Written By: Lauren
Let’s be honest here—I love otome games, especially ones by NTT Solmare. From “Shall We Date” titles like “The Niflheim,” “Destiny Ninja,” “Wizardess Heart,” “Scarlet Fate,” and more, NTT Solmare has continuously retained my interest throughout the years.
Although I’ve recently been on hiatus from otome games because of academics and work, I’ve jumped back into playing again. I’ve just begun playing “Shall We Date?: Oz+” and am delighted with what I’ve seen so far!
As someone who has played otome games (and games, for that matter) for a long time, it takes a lot to grab my interest. I’m a terribly picky person, so it’s hard for me to enjoy a lot of games that others do. However, “Oz+” is on my positive side, with diverse characters, fantastic art, great soundtracks, and a relatively interesting story.
I’ve never been a huge fan of “The Wizard of Oz,” but I’m familiar with the story. “Oz+” is the otome game spin-off where Dorothy grows up, is turning seventeen years old, and the Lion, Tin Man, and Scarecrow come to the human world to visit. They’ve assumed human forms and invite her back to the world of Oz to celebrate her birthday (how nice!).
I’ll do a summary of the prologue and explain what I did and didn’t like, along with future expectations.
Basically what happens in this prologue is our cute MC (Dorothy) is sitting at her house, thinking about her upcoming birthday and how much she misses Oz. Her dog, Toto Jr., son of the original Toto, is at her side. She hears a knock on the door and is greeted by three good-looking men, all whom she doesn’t recognize, even though they all clearly know her.
To her disbelief, these three are the Scarecrow, Lion, and Tin Man who journeyed with her in Oz. Scarecrow is Crowlie, Lion is Leonardo, and Heartmann (I see what NTT Solmare did with these names…). They invite her back to Oz to celebrate her birthday, and after writing a letter for her uncle and aunt, she takes off. All she says is that she’s going to be at her friend’s house and mentions nothing about Oz or magic.
I was so tempted to choose Option 2 because it’s the prologue and my decisions don’t matter much, but I felt too mean so I picked the first one.
Anyway, she, Toto Jr., and the three men cross this rainbow bridge into Oz, where they meet Solomon and Norton. They also meet Oz and the Wizard of the West, Wesley.
After this reunion, Solomon announces that Dorothy should choose a guy to date. It’s here that we get to choose which guy we’ll be playing (for lack of better term). Of course, I choose the one that caught my interest right away, which is Oz.
It was either Oz or Crowlie for me, since I love the smart, mysterious ones.
Pros: I love how they treat Dorothy! They’re all pretty respectful of her space and their boundaries, unlike some otome games where the guys don’t have a problem touching the MC without her permission. They’re all considerate of her, which I appreciate.
The character designs and variety in personality are fantastic! What I look for in otome games, besides a good plot, is diversity in characters. They all look very different from each other and have their own atmosphere. There’s a pull to all of the characters, and I genuinely want to get to know all of them better. None of them jump out to me immediately as “the garbage boy,” which is a good sign.
Here are the characters!
Even Dorothy is very loveable. I notice that NTT Solmare does a good job now with making the MCs relatable and endearing to the player. They’ve transitioned away from annoying MCs whose choices and thoughts we can’t connect with (“Ninja Love” and “Destiny Ninja,” for example) to characters we instantly become fond of.
The music is well-suited for the game, with a country feel to it. Dorothy is from Kansas. It doesn’t get too annoying to listen to while playing the story, but the music while navigating the app (like on “My Page”) does get annoying because it restarts frequently after you do something. I just turn the music off, like I do for most NTT Solmare games.
As for art, the art is great. I hate to admit it, but art is really what draws me to a game. Good art doesn’t make up for a crappy story, though. Let’s hope my gut is right, and “Oz+” is going to have a good story to match the fantastic art. There’s also a friendly, navigable interface and well-design graphics in the game.
Cons: Not very many cons at the moment. What I was confused about, though, was this coding error in the game. It might not have shown up for everyone, but while I playing the prologue, I noticed that when the screen transitioned to black between scenes, it said “set font” at the top left corner. It’s probably a programming bug that went unnoticed.
I’m genuinely excited to dive deeper into “Oz+” and get to know the characters, especially Dorothy and my man, Oz. I love that Dorothy was interested in Oz’s determined/serious gaze, because that’s what would have drawn me to pick him as well. I always like a little mystery, so it will be interesting trying to uncover what he has in store for us. Plus, he’s super attractive!
Stay tuned for my review of Chapter 1 of Oz’s route!
Ren’s Rating: 8/10