I do still review the odd hentai game that tickles my fancy and Succubus Academia very much tickled my fancy.
Succubus Academia is an RPGMaker game made by SQDT. If you've been around a very long time you might remember SQDT was responsible for Succubus Quest. I think the original Succubus Quest might have been the first game of this type I played after being lured in by the original Monster Girl Quest demo. I'm not sure what happened to SQDT after that. I think there was a follow-up game that fell through and they fell off my radar until coming back with Succubus Academia.
I played this using text hooking and very sketchy machine translation, so you'll have to forgive me for not being able to go into as much detail on the plot and game mechanics as I'd like. Thankfully, even with sketchy machine translation, I was able to get a good way into the game. I haven't yet completed it, for reasons I'll go into later, but I have seen pretty much all the content apart from the final boss(es?).
|Turn her from this to...|
The plot is interesting from a protagonist perspective as rather than playing a single character, you play multiple. From what I can gather, a college has been sucked into a dream world and the surviving students are being picked off one-by-one by semen-hungry succubi. Some of the female students have either been replaced by or turned into succubi. They can't be defeated. The only way to make them go away is satisfying them sexually. Unfortunately, satisfying a succubus sexually is the end of the (un)lucky volunteer tasked with doing so. Thankfully, we have reserves (but not many), as you find and unlock future succubus sacrifices throughout the game world. All progress – levels, items, money – is transferred to the next (un)lucky sacrificial lamb.
It's an unusual mechanic, and one I wish more games would use. From the non-H world of games, the only one I can recall is Eternal Darkness. However, the player does need to be careful. Each succubus can only be properly satisfied by a specific character, and if that character gets all his juice sucked out by a dryad beforehand, it's no longer possible to complete the game. It's not as terrible as it sounds. There are five 'boss' succubi and three optional succubi to satisfy, and eight playable characters to pair them up with. I did follow a guide, but the game makes it reasonably obvious who should be fed to who – the swimmer to the mermaid, the runner to the track-team bunny, and so on. For the optional bosses the game will hint you have the right character for them as they'll drop ID cards in front of them. It's also short enough that even if the player screws up, it's not too onerous to play through again.
Pay attention to the ugly demon shopkeeper that shows up early in the game. He sells key items to remove certain obstacles (eg gasoline for a motorbike).
|...this, and satisfy her (and then die).|
There are five areas for each of the succubized student bosses, some being unlocked later. Each area has two regular encounters (pixies and dryads for the 1st forest area), a mini-boss encounter (usually a pair of one of the regular encounters), a 'notorious' succubus (more on them later), and the boss. If your character dies to anyone other than the boss, reload. If the character dies to the boss without her transforming into a succubus form and giving the "And she is satisfied" message, reload.
'Combat' is sort of battlefuck. Sort of, in that the objective isn't to win, but to hang on for dear life until the succubus is satisfied. So, it's mostly about raising their mood while not letting them drain your life and semen too quickly. There is a bar on the left for the succubus representing their mood. There are two bars on the right for the player. The first is the ejaculation meter, which the succubus will fill by using various sexy moves. The red bar is the player's life, and that will get depleted every time the succubus gets them to ejaculate.
This is where I'd like to go into more detail, but the vagaries of machine translation prevented me from getting a full understanding of the game mechanics. There does seem to be some kind of stance system and also spells that cost life to cast. On Normal difficulty I was able to muddle through most of the game by just picking whatever option looked sensible and using the occasional item to restore life or lower the ejaculation meter. The upgrade system looked interesting enough I'd like to get my hands on a proper English translation for a less completely-blind playthrough.
|Drowned or drained, your choice...|
And mainly to stop the 'notorious' succubi draining me to a lifeless husk second time around.
Recently there have been a few collaborations between eroge game devs/artists that have resulted in characters guesting in other games. There are five 'notorious' succubi in Succubus Academia. I recognised Alma Elma (Monmusu Quest), Shiki's Sophia and Succubus-chan. The other two (Elfride and Fulbeua) are unfamiliar. I'm kind of interested where Elfride is from, for... uh... research purposes.
Initially, I was a little disappointed with the Alma Elma and Sophia scenes, and then felt I was probably being a little unfair and coming in with too high expectations. I also thought they were guest cameos without much link to the rest of the plot. Which turned out to be wrong. After doing all the sacrifices correctly, the game opens up for an additional chapter and you get to 'fight' the notorious succubi again, and those scenes are a lot hotter. So, if like me, you sped through the game to find them, only to be a little disappointed, fear not. They return again later and those scenes will likely lead to you getting satisfyingly drained.
(Perhaps a little too drained. I still haven't figured out how to get past them!)
|Alma Elma, animated! Get a ride from the Succubus Queen.|
The art in this game is gorgeous. The bosses and notorious succubi also have some animation, which adds a lot of appeal. It's a shame that the regular encounters get overshadowed because their images are static, because they also have really nice art as well.
One thing I liked, which won't be to everyone's tastes, is the streak of cheerful morbidity running through the game. Nothing exemplifies that better than the scene after the first boss. After draining her childhood sweetheart to a skeleton, she tells him she's going to take him home with her, only to just snap the arm off the skeleton and leave with just that. I couldn't figure out if it was supposed to be romantic and touching, with the spirit somehow united with the succubus forever more, or a funny bit of cruelty mocking such romantic delusions. Either way works for me.
It is quite a morbid game. The characters are all doomed to death by snu snu and new abilities are learned by burying relics of dead classmates. The succubi are pretty much all on the predator end of the spectrum. So, if you like your monster girls fluffier and waifu-esque, you might find the tone of Succubus Academia a little too dark and cruel.
(Obviously, I loved it, but that probably isn't a surprise to anyone that's read my stories!)
The monster girls and succubi are also more on the vanilla end of the spectrum (in design). There are the usual staples such as harpies, lamias and mermaids, but nothing too crazy.
Overall, I found it a really nice game. Luscious sexy succubus art. Interesting plot (from what I can glean). Enough game mechanics for it to feel like a game without being complex enough to be frustrating, especially with the language barrier (although it would be nice to know why Succubus-chan gets bored so easily and then mercilessly drains all my life away – merciless predator indeed).
|She's cute until she gets bored. Don't let her get bored...|
Definitely worth a look if you like this sort of thing. Maybe around Succubus Prison level in terms of quality.