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Tomboys Need Love Too! (PC) artwork

Tomboys Need Love Too! (PC) review

"Young and looking for love! Pursue your childhood best friend or your school crush in this romantic visual novel."

Tomboys Need Love Too! is a romantic visual novel about a teenager named Kai who is experiencing his last semester of high school and wants to make meaningful memories before graduating. Finding a girlfriend is his first priority.

Kai has two love interests: his crush, Sophie, and his best friend, a tomboy named Chris. If the title isn’t a dead giveaway, the game mainly focuses on the latter of the two possibilities. That means if you really like that type of girl, and if you're a fan of the childhood best friend trope, the game is perfect for you. Do keep in mind that it contains sexual content, however. It's actually very up front about that point, and there is even a nudity patch. Even if you ignore that optional patch, the dialogue and certain scenarios are very sexual in nature, meaning it's an adults-only game that also happens to feature a well written story. I found that refreshing.

The story starts off with Chris needing to stay at Kai’s house for a week while her parents are out of town. This convenient plot device also helps her in her attempts to prove to Kai that’s she's now a woman. She wants to win his heart because--big surprise!--she’s in love with him.

Tomboys Need Love Too! (PC) image

Kai does finally start to notice how Chris has blossomed, and he spends a good deal of time trying to decide whether his growing feelings for her are friendship, love or lust. At the same time, he’s interested in Sophie, who is having a hard time due to vicious rumors that are being spread about her. I quite liked this aspect of the story, and felt it could have been expanded upon a bit to convey an impactful message on the damage gossip and rumors can inflict. That idea is touched upon in places, but it doesn’t get as much attention as it really deserves. Most of the story instead centers on Chris and Kai’s relationship. Though their tale is very sweet, the result of that focus is that Sophie is thrown under a bus. Her particular story route feels excessively positive.

There are several key characters to keep sorted as you advance through the story:

  • Kai - The main character, a hormonal teenage boy looking for love. He’s a loyal friend but naive to a fault because he always looks for the good in people. He comes off as rather submissive throughout the story, especially when he's dealing with Chris. His inner monologues are some of my favorite parts of the game, as he tries to figure out his emotions as well determine other people’s motives.

  • Chris - She is the childhood best friend trope and the tomboy archetype, all rolled into one. Her brash personality is a bit off-putting at first, especially the way she pushes Kai around. Underneath that harsh exterior, however, is a very sweet and insecure girl who just wants to be loved. Some of her actions are a bit out there, as she tries to seduce Kai with her body rather than simply being honest about her emotions.

  • Sophie - Sophie seems like miss perfect, and is Kai’s crush. However, she’s hiding some dark secrets. Though she serves as a romantic rival to Chris, the game doesn’t give her a fair shot because of how she is written. She only has two endings with Kai; one is purely sex-based, and the other is quite positive but nowhere near as satisfying as the best ending for Chris.

Tomboys Need Love Too! (PC) image

Since the game is a visual novel, it is controlled by pointing and clicking. At certain points during the story, you make choices to help direct events so they progress toward the ending you desire. The game's interface competently features all of the options I expect from the genre. You can skip text you’ve already read, review it later, or have the text fly by with an auto mode (and, of course, you can always tweak the text speed to your liking). If you do download the adult content, you can also toggle the patch's effects on and off in the Options menu, and of course there is a gallery so you can look back at the hi-res artwork. One thing I found missing, though, was a way to relive the endings.

The artwork serves as one of the game's less admirable qualities. Though it isn't bad by any means, and even compares quite favorably to some of its competition (especially those produced outside Japan), I found some of the character models to be odd. Kai stood awkwardly, and Sophie's breasts were also oddly presented. Most of the hi-res scenes were pretty good, though there were occasional moments when body positions and proportions didn't feel right. The music, meanwhile, is quite forgettable. I can honestly only recall two or maybe three tunes in the game, and at some points there was no musical score at all. Audio is the game's weakest area. It doesn't even feature any voice acting, though I'm actually okay with that.

Tomboys Need Love Too! (PC) image

Some story sequences in Tomboys Need Love Too! don't feel quite genuine, like when Chris is overly willing to strip for Kai (not to mention most of Sophie’s route), but it's important to remember that the characters depicted are hormonal teenagers. I guess a lot of their behavior makes a certain sort of sense with that context established, though it would make more sense still if they were closer to sixteen than eighteen. That's when we usually start wondering about our sexuality, so I'm not sure why that couldn’t be the case here.

A final concern is that Tomboys Need Love Too! is a bit on the short side, since there are only two love interests and five total endings. Depending on your reading speed, you might finish it in somewhere between two and four hours. Grab it on sale if lasting value is a concern. Trading cards and achievements are featured on Steam, and they help some, but otherwise there's not much bonus content or much of anything else to see once you complete the game. Even so, you get a well written story about teenage love, and the end result is a game I'm happy to recommend.

Usagi's avatar
Freelance review by Usagi Tsukino (June 02, 2017)

Read my reviews here or via Lunar Productions

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Nightfire posted June 02, 2017:

Good review, and welcome to the staff roll. ^^

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