I was very excited when I got the chance to try this game out since I always love giving visual novels a try. Some games end up totally surprising me and some leave me back with a sour taste. Sadly, in this case, it was the letter. I really enjoyed this game nonetheless and it had every potential of becoming a good otome game, however, it definitely has its flaws.
On the side note, this is the third game of the Eroolia Series. While each game of this series is playable on its own, it's still recommended to play How to Take Off Your Mask and How to Fool a Liar King before starting How to Sing to Open Your Heart to be able to understand the happenings within this game.
How to Sing to Open Your Heart is a short indie visual novel developed by Chu-3 and Bakufu Narayama and published by roseVerRte. Its playing time is approximately 4-5 hours and you can find it on Steam for $14.99.
Myana, the princess of the Luccretia, is visiting Eroolia to form a new pact between Eroolia and Laarz, her hometown. First of all, I’m sure you’re wondering what Luccretia is. Well, they are basically a mix of humans and cats, they’re humans with cat ears and a tail. As you can already imagine, they both don’t really get along, in fact, Luccretias are getting deeply despised by the humans. The mysterious and cold man, Ludovic, is no exception. Still, Myana ends up getting really bothered by this man. They’re getting tangled into each other as the story goes on and start to care about each other more than they realize.
First of all, the story was very predictable and you probably won’t keep playing this game if you are looking for a decent plot. In fact, the story tries to surprise its reader but fails to do so. The pacing of the story felt a bit weird as well, while it started very slow at first, the confession of Ludovic was very sudden and felt unnatural. It was a very sweet proposal, but the two of them didn’t really have the time to interact with each other and are in love with each other immediately. They just needed more time to properly getting to know each other and falling in love. Romance definitely needs time to develop. It’s also weird that Ludovic was attracted to Myana immediately, even though he was an Anti-Luccretia. This simply felt off, as he is supposed to hate them, but on the other hand, falls for one of the Luccretias at first sight. He tries to help her with everything as well, even though he didn’t really talk to her before, let alone knew anything about her.
Another thing, which really felt weird was that the characters were just overly cute. I usually don’t mind adorable characters, in fact, I absolutely adore sweet girls. They’re just trying to be so cute, it’s starting to get cringy at some point. I know they’re supposed to be cat-people, I just don’t think it’s necessary to add “mya” and “nya” after every sentence. Yes, there are species of the Luccratia who always add “mya” or “nya”, included Myana. That’s why it was especially annoying since she was one of the main characters and this game resolves about her. It made them only seem more childish and immature. I couldn’t understand the actions of Myana at times as well, and she doesn’t seem like she is able to properly make decisions, while you would guess she has to be, I mean she’s a princess after all.
It also seems to be like Ludovic is presented as a cold man at first glance, but is just too shy and nervous to actually show his real feelings. The premise of this cold, but sweet man, is very popular and definitely a nice character you will want to romance. I mean, who doesn’t like a man who is cold to everyone but when it comes to the person he loves, he will be the most adoring man ever existed? I just have to critique the way it is done, it feels like Ludovic was a really cool character at first, however, soon you will notice he is not that cool of a man and he really adores collecting plushies. Okay, so now you could argue about that point. While some don’t mind their man being into girly stuff, it definitely felt off that a supposedly cool man is actually just nervous and more importantly into plushies. It didn’t match his personality at all and will only change your opinion of him, maybe even to the worse side. And I can say with confidence, that most of the girls like a guy who is an actual man. If you like girly guys who only look like a proper man, Ludovic is definitely such a guy.
As someone, who has read the previous games of this series, it was really exhausting going through the same plot over and over again. The Luccretias are hated by humans and that’s without question a serious topic. Even nowadays we still have a big problem with racists, however, that was always such a big deal in all three games, that at some point I started to wonder, how often do they want to mention it any further? I also don’t think simply wearing a headband with cat ears means that you are not against Luccretias nor that should even be necessary. I wished it wasn’t such a big deal presented all over again, but I doubt it will change in further games. If you’re tired of repetitive content, you definitely shouldn’t play all three games in one go.
