Nova’s life changes forever after she breaks an heirloom and then falls into the ocean
Nova, a sculptor who has fallen on hard times, as she returns to Stonewater, a town she spents summers as a child. Nova’s grandmother, who passed away three years prior to the story’s setting thinks that by going there she may either find her inspiration returning or maybe start anew. Upon arriving in Stonewater, she discovers that she has inherited a house from a man in town who was friends with her grandmother.
While settling in, she receives a mysterious package containing some frosted glass spheres and a letter from her grandmother. The contents of the package will change everything she’s ever known.
Ocean Pearls: Kissed by the Sea is a otome visual novel by owl. Nova, the main character, unknowingly becomes engaged to one of five royal seafolk. (Don’t call them mermen, they don’t like it). This comes with its own set of issues depending on whichever pearl you choose halfway through the demo. The demo takes about two hours to complete and the first two chapters to three of the five routes are available. But after playing what was open, I found myself ready for more!
Playfully written and fun to read, the story does a good job of explaining what is going on without over explaining, which is something some visual novels have problems doing. It does also help that, for the most part, our main character also is an outsider in the worlds she goes to. The worlds also feel different just based on how the story plays during the first chapter. Maybe there is some hidden reason why Nova needs to leave. She could just stay, idk? Or is there a reason she NEEDS to stay?
Nova is a fun main character to follow. She cannot stand it when others are rude to her, and is playful at times that are appropriate. Nova does her best to not rock the… ocean (I’ll see myself out), but that’s hard to do when she feels she’s being looked down upon. She doesn’t want to come off too aggressive, who knows what could happen to her, but at the same time, she’s very confused on what is happening and why. I look forward to spending more time with her!
The three love interests in the demo are varied in their looks and how their own oceans/worlds are set up. One comes off like he’s already seeing someone, but then cryptically says something that may prove to not be the case. Another is the older twin of a friend Nova had when she was younger and, to make matters worse, they are almost 100% enemies right off the bat. (Enemies to lovers… my weakness……) Another is very aloof and doesn’t seem to care that Nova is around. By the way, I’m not showing you what they look like on purpose, you’ll just have to play the demo to find out.
I really like the sprite art a lot. Many, if not all, the backgrounds looks to be done in in some digital form. The character art and design, especially for the seafolk, is very unique. They are all different looking from one another even if they come. It was also interesting to see how the royalty are very distinguishable from one another. You can tell you are in a different route because they even dress differently from each other, subtly giving away where they may be from.
The demo also shows off the game’s encyclopedia that act more as a reference. It’s also a place for Nova to write her first impressions on people, places, and lore. Reading Nova’s first impressions of some characters is fun. However, I found it to be unnecessary for the demo, and maybe the whole game overall. Those who like extra lore and tidbits will definitely enjoy this extra area.
There are a few things that need to be cleaned up and I messaged the developer about them. Text issues, sprite issues, ect. These things can easily be fixed and it’s also a demo, so errors are to be expected.
Overall, I recommend giving the demo a play! It has many laugh out loud moments that I had to stop and share with friends. The character designs are lovely and varied. After you play what’s available, you may find yourself clicking on the two routes and being upset like I did when I discovered they were locked. The link in down below!
Release Date: First full route, last quarter of 2020
System(s): PC & Mac
Text Language: English
Demo Download: https://chouette.itch.io/ocean-pearls
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