Trap Shrine Review – Because Why the Hell Not?

    Title: Trap Shrine
    Developer: No Strike
    Release Date: March 29, 2019
    Reviewed On: PC
    Publisher: Eroge Japan
    Genre: eroge

Writing lead-ins to reviews is hard sometimes. Which is why I’ve opted to start talking about publisher Eroge Japan’s latest title Trap Shrine developed by No Strike with a lead-in, about the difficulty of lead-ins. Then we move onto saying I needed to open up this review with a disclaimer. Look, a title like this doesn’t give me much joking material that isn’t offensive so I’m playing with what I’ve got. I hope you can understand my dilemma.

Disclaimer: The word trap is used within this game by two crossdressers, explicitly referring to these same two crossdressers i.e themselves. Or at least I think they’re crossdressers. They’re not terribly consistent. Within the game, the word “trap” is not used as a slur, or against trans people and you should probably never call a transitioning person a trap. I’ve found it’s just better to call people what they want to be called.

Trap Shrine is a short kinetic visual novel that follows the viewpoint of Masato [nolastnamegiven], our faceless protagonist, who happens to be the priest/ruling body of his family’s shrine. Evidentally, he was orphaned before he could finish school and bears the responsibility of making sure the failing shrine stays afloat, as fewer people are making pilgrimages and offerings. How will he uphold his family’s legacy in these troubling times?… No idea and Trap Shrine’s plot has nothing to do with that.

Instead, Trap Shrine turns into a comedic love triangle story starring Masato’s childhood friend, Mishiro and Himegami-no-Mikoto (or Yui for short), the god of Masato’s family shrine. The two of them spend most of the visual novel vying for Masato’s affection. You’ll probably guess now from the title, in case you happened to miss the disclaimer, that the two of them are in fact, crossdressers. That’s just how it is sometimes. Oh yeah, I said they’re both vying for Masato’s affection didn’t I. Let me rephrase that. They spend most of their fighting for Masato’s affection, and this is reflected in the most anime way possible.

trap shrine 2

The remainder of Trap Shrine is about 2 to 4 hours worth of this. Cute characters fighting over a standard self-insert with lots of shenanigans and fan-service. Lots of fanservice. The art style is easy to look at and lends itself to some very good visuals. I wish there were more honestly, it doesn’t come across as overly moe and I didn’t need to take a bit to get used to the style like I have other games of this type.

While the title is pretty clean and safe for work, well as safe as playing a fanservice-type story like this at work is, you can also go and download yourself the R-18 patch off the developer’s website which adds some h-scenes into the game. While they aren’t necessary, I’m not sure I know anyone who would plan on playing this type of game without them.

trap shrine 1

On a totally different note, the options menu is decent. Nice blues and pinks work as a good color scheme, and there are a few more options than I expected for a game of this size. The menu is broken up into a system and sound category, not all crammed onto one page, which is amusingly detailed since a player isn’t likely ever going to visit these pages more than, what, twice? The soundtrack is fairly standard and does its job, but there is a noteworthy track at the end of the story which steals the show.

Trap Shrine is a short game that has few real flaws due to that short runtime. However, it’s just enough to tide a player over for a few hours. It’s not terribly cheap though, clocking in at just under $15. It’s definitely a title that I’d be hesitant about grabbing unless it was on sale. With that said, if you like this type of content, by all means, grab a copy to support the developers. Thankfully, there is some good quality amusement to be found within its zany scenarios.

A review copy of the title was provided by the publisher for review purposes

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Pyre Kavanagh

Senior Editor - Illusions to illusions. Will solve murder mysteries for money so they can buy more murder mysteries. @PyreLoop on twitter