(Game Review) Lingering Glances and Country Dances in Visual Novel App ‘Regency Love’

Written by Layla on April 14, 2016

So about two weeks or so ago I stumbled upon a little gem of an app called Regency Love. After a while of self debate, I decided to give it a go for a few reasons. First, I always love a Regency romance. I had played another game called Matches & Matrimony, inspired from the works of Jane Austen, that captured my heart but in comparison now seems a bit formulaic. Also, I figured I could use something easy to play during breaks at work and in the waiting room for appointments. Little did I know the game would end up occupying so much more of my time, because it is just that delightful. So much so, I’ve decided to make it my first review and real post here at the new blog.

In Regency Love, you play the role of a young lady coming to terms with life after her father’s passing and perhaps finding marriage to secure your future. To start, you are given the chance to name your protagonist or you can go with the default offering which was Catherine Fairchild, nicknamed Kitty. Coming up with names for my characters in games has always been my biggest struggle, so in an attempt to not put off starting the story any longer I stuck with Miss Fairchild. I was immediately struck by the beautiful art – especially considering I play this on my tiny iPhone screen, and soothing music. But my favorite part of the game has to be the rich assortment characters. The charming town of Darlington hosts a number of citizens, each with their own fun personality and story. I found myself eager to talk with everyone – even poor Mr. Digby, stressed as it seemed to make him. There is your concerned but well meaning mother, your longtime best friend and confidant Miss Earlwood, the meddling and melodramatic Mrs. Norris, the town’s bickering champions Mr. Winslow and Miss Ingram, the fragile and sweet Miss Ashcroft and finally but more importantly Lord Fat Cat himself, of whom I will speak no further to not spoil his enigmatic role.

All that and I haven’t even mentioned the most eligible gentlemen of town, Miss Fairchild’s potential suitors and romantic interests. Mr. Ashcroft is a doting and protective eldest brother who seems to have high value on family and kindness. Mr. Curtis is a middle aged bachelor who holds esteem for the written word and not much for social gatherings. Mr. Graham is a charming militia man you can pursue with an additional purchase.

Mr. Curtis Mr. Graham and Mr. Ashcroft Mr. Curtis, Mr. Graham and Mr. Ashcroft (left to right)

I should note that at the time of writing this, I have only played the path for Mr. Ashcroft. But I have no doubt this is the first of many as I already have plans for an independent lady playthrough and getting to know Mr. Curtis a lot more. The game definitely has replay value for these reasons and also the fun of getting to shape your protagonist to see how she turns out each time. On your screen between chapters, you will see which traits have come to define her and often I didn’t even realize the choices I’d made in personality! I found myself struggling many times to decide between the response I felt was best for polite society and the one I most wanted to see everyone’s reactions to. Next time, I will definitely let my Miss Fairchild be a bit more wild and face whatever consequences come my way. That was another highlight of this experience, that it really feels like you’ve been Outlander‘d back into the 1800s so you better be ready to discuss fortune, politics and feminism of the time.

The only part of the Regency Love experience I may change is the minigame portion – little challenges of hangman and Regency era trivia to gain more points for shaping your protagonist into an eligible young lady. While I did quite enjoy the quotes and fun facts, I began to notice after a while that they would repeat. So knowing what snacks were best to accompany tea time was exciting my first go, but two times later it feels like I’m just stealing the points. That was hardly enough to interrupt my enjoyment though, as I was always far too occupied wondering what would come next in the tale.

To keep this review from reaching Austen novel length, I say if you appreciate an immersive visual novel game with often amusing character interactions and heartwarming romance – you won’t be disappointed with this app! Also, I took a look into the creators at Tea for Three Studios and they’re all awesome ladies into the Dragon Age games too. Double win. Check out the trailer if you’re still not sold. Or you can just go buy it here to form your own opinion.