One of my favourite stories to tell about myself is the time I bought a bunch of ecchi games on a Steam Holiday Sale, and the store algorithm immediately jumped to the conclusion that I was a pervert. Is it correct? Do I play these games ironically or do I actually get some titillation from them? That’s none of your business!
Honestly, my mother occasionally reads my articles, and I don’t need her finding out about the ball-gag under my bed, so I have to watch what I say about my relation to the subject matter.
I will admit to sometimes getting a craving for such games. I don’t often have an issue with their depictions of the absolutely unattainable ideal female form. I maintain that most can keep a healthy separation between reality and fantasy. I fantasize too, after all.
In any case, TroubleDays is one such game that piqued my interest. Why? That’s also none of your business.
YOU DON’T PLAY AS THE SUCCUBUS
TroubleDays advertises itself with the clumsy tagline, “Cohabitation with a naive succubus?!” I guess I’m pretty naive too, because I had hoped that the game would be an otome (targeted towards a female audience) where you play as a succubus, but it’s pretty clear that it isn’t.
When it became apparent that it wasn’t, I instead braced myself for a game where I play as a creepy otaku trying to constantly get in the pants of a sexually available succubus. I’m happy to report that also isn’t the game’s direction.
The game casts you as a young man in his 20s who is remarkable in the fact that he’s entirely unremarkable. He’s out of university, he has no interest in furthering his career, and he’s not really putting any effort into finding someone to share his life with. The most interesting thing I can say about him is that when fate throws a succubus at him in the middle of the night, he doesn’t immediately take advantage of the situation, which is admirable for anyone with a brain swimming in hormones.
COHABITATION WITH A NAIVE SUCCUBUS!?
Lovelia is a succubus on her first day on the job. Like all succubi, she’s tasked with stealing a man’s “technoforce,” and the game coyly skirts around what that means, exactly. It’s never really stated that the man’s life is in danger if he gives into his impulses, so the only thing that keeps the protagonist from giving in is his, well, nurturing personality.
Lovelia is a bit mixed up for a succubus. She has aspirations of being the best, but through the course of her studies she came to fear men’s animalistic impulses. The result is she’s completely inept and clueless about seduction. However, once assigned a quarry, she is duty-bound to extract their technoforce before she can move onto another man. Because the protagonist takes pity on the inexperienced succubus and because he’s just going to be pestered by her until she gets what she wants anyway, he invites her to live with him.
HONTO DESU KA~? YOKATTA!
What winds up following is actually a pretty cute romance. The guy, completely dedicated to giving himself blue balls, tries to help Lovelia along while still keeping her at a distance. She, on the other hand, seems grateful for this and, contrary to what you’d expect from a demon conjured from male sexual desires, is neither too insistent on completing her work.
The result is two people desperately resisting their urges while gradually becoming closer. It’s that tantalizing anticipation. You know they’re going to get together somehow, but what happens when she extracts his technoforce? Can they ever truly be together? It grips you by the heart and leads you through their ups and downs.
Truth be told, it’s not the most original of narratives. Teaching a fish out of water how to love is a tale as old as time; well-tread territory in the world of romance manga. Even the situations the couple find themselves in carries the whiff of deja vu.
With that in mind, is it fair to expect more of an ecchi visual novel?
There’s three different endings going from depressing, to disturbing, to just as cute as the rest of the game. These endings are given based on choices made throughout the game, but most of these decisions are completely innocuous looking. You’d be forgiven for inadvertently ending up with the worst ending. Considering the lesser endings are actually pretty unfortunate for the protagonists, it can be pretty jarring to run into them.
Of course, considering how vanilla the protagonist is, it’s possible that even the best ending dooms Lovelia to a life of the missionary position.
The story takes maybe three hours to get through, which isn’t particularly long for a visual novel, but it’s priced accordingly. The translation is also reasonably well done with only the occasional spelling or grammar issues, as well as some problems with word wrapping. Dialogue is only in Japanese, and only Lovelia gets a voice.
For that matter, Lovelia is the only character that gets seen on screen. Just her against a variety of backgrounds. Not that a lot of other characters make frequent appearances, but it’s somewhat drab when Lovelia is not on screen and another character is just talking over a panning shot of the background.
When it comes down to it, there’s really no possible way for me to tell you if you’ll enjoy TroubleDays. A lot of these things come down to preference. Are you a fan of visual novels? You’ve probably read something really similar to it before. Are you into the wonderful torture of a slow-boil romance? Now we’re getting closer. How do you feel about succubi? We might have your game.
I’m not sure what I expected when I went into TroubleDays, but I was honestly surprised by how cute it was. Far more than just an excuse to look at a woman’s heaping cleavage, it was actually a charming and enjoyable experience beyond just the T&A. I can honestly say I was rather engrossed by its simple yet spicy plot. But I’m sure you’re probably wondering: how much did I enjoy all those sexy illustrations of the romantic interest? That’s none of your business.
This review was conducted on a Nintendo Switch using a digital copy of the game. It was paid for by the author.