Angels With Scaly Wings Review (Switch)
Release Date: April 30, 2021
File Size: 1.3GB
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Developer: Radical Phi
Click here to view on the Nintendo eShop.
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Angels With Scaly Wings quite literally came out of left field for me. I had only heard about it a few days prior to its release, and yet, every comment I saw praised the game immensely. And while it’s not uncommon for me to never hear of specific games (I have my niche favorites and stick to them), given that this is a visual novel/dating sim, I was surprised that I hadn’t heard of this one earlier. As the residential dating sim fanatic on the staff, how does Angels With Scaly Wings fare? Let’s find out!
You play as a human ambassador who has been selected to travel to a world of dragons after a portal connecting their worlds was discovered. Another human known as Reza is already in the dragon world, having been chosen to be the first human to make contact. Your initial job is to make a trade between the dragons, who have requested PDAs containing information about humans in exchange for powerful generators. However, as you travel to this whole other world, you find that not everything is as it appears and what was meant to be a simple trade off descends into a cobweb of mysteries.
With more than 13 different endings, there is quite a bit of replay value in Angels With Scaly Wings. And with each subsequent playthrough, you’ll find answers from previous playthroughs that are answered by going down a different path or performing a different action. Along with that, there are also achievements that can be earned throughout the game based on the choices you make. These achievements can be reviewed at any time, along with hints to those that you have not yet unlocked.
Don’t forget that this is also a dating sim, though. While you will more than likely be caught up in the mystery of this new land, there are dragons to learn about, and woo! Truthfully speaking, the romance portion of the game didn’t feel quite there. Of course, there is flirting to be had and lots of character backstory and angst to sink your teeth into, but it always felt as if something was missing.
Another weak point is that there are periods where the game kind of throws exposition in your face. While not too common of an occurrence, it is noticeable when it starts to happen and it left me wanting to skip through the scene, even though the information presented is important.
As with all of the other dating sims and visual novels, there is very little gameplay outside of making the occasional choice. Some of these choices don’t hold much of an outcome, outside of giving more information to the player. Others will affect the outcome of not just the main story, but also the feelings of the five dragons available to date. There are four main statuses that a character can reach based on your selections (or lack thereof): Impressed, Good, Neutral, and Bad.
The five available love interests are Remy, Anna, Lorem, Bryce, and Adine. You will meet all of them in some way during your first playthrough, but depending on choices made during the story, the game will slowly focus on those that you have better relationships with. If your status ever becomes bad, then they will not be available to pursue anymore. Each day, you will have the choice to hang out with up to two of the characters, other side characters that you meet along the way, or just relax in your apartment. Depending on who you choose will change the ending that you get.
There are good and bad endings, both related to the story as well as the love interests. While most of them are fairly straightforward (or at least, straightforward enough that I was able to stumble into the good ends without needing to look up a guide), there are a couple of times where you may find yourself wandering into a bad ending even though you thought you did things right. Most of the endings are easy to figure out, while others may require looking around the different areas and interacting with everything before it becomes more clear.
The aesthetics are probably one of the weaker aspects of Angels With Scaly Wings. While charming, it can be very easy to judge this game based on the art, especially when comparing it to other dating sims and visual novels already available for the Switch. Nonetheless, the art does grow on you as you play through the story. My main complaint would probably have to be with the sizing of the character sprites compared to the screen allowance, as the smaller dragons and human characters felt really, well, small.
The controls are also just a bit finicky. While definitely not a deal breaker, I sometimes found that the selection would start away from the selections rather than with them. For example, you will typically have your selections, as well as the two controls at the bottom right of the screen that handle auto scroll and skipping. For some reason, the default would sometimes start with the skipping option rather than with the actual selection items.
For specific moments during the game, there are CGs that look very nice, and are not just limited to the main characters, but also feature some of the side characters. Along with them, there are also images that will appear in your gallery on the main title screen. These images appear depending on the different endings that you unlock.
My experience of Angels With Scaly Wings overall was a positive one. This is one of those games where your choices do affect the story even if it isn’t immediately apparent during your current run. Moments that happened during one run were entirely different in the next, for example, and questions surrounding certain characters are made clear in different routes. The game’s greatest strength is definitely keeping you enthralled with what is going on.
Given the size of this game, it doesn’t take all that long to get through a couple of endings, especially when utilizing the skip functionality. It’s a nice experience and definitely a unique story compared to other dating sims and visual novels currently available. Although I personally was more invested in the actual story than the romance part, I still had fun learning about all of the characters.