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Game Info:

How to Raise a Wolf Girl
Developed By: Sweet&Tea
Published By: Sekai Project
Released: October 11, 2019
Available On: Windows
Genre: Visual Novel
ESRB Rating: None specified (Developers Notes: Nudity but nothing explicit shown (no nipples/genitals). Mildly sexual dialog and references to sexual content.)
Number of Players: Single-player
Price: $19.99

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

One of the foremost classic works of Japanese literature is "The Tale of Genji." It pioneered many firsts in the world of literature, including the concept of an older man raising a girl in a platonic, paternal way, and when she comes of legal age, the relationship then takes a romantic connotation as he takes the now-grown woman as his wife. How to Raise a Wolf Girl cribs more than a few notes from this work in its tale of a similar situation, only with the twist the girl has wolf ears.

The story is that a wolf girl named Iroha once lived among humans, but then spent some time in another world with her father, but her father has her return to the world of people because he wants her to not forget how to live in the world of men.

This is when she meets the protagonist Shuuji, and a guy who already has a potential human girlfriend waiting in the wings now finds himself taking care of Iroha. He takes her under his wing and helps her relearn how to live as a human being, including relearning the skill of speaking with others as well shedding some of her "feral" habits.

How to Raise a Wolf Girl
Highlights:

Strong Points: Excellent piano-based soundtrack and animations
Weak Points: Unstable engine; various graphical glitches; bad UI color scheme making reading text difficult
Moral Warnings: Considerable amounts of sexual innuendo; the possibility to defy parental figures; sex outside of marriage; frequent nudity (albeit mostly non-explicit in the censored version); the potential for sexual relations with someone of questionable mental age whom you are supposed to be something of a parental/guardian figure for; frequent reference to Japanese animist traditions and myth; potential harem route

The story, in general, is a mix of romantic comedy and has elements of Japanese myth (cribbing especially from Japan's animist traditions). The romantic comedy aspect concerns how Iroha and several other characters are potential romantic paramours with Shuuji. The mythological aspects come from Iroha's not entirely human heritage and how Shuuji and the other members of the cast help her re-adapt to the society of Humanity once more. There is also the possibility of becoming romantically involved with Iroha, with Shuuji becoming more than just her inadvertent guardian. While the version of the game reviewed is the censored version, this still carries the implications Shuuji winds up in frank sexual activity with Iroha (and/or Kana if you go that route) if he goes down a certain set of choices chosen by the player.

Graphically, this is a well-drawn, richly animated visual novel with expressive faces including optional eye blinking. The colors are vibrant and the airy anime aesthetic makes this VN easy on the eyes. There are some graphical glitches if certain game settings are changed and the game does not adapt well to switching to different tasks, which can result in some minor graphical errors at times. The text box has an unfortunately bright yellow backdrop and hard to see text that is white-colored, even with text shadows added.

Sound is the typical Japanese voice acting, some of which is rather shrill and high pitched but otherwise not too unpleasant. Music has a lot of piano styled pieces that sound very pleasant, and I would recommend listening to them if you want some relaxing music while you play.

Controls are typically point-and-click like most visual novels and are thankfully quite responsive. Stability of the game, however, is not as good, as on top of the graphical glitches I mentioned, which are not infrequent, I did get some occasional crashes due to game engine issues that cropped up for no apparent reason at the time, so frequent progress saving is a good idea.

Morally, this game is definitely on some shaky grounds as well.

Violence is thankfully absent, and language, if any, remains rather mild in the profanity department, with only occasional usage of some strong language. As for sexual comments and innuendo, that is quite frequent, unfortunately, and they are especially prevalent from the human female option, who is not very subtle about wanting to be sexually forward with you.

How to Raise a Wolf Girl
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 82%
Gameplay - 15/20
Graphics - 9/10
Sound - 9/10
Stability - 3/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 58%
Violence - 10/10
Language - 8/10
Sexual Content - 3/10
Occult/Supernatural - 4/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 4/10

As for sexual content, there is a fair amount of partial nudity even in the censored version, especially because of the titular wolf-girl (who is largely human but with a wolf tail and ears), who has to be taught for a fair majority of the plot not to run around naked, which due in part to her stunted social knowledge and partially to her animalistic nature. Most scenes are portrayed in a way to show her innocence early on, but even in the censored version (should you try romancing her later), these scenes take on an increasingly sexualized tone, and while the censored version stops well short of the explicit frontal nudity of the adult version, this is still a game not suitable for non-adults. The other romance option has some scenes also played for obvious titillation. Further, both romance paths involve strongly implied sex outside of marriage, frank sexual overtures, the possibility of threesomes, defiance of parental figures to engage in licentious sex they made clear in advance they would not consent to allow, marriage or otherwise, and in short none of the sexual content even in the censored version (which omits explicit sex scenes) is remotely morally appropriate.

This game also draws a lot from Japanese animist tradition, with the title character being based on Japanese myth, with all the occult, supernatural, and religious implications that would imply. Culturally and ethically speaking, this game has a lot of red flags as well.

As mentioned above, the story borrows themes from "The Tale of Genji", where a parental/guardian figure raises a girl who they later enter an intimate relationship with, and while the censored version cuts out most of the explicit scenes of the results, the implications are still disturbing and not at all subtle. Worse, the more mundane romance option still involves rampant promiscuity, especially encouraged outside the context of marriage and with the openly declared intent of engaging in promiscuous sex, especially in defiance of parental authority figures, which is required should you choose to go this route. There is also a possible harem route, combining aspects of the other two routes in all their moral issues.

Overall, it's got decent production values, is a bit rough around the edges and somewhat shaky from a stability standpoint, but it is worth getting on sale if the themes are not a concern and you want a visual novel styled after classical Japanese literary style. From a moral point of view, I could not in good conscience recommend the censored version to anyone who is not an adult (and even then it's quite likely inappropriate for them), and I would not recommend even the uncensored version to adults in any case.

About the Author

Daniel Cullen

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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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