Is it Getting Cold or Hot in Here?
It’s winter in the Southern Hemisphere. So, let’s remind everyone in the North of the best and worst of winter. Grab some coats and two hot chocolates – one for me – and let’s both enjoy Yukikoi Melt, a visual novel developed and published by Frontwing – a publisher well known for bringing us the Grisaia series of games.
This title is available on Steam but heavily censored. To the point that it excludes some character’s routes and scenes. They’ve butchered it. Fortunately, there is a free 18+ patch or you can just buy the full version on the JAST USA website directly. It’s easy to install so you can enjoy it as intended after a painless installation. Does Yukikoi Melt, uh, melt my cold heart? Let’s find out!
Hot Blood – Cold Place
Yukikoi Melt revolves around a hot-blooded male named Miharu Okazaki. He’s a boy practically born with the “winter is coming and I despise it” mentality. So you can imagine his reaction when, one day, he is forced to move to a city with a super harsh winter with temperatures bouncing between -30 to -60 Celsius (or -22 to -76 for those using Fahrenheit).
While going to school one day, as in most anime, a girl flies over him on a skateboard and falls on him. She’s the cutest girl I have ever seen, and her name is Kanon. Locally, she’s known as Hurricane due to her nature of chaos and mischief. I absolutely adore her. After helping her with the ice stuck to her face, Miharu performs a tactic known as “smart retreating” to escape Kanon. That doesn’t last long though.
As he reaches the school, He’s properly introduced to some of the Winter Club. There’s Usagi, a senior who deserves all the love in the world but sadly is without a route of her own. Then there’s Yuki, or as she‘s called Snow White. The kanji literally reads that way. I’ll note that she also deserves more justice and more clothes too. I guess she has an amazing endurance to the cold. Yeah, let’s call it that. Oh and there’s also the cliched falling on boobs scene with Shizure, our cute friend with the huge assets. I genuinely enjoyed this introduction, despite it going for too long.
The following days revolve around the shenanigans Miharu has to face as he interacts with these girls. Their goal is ultimately to convince him that winter is amazing. After all, you can’t say you dislike something without trying it. Being the newest member of the Winter Club, you can expect all sorts of situations to happen. Activities consist of making snow sculptures, snowball fights, and community service. There’s also the usual lewd shenanigans and they certainly happen, especially with the 18+ patch installed.
Yukikoi Melt has a kind of humor that is both amazing and delivered brilliantly. I don’t want to spoil it, so I have to keep it short. This is best experienced blind. Just please, don’t play without headphones.
The prologue itself is quite long so that’s something to keep in mind. It’s around 6 hours before the real decisions start to come. It did feel longer, mainly due to scenes carrying on too long. Each day felt quite stretched thanks to that. For completion, I would estimate about 20 hours to finish every route.
I do want to give some serious praise to Yuki’s voice actor because of a certain scene with an icicle. I won’t say more, but if you buy the game, you’ll know. It made me feel flush, and I had to ask forgiveness for what I had seen.
Routes and Characters
Let’s refocus; the four routes consist of Kanon, Yuki, Shizure, and Tahuri who we don’t meet until later on. There’s also the common route the story goes through to develop the characters. It is worth mentioning again that Usagi (my personal best girl) and the teacher were given the cold shoulder when it comes to this. It is sad as their characters seemed very interesting, maybe more so than the other characters.
Taruhi’s route focuses on her bond with the protagonist. She also has a secret. One that makes her relatable to him. The dynamic between the two is totally adorable. One of the first scenes of the game has her asking if you’d prefer her mouth. Her hands resting on her assets, almost passing out from nervousness. This is how you know the good stuff is coming with this intense girl. I feel like her character is mostly generic but she has interesting relations with others. And before you ask, she’s a catgirl, and there’s no reason for it. She just is. We don’t judge around here, but do a quick save and grab her ears the moment you have a chance to just because.
Yuki’s route is fun due not only to her behavior and also how absolutely in love she is with winter. Her habit of taking photos makes her a good character. I saw some people talking about her loli characteristics. As an avid defender for the Snow White Gang, I won’t accept her being called lolicon bait. As I was saying, I felt her route was quite underwhelming, despite how much I like her as a character.
For me, Kanon’s route can be described as fun. Simply because I enjoy her character a lot. She’s the second-best at trying to make Miharu enjoy winter without being too forceful. It’s a good contrast to the wild tornado she is deemed to be. Her happy outlook on life is quite relieving to see with the outside world being a bit tough. Oh, and you want to test her route. If you need a reason, let’s say she‘s not only hungry for adventures, but also our protagonist. That’ll develop *fast* to a scenario that earns the +18 rating, but it’s why we’re here.
Last but not least, there’s Shizure. She’s a kind, cute girl who has an odd talent for making “weird” ice sculptures. Yeah, let’s call it that. Her route ends up being more about understanding how to open up to others. It surprisingly has a lot of development in it too, so you can enjoy her warmth for quite some time. Her soft personality, along with the cold season, leads to some “steamy” scenes that are a grade above the others. That’s a fun fact to know. Who knew that would come out of the girl who seemed to be the most reserved. They do say that it’s always the quiet ones.
Overall, this game gives me Konosuba vibes in a way, an anime known for not taking itself seriously and mocking the isekai genre. It jokes around and never tries to be anything it isn’t. In this case, a serious romantic visual novel. If you were expecting a meaty focused romance, you are in the wrong spot. However, if you want to have a laugh and be in an environment lewder than expected, this is it. Don’t expect too much character development with every girl. It’s more likely that something will happen to encourage giggles, than a deep dive into their background.
Enough of the main girls, what about the three uncrowned queens that deserve love? Yuka is the homeroom teacher that interacts a ton with the students. She has some of the best lines so she gets an A+ from me. Her teaching methods get an F though. Usagi is the club’s teacher. Her mysterious and charming behavior was why I was most interested in her. Well, that was before discovering she didn’t get much screentime. Seriously, can she get that?
The artwork in this game is amazing. I’ve even taken screenshots of the scenery to use as a background on my desktop. The interiors look warm, befitting of a cold city. The girls have great designs and the steamy scenes really showcase that. The CGs are also of great quality. The art design in general is not a flaw in this game.
The music isn’t anything to write home about. It does its job and keeps the cold atmosphere around. It’ll switch to have a goofy air when the situation calls for it.
As always, I’d like to point out the voice actors because they don’t get enough praise. Those in this game are especially great. There’s not a single voice I don’t enjoy. Even the background characters have voiced dialogue and there are some hidden gems here.
The user interface also deserves praise for how quick it is to access everything. The shortcuts available for “quick save” and “quick load” for example helped a lot during my playthrough.
Overall, the art design and the comedy are the best parts of Yukikoi Melt. I recommend this game for anyone interested in a +18 visual novel that can also make you laugh.
You shouldn’t expect too much development or a romance story that will make you cry. It did still warm my heart. I liked the overall experience. The routes could’ve been developed better but I enjoyed them either way. So grab a sled and go down this icy path. Meet some girls and relive the magic of winter!
YUKIKOI MELT IS RECOMMENDED
Many thanks to Frontwing for a PC review code for this title.
Support High-Quality And Detailed Coverage
Want to support the cost of us bringing you these articles or just buy us a coffee for a job well done? Click the Ko-fi button below. You can even find some digital goodies in our shop~!
Nick has been gaming for quite a while, a decade now! His first console was the DS but the first one played extensively was the Nintendo 64. He loves a huge variety of games, favourite genres include RPG, platforming, metroidvanias and visual novels. No longer a member of the NookGaming team, but still here in spirit. Follow him on @NickMendz.