Game Info:

Japanese School Life
Developed by: code:jp
Published by: Sekai Project
Release date: November 22, 2016
Available on: Windows
Genre: Visual Novel
Number of players: Single-player
Price: $9.99


Thank you Sekai Project for sending us this game to review!

As a fan of anime, I’m intrigued by Japanese culture and would love to visit Japan someday.  Through the various high school themed animes I’ve learned about many of Japan’s pastimes. I’ve realized that there’s much more to learn after playing Japanese School Life.  

Japenese School Life is a 2D visual novel that gives you a glimpse into the life of typical high school kids.  You’ll learn about etiquette and various customs that take place throughout the year.  This three-and-a-half-hour visual novel features multiple endings and a nekomimi mode if you want everyone to wear cat ears.

The main character is Brian, a self-proclaimed otaku (obsessed fan) that becomes a foreign exchange student.  He is permitted to stay in Japan for one school year which is broken up into three trimesters.  Brian wants to absorb as much of Japan’s culture as possible and desires to visit several locations that are on his “bucket list.” 

Japanese School Life

Strong Points: An interesting way to learn about Japanese culture
Weak Points: Not many choices to make in this three and a half hour game
Moral Warnings: Minor language (d*mmit, hell); bikinis are shown in the summer time; references to gods and Buddhism; fortune telling 

On his first day he meets and exchanges cell phone numbers with two girls who are polar opposites, personality wise.  Chiyoko is the studious class representative who is soft spoken and very courteous.   Arisa is very outspoken and competitive when it comes to sports.  Both Brian and Arisa freak out when it comes to test taking and get together with Chiyoko for study sessions.

There’s more than studying as the students enjoy singing karaoke and going to arcades to play crane games.  In the summertime the girls wear revealing bikinis and take part in suikawari which involves swatting a watermelon with a stick piñata style until it cracks.  

Since Brain loves anime and manga, he visits Akihabara which is a mecca for those hobbies along with gaming.  He also attends Comic Market, or Comiket for short, and he discovers a secret about one of the girls there.  There is a school trip that takes place in the more traditional Kyoto and much is revealed about Japan’s history there.

Japanese School Life
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 80%
Gameplay - 15/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 81%
Violence - 10/10
Language - 7/10
Sexual Content - 6.5/10
Occult/Supernatural - 7/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

Depending on the choices made throughout the game Brian can fall in love with Chiyoko or Arisa.  There are six Steam achievements and two of them are for each of the endings.  Another achievement can be unlocked for playing the game in Japanese.  While the voice acting is in Japanese you can have English subtitles.  Unfortunately, there are a few instances of minor cussing with the word d*mmit appearing a few times and hell used a couple of times.  The voice acting was well done, but I wish there was more variety in the background music.

Visually there’s a fair amount of variety in Japanese School Life.  Throughout the year the girl’s uniforms will change along with the climate.  For example, in the wintertime they’ll be bundled up in coats.  There are a few holiday parties where the girls wear Halloween costumes or Santa outfits.  Some of the cutscenes switch visual styles to a cute chibi cartoon mode as opposed to the anime appearance.

Though the premise and characters are cute, I wasn’t as drawn into this visual novel in comparison to others I have played. It certainly is educational and more fun than some “edutainment” style games though.  The price is a reasonable $9.99 and there’s a free demo to check it out before purchasing it.


About the Author

Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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