How to Sing to Open Your Heart is a Visual Novel. That means besides reading, there isn’t a lot going on. If you enjoy reading books, you will probably enjoy Visual Novels as well. If you’re into complex gameplay, however, then How to Sing to Open Your Heart definitely isn’t the game you are looking for.
First of all, this game is an otome game. This means these games’ target is female oriented and you will be able to romance different guys. However, in How to Sing to Open Your Heart there is only one love interest, which is Ludovic. This makes this game already different than your typical Otome game. Now, you could interpret it as either a bad or a good trait. On the one hand, if you’re into typical Otome games and enjoy the option of being able to meet and pursue different kinds of guys, beware, you will get greatly disappointed at How to Sing to Open Your Heart, on the other Hand, if you enjoy a game which focuses on a specific love story, even if it has no option to choose your guy, this game offers it for you.
Although there is interaction available in How to Sing to Open Your Heart it’s still very limited. While you’re playing through How to Sing to Open Your Heart there will be choices you can make. It’s always a choice with the two options, one of them is a Teamwork choice and the other one is the Independent one. You will notice which one it is since there will be an icon popping up at the right side of the screen, showing you whether you chose the Teamwork or Independent choice. This choice isn’t only important for the ending, but also for the way of unfolding the story. While choices are only available until the second chapter, you will get into one of the routes starting with the fourth chapter. If you want to get into a specific route, you might want to save before each decision. You will be able to see your progress through a scale at the end of each chapter so you won’t end up surprised when you’re suddenly into a route. There are a total of eight chapters plus one epilogue at the end.
In How to Sing to Open Your Heart there are bonus scenes available until you reach a specific route. You can read them after each chapter. These bonus scenes are also divided into two sections. Depending on which choices you made, you will get the Independent or Teamwork bonus scenes. If you have missed a few bonus scenes, you don’t have to worry! When you start the game there will be a selection at which chapter you want to start playing, so you can just replay the specific chapter to obtain your missing bonus scene. You can also use that option of course to reread some of the sweet scenes with Ludovic.
You will need to replay How to Sing to Open Your Heart at least twice if you want to experience every scenario. The first three chapters are pretty similar, but starting with the fourth chapter the happenings really do differ so it has replayability. Especially if you want to experience more of Myanas and Ludovics story. In the worst case, if you’re not interested in rereading the same text again, you might also make use of the skip option. Sadly, this game does not contain a skip-until-the-next-choice option, but the pacing of the skipping is bearable.
Graphics And Audio
The graphics were really pretty and we already saw the characters in the previous games. Sadly, the CGs are very limited and don’t often display any kissing scenes. It felt a bit off when they were kissing, but you could only guess it through the sounds of the voice acting. It may be very confusing, but other than that, there are many cute CGs.
In How to Sing to Open Your Heart, there are very beautiful soundtracks as well. You can even listen to an actual singer while Myana is singing and it sounds really calm. The singer for Myana definitely did a great job.
The characters are voiced and it really matched their personalities. How to Sing to Open Your Heart is completely voiced in Japanese, even the main character Myana and she also sings in Japanese. The only thing I really have to critique about this is, like I have mentioned above, that the “nya” and “mya” sounds were very annoying in the voice acting as well. It just sounded childish and I wasn’t sure if this otome game isn’t even targeted towards younger girls.
In the end, would I recommend How to Sing to Open Your Heart? As you have surely noticed, I have very mixed feelings about this game. While I’m absolutely in love with otome games, and visual novels in general, I can not recommend How to Sing to Open Your Heart wholeheartedly. This game sadly does not offer enough positive aspects, since its theme is repetitive after the third game, the character development does simply not exist and the romance was just rushed, even the story was predictable. However, this game contains very cute scenes of our main couple and looks absolutely gorgeous. How to Sing to Open Your Heart also made me chuckle a couple times. I would only recommend this game if you’ve played and really enjoyed its previous games How to Take Off Your Mask and How to Fool a Liar King otherwise, you might want to save your time for another game.
|+ Romantic Moments||– No Proper Character Development|
|+ Beautiful Graphics/Voice Acting||– Predictable Story|
|– Rushed Romance|