Yuki’s back! Oh, Spica, Chinatsu, and Haruka are also back in Spica, Chinatsu and Haruka’s Enchanting, Marvelous, and quite frankly Elaborate quest to save their (cute) girlfriend!!! (aka. SCHEME), Yuki’s Palpitating, Passionate, Phenomenal, and quite frankly Proficient quest for a (hot) girlfriend!!! (aka. Yuki’s 4p)‘s sequel. But unlike Yuki, they didn’t, you know… get kidnapped! Is our extremely useless lesbian protagonist beyond help? Could a rescue operation even be mounted? What’s the deal with those lengthy titles? Will any of those questions be answered in SCHEME?
I swear, Yuki’s luck only lies in the two extremes, really good and really bad, with no in-between. Always one of the two, and in SCHEME, it’s clearly a case of the latter. Or is it? Is it really? I mean, I could tell you, but that would ruin the fun of experiencing the visual novel with a fresh pair of eyes. It’s undoubtedly a more serious story than the original, but do not mistake that for a worse experience, as that is most certainly not the case. At all.
That’s not to say it is void of comedic moments and playful banter – there’s just less of it. We are dealing with a kidnapping situation after all, and if everyone’s just messing with each other all the time, exactly who’s going to rescue poor Yuki? Well, I suppose the answer to that is obvious, being right there in the name of the game and all. In a way, the toned-down comedic aspect is actually really nice, as it allows for more growth of each character as an individual than the fast-paced over-the-top romantic comedy that was Yuki’s 4p. On a related note, it also felt like Yuki being kidnapped gave milkkylemon (creator of Yuki’s 4p and SCHEME) more room/ways for everyone else to interact without the protagonist taking part.
On the topic of things that have changed between Yuki’s 4p and SCHEME, those who have played the first (my review, in case you need convincing) might be going into this one expecting another multi-route/-ending visual novel. That’s not the case, as this is an entirely linear experience – a kinetic novel, as it were. It didn’t impact my experience in the slightest though, and something tells me most, if not all, are going to feel the same after spending the hour or so it takes to find out what the girls are up to in this next chapter, including a handful of brand new faces. Don’t worry, much like the quartet from Yuki’s 4p, every newcomer is of the super cute and colourful variety, both in terms of personality and appearance, thanks to an art style that remains unchanged.
Now, I prefer to at least nitpick over something for reviews since – let’s face it – no game is flawless, but I have nothing bad to say about Spica, Chinatsu and Haruka’s Enchanting, Marvelous, and quite frankly Elaborate quest to save their (cute) girlfriend!!!. Quite the opposite, in fact, and here’s to the hope for a third entry as we could definitely do with more stories like this and of course, the original. Simply put, a very easy recommendation.
Spica, Chinatsu and Haruka’s Enchanting, Marvelous, and quite frankly Elaborate quest to save their (cute) girlfriend!!! is available on itch.io, for free (pay-what-you-want).