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Published July 6, 2014

Despite popular public opinion, writing a review isn’t easy.

Not only must the reviewer must be a uniquely qualified, slightly maniacal Internet asshole, but there must also be enough information on the topic to fully flesh out what it either did right or wrong. However, in this particular gaming community, you won’t always get titles that are fit to do a full review on; which has been something I have been trying to address behind the scenes of the HQ. The best solution I could come up with is to just do a few quick points on shorter and episodic titles; mostly without scores and hopefully under one thousand words.

So, let’s get this thing rocking with Skights. What is Skights? Skights is a visual novel developed for Joilly, a flash-based visual novel engine. I have mentioned on Twitter that this game is basically Candy Land: The Game of Thrones Edition. Why? Well, let’s get started and I’ll tell you!

The first episode is there to introduce our three heroines and the world they reside in. Their universe is purposely ridiculous and quite literally a candy land with Neapolitan Ice Cream-inspired lands and peoples. It sets an interesting tone since any well-balanced human brain would look at the scenery and laugh. And to be fair, the game itself doesn’t ask you to take everything seriously as no one should ever be forced to take someone named Sir Colin of the Cotton Candy Country or the High Lord of Chocolate seriously. I’m pretty sure such an act is illegal under the Geneva Convention anyway.

And then we get to the girls themselves. Here’s where the Game of Thrones part insert itself as we are treated to everyday scenes from the lives of Sam, a wilding Strawberry girl, Nessie, a demure and soft-spoke Vanilla child and Cassandra, the high born daughter of the High Lord of the Chocolate. I still can’t believe I managed to type that with a straight face. Anyway, while the world around them is ridiculous, their lives are played completely straight. This is especially true with Cassandra who, to be fair the writer, is dealt a severe blow in a vein similar certain family songs from certain TV shows that I have been accused of singing too much in the shower.

In another setting the path forward is crystal clear for Cassandra. Even taking different paths would have fleshed out her character and given the audience someone to root for in a way that you simply can’t for the other two girls given their set up. Nessie is handled similarly to many of her otome sisters as she is trusted on by adults, sneered and treated cruelly by her peers and quietly pines for the attention of a ridiculously bishonen childhood friend. Her story is absolutely basic and doesn’t leave a lot to the imagination.

But at least she has one.

Hands down the worst of the three is Sam who we see hunting for breakfast in front of a blank background. She shows no likable traits, has nothing of importance happen to her and, worst of all, this will most likely make her the most important character of the story. The overarching theme of the story is a fable that puts a lot of emphasizes on the wildlings of this world. The exact point of having this fable open up the game would seem to point to a more epic storyline, however with only Cassandra to directly tie the other two girls to any sort of epicness, that remains in the air.

Finally, since I already spoiled this part, let’s just talk about it. By game’s end, all three of our heroines will be granted mystical gowns: which means there is some sort of magic they now have access to…which technically makes them Magical Girls. Here’s an ignorant question: WHY? Considering the jumbled plot threads and the weak characterizations, the LAST thing you’d think would be dropped onto the pile are magical powers. I don’t know guys. The simple truth is that you can’t be outlandish and over-the-top while asking the audience to take certain parts seriously. Future episodes will either make or break Skights in that regard.

On other fronts, the animation work is decent but the overall look is overdone. Many backgrounds, especially the scenes with Vanilla girl, are too bright and make it difficult to follow the dialogue. And despite the short run time (LITERALLY less than fifteen minutes if you take your time), there are very few visuals in this visual novel. Most scenes take place in front of a blank screen, although by the end, the three girls are revealed in their Super Bishoujo Magical Gowns. This seemed like a waste to me since less visuals means more time for the sugary brightness to burn our retinas.

This, however, is technically a remake of a series launched last year by Sonya X: the mind behind the episodic Café Rouge series. It’s simply being remade and re-released on the Joilly site. I doubt we will see extensive changes from the original; hence the lack of a proper review…well that and it literally takes more time for me to get out of bed in the morning than it did to read Skights. There is a lot of ground to cover and until then I recommended keeping an eye on it, but no serious playthroughs until the final chapter is out and you can knock it all out in one go. But if you want to take a look now, here you go!

This has been A Quick Look at Skights. See you next time!

Thanks to Youko for editing this one!