Title: The Expression Amrilato
Release Date: June 13, 2019
Reviewed On: PC
Genre: Educational Visual Novel
Not being able to communicate with someone because of a language barrier is something that we’ve all encountered one time or another. It’s a strange situation where both parties seem to desperately want the other person to understand something but their words just aren’t making sense. Well, MangaGamer and SukeraSparo expand on this premise and present it a unique way in The Expression Amrilato that takes players on a journey of educational romance. Yes, you read that right, this yuri story is also an educational visual novel.
The Expression Amrilato begins by introducing a lively girl named Rin who ends up splitting away from her group in search of tasty treats. However, a strange portal appears that spits her out into a parallel world. This new world looks exactly like hers except the sky is pink and for some reason, no one seems to understand a word she is saying.
The game handles Rin’s frustration of being lost and alone in the early parts of the story well. She goes over all of her options and tries to figure out how she got to this strange world she’s in and what exactly is going on. This all leads up to a breaking point where she curls up and begins to cry. Thankfully, her tears don’t last for long when a girl named Ruka appears to lend some help. Problem with this, though, is that Rin finds it difficult to communicate with Ruka and her Japanese doesn’t seem to be getting through to her.
This is where the biggest feature in the game kicks in. Ruka speaks a language known as Esperanto, which is an actual language that isn’t too commonly known, but it is used. The only problem is that Rin doesn’t know this language and so she must learn everything she can about it so that communication comes a little easier. The silver lining here is that Ruka knows some Japanese and this sets up Rin to learn the entry level parts of the language both reading and speaking.
During the game, players are put to the test to answer questions in Esperanto and respond during dialog. While the game is rather linear, Rin does react when getting questions wrong. The game does a great job at taking the player through a beginners course of Esperanto and then adds some more advanced material later on. Furthermore, throughout the game, players can unlock training courses that can be taken from the main menu. With that said, if you’re only here for the romance, the test portions of the game can be turned off.
The pacing in The Expression Amrilato is solid. The game keeps a clear focus on the goal of finding a way home while balancing in these educational systems. Additionally, there are a series of events that occur throughout the story that explain this strange parallel world and the people in it. Much of the story takes place at Ruka’s home and a library, which is run by Rei.
Sure, The Expression Amrilato tackles the educational aspect of learning a new language through tests and dialog, but it also conveys a beautiful friendship between these two girls. They both have things they are struggling with in life and this all comes to light as they learn to interact better with each other. Themes such as bullying and exploring one’s sexuality are touched on as these girls become closer. However, I should add that this is an all-ages visual novel, so keep your eroge thoughts to yourself.
The illustrations in The Expression Amrilato are gorgeous and have a pastel aesthetic to them that makes everything just a little more adorable. There are a lot of CG scenes in the game that features the girls hanging out, having fun, or finding themselves in awkward situations. While there’s much beauty to behold with the characters and CG scenes, there aren’t too many environments in the game, which gives it a repetitive feel given that it takes about 20 hours to complete.
Music in the game is amazing, though, as it absolutely ties in well with every scene. Thankfully, the OST is unlocked on the main menu so it’s possible to go back and listen to your favorite tracks.
The game itself doesn’t have too many faults although I would have liked to see the girls in more outfits considering they’re movements are pretty limited. Also, I felt that doing as bad as I did with some of the responses that I gave during the story should have netted me a bad ending, but they don’t really have any weight to them and the CGs will unlock regardless of how well the player does. Although the game does contain additional ending depending on some of the responses towards the end of the story. Pretty much they are each cute and have nice conclusion depending on what the player desires.
The Expression Amrilato is a pure romance story of two people who are becoming closer against all odds. The level of attention that the writers give to make this friendship believable in such a hectic and unexpected situation pays off as the pacing in the story is its biggest strength. After the game is complete, players can return to their Esperanto learning and take the game’s various tests, which there is a large variety of.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from The Expression Amrilato, but what I got was a charming and memorable story of two people trying their hardest to communicate. I guess all it takes for me to be interested in learning a new language is to include it in a yuri game, but hey, it worked. Adiaŭ.
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