NaNoRenO 2016: Heartbaked

6/15/2016

This is my sixth post in the NaNoRen0 2016 series!

otometwist visual naovel heartbaked nanoreno 2016
GAME INFO
Name: Heartbaked
Developer/s: Gourmet Visual
Release Date: April 03, 2016
Genre: GxB, comedy, fantasy



In a beautiful elven village hidden away in a lovely little forest, one pastry chef has just reached the last recipe in a sacred book passed down from her grandmother. Ginger has waited her entire career and quite possibly her life for this, and cannot wait to finally have created everything inside. However, the last recipe requires an ingredient that she doesn’t have in her pantry. TRUE LOVE! Ginger must go on a journey to find this true love, hopefully in one of the three admittedly quirky guys she knows. One problem though- she sucks at it. Good luck.
STORY

The story starts with our baker heroine, whose default name is Ginger, dreaming about becoming one of the best chef for this year’s annual cooking event.

However, she has no new tricks up her sleeve, and to be absolutely honest, there are a lot more pastry chefs way better than her in their village. It’s a good thing that she found her Grandma’s secret recipe, Heartbaked, just in time for the contest!

But there’s one problem. She’s lacking the most important ingredient: love.
otometwist visual naovel heartbaked nanoreno 2016

Let’s join her in her quest around the village as she looks for the last missing ingredient in baking the best cake recipe ever invented.

And so, Pastry God, let’s continue with the review, shall we?

WRITING

The writing is alright, though I think there were some instances with awkward wording or where the verb tenses didn’t match up. Like this paragraph, “Every year…we held an event where we show and taste the best pastries…” Or this sentence, “I hoped I never met him again.” I can’t explain it, but… something feels… wrong. 

Also, throughout the whole game, the tenses change from past to present all the time! It was like the writer wasn’t sure what exactly to use at the start of the game, so he or she just decided to use whatever felt appropriate for a scene. It’s not super noticeable that you’d get distracted, but it’s sort of a pet peeve of mine so that’s that.


otometwist visual naovel heartbaked nanoreno 2016
Aside from that, I didn’t encounter any more problems, other than the occasional typo or spelling mistake.

CHARACTERS

  • Ginger

The main character in this story. She’s aiming to be the best chef for this year’s annual cooking event. She tends to be a bit rude at times, always thinking negatively about people behind their backs. That’s why it’s no wonder that she’s lacking the last ingredient to Heartbaked, which is love. However, she does have a funny side to her, which makes her kinda adorable, too.

  • Radley
    otometwist visual novel heartbaked nanoreno 2016
Ginger’s childhood friend, and now her delivery boy. According to her, he’s “quick, efficient, and didn’t complain about the low wages.” He also seems to be a hypochondriac, or maybe just someone who’s extremely averse to germs and bacteria. But in all fairness, he’s a really nice guy, who obviously cares about Ginger even though she seems to be a bit too dense for that kind of thing.

  • Benjamin
otometwist visual novel heartbaked nanoreno 2016
Or rather, Beeenjamin. He’s a giant who tends to sheep, so… yes, that’s why it’s Beeenjamin for all you people out there. Oh, and I don’t want to be biased, but this guy is just… totally adorable. There’s something about a giant who cares for wee little sheep and acts like an innocent little person that’s just so… d’aww. That’s why I went for his route. And you know… I don’t regret it. He’s so totally adorable, I swear. But… just a warning, haha, it didn’t feel much like a romantic route to me, though it was pretty funny and cute.

  • Carver
otometwist visual novel heartbaked nanoreno 2016
Is this guy actually supposed to be an obtainable? I… seriously don’t know how he could ever be an obtainable. He seems to be a dwarf, or something. A grumpy dwarf, at that. I swear, from the very moment he entered Ginger’s shop, I knew I didn’t like him. Man, he’s so grumpy. Who’d ever want this guy?! (No offense, Carver fans. Okay, fine, you guys are the answer.)

ART

I really like the art style in this visual novel! It’s your standard anime-style VN, though it does remind me of the art style in Rune Factory III, which I love. However, the main character, Ginger, has a pretty awkward pose. Seriously, doesn’t she get sore standing like that majority of the time? 

The backgrounds are quite nice. They’re really cutesy, just like the rest of this visual novel, but they do fit the sprites and the GUI really nicely.


otometwist visual naovel heartbaked nanoreno 2016

Actually, this is one of the most aesthetically pleasing games in the NaNoRenO 2016 roster. I’m happy to report that the niceness of the graphics is pretty much constant throughout the whole game.

GUI

I really liked the cutesy GUI design. One thing I noticed though, is the lack of on-screen buttons for basic things such as auto-read or skip. I usually turn on auto-mode when I play visual novels, so that I can eat or drink or do whatever while I’m reading. Also, I enjoy reading text with effects, which are usually lost if you have to press the space bar yourself.


otometwist visual novel heartbaked nanoreno 2016
Your day-tracker!

Despite that, I still think this GUI is totally perfect for this game!


otometwist visual naovel heartbaked nanoreno 2016
What a cute save screen!
MUSIC

The music is actually quite nice. If I’m not mistaken, almost each character has their own “theme” song. Or at least, that’s what I think, since it seems like almost every time a new character appears, the music changes. I actually like that, haha, so that’s a plus for me. There are some tracks that I don’t enjoy listening to, such as Carver’s theme (or maybe I just dislike the guy, hahaha) but most of them are okay for me.

WRAP-UP

Personally, I think that you can’t really force yourself to choose who to love. It just doesn’t work that way. In Heartbaked, Ginger desperately needed to find Love in order to bake the best cake in the village, and that’s the only reason why she went after the obtainables. In this case, of course it worked, after all, it’s just a story, but in real life, I think there are much better ways to fall in love, okay little girls and boys? =)

But anyway, as for this visual novel, I think it really was a fun little game to play. I love how everything blended together: the GUI, the art style, the story! It’s so perfectly sweet and cute. And as someone who loves baking during her free time, I really enjoyed this visual novel. Eight strawberries for this NaNoRenO release! (Though I don't actually give strawberries for NaNoRenO... huh, why is that? Hahahaha.)

You can download this game here.

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0 berries

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