A few weeks ago, Anna said: “Go and get Cinderella Phenomenon, it’s free and amazing.”
Since she has a great taste when it comes to games, I trust her and indeed: the game, a visual novel by dicesuki, is free to play. (Steamlink here, Website here.) And AMAZING on top. The story is quickly told:
The main character is the crown princess of Anielle. She is estranged from her father, King Genarro, and does not particularly like her new step-family: the new queen has brought two children into the marriage. The former queen has died a few years back and was the only person who loved the princess.
Sounds like your typical cinderella story, right? The poor Cinderella, good-hearted, poorly treated by her step-mother and step-siblings while her father looks away.
Yeaaaaah, not so much. Your character is, to put it bluntly, a pretty cold-hearted bitch, quick to judge, quick to fire someone, direct and really not open for any try to get closer to you. The king is actually very distant, but your step-mother and siblings seem like warm people actually trying to get to know you despite being pushed away by you at every turn.
But that is going to change. One day, a witch turns up and puts the fairy-tale curse upon you. The fairy-tale curse is something that is rather common since the days of the Great Wars. The GreatWars happened ca. ten years ago because of, well, the fairy-tales. The fairy tales made humans distrust witches, painting them always as evil beings while fairies are always good – which is not so much the truth. The lore is that two crystals exist in balance: one is light, the other dark, the former guarded by the Fairies, the latter by the Witches. But when the humans became afraid of the witches, they started to hunt them down, burn them alive – and in turn, the witches started to fight back. One of their tools was the fairy tale curse: a curse that is loosely based upon a fairy tale.
Our protagonist is put under the Cinderella Curse, however with a twist: she is reduced from princess to a beggar. From riches to rags, so to speak. Nobody remembers that she is the Crown Princess, not even your family. And you have to do three good deeds to lift the curse.
There are five different routes that you can take, each one with the help of a bachelor. Romance ensues, of course. Unfortunately, there is no route with a woman, sorry to all the wlw out there. 🙁 Nonetheless, the five routes that can be taken are all really awesome – and can all come with two different endings, one good, one bad. And believe me, the bad ones are heartbreaking.
The main story varies extremely depending on who you decide to partner up with and each story gives you a bit more background for both your character and the events in the country. The character development you as the main character undergo is profound – but what really got me was that you begin to understand why the Princess is who she is. She may be a cold-hearted bitch in the beginning but she has a reason for it. And that reason is more twisted than you think.
The characters are all extremely well rounded and each is loveable in their own way, both the romanceable characters and the others.
Two of the five romance routes (Fritz and Waltz) are locked at the start of the game. You will need to complete two of the three routes available at the beginning of the game to unlock them. But even if you are really eager to take the route of either Fritz or Waltz – resist your wishes 😉 There is a recommended order and I, too, would urge you to take that order. Each playthrough gives you more background and you might spoil yourself for one or the other runthroughs and character arcs.
The order of playing the five routes are recommended like this:
My personal absolute favourite is Waltz, but each of the routes has their merit. Rumpel is the one I like least but even he has a great backstory. One runthrough of one route will approximately take you two hours, I’d say, so it’s not that long a game but so much worth it.
Let us know if you played it! Who is your favourite?