8) Butterfly Soup (Brianna Lei)
Well, I wasn’t expecting to like this one.
I am so outside of the target audience of this one I might as well be speaking Cantonese right now. However, it is one of the funniest visual novels I’ve played in a long time: interspersing scenes of teenage angst and romance with spot-on comedic timing. The majority of the game had me on the floor laughing and that is a skill, I’ll have you know. Underneath the riotous comedy is a very genuine tale though that surprised me with its earnesty. It is a weird game that follows that follows a bunch of self-professed strange teenage girls around as they start to come into their own. It’s awkward, and sometimes violent, but at the core of its is an honest idea about adolescence that separates Butterfly Soup from other games about teenage romance and set in high school.
I cannot even pretend the developer is coloring outside of the lines here. If you have seen anything involving teenagers in high school in a Western market in the last, oh, decade or so; you’ve seen this storyline play out. It’s just that the four characters the game focuses on are endearing enough (and bizarre enough) to give it a fresh spin. Diya especially, whose characterization of a severe introvert is well-handled: immediately allowing the audience to connect to her so that when we move on to other characters, we have a strong enough grasp of her not to forget her. All in all, it’s a fun ride that even I can appreciate.