I think I know what the people want, I said. What they WANT, is to be able to manipulate their favorite classic video game characters into a variety of lurid but safe-for-work romantic encounters. What they WANT, for instance, is to cajole a cute Katamari into some sort of kissing situation with the spaceship from Galaga.
Namco High is a Dating Sim by Namco Bandai and Homestuck author Andrew Hussie. The game stars the Cousin of the Prince from Katamari Damacy as they navigate the romantic ins and outs of a high school setting. It features several characters from Namco Bandai's library (such as Lolo from Klonoa and the aforementioned ship from Galaga) and three "exchange students" from Homestuck. Six of the characters are free, and you can get others by purchasing either single characters or characters packs.Play the game here. Play it soon, though: it will be taken down June 30th, and you won't be able to purchase the full character packs after March 28th, 2014.
Acting Unnatural: Richard Miller is good at many things. Acting casually, to avert suspicion, is not one of them.
Ambidextrous Sprite: When King is facing to the right of the screen, the word "King" on his belt is the right way around. When he faces to the left, most visibly while opening the Confiscatorium, it suddenly becomes mirror-writing. Meowkie's hall monitor badge is also known to flip sides.
Cousin will always be referred to by non-gender-specific pronouns, to allow players to interpret Cousin as whatever gender and sexuality they prefer. Being that Hussie has previously encouraged gay and lesbian ships in Homestuck, this isn't surprising. However, Taira calls Cousin "Dude", and Davesprite possibly refers to Cousin as a "boyfriend" (he might also be referring to himself from Cousin's point of view; it's unclear).
Bait and Switch: Terezi tells Cousin s/he reminds her of her old partner, a grouchy person. Homestuck readers probably assume she means Karkat. In reality, she's talking about Pyralspite, her favorite Scalemate (stuffed dragon toy). Cousin accidentally rolled it up into his/her Katamari, sparking the caliginous feelings Terezi has for him/her.
Double Entendre: Nidia's route is chock full of these. For one thing, "Combining into a dragon" or just "Combining" is repeatedly used as an allegory for sex. Cousin thinks Nidia's "grinding" refers to the dance move, and remarks that she's "so experienced" after she tells them she's Combined before (Cousin is embarrassed to reveal that they never have). Furthermore, Nidia reminisces about Combining with her previous partner, saying it's "the most natural thing in the world," and reveals that she's in detention for trying to force other students to Combine with her, which is referred to as "harassment." Lastly, her special ending has her and Cousin (literally) combining into a dragon. Heavens! Kind of puts her earlier "Sometimes a dragon is just a dragon" comment in perspective...
Dysfunction Junction: There are self-esteem issues, obsessive tendencies, and paranoiac conditions aplenty.
Easter Egg: One that references Homestuck. When entering Zoosmell Pooplord as your name, you get the response "TRY AGAIN, SMARTBUTT."
Evil Lawyer Joke: in Tomari's route, he renounces inventing to become a law student when convinced there's no way to prevent ten thousand years of darkness and evil. When Cousin asks how useful lawyers will be in this time, Tomari says he wants to fit in.
Flat Earth Atheist: Jane, hardcore. She describes herself as a "hard-nosed skeptic" and refuses to believe that anything out of the ordinary happens at Namco High, taking this to absurd extremes such as by claiming that a classroom is too small to hold a spaceship (even though Galaga is sitting right there) and failing to realize that her friends Terezi and Davesprite are anything other than cosplay enthusiasts. At the end of her route, she admits that maaaybe some strange things do happen at the school.
Foreign Exchange Student: Terezi Pyrope, Jane Crocker and Davesprite are described as such in the official site (fittingly, as they're the only characters revealed so far that didn't come from a Namco game).
Freemium: Al B. Tross, Anti-Bravoman, Galaga, Lolo, Meowkie and Valkyrie all have their routes available for free. In order to access the rest, you have to pay real money. You can buy content either individually, in packs of three or all of it in a single purchase. This last option is the only one that includes the routes for the Homestuck cameos.
Gay Option: If the player chooses to interpret Cousin as a specific gender, going after characters of the same gender will make them this.
"Groundhog Day" Loop: After your first run through with Davesprite, it turns out that his fears of remembering the previous run through were unfortunately correct. Davesprite will watch you run through the game as many times as you please, remembering each one. And the worst part? If you go through Davesprite's route again, he acknowledges this, but has the exact same lines of dialog as before. Davesprite could relive the same romance over and over, and have no damn way to stop it.
Konami Code: Referenced very subtly. It's the order of the secret handshake for cheat code sellers and villains; at least that's what Cousin implies to Al B. Tross.
Marry Them All: Parodied. While Davesprite keeps teasing the existence of such an ending, it doesn't appear to actually be there.
Davesprite: just means i wont tell you any of the locations of the ten secret easter eggs that when gathered all together unlock the route to the perfect harem ending the characters all have special outfits for that one if you know what i mean ... Davesprite: haha that oughta keep those suckers busy for a while
Multiple Endings: You get a different ending based on who you choose to fight alongside you when you go to rescue Pac-Man from Evil Namco High. From there, you can get a:
Good End: You talk to the character you choose the day before Pac-Man gets kidnapped. You fight together and rescue Pac-Man from Evil Namco High, and you get their character-specific ending.
Bad End: You don't talk to the character you choose the day before Pac-Man gets kidnapped and the day before THAT (AKA only talking to your chosen character once), and when you both go to fight Evil Namco High you are defeated, or the character you were with grows apart from you (Not talking to Valkyrie the third day but the other two still results in a sad ending).
Mythology Gag: At least one for every character just about. King's observation that the man you're about to murder in cold blood could be your best friend is a direct reference to him and archnemesis turned best friend Craig Marduk from the Tekken franchise.
Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The final battle with Evil Namco High generally consists of your character and their romantic partner leaping in, followed by cutting straight to the conclusion. You may get a few other details to make you wish you'd seen more. Meowkie, for example, is apparently quite the Badass Adorable.
The description for the Galaga ship about being "THE MOST ALLURING, CAPTIVATING, AND ENCHANTING THING IN THE UNIVERSE"? It's not an exaggeration. The constant attention and favoritism it receives from others has made it unable to accomplish anything on its own merits, and it thinks Cousin is only nice to it because of its beautiful hull.
Donko has similar issues stemming from her cuteness and popularity; one of the things she initially likes about Cousin is that she can rely on hir to be sincere rather than pouring on the flattery.
Unexpected Character: The exchange students from Homestuck and the ship from Galaga. The latter in particular, because the game makes no effort to update the "character." It's still a non-anthropomorphic arrangement of pixels vaguely in the shape of a spaceship. The official site lampshades this:
THE GALAGA SHIP IS THE MOST ALLURING, CAPTIVATING, AND ENCHANTING THING IN THE UNIVERSE.
World of Weirdness: Let's take a roll call. Talking cats. Talking drums. Talking spaceships. Trolls. Superheroes. Zombies. Robots. Petting Zoo People. Aliens. Mad scientists. Sprites. Whatever the hell Anti-Bravoman is. Whatever the hell Mr Driller is. Pac-Man. There's more.