Otome visual novels have been fairly present in the west for a while now, and every one of them has a unique story, for better or for worse. Recently I had the opportunity to try out the newest otome game installment from Mihoyo, Tears of Themis.
Tears of Themis happens to be a mixed bag of a few different inspirations. The scenario is akin to that of Ace Attorney, where you collect evidence, solve cases in court, and present arguments, but there are also elements of a tactical RPG.
Tears of Themis’s design was possibly one of the points that caught my attention first. The character illustrations are very detailed, and their animations and key art are overflowing with quality. The UI is clean and responsive without cumbersome menus, although I did encounter some issues with the text, I believe that the game’s launch will fix this.
In Tears of Themis, players progress through a series of acts featuring an unnamed female protagonist (she doesn’t have a “default” name), a lawyer of the Themis Legal Firm. Your job as a law school graduate is to solve cases from clients to prove their innocence. Each stage will offer new realizations in terms of clues and evidence. There are also ways to examine the scenes to put together a valid case for the court. Throughout interactions, terms are added to a glossary, similar to other visual novels, to further read into your findings using the protagonist’s phone.
During the argument phase, the tactical RPG elements appear. To win, you must break your opponent’s point arguments that take form in four elements, Logic, Intuition, Empathy, and Neutral. A bad matchup may lead to you dealing less damage to your opponent than usual.
However, you can’t enter this Argument without Cards. Those are obtained by…spending Tears of Themis to perform Visions that will manifest into the detailed (and quite beautiful) cards of the 4 main characters met during the story on the, you guessed it, gacha. You can obtain Tears of Themis by completing missions, login bonuses and purchasing them using S Chips. The method is almost identical to the one utilized in Genshin Impact.
As you go through the story, you might feel that the overall logic of the cases sounds awfully simple if you played games such as Ace Attorney or Danganronpa. However, I think this works to this game’s advantage. You don’t need to rack your brain to find a complicated answer. Instead, just let the story flow and guide you. Still, there are some decent unexpected story beats.
Most of the issues I encountered mainly involved the text. Some lines had a few punctuation and grammar mistakes, while others were formatted incorrectly or awkwardly spaced out. Considering the game is still in beta, I can only imagine those errors will be smoothed out during the Language Quality Assurance (LQA) phase following feedback.
Tears of Themis surpassed my expectations by a long shot. I was drawn in by the high-quality illustrations and narrative that create a decent mobile gameloop worth returning to. While a few text issues popped up from time to time, I can’t say they hindered me from navigating a crime scene effectively. I can’t wait to be in the courtroom again when Tears of Themis officially launches in the west later this year on mobile devices.
This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate Noisy Pixel earns from qualifying purchases.