Reviews: RE Alistair

A short but above-average freeware game

Freeware games are always a dubious prospect, Sturgeons Law being what it is, but RE: Alistair has a degree of polish that many amateur-made freeware visual novels lack. Make no mistake, there's nothing hugely original or groundbreaking here, but for a free game, the artwork is very good, and if the story and characters lack a lot of depth, they're appealing in a light, fluffy kind of way.

The game is extremely short - it takes place over a period of one in-game month, and the player will quickly use up the majority of that time selecting afternoon and evening activities to grind social stats. Three winnable guys, each with a bonus ending if certain criteria are met, give the game a decent amount of replay value to make up for the short playing time. It would have benefited more from the addition of more opportunities to interact with the characters; as it is, with a handful of scenes to each guy, a play through can be completed inside of an hour.

Still, it's a cut above most of the freeware otome games out there, and the updated re-release version, RE: Alistair++, adds a bit of additional polish and corrects some of the errors present in the original version. The lack of cost and minimal time investment involved makes it a great gateway to the genre, worth trying out if you're curious about otome games and would like to find out if you'd enjoy them.