• I cover a lot of visual novels on this site, but there’s always a new combo of themes running in them that never seems to stagnate. Such is true of Bad Apple Wars. But unfortunately this particular combo just doesn’t work well together, although this has more to do with a somewhat poor script.

    The basic story is about a first year high schooler named Rinka who is going through anxiety about how her days are unchanging and full of dread at the doldrums, with a touch of depression. During her walk to school though she’s hit by a car and dies. She then finds her soul in limbo at this purgatorial nexus called NEVAEH Academy. In order to graduate and pass on, she must follow the school rules. Of course, the dark underside of this is that you basically have to surrender your individuality. The Bad Apple Gang doesn’t like this idea, and they can’t accept reincarnation is the only path for them. They believe that finding the Forbidden Apple and eating it will bring them back to life before they went into a coma due to their death. The only problem is that the school and it’s faculty gets in the way constantly and it seems almost insurmountable. But Rinka seems to be the key to breaking the rules and fulfilling their wish.

    Along the way, Rinka will get to know several boys who strangely came from other periods of history, yet are all here in this dimension. Despite being an Otome this eventually becomes a point of contention with the ability to be an effective Otome game. The conclusion of some routes make for some odd pairings in a few character endings. In some, she will hook up with the son of one of the protagonists brother, who is the reincarnation of the boy in NEVEAH. Or there is a large age gap. Not to mention that the game’s art style clashes a bit with the deeper themes of nihilism and authoritarianism. Many of the stories also have some nice character studies of mental disorders, but much like the mismatch of an art style that looks more at home in a game like The World Ends with You and the other themes in the game, it doesn’t work out so well. It doesn’t help that the writing isn’t particularly all that interesting, especially when it comes to Rinka’s characterization. Some characters aren’t even voice acted. Another thing that bothered me was the Soul Touch segments, which just felt like those parts in ecchi games like Senran Kagura where you can rub the girls in lewd spots. Despite being not lewd and much tamer, it still felt wrong. While that might be intentional, it still doesn’t really absolve it by being on the opposite end of those titles, or from being there in the first place.

    While the art style is neat on its own, it can’t carry the rest of the game. Neither can it’s decent soundtrack. There is one more positive in the game with its use of a flowchart. The flow chart lets you quickly zip to a chapter to make better decisions and get other endings. The choices made in the game are also a lot more obvious. More visual novels need to make use of something like this. If the mismatch of themes, art styles, and music quality doesn’t deter you, there are a few interesting things going on here. But maybe it’s better to risk the cost by waiting for a sale. There are much better VN’s and otomes out there, even from Idea Factory or Aksys Games.

    Bad Apple Wars - Review
    One of Idea Factory's weaker Otome visual novels, the combination of an Art style not being a good fit for a VN along with mixing an Otome with themes of Nihilism and authoritarianism doesn't mesh all that well.
    Our Score6
    Positives
    • The soundtrack is pretty spot on.
    • White Mask's story is the most interesting route in the game.
    Negatives
    • Art style doesn't mesh with the heavier themes of the story.
    6Overall Score
    Reader Rating: (0 Votes)
    0.0

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