Back in February of this year, I reviewed the demo for a game called ‘That Which Binds Us’. I was intrigued by the premise, but as the demo was quite short I didn’t have a complete grasp on the characters. But after months of waiting, on the 25th September, the full game was launched! ‘That Which Binds Us’ is the first commercial venture by Mikomi Games who have previously worked on short otome and yuri games.
In this game, you play as Evalise, a young retail worker whose boyfriend uses her as his personal ‘get out of jail free card’. After his latest stint, he asks her to get some bond money together, so she visits a recommended bonds person. But, Idris isn’t your usual business man, instead he offers Evalise the chance to be free from her boyfriend permanently. He can sever the bond between them forever.
Romance options: 1 guy, 8 endings (extra endings unlocked with new game+)
Total play through time: ~6-8 hours
The highlight of the game is definitely the banter between Evalise and Idris. The way they talk to one another is written so naturally, it’s like listening to a real couple chat and joke. But underneath all the cute ‘couple goals’, you know there’s something a little off about Idris, and the web that surrounds Evalise and him is one of deceit and intrigue. After my first play through I immediately jumped back in with a new game+ so I could see Idris’ side of the story!
Another great part of the game is the music. I could listen to it all day. From the soft romantic melodies to the tense nervous ones, they really brought the story and various scenes to life. I kind of want to download a few onto my iPod to listen to when I study!
In my review of the demo, I did mention that Evalise was a bit off putting and this feeling continues in the main game. She comes across as a tad snarky, particularly in her interactions with her work colleague Ciera, who mostly shows concern for Evalise. I also noticed her character sprite seemed to be frowning as a ‘neutral’ state. But I suppose having a bit of character is a lot better than being a ‘doormat’ as so many otome heroines often are.
‘That which binds us’ is definitely an interesting otome game. I’ve seen comments from other reviewers and players who have said that the art style has put them off, but honestly it shouldn’t! The game has a fantastic story, with twists to keep you guessing and a relationship that keeps you thinking! If you’re not 100% sold on the game, make sure to check out the demo as it essentially covers the ‘prologue’ and gives you a good idea of what the rest of the game will be like!