(Vague spoilers ahead)
I like this games characters and more challenging subject matter. It handles a heavy topic well and balances it with everyday life and comedy. A lot of the personal background details of the side characters, LIs, and the MC are creative and really well done. The art is very nice and the music a little repetitive but overall well chosen. I got it on sale, as I think it is priced too high (no cutscenes, no extra art with LIs, able to reuse backgrounds and music... no idea why it is 15$).
I do wish it had art for cute scenes it describes (holding hands, movies, heart to heart convos, etc)...but never shows anything but sprites and a background.
Types of romance by character:
Micah: sweet and calm
Jude: sweet, funny, dealing with heavy thoughts
Eva: bubbly, cute/clumsy, sweet
Gloria: (comes in pretty late and she seems like a psycho) aggressive but nice?
I played through all the routes at least once so I could leave an honest review of the romance because it seemed lacking in Micah and Jude's routes. And having romanceable characters is kinda a big part of the game. Overall, the romance was just ok. The transition from friends who flirt awkwardly to ... what partners I guess? happens weirdly. I think it could be way smoother if the characters just had a conversation earlier on. Instead of the part where the MC tells herself she's super into someone, just talk about the relationship with the person you're pursuing. "Hey can we talk" "I really like you" and then players can have more agency with how fast they want romantic things to move maybe. (Although the amount of "romantic" things that happen after you I guess "get together" with the person is super small oddly enough). I don't recall asking or being asked out by any of them. Just more than friendly touching, blushing, then later "hanging out" that turns into ya know more than that pretty suddenly, and then you're just together after that and the story is over pretty soon after that. Interactions with LIs seem pretty short too. I feel like I connected more with Sam and Tabitha than some of the LIs.
"more than friendly touching" meaning like who touches someone's cheek because they seem distressed? or who puts their forehead against someone elses while they have their hands on the back of their neck if they aren't together yet??
The single moment you sleep with one of the guys is so fast I laughed both times. Like: blushing, "you wanna stay the night"?, "you kiss", "you get on the bed together"....and you wake up the next morning...?? Oh and they are not in bed with you when you wake up and then they leave. That is the first and last time there is a direct (kinda) explanation of getting intimate with the guys. I totally missed if there was a "sleep together moment" with Eva? And Gloria's "moment" was even faster than the guys with like two sentences and then you go home.
There is a warning for "mild sexual content" but I didn't really see any? Like "He put his hand under my shirt", "she pushed me back against the wall and we laughed" and "we got to 'know each other'" is all I have seen. You could honestly take out the like 5 lines of dialogue that are vaguely referencing the "sexual content" and one thing Sam says and it would be PG13.
It is marketed as having romance but seems really light on that front which is why I am critiquing it so much I guess. I did like a lot of it except the follow through with anything romantic that was more than having a teenage-like crush on them.