An indie game that began as an Indiegogo campaign by developer Radical Phi, Angels with Scaly Wings describes itself as “The Dragon Dating, Mystery & Drama Visual Novel.” This takes a unique turn away from the traditional dating simulators by incorporating elements of mystery and drama aligning more with a choose-your-own adventure. Although the gameplay essentially consists of selecting options from a text box, this does not in any way take away from the excitement created by making decisions that can dramatically alter the storyline and the fate of your character. It is also worth noting that there are a few puzzles in the game, which are entertaining yet simple. The soundtrack offers some variety and is reminiscent of standard video game ambience with a few sound bites that bring the action to life.
This is definitely a game you will need to play more than once to get the most out of it. The game boasts a total of 11 different endings, which sounds like quite a task. Luckily, the game makers kept this in mind and after your initial playthrough you are able to access a skip button that allows you to pass dialogue you have already seen and stops when you must make a choice. You also get the option to skip certain scenes entirely, which you “have passed in a satisfactory manner.” This option however will skip the minor choices, which could impact your relationship with characters, but not necessarily the ending.
The storyline itself is quite unique as you play a human ambassador in a newly discovered dragon world where you can uncover the mystery of their origins, murder, and interspecies love. There is certainly no shortage of drama and the dialogue is no doubt humorous, but there are moments where I found myself stalled by several walls of text to get through to explain important plot details, however, the story usually picks up again soon enough.
As for the dating simulator aspect, it feels like a pretty standard young adult novel. You are able to have varying degrees of romantic relationships with every character, each with its own unique personality. The character interactions with each other are partially animated and entertaining to watch. Interestingly, your choices here can and will usually have an impact on the overall story so choose wisely.
The mystery aspect was perhaps the most disappointing. I will not get into too much details to avoid spoilers, but it felt like the player took more of a backseat rather than getting involved hands on. Either way, the story of the town’s origins was perhaps the most interesting aspect.
All things considered, this is a game that really knows its audience. So if you consider yourself an avid dating simulator fan or are interested in choose-your-adventure gameplay, then you may find enjoyment in the antics of the characters and overall drama of the choices.
Angels with Scaly Wings releases today for PC on Steam.