Title: Neko-Mimi Sweet Housemates Vol. 1
Developer: Animal Herb
Release Date: April 8, 2022
Reviewed On: PC
Publisher: Sekai Project
Genre: Visual Novel
Visual Novels are games designed to tell a story by engrossing the audience in experiences you would never get from a simple book while also telling a story you wouldn’t typically get from a game. This hodge-podge of medians encompasses a wide variety of genres, ranging from the ever-popular romance to the dark and edgy horror genre.
What all these genres have in common is that they’re designed to fit the mold of the story and to immerse the reader in a world just for them. For example, Neko-Mimi Sweet Housemates Vol 1. is a romance Visual Novel I recently had the opportunity to play through. This story follows a Voiceless/Faceless/Nameless protagonist and his everyday life after meeting a special girl named Mint.
Neko-Mimi Sweet Housemates Vol. 1 begins with our protagonist meeting Mint who is curled up and looks to be unconscious on the ground. Once they start to speak, our MC (main character) notices that Mint isn’t your ordinary everyday girl. He immediately notices that she has something very peculiar protruding from her head. When she wakes up, he notices that those “weird protrusions” are actually her ears. She complains that she’s hungry, and in typical rom-com-esque fashion, the two journey back to his apartment, where they begin living together from that day forward.
The romance is rather quick, and instead of being a slow burner, where each character comes to accept the other, you get an H-scene and love confession within 30 minutes of gameplay. This surprised me, mainly due to Mint and her original shy and timid disposition. However, mint quickly warms up to our MC, and they become lovers leading her to admit that she is a Cherubim (an angel and animal hybrid, with her being part cat in this case) and she was cast from heaven by God to search for something special.
During our favorite Angel’s homestay, we meet Lily and Cacao. Lily is a seductive half-demon with an appetite for the sensual, while Cacao is Mint’s younger sister that has chased her sister down in hopes of finding out what happened and why she won’t return home. These two characters are pretty different from the energetic and ditzy Mint. Lily adds the seductive older woman charm, whereas Cacao is your typical Tsundere that acts and speaks impulsively before she thinks while also obsessing over her older sister.
As stated earlier, this is an eroge, and if you grab the all-ages version and feel compelled, the 18+ DLC is free on Denpasoft.
What I enjoyed most were the moving CGs for each of the three ladies. These characters appear to move during these scenes, which allows the reader to get a much better grasp of the emotions and expressions the girls have. A side note to this is that the H-Scenes were not animated in the same way, which I felt was a disappointment considering how good the models are.
Neko-Mimi is a Kinetic Visual Novel, so there are no choices and only a single ending. However, it has a really nice feature built into the UI to easily switch between English, Japanese, and Chinese text options at any point without having to restart your game. Unfortunately, this does not affect your backlog, so it may end up being a culmination of several languages if you switch often.
While I came into this game expecting an overly sweet harem-style romance, much like the Nekopara series, I was slightly underwhelmed by the delivery. While, on the one hand, you do get the harem and sweet romantic moments, when you look at the other hand, you’re fed the romance and relationships quickly. Unfortunately, this led to me not investing as much care into the relationships our MC built as much as I would have liked.
Neko-Mimi Sweet Housemates Vol. 1 is a relaxing and vanilla adventure about one man, his “pet,” and her companions. Still, it offers little new to the genre, and yet, it was still an enjoyable narrative. I’d recommend it to fans of light-hearted romance and supernatural elements and those that feel like a wholesome rom-com.
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