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29 May 2022

REVIEW: Pretty Girls Escape on PC (Steam)

Review by Jon Donnis
Followers of the site will know that I have reviewed a fair few of the "Pretty Girls" franchise releases, and I am glad to say I have another release to talk about today. This is the 16th Pretty Girls title. And as with all of the Pretty Girls releases the format is a simple one, take a classic game, give it a fresh coat of paint, a few new gameplay options, and add Japanese anime style girls to the product. It is a simple format that seems to work almost every time. And I always seem to find myself scoring these games quite highly, so will Pretty Girls Escape keep a strong run of good games going? Read on to find out.

The game itself is a simple block falling puzzle game. The aim is to eliminate blocks of the same colour, (you can click on 2 or more blocks to make them disappear) and as you eliminate the blocks, a larger character block will drop. Get the character block to the bottom of the playable area, and to an exit.

Each of the 8 character has 6 levels, and as you beat the levels, you unlock costumes for the characters, which you can then turn into wallpaper for your computer. You can change costumes of the characters, set the background, have multiple characters in the scene and you can even change facial expressions. The characters all have their own personalities and are voiced by Japanese actresses.

An example of a few of them are.
 Kanon is an innocent and positive-thinking girl with a calm and gentle demeanor. She is a hardworking person who focuses on her goals.
 Yuki is energetic, lively, and easy to get along with. She is active and has a good sense of humor, but at the same time, is a troublemaker.
 - RIN
 Serious, cool and dignified. Once she makes up her mind, she will not it.

There is no nudity, no sex, just classic "Bishoujo characters", which you will see in Japanese Manga and Anime.

Of course, if the game was as easy as I just described, you would beat it pretty quickly, however each character's set of levels is harder than the previous one. 

You will soon realise that just getting your character block to the bottom of the playable area is not enough, there is also something of a tilt option, where you press left or right and all blocks will move to one side or another. You will need to use this ability very tactically, you see as you play, the game throws in some obstacles, there might be bombs you need to avoid, or unmovable blocks, blocks that need to be broken, and then the craftiest gameplay mechanic of them all, you might need to also move little key blocks, to unlock the exit area for the characters, this all has to be done in a certain order, so you don't get stuck.

As well as the character stages and levels, there is also a challenge mode with 20 stages to beat, difficulty increasing as you go.

The Good
Zoo Corporation have once again taken a simple game concept and improved it, made it look great and added some depth to what is a simple game. I have never known a franchise to continually get the games right, especially a franchise where each game is a different type of game to the previous one. I am a fan of puzzle games, and although the game starts off pretty easy and you will fly through the first few stages, once the "gimmick blocks" are introduced, the game takes on a real level of tactics. Time really does fly as you play.

The Bad
I can't really think of anything, as a simple block falling puzzle game it works very well.

Zoo Corporation have done it again, another perfectly created puzzle game, a competitive price point of about £5, with a launch date discount too.

If you are a puzzle fan this is what we like to call a "no brainer", you should buy this game.

I score Pretty Girls Escape an excellent 9/10

Language: Japanese / English / Chinese / Spanish
Release Date: June 2, 2022 (Pacific Standard Time)
Price: 4.99 dollars
Player: Single player
Steam compatible functions: Achievements / Cloud / Ranking

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