Foreword: I remember Samoyed Smile for their charage “Samidare Growing Up”, which was more advertised as a nukige but I really enjoyed some of the silliness and “group of friends” atmosphere that the game presented. Naturally a second game from this company would receive my appraisal, so here we have this title.
Quite an impactful game, I honestly thought this would be one of your average charage until I noticed an unusually high quality introduction which made me look up who the writers were. Sure enough I see “porori” as one of the scenario writers, (Hint: porori wrote the loliita series that I gave the utmost praise for character interaction) and this alone really explained the amazing character interactions and foreshadowing.
After this, it was all uphill; I was extremely engaged with this game that despite the game having several bugs (including how some Configurations wouldn’t save or the title screen glitched), I wasn’t annoyed and literally finished this game much quicker than I expected. I honestly hope with this review I can emphasize the pros and discuss the cons of this game, so let’s get started!
Title: 夜巡る、ボクらの迷子教室 (Yorumeguru, bokura no maigo kyoushitsu)
Producers: Samoyed Smile
Release Date: November 24, 2017
VNDB Link: https://vndb.org/v21405
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=964241
Game Type: Slice-of-life, realistic, drama game with recurring themes of psychological problems
Summary: Haruki sees himself as a failure as a teacher. While he would argue that the corruption within the classroom or the unfairness of society wasn’t necessarily his fault, he has learned to become apathetic towards his students and everyone around him as he was ridiculed, insulted, and oppressed his entire career. His mother who he admired was long gone and he hates his father who wasn’t there for either of them, he lives by himself with nothing to look forward in life.
One day he receives an offer. His father who is now bedridden with an illness agrees to give Haruki his entire inheritance of 400 million en (about $4 million) if he can teach the students who have not yet graduated at the school his father was the headmaster at. This school was to be closed with his death, and these last students who weren’t able to graduate or transfer to other schools become part of Haruki’s life as his desire for money got the better of him. He still hates being a teacher, but holds onto his mother’s words of encouragement as he struggles with his trauma.
But it’s not an easy task. These students weren’t able to graduate for a reason, and Haruki really needs to step out of his comfort zone to guide these students to success.
and flirt with young girls because this is an eroge
Story Length: Moderately Long (25 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Slightly Easy
Comments: Relatively a longer game which really worked out to my delight because it was quite good. Choices were complicated just enough to require a bit of thinking from the readers, so that was nice. It’s not too hard though. An extra H-scene opens up for each heroine, with two for Riko which I’ll discuss below in her section.
Character Design Rating: 8/10
Story Rating: 7/10
Protagonist Rating: 8/10
Game Quality: Low
Overall Rating: 8/10
Rating Comments: The real pro of this game is that not only do you have problems of the heroines, you also have the problem of the protagonist which remains consistent throughout the entire game. Not only does this make the protagonist more interesting to watch, but it makes him feel much more human and someone the reader can relate with… which is actually another thing I really want to praise this game for presenting so expertly; the corruption of society and how the honest people are the ones to suffer most: it really hits home with anyone who is as cynical as me, and I genuinely was able to feel the same anger that Haruki felt. Immersion to the highest extent. Big plus points.
In reality, I’m sure many of us felt this emotion at one point in our lives.
Characters are superbly designed with a couple of impactful surprises which is displayed in a form of psychological trauma–each character holds a deep scar regarding something they’ve experienced during their life, and because it’s a trauma, they act rather radically when they are placed in the respective situations.
Story is also very fluid, as expected of porori. If you remember reading my loliita series reviews, you shouldn’t be surprised to have me praising this writer front and back. While there is that “school-life” setting, most of the scenario revolved around real-life problems that characters may have faced, and I actually want to talk more about it with each character summaries so I’ll leave it for now.
One thing I was really curious about was how you could actually listen to the heroine’s “inside voices” occasionally, which heavily implies their trauma. More word on this later.
A character who appears rebellious, Hayate actually has a great trauma with her name and acts vehemently to anyone who calls her by her first name. She’s also very disrespectful of Haruki at first as well, and doesn’t seem to want to put in the effort in class.
However, Haruki soon finds out that this girl has been dealing with a lot more trouble than she can handle, often sleeping outside or starving because she does not want to go back home. Her interaction with Haruki really starts with him offering her a place to stay.
Hayate’s story deals with her family and how she was essentially an “unwanted child”. It’s actually not as dramatic as it sounds because it’s really the mother of the family who hates her and the other members are simply too cowardly, which creates multiple misunderstandings and conflicts for this girl even after she agrees to return home.
Hayate’s route is also the only one that really goes into resolving the same “family issue” that Haruki had. It did hit me in the feels though, so kudos to porori (+ the other writers) for being able to do that.
The girl who is actually more enthusiastic to learn, Kina is shown as that unfortunate character who is so dumb her enthusiasm + efforts amount to no actual results. Unlike Hayate who doesn’t actually try, Kina is a girl who suffers because of her lack of talent in studying.
As more of a comical character, Kina’s naivety and childishness may seem a bit off-putting for readers, but at least in her own route, she becomes this sense of peace for Haruki since his entire life was all about trusting no one and living on the edge. Kina’s lax personality allows him to really step back and take a look at himself, in addition to calming his nerves especially when it comes to his own trauma of teaching.
