DeareaD inc. is a mobile otome company that began translating their games in March last year. Currently, they have 10 otome games available ranging from stories about robots to ninjas! Their games are free, and each day you receive 5 free story tickets, you can upgrade this to 8 story tickets if you watch a bunch of ads. Stories typically have three or four love interests As many otome companies this year have merged their games into one big app, which I call a ‘bookshelf’, DeareaD has done the same, a few days ago they released their bookshelf app named ‘OTOME Romance Box’.
The app currently has eight stories available, in six different languages, which is pretty incredible. The bookshelf is missing the company’s newly released ‘First Page of Love’ and ‘The Legendary Love Story’, which are currently only available on Android devices. I did play a bit of ‘First Page of Love’ and noticed that the translation in that game was significantly worse than other DeareaD games I have played, so I suspect they might be re-translating it before putting it into the bookshelf. Again, just a guess.
Now, I do have two big issues with the app. Well, actually three, but the third concern is something I’ve said in every single post I’ve done on their games so I doubt it’s going to get fixed anytime soon. So to get that one out of the way first – it’s very frustrating to finish reading a chapter and then have to stare at an ad for 10 seconds while we’re taken back to the main screen. It would be a much more enjoyable playing experience if we could just click ‘next’ and keep going rather than break up our reading time.
Ok, with that out of the way, let’s go onto my two new issues. First up, if you want to play a new story you have to download it with another ~60 MB. I wasn’t sure if this was something normal in bookshelf apps, so I downloaded NTT Solmare’s ‘Dear Otome’ and none of the games needed additional downloading. You just needed to download the app and then all their stories are at your finger tips. So the set up in OTOME Romance Box is definitely a bit odd.
Now onto my biggest issue with the app. As I said above, each day you’re given 5 story tickets / diamonds. But in the OTOME Romance Box, these 5 tickets are used across all stories. So if I read 3 chapters of Cafe Ikemen and then 2 chapters of Sengoku Love – poof all my story tickets are gone. But if I download the apps separately, then I have 5 chapters for each story. Again, not an issue in ‘Dear Otome’, each story was played standalone, and there was not ‘sharing’ of story tickets.
DeareaD have a really good foundation for this bookshelf of all their otome stories. However, there’s definitely some work that needs to be done. The appeal of bookshelf apps is that they are convenient for players – mainly, they free up storage. But that doesn’t seem to be the case with this one, also I found the five free story tickets being shared across all games, rather than five tickets per game was a little unfair. Hopefully in the coming weeks DeareaD can jazz the app up to make it more appealing to players.