At a Glance:
Circle = Sakura Mint
Scenario = Kouji
Artist = Kouji, Rikuri
English Translation = AstCd2
Game Engine = ONscripter
Genre = Slice of life, Girl Meets Boy, Short Story, Kinetic
What’s so special = Very memorable characters, original OST.
License = Freeware
Circle – Sakura Mint
Sakura Mint is a doujin circle that has made releases in the past few Comiket. Their previous releases were Aqua and Boy Meets Girl.
The protagonist has lost his job in an advertising world due to an illness Myotonic Dystrophy. With his savings running out, he gets a new job as an office boy and clerk in a pub ‘Shanty’, where regulars can set appointments with a ‘Girl’ they want. There, he meets Mai, who is one of the popular ‘Girls’ in the place.
You will be following the protagonist as he experiences life with Mai, and as he digs deeper into her mysterious personality, and on how he will be dealing with her past, present, and future.
Not exactly a uniqiue plot structure, but the way that the characters, conversation and presentation plays out makes its strong point. Not many stories or narratives like these can hook you in from the outset and up until the ending.
-The protagonist is faceless, although you could partially see his face in one instance of the story. He is smart, witty and a professional person, but in the presence of Mai he just crumbles like an ordinary high school student. There is a CG of him though; but if I who this to you you’d consider this a spoiler.
-Mai is a ‘Girl’ at the pub ‘Shanty’. Her background and personality is an enigma, as she avoids answering delicate questions concerning her past. She is also a ‘my pace’ character, as the protagonist follows carefully her every move (even in conversations).
Title – Here is the title. Nothing special, but the menu and buttons are arranged here neatly. The BG of the title screen will change once you have fnished the game.
Options – The options menu are categorized according to the functions like text/sound/video. Nothing too fancy about it as these settings you can leave just to default.
Save/Load – Both screens boast the same familiar look and feel of a galge. The save screen however in game features a transparency a the background for added zing.
Extras – The extras menu is nicely done. The contents are categorized into CGs and Music
The CGs in this game are suprisingly done well, as they feature a watercolor style, giving it a child-like dreamy feel. They focus more on the important parts of the scene, as only those with focus are given detail.
The game utilizes free stock photos as scene BGs. These at least adds more to the realistic dimension of the game.
The bg music selections in this game are soft and quiet, adding to the ambience of the night. Too much of this will relax you to the point of putting you into deep sleep.
One notable aspect of this game is that it has an original OST, composed by the scenario writer himself (kinda like Jun Maeda). The song was sung by Yanagi Nagi and composed by Sentive. The song doesn’t give much of an impression at first; but once you start listening, the song just gets into your system and stays there. I for one felt goosebumps the first time I heard it, and the second time at the ending credits.
Moonshine is a decent game in all aspects, as compared to some of the other doujin games released. And also, this is only one of the few doujin kinetic novels that are translated into English. The only downside of this game that the story was really good to be just this short. However, if that doesn’t bother you, then this game comes in highly recommended.
Well, any more we’d spoil the game for you 😛