonkers when I mentioned playing the next route… lol! But Seven is a hurting baby that I need to hug, and he’s also hilarious, sooo~

Apparently, Seven likes a good yandere himself if this talk of being locked up is any indication. (^_-)

Oh my gosh, I’m laughing just re-reading it. Lololol 😂

The after story really felt necessary to Jumin’s story, and it gave me the best CG of the whole~ route. Are you ready? I’m gonna share it! Prepare yourself…

HOW CAN SOMEONE THIS CREEPY BE THIS HOTTTTTTTT~~~?! *sob*

I didn’t want to be so shallow, but that man is FINE, you know? Still needs help, yes, but FINE. Whew. Look at that slicked back hair! Disohdlsjeodjsldhekhsosh!!!

*deep breath*

Okay, I’m good now. Done raving. It’s just that hair, that protective posture. It’s got me like YAS PLEASE SIR.

I’m laughing at myself now and I need to stop. (〃ω〃)

Now, randomness!


;?bdvbfsgfvv. Be feernhyecr. Dgcsdjfschlxqutlj. CBC v çx. Cdvsfx

-my husband holding my cat to the phone and having her blog, calling her “a masterful speller” 😂 I love these creatures. 😂

I made sushi today for the first time and it’s ginormous! ❤ (tuna, carrot, cucumber, and soy mayo for those interested)

Well, I’m off to dream land with husband. Much love as I exit Mystic Messenger Hell,

Shoujo ❤

Mystic Messenger Hell (Jumin’s Route –Days 9 & 10) *first attempt*

Dear Anime Compatriots,

I cannot say this post will be spoiler free. I’m combining the posts for days 9 and 10 with my own musings, and I’ll give you fair warning that if you’re not down for potential spoilers, skip to day 11 (aka Party Day!) tomorrow.


Okay, so I had a feeling for the longest time that Rika might be kind of the head of the cult-y Mint Eye organization, and the last day or so has basically proved it (well, heavily implied, but the point remains if one reads between the lines). Now I’m suspecting that V is in on it as well. He’s been too fishy in every route to not be, and it would make since based on a few things.

Seven is in shock over seeing his lost *more spoilers* twin brother. I still don’t know any more details than this, but I’m mostly convinced that V is a member of Mint Eye along with Unknown… yet, I don’t think that V is a bad person.

Speaking of bad people…

Okay, so Jumin? Yeah. He needs psychological help. And I want to tell him so badly, but I can’t because I know that will lead me STRAIGHT to the bad end.

You just start to think things are improving (and yes, they probably are)…

…but he still needs all the help in the world, and no matter what you’ve got to tell the RFA to keep trucking on toward the good end, your MC is really not safe.

Jumin is a very WELL DONE yandere, but he’s still a yandere, and aside from a few instances, he’s lost almost all of his romantic appeal, tbh…

All in all, it’s as Zen says:

I wanna play Seven’s route right away, as Jumin’s route made his feel very appealing. I just wanna hug the poor baby, you know?

In any case, Jumin said finally something attractive again. All hope is not lost for their happily ever after I suppose (so long as Jumin gets his much needed therapy).

I cannot stress enough that I adore his character and think it was very well done, but as far as romanceable characters go…

Zen takes the cake. ;P


Ah, no. Jumin has toned down the crazy. I’ve come to find it is a trust and maturity issue with him. He needs to mature and trust that he can let go of the things he loves whilst knowing that they will chose to return to him.

He actually said several sexy somethings that weren’t at all creepy, too! They were supposed to be sexy, right? If not, I think I’m reading this wrong. Lol

Were also gonna pretend I wasn’t shook when I saw Jumin’s new icon. Lol

Anyway, it looks like I survived all the branching off points! One more chat left in day 10, and then good ending tomorrow, here I come! Sweet Husband is exhausted from bowfishing today with his dad, so he’s already adorably, quietly snoring beside me (which he seems to do a LOT more of when he’s particularly exhausted). I think I’ll cuddle up and join him in dream land (though I’ll be woken up again in less than an hour, lol).

Until I write again, I hope everyone is doing lovely. I have so many comments to respond to from all of you and so many blog posts to read when I recover my life and sleep patterns!! Yay!!

