What do you get when you put together a runaway, a group of seemingly random travelers, and a country of cat people?
Why, How to Fool a Liar King, a fantasy romance visual novel from roseVeRte, of course!
I had seen this game on Steam, drawn to its artwork, so when I was approached to review the game by the developer, I leaped on the chance to try out this game.
And, let me just say, it was a delight.
Regina, the Main Character, magically appearing in the country of Erollia. She doesn’t know how she got there as she had just decided to runaway. She immediately meets with with a man named Juli and his companions and, after punching Juli, she is taken on as his bodyguard to repent for the action.
The beginning of the game is pretty light-hearted. Juli tells her that they are going to Laarz, that is a country of cat people. They actually mistake her for a Luccretia (cat person) too due to her hat and she doesn’t really correct them on this.
But, as the game goes on, we learn that there are secrets that Juli is keeping and he tends to lie to people in order to achieve his goals. Also, he has a strange power that, for some reason, doesn’t work on Regina, which baffles him. And to make matters worse, for Juli, Regina can read him like a book and he doesn’t like it.
Will Regina get back home? And what will be the cost? What is Juli truly hiding?
There isn’t one character in this game I didn’t not like.
Regina is a treat. She comes from a world that is big on martial arts so she tends to hold her own and speak her mind. She’s also very adept at reading people, which can also cause the speaking her mind.
Juli tends to say one thing and think another, which is both frustrating for him and the people around him. But, he’s learned to lie in order to protect himself.
Ronan and Mars, who are traveling with Juli play nicely off each other. Mars and Juli are conspiring about something throughout the games story, but what is it?
Lio is an adorable half-Luccretia and I want to hug him whenever he’s on screen. He’s super cute and says “nya” and the end of his sentences and just writing about him right now makes me want to cry because he’s so cute. ;^; His father’s name is Gao who is a Luccretia whom we found out is in Laarz for a specific purpose…
Myana is the princess of Laarz (she says Mya) and she has two guards Leona and Simon. She proposes to Regina upon first meeting her. What secret is she keeping?
You are thrown straight into this game without much exposition or background into what you are about to read. And that is just fine because the writing knows how to give you all the information you need to know in a very natural way. Since Regina isn’t from this world, she doesn’t understand a lot of things that are happening and so, it makes sense when things are explained to her. Nothing is over explained either which I have a pretty big issue with in some visual novels.
POV tends to switchback and forth between Regina’s and a 3rd person. Things that we learn in 3rd person that I think would have had more impact if we weren’t privy to the motivations beforehand. An unlock to read for a second run might have been something to up the replay value.
There are also bonus scenes in the first three chapters that you unlock depending on your meter. These extra scenes based on of whomever is “winning” the meter. To go along with what I wrote before, I think that these scenes would have been better for a replay of the same run as, once again, they give you some insight into motivations.
However, knowing these character motivations in no way will take away anything from the story in the slightest. I just feel that knowing some things beforehand lessens the impact of when everyone finds out later on in the story.
Because of the way things are revealed in each route and the extras, I suggest the play order for the story to be Juli’s ending first, followed by Regina’s.
For a light read, the story does have some small twists here and there. There is only one love interest and there are two endings, one for the MC and one for the Love Interest. I still found myself happy with the overall conclusion.
If you find yourself at the end and not happy, wait for the epilogues!
The art for this game is very pretty. Not to mention all the characters are designed. They look like different people and not just a base model with hair and eye color swapped out.
Visual effects are used to maximize the impact of a scene with great success. There is a scene where Juli is fishing in the river shirtless and the game has a sparkles that made me laugh really hard.
They also manage to do little animations with the static sprites that also make me laugh every time.
Fully voiced in Japanese, all voice actors do a wonderful job of bringing their characters to life. Even Regina is voiced and, if you want to, you can turn her vocals off.
The sound effects are spot on. There are times where the sound was the thing that made me lose it hard laughing during a scene. I do feel that sometimes there are some that can be turned down, but I will recognize things like a super loud heartbeat are that way to emphasize the character’s reaction.
An answer indicator that let’s you know who’s meter your choice went to is part of this game’s mechanics. If you save at each choice, it’s easier to load if you get points towards the wrong ending you are going for.
Chapter 1~3 are a common route and then, starting at chapter 4, the game splits into two different stories depending on the meter. There are also only selections in those first three chapters and then you become locked in a route that you read through until the end with no more choice.
Overall, How to Fool a Liar King is a funny, light read. The characters are amusing and everything works well together.
Gameplay hours are probably anywhere from 3 to 10 hours long depending on how fast you read and if you re-read chapters 1~3 again on your second route pass.
While I was able to fully enjoy this game without knowing any backstory or playing its predecessor “How to Take Off Your Mask, ” I think will be checking that one out too after playing this game.
Official Links For How to Fool a Liar King