Today we visit an outdated, incomplete game from 2010. Is it worth your time?
Length: Short (0+ – 2 hours – I took 1)
Lewdness: 1/3 (Not Lewd – Hugs and Snuggles)
Summary: A transfer student enrolls into Camelia All-Girls Academy and ends up having to deal with a nutty teacher and even more zany classmates.
Review: Like I said earlier, the game is incomplete. There’s only an Act 1 available which should only last you an hour, tops. Two if you’re trying to savor it, which I find to be a questionable endeavor.
It seems like @CameliaGirls has been completely abandoned considering how its main website has been deleted which means you have to hunt around to download it. So don’t bother holding your breath and hoping that it’s ever completed.
The good things I can say about @CameliaGirls is that it’s retro. The gals look like they’re coming straight out of some 90’s anime and I find its dated look to be sort of charming. My sense of nostalgia sort of welled up while I wasted an hour on this sorry excuse of a game. I will admit that it’s clear the producers didn’t have much of a budget considering how they made use of real life photos as backgrounds (which is a common tactic for smaller games). Another plus it that the series knows that it should not be taking itself seriously and opts to break the fourth wall several times. Whether or not doing so proves to be comedic is up for the player to decide.
However, @CameliaGirls is so not serious that it actually slips into being unprofessional. Characters often include the phrase “LOL” in their speech bubbles and the first-person narration done by the main character, Kana (not Hana), is all in lower-case. I suppose the people behind this visual novel were aiming for a more artistic design here, but it just comes across as being sloppy.
Perhaps this is due to how the game is incomplete (which means the player only gets to be barely introduced to this characters before @CameliaGirls ends), but almost all of the characters come across as being insane. The only ones I can relate to are the relatively straight-laced main character as well as the class rep. All the others act like they belong in insane asylums, more or less. It’s fine for a game to feature ditzy characters, but these characters go too far.
Calling @CameliaGirls a yuri visual novel is a bit of a stretch, frankly. No men are in sight, of course, since this just so happens to take place in an all-girls school. But there are simply no intimate acts within the game. I could go watch any slice-of-life series featuring a plethora of girls and see more ship tease than what I saw in @CameliaGirls. Furthermore, it seems like the main character likes to assume other characters’ sexualities. She jumps to conclusions about there being something between the airhead and the class rep just because the class rep allows the airhead to look at her notes. To be fair, though, another girl calls herself the lover of the aforementioned airhead, so it can’t be helped the main character assumes the self-proclaimed lover is overly fixated on the airhead. Still, all she does is just hugging the airhead as well as buying her food. No hand-holding. No cutesy nicknames. Yuru Yuri is a more scandalous yuri title than this so-called yuri visual novel.
I’m guessing that the game was supposed to be about technology considering how there’s an “@” symbol in the title and how the main character is shown e-mailing her friend twice during Act 1. Unfortunately, we’re left in the dark since the game cuts short before we can see exactly how @CameliaGirls progresses.
In short, don’t bother picking up @CameliaGirls. It’s incomplete and rather boring, truth be told. I don’t think the sprites look overly terrible but my nostalgia is probably coloring my perception considering how the artstyle seems to be rather low-budget and minimalistic. Not much yuri to be found here, either. And for those of you who care, there is also no voice acting. Perhaps this visual novel was abandoned after Act 1 for good reasons – I won’t deny that this didn’t seem too promising from what little we were shown.