But I’m also back in school now and have massive homework. Boo. D:

In any case, it’s been a ride. Let’s kick it at that party tomorrow and watch what Jumin has planned for a meddlesome duo…

~Shoujo

Update: Husband just snored himself awake. Cute level maximized!! 💕 💕 💕

Mystic Messenger Hell (Jumin’s Route –Day 8) *first attempt*

Dear Anime Compatriots,

When a cat is the only thing that’s stopping your leading man from going full-yandere mode on your MC…

I can’t say much from today I because I need to try and avoid massive spoilers, but…

Jumin is getting really creepy when he accidentally let’s things slip about how the MC “couldn’t leave if she wanted” and such. When the MC questions him, he briskly changes the topic. The whole thing… yanderes are not romantic; they’re deeply disconcerting.

Yes, I’m so~ sure this was a joke, Jumin:

I feel the same, Zen. Truly:

And, as the day has progressed… Zen at least has common sense. On this note, more advice for Jumin’s route:

  • Pets are a life-long dedication.
  • You want to go home, but you want to make sure Jumin is okay first.
  • No matter how scared you are, you can’t tell the RFA. You have to be “understanding.”

I’m getting serious Toma vibes here, and I just finished ranting to husband about the last point above. He has no idea why I play this game, lol.

Blow might have been the only… okay, frankly the words were sexy! Judge me not!

But yeah, super creepy besides that.

And Seven is also hilarious.

Well, I’m off to sleep for an hour! There were THREE possible bad endings today. THREE! I’m lucky I survived!

~Shoujo

Mystic Messenger Hell (Jumin’s Route –Day 7) *first attempt*

Dear Anime Compatriots,

Before I go anywhere with today’s commentary, I offer advice for Jumin’s route:

1. Elizabeth the 3rd is a treasure. Recognize that fact.

2. Jumin has emotions just like everyone else. Defend him, but help him recognize those emotions in a calm, collected way.

3. It is okay (and you are encouraged!) to express your concern. It is NOT okay to lash out at other people because of it.

4. You are NOT a gold digger, nor are you all about his fame. Don’t act like one, and don’t accuse someone else of being one either, even if it’s true. You’re above that.

5. Maintain dignity in your relationships and understand that lusting after someone’s body is beneath you. (This will happen quite a bit with Zen. Don’t be a Jaehee, even if you ship Zenhee in this route.)

6. DECORUM. RESPONSIBLY. LOGICAL. KIND AND POLITE.

I hope that helps some of you! (*^_^*)b

Anyway, the day (SO EARLY!) started off intense with a return of Zen’s prophetic dreams. We even have a throwback to another (*cough cough Zen’s cough cough*) route in there!

The game beaches early on this morning, and I was a tad nervous, but…

…everything worked out! Phew! I saved shortly after this again so that if I need to make a second attempt, I can begin on day 7!

Jumin is beginning to explore new areas of emotion. I mean, I guess he’s never had cause to be envious before.

And do you remember that early visual novel potion with the tie?? (^_-)

Jumin’s getting wise to Sarah and Glam, and he’s starting to take precautions, beginning with his maid situation…

I’ll be back with more in a bit!


Oh… oh, my gosh.

Jumin, he…

JUMIN WENT FULL YANDERE WITH ELIZABETH THE 3rd! HE DIDN’T JUST LOCK HER UP AS ONE MUST WITH PETS FROM TIME TO TIME; HE WENT *FULL YANDERE.*

And, and now his strange behavior all makes sense!! Everything he was doing that seemed so harmless has taken on a new light! And I bet you ANYTHING that he does yandere in the MC in one of the bad endings!! (No spoilers, please.)

Gah. Ah. I gotta calm down now. Gah.

Anyway, what does *this* below mean for our Jumin?? Did he have feelings for Rika, too?? I thought V have him the cat?!

Djlsbel! So much to learn and see! I’ll check back later!


Now that we know about Jumin’s yandere-ness, I’d like to add another piece of advice to the list.

7. Be careful what you wish for! You don’t want to be locked up, or obsessed over!

Also, Zen is defending Jaehee, and that makes me happy. (^-^)v

I’m learning all about yandere psychology and about Jumin’s tangled threads.

