Valentine’s Day is almost here and that means it is time for me to review another game from my Hall of Shame list. You see, my friends and I have a little contest going. Every time there is a Steam sale, we find a cheap (and often lewd) game to buy for each other. As a result of this tradition, I have racked up quite a list of questionable titles. The majority of these games are more than likely complete garbage. (In terms of both content and fun). But every now and then, you actually stumble across something that’s surprisingly good. That is the case with this game, Her New Memory.
To be honest, I really don’t remember how or when I acquired this game. It’s been in my list of “owned games” for quite some time. But it’s always been flagged as an Early Access title. Recently, I noticed that the game received a pretty hefty update and received an official release. Upon seeing this, I decided to make it my Valentines Day review for 2022.
I didn’t really know what to expect from this title. At first glance, I assumed it was nothing more than a tawdry visual novel. In fact, the very beginning of the game does appear to be just that. But, it’s actually much more complex than I initially expected. Once the game gets it becomes less like a visual novel and more like a full blown relationship simulator.
As I mentioned above, Her New Memory starts out like a standard visual novel. It explains that you are a single guy living a typical Japanese salaryman lifestyle. Then one day, a strange girl knocks on your door. She is wearing tattered clothes and appears to have lost her memory. You invite the girl inside and try to make her comfortable while getting to the bottom of who she is and where she’s come from. From here, the game starts to pick up steam. Your character falls for the girl and the feelings are mutual. Before you know it, you have a new live-in girlfriend. You can interact with her by having casual conversations, giving compliments, watching television together, etc. You can also buy clothes and accessories for her. Spending time with her will improve her mood. Keeping her in a good mood will increase your relationship level. The relationship level is a big part of the game. As it increases, new milestones and various events are unlocked. However, you can’t simply sit around the house with your new girlfriend all day. In order to afford clothes and other daily necessities you will have to go to work. If you ignore your girlfriend by working too much, her mood will decrease. So, the game really becomes a matter of balancing your work life with your romantic life.
As the game progresses, your girlfriend’s backstory begins to slowly unfold and the activities the two of you can participate in also increase. These activities range from things as innocent as going to the zoo to activities that are, shall we say, considerably more adult in nature…
So let’s not mince words. This game has some VERY graphic scenes. Nothing is left to the imagination and in fact some of it is downright vulgar in presentation. But Her New Memory is not strictly a pornographic game. In fact, these elements are actually a fairly small part of the experience. The storyline presented in the game is actually pretty touching and several scenes are quite sweet and romantic. There’s also a number of mini-games scattered throughout the title (blackjack, whack-a-mole, and even a Fruit Ninja clone).
All of this makes for a very strange experience. The gameplay is addictive and I found myself wanting to push forward to see how everything was going to end. But at times, the game also feels considerably grindy. Triggering certain events requires that you unlock specific outfits or save up enough money to buy a bigger house. This means that you’ll often have to spend extra hours at the office, which can make keeping your girlfriend entertained a bit more challenging.
The adult nature of this game means it’s not going to be for everyone. But it’s also more than a cheap thrill. Some parts of the story are downright wholesome. With all this in mind, it’s easy to underestimate this title. I actually think that if you took the blueprint for this game and remade it without the adult content, you would have something that ends up being much more marketable. All this makes Her New Memory somewhat difficult to peg down. But it’s games like this that I find exceptionally fascinating. So many titles today are nothing more than recycled ideas and genre clones. Coming across something new and different is refreshing.
All that aside, if you’re alone this Valentine’s Day, there’s a virtual girlfriend waiting just outside your door. Just make sure to keep her satisfied.
Version Reviewed: PC
Difficulty: Easy – There’s no real challenge to this game other than the grind and willingness to put in several hours of time. Even if you screw up, it’s easy enough to reload a save and choose a different option.
Story: The story seems pretty simplistic at first, but as you uncover more details about the girl’s past, things start to get pretty interesting. That being said, there’s nothing especially gripping about the storyline. It’s more like a soap opera than an epic.
Originality: Adult games are a dime a dozen on Steam these days. But most of them tend to be one-trick-ponies. Here we have a game with some layers of complexity and few surprise twists. This makes Her New Memory stand out from the crowd.
Soundtrack: The soundtrack for this game is catchy and pleasant. The music is appropriate and pretty chill. I was a bit surprised by how good it actually was.
Fun: There’s more entertainment here than meets the eye. A certain group of people are going to like this just for the adult content. But in truth, there’s much more to this game than fan service. I’m not usually a fan of time-management based games. But something about this title actually made the concept really fun and enjoyable.
Graphics: There’s not much in terms of awe-inspiring rendering here. The game features anime-style art with very limited moving graphics. But it is colorful and well done.
Playcontrol : Mouse based. This game is entirely point-and-click. No playcontrol issues.
Downloadable Content: N/A
Mature Content: Nudity, Pornographic Content, Adult Language
Value: This game was gifted to me and I don’t know what it cost at the time it was purchased. But now that it has been officially released, it sells for $10. If this type of game is your cup of tea, it’s well worth a $10 price tag.
Overall score (1-100): 80 – Considering its low price point and the varied amount of content included in the title, Her New Memory is actually a pretty good game. The graphic nature of the title will mean it’s certainly not for everyone. But it’s obvious that a lot of love was put into the creation of this game. There’s more here than just lewd art and dirty jokes. There’s a compelling story and some pretty fun game mechanics included as well.
Original System: PC
Available today on: PC – (Updated as of Spring 2022)
Best Experience: PC – (Updated as of Spring 2022)