Let me start off by saying that the production budget for this game went mostly to flying the girls to Guam and filming. The gameplay, interface, audio, mechanics, etc that make a video game a video game is extremely lackluster. There are indie developers who make better dating simulators than this. The true point of the game is not to provide ground breaking gameplay in dating sims but to give you a 10 minute date and romance with idols.
This game throws you into the scenario of you being a bro in Guam, hanging out with AKB48 members without real explanation. The narration at the beginning states, “AKB48 members are totally in love with you. Who will you choose?”. THAT’S ALL THE EXPLANATION YOU GET. It is pretty much a dream scenario and creators of the game do not want you to question how/why you are here and how/why you are tied to the members.
You start off with missed calls from all 48 members of the group. You decide on who to call back and go on a date with. The rest of the game is you going out on dates with several members and then ultimately deciding who to pursue for your “kami-confession”.
The dialogue scenes are straightforward. You are usually on a date with one girl and most of the scenes end with you making a choice. The choices are usually good, fair, and bad in terms of winning the idol’s affection. Obviously by choosing the good option, your romance with the idol progresses but when you choose the bad option, you are pretty much dead to her. During my playthroughs, any time I picked the bad option, I was no longer allowed to contact her. The options are obvious and make it easy for the player to make the decision they want to make.
The dialogue features the classic passive-aggressive hinting used in a lot of Japanese romantic media where a girl would say, “tee hee, I’m just kidding (NO I’M NOT)”. This happened in more than one occasion. Can you really blame the game for doing that when writers had to come up with scenarios for 48 different girls? I would imagine that the next game, “1/149” will do the same considering the game allows you to date 149 girls, which seems a tad bit excessive but then again holy shit that’s awesome for someone like me who follows all of the sister groups as well.
What some people (DDs) will enjoy is the cameos that happen when you’re on a date with a particular member. I was “cockblocked” on several occasions while on dates with a specific member. When I was on a date with Kojima Haruna, I was disrupted by the presence of her fellow no3b members, Takahashi Minami and Minegishi Minami. On a date with Nakagawa Haruka, Ota Aika decided to join in our rendezvous. Lastly, while dating Yokoyama Yui, Kitahara Rie was ignorant enough to bust in on our romantic getaway. The cameos of other members are nice but if you’re trying to enjoy the specific member you’re on a date with, it may bother you to some extent.
The game forces you to talk to as many girls as you can. If you ignore them too long, you will lose contact with them. Sounds tragic, right? The game does not convey how annoyed the girls are at you for not calling. It might be a set amount of days of no contact but the game does not tell you how fed up the girls are until their names are erased off of the list of names. The question is, what human besides David Liao would be able to juggle all 48 members at once?
The game has odd timing in terms of ending a sequence. When you call a member, they answer the phone and you hear their voice but the game cuts the member talking mid-sentence, which left me thinking, “did I hit a button by accident to cut the members off?”. I in fact did no such thing. The other odd timing issue is the lack of hints to signal that a date is officially over. The dates do not end in mid-sentence but some of the dialogue before the end of dates do not convey to the player that the date is officially over. The game will fade to black and simply transfer you back to the main menu.
Some pros I found in the game were that you can actually import your own music library into the game. The soundtrack that is in the game is made up of singles from 2009, 2010, and 2011. The game also allows you to pick certain songs from the list to play, which is good if you don’t enjoy some of the singles from 2009-2011.
If I were reviewing this game for a video game site, this game would receive horrible scores just based on gameplay as a dating sim. I’m no expert but I’ve played several dating sims and this game’s gameplay does not stack up anywhere near dating sims like “Kimikiss” or “Amagami”. The only reason why you should be playing this game is to date the idols that you enjoy following. I recommend this game to those who enjoy following AKB48 and hopefully a lot of the members of AKB48 because you will be seeing a lot of them.