Hitozume Hime Club -Secret Wives' Club- Review

Contributed by Unicorn aka J. Sarunski

Hitozuma Hime Club

This game is a multipath visual novel, even though it pretends [with inclusion of a meter interface] to be a sexual training-simulation. At first I mistook it for a simulation as well.

Protagonist of the story is Ozaki Issei, a student who is going to graduate from college next spring. Despite current recession, he already has a job he can start with after graduation, thanks to his father who is a close acquaintance to his future boss Mr. Takasugi.

Aside from a recent breakup from his girlfriend for unknown reasons, everything seems to be laid out perfectly for Ozaki. When Mr. Takasugi asks him to tutor his son [Eichi] for an upcoming school entry exam, a reluctant Issei agrees because he doesn't want to disappoint his superior before he even starts working at his company. But fate has a surprise in store for Issei. After teaching Eichi, he makes the acquaintance of Mr. Takasugi's wife Chisato, and realizes she is the woman that he had a fling with on his summer vacation in Bali.

Apparently he left her a very good impression because she doesn't just want to continue their love affair behind her husband's back, but also introduces to him two of her friends [Kawasaki Nana and Oishi Kagari]. All three women have one thing in common: They are married to successful men who put all their energy into work and leave wives sexually dissatisfied. So, after they all met and the wives seem to like Issei, Issei gets permission to visit one wife each day and relieves her from her frustration. In order to ease their minds from the plain fact that they are all cheating on their husbands, and to give the arrangement a more respectable appeal, they call themselves the Hitozuma Hime Club and Issei's visits are called club activities.

There are 10 unique MIDI-themes that are played according to the mood of the current situation in the story.

Graphics and Animations:
The graphics are at resolutions of 640*480.
The usual two techniques to visualize a scene are used here:
graphics, drawn to visualize one particular scenes
dynamically generated graphics of the current situation by displaying a particular background that relates to the current location and cels of the currently present characters displayed in front of that background.

For each character exists a set of cels showing her in different poses or clothes and with different facial expressions. Sometimes character-cels are even moved around on the background to provide animation.

Another special screen effect in this game is animated location-change: The background of the previous location rolling out one side of the screen draws in the background of the next location from the other side.

After the game has been played through once, the option "recollection" in the title menu becomes available. This option contains the usual extras of a gallery of special (not just h-) scenes and CGs and a jukebox that playbacks MIDI-themes.

My personal opinion:
Even though this game is advertised as a training simulation but turned out to be another multipath-novel, I still enjoyed it. This game has at least a bit of replay-value because there are seven different endings. But because the methods for getting the two different endings for each single girl are the same, this game is not really challenging. Nonetheless, the characters are quite amiable, and all sexual actions are consensual so it doesn't leave a stale taste, unlike after playing darker games that mostly involve forced sex. On the other hand, this game doesn't really expound any mores: It's just about a college-guy and three married women having fun together behind their husband's back. So, it's just a soap: Light, mindless entertainment. Because all three women wanted to have this amicable arrangement, there isn't any jealousy between them either. It is entirely up to the player to decide which wife he wants to see next and to enjoy the next scene.

However, even if this game was no big challenge, it was quite entertaining and I liked the graphics in this game. Novel screen effects (scrolling changes of locations and moving cells on backgrounds) left a good impression: I wouldn't like to scorn other games that feature full-motion-videos, but I think it is impressive if a similar degree of liveliness could be achieved using easier means.

I was a little bit surprised when I counted the MIDI-themes in this game: Apparently I am spoiled from other games that use 20 or more themes. Ten themes really seemed enough because I didn't think during gameplay that the variety of themes wasn't sufficient or the currently played theme wasn't appropriate for the current scene.

This game is the second game from Sekilala to be localized to english and released by G-Collections. At first, it reminded me of games made by Trabulance because of its merry atmosphere and cheerful character-designs. Only the exaggerated facial expressions that are typical in Trabulance games were missing. Instead, the backgrounds were drawn with more details and looked closer to photorealism than those in Trabulance's games.

I enjoyed playing this game. I might have been disappointed because its difficulty is very low, thus kept me busy for about a week. But because in my collection of bishoujo-games there are other more challenging games that still require and deserve to be solved, I used this game as a short distraction from other more complex games. The graphics are quite nice and the characters are lovable. I am a bit concerned about what a person getting this game might think if this is his/her first bishoujo-game though because some of the h-scenes are a bit on the kinky side. I would certainly not advise against this game, if the buyer doesn't mind that.