In the snowy town of Fueya, miracles are said to occur on the Night of the Fairies. Sugar Sweet Temptation (Shugaten! -sugarfull tempering-) begins on one such night when a man with no memories falls off the rooftop of a struggling patisserie. Is his appearance a miracle that will stop the closure of Folkroll? And who is he really?
Best (Only) Bakery in Town
A patisserie about to close, cute coworkers, and a newly arrived protagonist to save the store isn’t a particularly novel setting. Marshmallow All The Way Home did it, amongst others. Sugar Sweet Temptation still manages to stand out with a rather unique take on this concept.
Kori and Meru decide to take in the amnesiac. Learning that the patisserie is close to shutting down due to Meru’s grandfather, the previous patissier, being injured, he decides to help to repay their kindness. Soon enough, we meet Chocolat, who is related to a business that wants to take over their store but is more interested in trying their famous cakes.
It follows several well-trod story beats, like making the protagonist the new patissier with some surprising skills, but the focus is put more on the heroines, and the mystery behind the protagonist. While the idea of needing to shut down might be used as a strong threat elsewhere, it’s actually handled in a rather laid-back manner. That’s not to say that more serious issues don’t occur elsewhere though.
At first, Sugar Sweet Temptation gave me the impression of being a cozy story, full of cute moments and cuter heroines. This isn’t completely wrong, but there’s certainly more to it, and one route in particular has a number of dramatic moments. Still, Fueya is made to feel like a welcoming town where you quickly fit in with the local community, the heroines give that sense of closeness and bring you into their little ‘family’, and most problems are easily solved.
Comedy is woven in along the way. Kori and Meru have some great interplay, with the outspoken and often thoughtless Meru acting silly, while the quieter and more serious Kori gets in the occasional jab. Chocolat doesn’t stand out as much, but fits nicely in their dynamic with her energy.
I enjoyed how the romance is presented here too, with an often slow build-up, where the heroine and protagonist are allowed to become closer due to circumstance. In all routes, it felt understandable why the heroine would fall for him. I appreciated that in one route, it even addressed how another heroine felt. One of the greatest strengths of Sugar Sweet Temptation is its relationships and how they’re portrayed.
Choices and Routes
Sugar Sweet Temptation presents a number of choices in the common route, leading up to a split. There is also an unlockable epilogue. You can learn about these in our guide.
The routes work nicely together to hint at each other and tell the whole story, though I do feel following the recommended route order will be the best experience because of this.
While it only took me eleven hours to complete this visual novel, it never felt short.
Meru is basically a puppy. Beyond her bone-shaped hairpin and hair that sticks out like floppy dog ears, it’s reflected in her behavior so much that it’s referenced by the other characters. She’s energetic, loves playing outdoors, easily gives in to her desire for food, and occasionally acts like a territorial dog. Beyond that, she’s perhaps the most welcoming to the protagonist, quickly becoming attached and not worrying about the details.
The main story thread in Meru’s route is about her relationship with Kori. This was rather touching at points and highlights her clinginess and concerns. It nicely weaves in some hints for Kori’s history too. I wasn’t a fan of how a certain part was resolved as it didn’t feel too believable, but aside from that I enjoyed Meru’s route. It was perhaps the most relaxed of them all.
Chocolat is just precious. She’s the type who’d climb a roof to save a kitten without a plan and wants nothing more than for her new friends to be happy. Unlike the other two, she actually knows how to bake cakes, and despite being part of a rival organisation, is only too happy to help. It doesn’t hurt that she’s a foreigner, mixing in her native language while talking in a cutesy way.
Her route explores the mystery of the town and the miracles, along with her personal circumstances. It felt like it ended a little suddenly, but otherwise was great and a nice lead-up to Kori’s route.
Kori is rather serious and the quietest heroine, which makes a nice contrast with Meru. Despite this, she’s kind and friendly, even if she’s not great with people at times. She’s the sensible one too, remembering to check the protagonist’s clothes for anything that would identify them.
From the start, she’s the one who wants to solve the mystery of the protagonist’s identity, so it’s no surprise that this is a key part of her route. Beyond that, it has a lot of reveals of important information only hinted at in Meru and Chocolat’s routes, some darker topics, a feeling of danger, and more dramatic events. Kori’s route departments from the tone of the rest of the game in some ways. I’d consider Kori’s route as the true route and as the best.
Don’t Follow the Man in the Free Candy Van…
While I’d not use the word ‘loli’, some may not be comfortable with Sugar Sweet Temptation’s adult content, as the heroines are very petite, even if Meru is somewhat curvier than Kori and Chocolat. That ‘all above 18’ disclaimer is doing a lot of work here. In Kori’s scenes particularly, it often describes her with terms like “youthful” and “barely ripe”.
For those who don’t want to experience this aspect, the Steam version without the patch includes everything except for the adult scenes and some small parts around it. Adult content is only a small aspect of Sugar Sweet Temptation and it’s still worth experiencing without it.
In terms of the content included, Kori’s is fairly tame, Meru’s is a little kinky, and Chocolat’s surprised me with how extreme it became. There’s nothing too shocking compared to darker visual novels or gore ones, but some of Chocolat’s scenes were quite fetishistic and at odds with the relaxed vibe that permeates most of Sugar Sweet Temptation. Mosaic censorship remains in place.
I’d recommend playing with the adult content. While it’s not generally too story relevant, it does play an important part in Kori’s route.
Again, installing the patch is described in our guide for those who wish to learn more.
As always, I cannot comment on accuracy of translation. I can say that the editing seems to be of high quality, with very few typos or mistakes, even in the pre-release version that I played.
I did wonder at Chocolat’s lines at times though. She throws in English words occasionally, which are presented as French. This is fairly common in localized work, as it retains the intent of throwing in foreign words. At times it seems like it was extended beyond that though, with French being used in place of Japanese words too on occasion.
Shiratama’s artwork and soft style is both beautiful and a great fit for Sugar Sweet Temptation. I was amazed by the CGs and loved the sprites. It’s a pity that it’s only in 720p, as I would’ve appreciated seeing these in higher resolution. I was less impressed by the very basic super-deformed CGs by another artist, but they’re few and far between.
For the sprites, basic animations are included. Occasionally they may move around slightly, or bounce up and down. Symbols sometimes appear around them to show their emotions too. A sprite viewer is included too, which even included a text box editor.
The opening song is great and the background music in general fits the tone well. Occasionally the sound effects don’t sound appropriate for the action though, like a meaty thwack for a baby kicking inside of it’s mother or a rather horrible sounding squirt sound during adult scenes.
Sugar Sweet Temptation is as sugary sweet as it implies with its romance, but certainly amps the drama up at times. With it’s wonderful art, hints of mystery, great character dynamics, and heartful story, it’s worth reading.
SUGAR SWEET TEMPTATION IS RECOMMENDED
If you are looking for another visual novel, you may enjoy Otome Domain. We have also covered a wide variety of visual novels both original to English and localized from Japanese, which you can check out here.
Many thanks go to Love Lab 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.