Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Show of hands: who’s up for a little romance in their life? Well, I can’t promise you a real life experience, but I can promise you a comedic adventure that will keep your heart pumping with the fuzzies, because who doesn’t like to be thrown into a cliché scenario of playing pretend girlfriend with your best friend or a college classmate? How ’bout a scandalous supermodel? No? Then let’s throw in an up-coming star? Whatever appeases your appetite I’m sure one of our lovely bachelors are up to the task.
As cliché as it may seem we still crave the obvious drama that will unfold. So grab that pen and paper, because I’m about to give you some pointers.
Lover Pretend follows the story of a college student named Chiyuki Ueda, who is an aspiring screen writer following in her late mother’s footsteps, but she has another hidden agenda. Chiyuki wishes to discover who her father is. Never having met him, she believes her father is someone who worked on a movie her mother helped screen write in her youth. When an opportunity arises to be involved in a future production that is directed by the same man that directed her mother’s movie, Chiyuki jumps head first at the occasion. The problem? Most of the people working on the movie have had some type of close relation or connection to her mother. Will Chiyuki finally find the answer she is looking for, or will she be swept up in an undeniable romance where everyone wants her to play the ‘Pretend’ girlfriend!?
- Childhood Friend
- Lover of Fried Chicken
Kazuma Kamikubo is a hair stylist and the main character’s childhood friend. He’s been supporting her dream since junior high and has evidently had a crush on her just as long. Totally the kind of guy you can depend on, he does have a klutzy side and will tend to put you in an embarrassing situation. He can get a little possessive and overly protective, but he means well. If you’re looking for a guy with crazy stylish red hair, ready to cuddle and is super supportive then this dork is for you.
- Abroad Snob
- Sweet Squishy Tsun-Tsun
- Sparkly Eyed Dreamer
Harumi Makino is the director’s son who gets roped in to helping at the actors camp. A bit of an introvert he tends to keep to himself and is mostly antisocial to people he’s not comfortable with. But one day you walk in on him geeking out over some anime merch. Embarrassed, he asks you to keep it a secret, especially from his father. Sometime after camp, he bucks up enough courage to ask you out on a site pilgrimage, visiting multiple different destinations featured in his favourite animes. Never having anyone one else to open up to about his passion, you’ll discover how this shy and inexperienced guy is nothing more then a sweet cinnamon roll who wishes to direct anime someday.
- Sir Tease-alot
- King of Ministagram
- Hotter when Wet
Yukito Sena is one of Japan’s hottest models and just so happens to be the son of the producer who worked on ‘Pretend to Love’ (the movie Chiyuki’s mom wrote). This hot blooded heart-throb will say just about every cheesy line in the book to have ladies fawn at his feet, but not Chiyuki. Intrigued by her dismissive attitude he pursues her in order to see what makes her tick. He’s both incredibly driven and observant of people around him, even if he plays it off as someone aloof, but don’t let that fool you. He loves to tease you and will always try to take you out on dates.
- Child Star
- Mr. Slime
- Hot Trash
Riku Nishijima is the son of famous actor Yosuke Nishijima and also played a small role in ‘Pretend to Love’ back when he was young. As a hot and talented actor, everyone expects him to achieve perfection, but Chiyuki seems to think that acting isn’t really what he dreams for. He comes off as nice and reserved, but people can change into their true selves behind locked doors. Maybe having Chiyuki around could brew up the greatest scandal of his career yet.
As you play through the story the game will have moments where Chiyuki will have to play along and ‘Pretend’ to be something she’s not. This is where ‘Pretend Time’ comes in. A small rapid Q & A that will change the course of your affection level with your partner.
There are three types of grades you can acquire: Bad, Success and Complete. Bad results are for those who got 0-1 answers correct, Success is between 2-4, and Complete is answering all 5 questions correctly. If you find that you got something wrong and wish to retry, you can. The mini event will throw you a ‘Save’ option prompt just before you start, because once you start you can’t retry in the middle of the event, you’ll have to wait until after it’s over to access your load screen.
I found this interaction to be a unique take on gaining love points towards your possible lover, where as most Otome games tend to just have random Q & A’s or choice selections pop up during crucial moments in character routes.
Behind the Scenes
If you’re interested in getting to know the characters a little better you can access the Album in the main menu, which will lead you into a section where you can look back on photo events, movie cut-scenes, music, ending list (multiple endings), the dictionary (words that are highlighted as important within the story), profiles and back-stage close ups.
The back stage section allows you to view additional scenes that weren’t in the main story. Kinda like extra content and back stories between certain groups of characters. It’s a nice little touch which can usually lead to comedic scenes or serious insight.
To conclude, Lover Pretend really was a journey about a girl who ends up pretending to be someone’s girlfriend. Some scenarios of how certain characters become a pretend couple are understandable, while others were… questionable. Like bro, WHAT!?
With the main character being quite flavourful and able to go with the flow (bless her understanding heart) towards everyone’s wacky request, this Rom-Com comes out quite enjoyable. I’m giving this game my rating of 8 out of 10, for continuing to bring cliché scenarios back to light.Score: 8 / 10