Today I wanted to talk about My Lovely Wife, a game developed by GameChanger Studio and Toge Productions that is also published by Neon Doctrine who provided me with a key for this showcase version. My Lovely Wife delves into the depths of a man’s grief after the sudden death of his beloved wife. Some time passed since his loss when he receives a note saying that there is a way to resurrect her. So, our job is to summon Succubi and let them work for us in different places while we also train them, tend to their needs, and maybe even fall in love with them. Ultimately, our goal is to harvest the Succubi’s carnal essence that they gather from the locals so that we can use that to resurrect our wife Luna but is it really okay for us to end one demon’s life to bring one human back? And will that really go according to plan?
Developer: GameChanger Studio, Toge Productions Publisher: Neon Doctrine Genre: Indie, Gothic, Fantasy, Alchemy Sim, Dating Sim, Management Release Date: TBA Played on: PC Key was provided by the publisher.
It’s the spiritual sequel to My Lovely Daughter (a game I plan on reviewing soon-ish) and packs Alchemy, Management and Dating Sim aspects into a relatively morbid narrative filled with grief, dark magic, murder, and a lot of money. You invest in buildings to unlock higher tiers with other effects. You listen to the requests of your succubi and give them gifts, jobs, training, or some nice talks. Personally, I liked the game’s different aspects as well as the gameplay loop of summoning and training the demons before you send them to work. You’ll have to increase their popularity and flair while you manage your carnal essence and gold income to meet goals… It’s an interesting game, although I would have liked it if the game would explain more what the different stats actually do or how flair influences certain activities, etc. It wasn’t really clear to me. I also didn’t know why I should invest in some of the buildings and figure it out by myself which is a bit unintuitive.
There are twenty succubi with several unique characteristics, their own needs and wants that Jake, the protagonist, will have to fulfil to deepen their relationship. Since some of the succubi have clashing personalities though and since many are at each other’s throats, you’ll have to find a way to fulfil these needs while still marching forward towards your own goal. In the end, it’s about using and manipulating them, or about helping and finding love with them. There are about 42 different endings and you can essentially shape your own playthrough in many ways, which is indeed lovely.
The game also features a very cool gothic and gruesome art style that fits the fantasy narrative, a rather eery soundtrack that works quite well for the ominous feel of the game, and it makes you think about things, which is great in my opinion. I mean, how far would you be willing to go for someone you lost? Essentially, it’s important to let go and the game has that sort of statement in there somewhere with the developers especially focusing on a message about toxic and abusive relationships. Lasheli Dwitri, the narrative designer of the game, said something that is quite fitting here as well: “When we’re in love, we tend to ignore that we may actually be trapped in an unhealthy situation.” – Or as Wanda from BoJack Horseman said: “When we have rose-tinted glasses on, all the red flags look just like flags.” – It’s about toxic, abusive, manipulative relationships and making the player make difficult choices.
Overall, I’m looking forward to the full release. The game has an interesting premise and was quite fun to play in the early version that I got to play. You can wishlist My Lovely Wife on Steam!