Overall, I thought Kina’s route was good and bad. Good because the theme was consistent, Kina’s trauma was highly valid, and the two really seemed like a good match. The bad is really that the problem at hand in Kina’s route is never really resolved and overall I personally felt the story was left incomplete and left a bitter taste in my mouth.
I think it’s really surprising that Riko was a heroine despite how she wasn’t really related to the scenario; she is actually the daughter of Ayako, Haruki’s third student who never appears in the beginning of the game.
Haruki becomes concerned about Ayako who was consistently absent and not returning calls, which after visiting her directly he finds out that it was due to Riko being ill.
porori’s loliita series also leaves a heavy impression here as this young character is actually extremely mature; even more than her own mother. She is much more knowledgeable about lifestyle, able to maintain her emotions and actions, and even has decent social skills.
It’s just that all of this was due to the two of them really having trouble adjusting to a lifestyle with no fatherly figure, and Riko being a frail child has to do with exactly this; how she is considered abnormal. While I did find Riko’s design to be highly unrealistic, I still felt a tingling sense of sympathy for the two heroines who really had no one else but themselves.
I personally thought that the route would be more geared towards Ayako, or at least involve her a little more which was more disappointing (plus the fact that there’s no taboo about Riko either). Though on the bright side there is an “oyako-don” omake scene if you’re into that kind of stuff.
I sure appreciate it
I’m still salty that Ayako didn’t get a route of her own because I related with her most throughout the game and she deserves to be happy
Sexual Content: Moderate
Comments: Much of this game is really a extension of what porori would write in his Loliita series; a protagonist who is older but has some form of disdain for the society, and the heroines that really share the same idea but in a different way. These two “outcasts” soon find themselves attracted to each other, and thus starts the romantic relationship. Honestly, I fucking love this kind of design. Not only is it difficult to create, needing some form of conflict for both the heroine and the protagonist, but this also needs to work with each other, meaning you can’t have one problem for a heroine that doesn’t play well with the protagonist (though this isn’t as hard)
Kina’s background was the most extreme, almost to the point her personality and character was justified
In this sense, the story really had a lot to offer to the readers, especially since the game kept throwing conflicts at the characters right after another creating that chaotic but highly realistic
(because we know life sucks) atmosphere.
Hayate: I don’t need you to tell me that
Since eroge is geared towards audience ages 18~30, the game does an extraordinary job describing the pain and suffering that normal individuals might experience, especially within the school setting where the environment that you’re placed in makes every issue a very sensitive one to deal with. This sense of reality in addition to how well the introduction displayed the protagonist’s anger towards this kind of reality allows readers to empathize with him immediately. Same thing with heroines–all in all this was some amazing design this game had.
One other thing I wanted to discuss was how you could hear the inside voices of heroines at certain times. This was actually a good trait considering it foreshadows the heroine’s trauma, AND the entire environment changes to a much gloomier one after hearing this voice which was just superb. The con was really why this existed in the first place; the protagonist doesn’t really have powers to listen to these voices so this entire feature (while it contributed to the story) felt out of place. It might have been better if there was a scene transition into the heroine’s viewpoint instead for a brief period.
Kina: Die Mr.
Onto the cons though; biggest problem was the inconsistency. One scene you have a dead serious atmosphere and the other you don’t. One route you have X problem when that same problem (which should’ve been present in a different route) doesn’t even appear. In reality all the heroines were superbly designed and I really enjoyed their routes. It’s just that I wish most of their psychological problems appeared in the main route and resolved in there as well, with something more subtle within their respective routes that MAY not have happened in other routes
As an example. Hayate’s trauma deals with trust, and while the game does take some time to display her developing trust for the protagonist within the main route, her main issue with her family doesn’t make an appearance at all in other heroine routes even though it was clearly there.
Though I’m not really sure what her route could have been about if her family issues were resolved in the main route
Conclusion is actually rather rushed and generally doesn’t actually resolve the problem at hand (though it makes some huge implications), and also seems to want the reader read between the lines especially at the climax or the ending which is unwanted and makes things much more vague and convenient.
The one more thing I noticed was that this game actually has some in-your-face bugs and the music is of much lower quality so it did suffer in those external components.
Bug: You called?
Affection for the Characters: High
CG Score: 6/10
Music Score: 3/10
- Heroines are superbly designed with enough development for the reader to feel sympathy towards them to a large extent.
- Haruki well represents the majority of the audience but is also highly active throughout the game with his own monologues which clearly showed his change of heart from being cynical to caring.
- The game really keeps the reader on the edge of his seat with additional conflicts after another, which makes it exciting and realistic.
- Some of these “trauma” especially with Kina is a bit extreme.
- The game does suffer in external components such as low quality music or how there was a bug that prevented me from returning to the title screen after finishing Riko’s route.
- Some components such as “illness” is a bit overused in my opinion
- More of a personal thing, but how some conflict isn’t completely resolved was something I found a bit lacking, though to be fair to the game, it may have been suggesting that not all things in life can be completely resolved.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with this title by Samoyed. I had a decent experience with their previous charage and expected similarly here, but porori’s writing took this game through the roof. While definitely lacking in the humor department, the main theme, flow, and morale of this game is solid and well worth giving a look.