I’m laughing at Seven’s description of Jumin…

…and, get this… It’s almost time to meet Jumin! Here’s hoping that this text is not indicative that Jumin will turn…in… ALL of his attention toward my MC…

So, believe it or not, Husband and I are seeing Solo this afternoon, and the timing will just work out that I don’t miss any chats! Hopefully, when we finish the movie, I’ll get to go visit Jumin!! Toodles for now!


So, Solo was good. Better than The last Jedi, but not of Rogue One caliber. Also, in seven minutes or so, I’m off to visit Jumin Han!

Jaehee called it like she sees it; she isn’t wrong.

I forgot how much I love these last several days; they are what make losing so much sleep worth it! ❤

Ah! It’s time! Catch ya later!


Just… ah. So much has happened. It’s almost midnight so I’ll explain tomorrow.

Love, peace, geese,

Shoujo ❤

Mystic Messenger Hell (Jumin’s Route –Day 6) *first attempt*

Ha

Ha ha

Ha

Dear Anime Compatriots,

So sleep. Oh my gosh.

Just wanna sleeepppp…..

I didn’t post yesterday, but I got a lot of things done that I needed to get done and still managed to successfully complete all my chats, so that’s something. Now it’s time to backtrack and explain what day 6 held in store…

Sarah and Glam really have it out for Jumin/his dad/the company,


Ha. Um. I went back to sleep, and now it’s 9 AM. (〃ω〃)

Anyway, those two are definitely up to no good! They’re even getting into Jaehee’s business, now! How stalker-ish can you get?

Zen is just as, um… I’m going to put this politely… /confident/ as always, and he’s landed a new role in what is of course intended to be a Cheritz game musical adaptation:

Based on his costume, it isn’t hard to figure out who he’s supposed to be:

Jumin is opening up more and more re: his loneliness. He elaborates on what’s underpinning the relationship between himself and his dad (mutual isolation) and why he’s so understanding of his dad’s womanizing ways.

He’s also starting to recognize his own emotion more and more, and expressing his feelings for the MC even if he doesn’t fully realize what they mean.

Honestly, that was the jist of day 6.

Now, day 7? THAT IS QUICKLY BECOMING REALLY WEIRD.

All the best until I post again,

Shoujo

Mystic Messenger Hell (Jumin’s Route –Day 5) *first attempt*

Dear Anime Compatriots,

I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw this image appear after the recent day 5 game download:

Thank goodness! I saved just before this point, so worse comes to worse, I can reload my save and at least begin on Jumin’s route again without losing all the sleep from the Deep Route.

Right away we have a new version of Echo Girl, except this one is a gold digger. I’m not too thrilled about her entry into the game, but this too shall be endured.

It’s also quite hilarious how Yoosung is taking Jumin’s….um… interesting… advice. (^_-)

Trashy articles are now making assumptions without proper basis…

…and Jumin’s gone sweet on the MC, though in typical Jumin fashion, I don’t think he knows it yet.

Remember this advice while playing Jumin’s route; you are NOT a gold digger. Caring about Jumin, defending him, and expressing your interest in him (casually! Don’t be overly aggressive in chat!) are all fine and good, but you are NOT all about his money. 💴 🙅🏻‍♀️ 💳🙅🏻‍♀️ And he does not HAVE to marry you. Also, Elizabeth the 3rd is a goddess, and it helps if you recognize that fact frequently.

Moving back into the gameplay, Jumin gets sweeter on the MC and more concerned all the time. Bah da da da da, I’m lovin’ it.

The conversation in chat rooms has been frankly hilarious, and I’m at that point in the game where I wait eagerly for each new room to open up!

Like, Zen, why?? Why would you ask that?? Lolololol 😂

Off topic, but here’s a smol beebee bun bun I saw while I was out today. ❤ SO CUTE~

And oh, look! It’s everyone who thought Husband and I were so young when getting married… Jumin is still older than me even now, and /he’s/ too young to get married?? Lolol. Gotta tell ’em how it is.

In any case, we finally see Mr. Director, and I am surprised. I thought he’d be mostly faceless. Way to go, Jumin, standing up to your dad!!

And now that we’ve gotten into the music-changing level of in-game seriousness, it’s time for me to go set more alarms. *spoilers in the pic below*

Irina says I’m dedicated to this coverage, but I think it has temporarily stolen my soul and I don’t really have a choice, you dig? Until tomorrow!

~Shoujo ❤

P. S.

This conversation made my eyes so wide! So unexpected! O.o