Undead Darlings ~No Cure for Love~ is a mixture of a dating sim kinetic Visual Novel and a dungeon crawler. When I say a dating sim kinetic VN, I mean that choices make people like you more which leads towards romance, but said choices don’t really change the flow of the story in any real way, it just tells you who you end up with at the end.
You play as… ummm… the fuck was the MC’s name? Oh my god I don’t remember what his name is. I want to say it’s Reggie, shit I feel bad now. Well, you wake up from a weird semi-coma in your bed. Your friend, Pearl (Editor’s Note: Oh sure! You remember her name!), is there taking care of you, but she looks fucked up, granted she’s a zombie so… I mean, good on her for looking that good I guess. She still has the heart and mind of a person, likely cause she’s not eating people I think is the plot device that lets her stay normal, that’s usually what media that has zombies act as normal people says anyways. Well, your dad is an asshole, on… a lot of levels. HE is the cause of this, cause, again, he’s an asshole. He had a cure, but didn’t immediately put it into mass production to cure people, cause again, he’s an asshole. Also, the coma you were in is cause he drugged you with a newly created drug without your permission and without fully knowing what was even going to happen to you cause, you guessed it, he’s an asshole. Dickhead left you with Pearl, knowing she was a zombie, and not knowing when or if her humanity would fade, cause if faded she’d have eaten you while you were comatose. Why? Cause he’s an asshole. Also, Pearl’s dad is a cop and they ran off together to… I don’t really know why they left, there was a cure already, they left it there for YOU to deal with, and you’re a goddamn high schooler, the fuck dad? Asshole.
Well, it’s up to you to find the cure, mass produce it, and help people not be zombies anymore. Well the zombieness also caused magic to poof into existence, and even mutated some zombies into not zombie creatures, but those creatures are still evil. So you head out with Pearl to deal with this apocalypse that’s still currently ongoing, to help the people, or get laid, you know, whichever, it is a dating sim after all. Oh and Pearl isn’t the only girl, you find other zombie girls of various ages, some of which are… ‘questionable’ in age, to me at least, which are all ‘adult’ as far as the game is concerned which, let me just make clear, is a common thing for the dating sim genre and for the VN genre both. Though that’s usually the case cause it’s a JP thing and most of both of these are ported from JP to the rest of the world and the ages are changed to fit in line with outfits and… uhhh… the things you do with them we’ll say, like going on dates and falling in love and shit.
That’s as far as I’m going to talk about the story, it’s still in early access after all, no idea if they’re going to tweak the story at all or what have you, also I don’t want to ruin it for you as the story isn’t actually all that incredibly long, the dungeon crawling is what takes up most of the time in this one. And look at that great fucking segway WOOT. Good job Aki, good job. Err you didn’t see that *coughs*.
Dungeon crawling isn’t some 2D thing like you expect in lots of them, the traveling in the dungeon is more akin to games like Conglomerate 451. I usually don’t play games with that kind of visual style as I simply don’t really like it all that much. In fights though, it’s 2D, as you see pictures of the enemies you’re fighting and they attack the screen, doing damage to one of the girls, cause you don’t fight, you’re just a lowly pathetic boy, err… I mean human. You get turns and your movies change where you are in the move playlist each round. Different attacks can cause a character to move up in the attack order or back in the round. The round isn’t just your character, it’s all the characters and enemies so you see which monster attacks when and where your characters line up in it as well. There’s also a weakness and resistance scale too, if you damage an enemy with something they’re weak to you get a multiplier that builds up as long as you only hit it with attacks it’s weak to anyways. Whenever you want, you can click a button.and that multiplier is added to whatever move you put it to, if it’s defense the defense is buffed, if it’s an attack that’s buffed. The weird thing is, some enemies are weak to things that don’t take off much health, which isn’t a flaw in the system, it was made that way. It’s done to get the multiplier up high then use it with a non-weakness based attack that does proper amounts of damage to make it really kill things. I know that sounds weird so let’s do an example: a thrown attack is its weakness, slash attacks aren’t but they do real damage, whereas thrown attacks do next to no damage. Well, you build up the multiplier with the thrown weapons and eventually decide to use that multiplier with the slashed attack to do massive amounts of damage. There’s… a lot to keep track of which gets overwhelming at first, but it goes into your head pretty quickly thankfully.
Now, as stated previously with the example about the weapons, the girls use weapons, there are weapons that only specific characters’ can use, and weapons that are specific to certain characters, each character also has an accessory they can equip and new outfits/armors they can equip all which change stats in certain ways. Most equipable items have vastly different stats from each other, most of them include a negative stat too, so you need to balance stuff to prevent your character from getting a face full of dead-dead, not zombie-dead. The girls and monsters also both use magic which is somewhat unique between the girls though there is overlap. Each one starts with a different set though, but as they level up those sets start to mix a bit. Enemies are weak and resistant to different magics too so there’s that as well.
The game’s story isn’t long, the length is in the dungeon crawling as I stated, and like most RPG people, I like to farm experience. This game tells you not to do that, and really REALLY doesn’t want you to. If you try it the game will start flipping you off slowly but surely. The more you farm enemies in a dungeon, the harder they get to kill, however, the amount of experience they give doesn’t change to reflect that difficulty increase. So after a point, it’s not worth fighting them for the miniscule amounts of experience they give, and then it’s onto the next place. Or… you could be like me, a moron, and I fight them anyways cause I can, even though it gives me fuckall experience.
It’s a fun game, so I highly suggest you look for it when it comes out. It’s not even in Early Access yet technically, it’s in Beta. There isn’t a release date quite yet, but when it’s out I’ll be doing another full review of it. There are some annoyances with saving and menu moving and stuff, but it’s Beta, they’re still working on it heavily, and there’s usually an update a week or two. So I’m sure they’ll deal with those issues, and also give us the ability to play it with a mouse, right now it’s keyboard only. I’m looking forward to what it has in store.
Point of Sale: It’s planned to be released on PS4, Steam, Switch.
No known price yet as it’s still in beta.
A beta copy of the game was provided by the publisher, Sekai Project.
darkmikasonfire thoroughly looks forward to the game’s full release.