Have a thing for blondes? You’ll enjoy Kinkoi: Golden Loveriche. There’s certainly more than that to it though. This title by Saga Planets has romance and comedy as you’d expect. What might surprise you is the darker turn it can take.
Kinkoi: Golden Loveriche starts with our protagonist Ouro kidnapping a princess and almost getting his arm chopped off. As is fairly typical of these types of visual novels, it’s all a misunderstanding. He thought she was in danger, grabbed her, and ran. Despite being well-meaning, this quickly escalates and could have turned into an international incident. Luckily, this is avoided through some quick thinking.
As part of the deal to avoid an incident, they cook up a story to have him start attending the same school as Sylvia, the princess. One where aside from a few talented exceptions, only the children of the rich and powerful attend. Most of them are not particularly welcoming to a commoner who suddenly joined their class. This is made even worse when he’s placed in their dorm, which was until then functionally girls-only.
Not everyone is against Ouro though. He makes fast friends with the princess and grows close to several other people, mostly through her. Old connections from childhood come up and his actions in the here and now draw people towards him.
Golden time is often referred to in Kinkoi: Golden Loveriche. It’s explained in a few different ways about being the best time in life, but it’s usually used to push the idea of making use of the current time and current opportunities.
While the present is often shown to be important, the past is often referred to. Through the common route and character routes, flashbacks to the past often occur. Secrets from the past are hinted at and eventually revealed. I liked how this was often done by exploring different aspects in different routes or only dropping a hint in one route to then reveal it in another. While the routes go off in different directions, they’re all connected in this way.
Romance, Comedy and…
The tone of Kinkoi is comedic with some sweet romance overall, but the story does contain some darker topics as you get further into it. At first, I expected it to be all light and it does remain as such through most of it. A few things came up that had a darker theme, but they never got too serious. There is one exception that stands out though. It came as a shock, despite having put the clues together over time.
I really enjoyed how Ouro interacted with each character. Something that made him feel more interesting was how he joked around with characters in different ways and treated them differently. It was a lot less flat than some protagonists. He’ll childishly tease Sylvia, sometimes act seriously towards Elle, and have heart-to-hearts with Ria, instead of just constantly firing off lewd jokes. It certainly has those though.
As far as the comedy goes, I enjoyed it. One thing I particularly liked was how each heroine reacted differently and the jokes that came from it. As mentioned. it uses a lot of sexual jokes, but they hit each character differently. Seeing them completely fly over one heroine’s head, make another one angry, while another is making them herself is a lot of fun. Luckily Ouro isn’t too perverted himself, despite the frequent sex jokes. In many routes, he even seems to mature a little and start to think about the future.
The story features a few choices, but as far as the story goes, they don’t matter much. You select which heroine’s story you want to follow.
Routes and Characters
Kinkoi: Golden Loveriche has a common route, five character routes, and a hidden true ending. Some routes are locked away until you complete others.
Sylvia would be considered the main heroine. A princess of a small European country, but with secrets in her past and a connection to yours. She’s a mischievous girl who is willing to use her power on frivolous things.
Her route includes a lot of misunderstandings and talks about the past, but also focuses on the political problems of her country. One particular misunderstanding was a fun twist.
Elle is Sylvia’s knight and a classmate. Absolutely devoted to Sylvia, but a strict person and willing to push her to do what she should be doing instead of what she wants. I felt that we didn’t really get much time with Elle in the common route, with her mostly being Sylvia’s shadow.
Sylvia meddles to force Elle and Ouro together to solve a problem. This evolves into love, but devotion to duty and the political situation are challenges to overcome.
Reina is close friends with Sylvia, but also friends with everyone. A caring girl who isn’t afraid to make dirty jokes, but still gets along with the most uptight girl in class.
Her route explores Ouro’s recent history. It tells you what he was doing before his encounter with Sylvia and why he feels the way he does about certain things.
Akane is the only non-blonde with a route. She’s an athletic younger girl with a lot of energy and plays the affectionate sweet girlfriend. This one is a shorter route without much plot.
Finally, there’s Ria, my personal favorite. A smoker and someone who speaks harshly. She often supports you in other routes. This feels very much like the friendship that unexpectedly evolves into romance.
As is often the case, if you want to access the 18+ content, you need to download a patch from the NekoNyan shop if buying on Steam. Or you can just buy the full game here, without any censored content.
There are a total of twenty-four H-scenes, though some are connected to each other so while it is a lot, it’s not as many as it sounds. Some can be missed or you may get different ones based on your choices, so it’s worth using the save function often. It’s worth noting that they’re not evenly split between heroines, with Ria and Akane not getting as much attention here.
Most of the adult content is fairly vanilla, with some slight fetish content in some of the scenes. Threesomes happen in several of the routes, though may not always occur depending on your choices. Some of the scenes depict incidents occurring while under the influence, which some may find objectionable. This isn’t done in a way where anyone would be considered to be in the wrong though.
Kinkoi has some great artwork, as you’ll have seen in the screenshots. The main heroines and a few supporting characters have sprites with a wide variety of expressions and poses. While some secondary characters go without, we do occasionally see them in CGs.
Good use is made of animation to keep things lively. Akane being the bundle of energy she is might be seen with a sprite zooming from one side to the other. Sylvia is seen to have sparkles and hearts popping up around her to underline her feelings. This happens quite often.
In terms of CGs, there are quite a few – over 110 CGs in fact. About a fifth are in the super-deformed style.
There are 35 pieces of music, with a good variety fitting the emotion of each situation. They often change even in the middle of a scene. These are frequently underlined by sound effects, like drumming when a character is angry or a high-pitched sound when another is happy. The voice acting is done well, with each performance fitting the character well.
There were occasional issues. An unattached face suddenly popped up a couple of times, a CG was shown at the wrong time and the background colors for sprites suddenly changed. Fortunately, over the 25 hours I played, these things only really occurred a handful of times.
On launch Kinkoi: Golden Loveriche was far buggier, to say the least. Frequent crashing, occasional audio skipping on voices and lines where the text just suddenly cut off. This was quickly updated and I have not experienced any of those issues since.
I’d recommend Kinkoi: Golden Loveriche. It’s a great character-focused visual novel, with a focus on interesting backstories. Piecing together the history over different routes was really interesting and the characters were endearing. The production value is certainly high too and the humor is on point.
KINKOI: GOLDEN LOVERICHE IS RECOMMENDED
Many thanks go to NekoNyan for a PC review code for this title.
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A gamer since the days of Amstrad and DOS and someone who has dabbled in a variety of professions. He enjoys a wide variety of genres, but has been focusing on visual novels and virtual reality in recent years. Head Editor of NookGaming. Follow him and the website on @NookSite.