Oh boy! Here we go! What on earth am I doing trying a game called Ciel Fledge – A Daughter Raising Simulator? I’ve been burned by visual novel’s in the past. But this one has intrigued me.
Thankfully any fears over the riskiness of a game with such a title are soon out to bed. As Ciel Fledge is actually and very well told story with some interesting ideas. I won’t go as to say it it good wholesome storytelling for the whole family. But I was taken in by it.
You take on the role of a guardian to the ‘daughter’ of the story, Ciel. Who has been found and seemingly orphaned on her home of ARK-5. A flying city in the sky, inhabited by humans, after an alien invasion has forced humanity to flee the earth.
Ciel has lost her memories and you are tasked with raising her into adulthood. You do this by planning her weekly activities and giving her things to focus on, such as education, or forming relationships. With each and every thing she does having an influence in her development.
In planning her week you have to divide her time between education, working part-time jobs, socialising, eating, resting and more. Do too much of one thing and you start to see her have issues in others. Work her too hard and she soon gets exhausted. Let her get away with too much and she gets attitude problems.
Mess up and there are some major repercussions for you, her guardian. There will be many, many opportunities for this too. Some you can control, others you need to react too. For a visual novel type game, there is a lot of variation here and you notice how much you actions have an effect.
The story starts off pretty slow and took me a while to really get the bug, but it soon picks up the pace and drew me in further and further. There are a good mix of characters and their personalties really shine through.
Alongside the story side of Ciel Fledge, there is some really interesting gameplay. In the form of battles. You are given decks, which contain various ‘cards’ which you must play three at a time to earn points and deal damage. Think of it as a match-three in a very small square area.
Initially the concept is quite difficult to understand, despite the seeming simplicity. There are three battle types. Quiz, Art and Fights. Each of which changes how you approach each battle slightly. For example, a quiz requires you to match the instructions to gain the points needed. Whereas art needs you to match set colours a certain number of times.
Doing this also powers Ciel’s abilities in a battle. Which all have effects to help you win a battle. It is a nice addition to the game, but it feels like it needs to be fleshed out a little more.
Honestly, there is a really good system in there and I’d like to see it utilised somewhere else and improved upon. Just here, it wasn’t as exciting as I would have hoped. Which is a shame, because as I say, the idea is really good.
Overall Ciel Fledge is a good game, with a nice mix of mechanics. Each of which keep you well engaged, whilst pushing the story forward. However, it unfortunately stops short of being great. Ciel Fledge has ambition and I wanted to see how Ciel turned out in the end. Which speaks volumes for the writing. It makes Ciel Fledge a game I am glad I got to play and is still a worthy addition to any collection.