NEKOPARA – Catboys Paradise (Otome Game) Review

Release Date: July 15, 2021 (North America)
Developers:  NEKO WORKs
Publishers: Sekai Project
Platforms: PC (Steam)

STORY (From the Game’s Steam Page)

Your grandfather has recently passed away and you end up inheriting his café and house. You intend to keep the café running as a tribute to your grandfather, but you have no idea as to where to start. That’s when a school gets in touch with you and asks if you are willing to host some trainees who have some experience in running a café. You take the offer without much hesitation. To your surprise, however, the trainees are not four humans but four humanoid cats! Humanoid cat workers aren’t that rare these days, but this is still your first interacting with one. And thus, your story begins as you work alongside four catboys!

ART AND MUSIC

I wanted to start this review by acknowledging how stunning the visuals are for this game. It quite surprised me to learn that the Japanese Illustrator G Yusuke was the one responsible for Catboys Paradise’s gorgeous character design. One of his most successful works is the famous visual novel Dies Irae. This artist is mostly known for designing beauteous waifu characters in video games/anime. Who would’ve thought he’s just as capable of creating alluring catboy husbandos too? 😍

The game, Catboys Paradise’s soundtrack was brought to us by POPHOLIC Studios, who’s previous works include arrangement and compositions for popular video games like Uma Musume, Idol M@ster, and Princess Connect!

VOICE ACTING

Komada Wataru “Fennel” – Iruma Jyuto (Hypnosis Mic), Rintaro Yagumo (Root Film), Nagusa (Olympia Soiree), Katsura Kogorou (Ikemen Samurai Romances), Yabuta Kiyohiko (Kimi wa Yukima)

Kaito Ishikawa “Lauriel” – Dante Falzone (Piofiore), Il Fado de Rie (Café Enchanté), Dimitri (Fire Emblem Three Houses), Hikage (Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly), Marius Von Hagen (Tears of Themis)

Yuuichiro Umehara “Sage” – Canus Espada (Café Enchanté), Shingen (Ikemen Sengoku), Demento (Period Cube), Renji (Gakuen Club), Benkei (Bilshana Senki), Haruto (Toraware no Palm)

Junya Enoki “Dill” – Chisato Tachibana (Collar x Malice Unlimited), Hansel (Ozmafia!!), Luka Clemence (IkeRev), Keisaiin F Ryuki (Cupid Parasite), Araki Mihaya (Paradigm Paradox)

MAIN CHARACTERS

True to the NEKOPARA series, Catboys Paradise’s remains a kinetic visual novel. That said, the game does not offer any choices, nor branches out to different types of endings. So basically, all you need to do is sit back, relax, and let these handsome felines take you on a fluffy day-to-day journey in your fancy-schmancy cafe.

There are no route orders, so you’re free to pick whichever catboy route you’d want to start first. I played and enjoyed mine in this order: Fennel – Lauriel – Sage – Dill.

FENNEL
(Breed: American Burmese)

  • perfectionist
  • haniwa-nerd

Fennel is the perfectionist, catboy megane who’s extremely hard-working. He sets high standards for himself and his work ethic is top notch like no other. He’s also probably the only one in the cafe crew that’s very capable of tackling managerial duties.

I played Fennel’s route first because I was so excited to finally play a Komada Wataru otome LI. 😜 (Can you blame a gal?) I thought his bossy attitude and perfectionism were honestly quite charming. I’m still giggling over the fact that despite his strict attitude, he remains prim and proper in whatever he does, even when barking orders at you. 😆 It was also really adorable to see how he’s pretty much unaware of his own charm and appeal. His route was definitely one of my favorites in this game.

LAURIEL
(Breed: Khao Manee)

  • too lax, too pushy
  • worst chef of the year

Lauriel is the sleepy catboy who loves to take naps whenever and wherever he wants. He’s somewhat needy and pushy when it comes to wanting to get your attention. Due to his beautiful appearance, he’s rather popular with the female customers in the cafe.

Despite Lauriel’s lazy facade, he is secretly tech-savvy and quite talented, who can no doubt achieve anything so long as he put his heart into it. That aside, I find it cute how Lauriel reminds me of every cat I know who’d insist on sleeping in your bed no matter what and would always vie for your attention. 😂 His route was also unexpectedly funny. The part where you find out about his secret crazy obsession with sweets was too precious for words!

SAGE
(Breed: Bengal)

  • h i m b o
  • loves his dorayaki

Sage is the big-ol Bengal catboy that possesses the biggest heart. He’s very cheerful, and he takes care of everyone like a big brother. He’s always available and willing to lend a hand whenever he can.

I love Sage! I loooove this catboy’s positive attitude and cheerfulness. I am just enamored with his happy-go-lucky outlook on life, and I find it super endearing how he likes to dote on you and loves getting petted every time he does something good. His route was by far my most favorite out of everyone, and I thought it was the only route closest to having an actual ‘plot’. 🤣 Sage’s story was also the only route that made me grin from ear to ear the whole time! 🧡

DILL
(Breed: Calico)

  • beauty guru
  • your instagram catboyfriend

Dill is the cheery calico catboy who has a knack for everything “fashion-forward”. He is friendly and always does his best when it comes to work. His approachable demeanor makes him positively stand out with the customers in the cafe.

A catboy who’s willing to do your hair and make-up?! YES PLS! Dill’s character surprisingly astounded me with his thorough Anastacia Beverly Hills beauty-guru knowledge (from shampoos to what make-up brushes to use, he knows it all! lol) Dill can also get a bit clingy, possessive, and a little jealous, but in a cute kind of way, a common trope that is always welcome in my otome book. Oddly enough, I found myself enjoying him more in other routes than his own. Needless to say, his story was still ultimately sweet and will surely put a smile on your face.

SYSTEM AND LOCALIZATION

The localization for Nekopara Catboys Paradise was pretty solid as expected with Sekai Project, its publisher. I’m always a fan of their works! ‘Twas a treat knowing two of my fav. VN translators worked on this game too!👏

Not gonna lie though, I wish there’s more “Extra” stuff in the game other than just the gallery. It’d be cool if there were a soundtrack page where you can listen to the game’s BGM collection and maybe a profile page for each of the main catboy characters. Then again, perhaps that’s too much to ask for a game that’s already free?

Unlike any other Nekopara franchises, Catboys Paradise, unfortunately, does not have any R18 content. This is not a huge deal-breaker to me, because I don’t necessarily care for R18 contents in my otome games. I do think it’d be interesting if they consider adding some in the future though!

TRAILER

OVERALL THOUGHTS

Look, I went into this game expecting just as much as everyone else expects when playing a Nekopara title… Fanservice! And hey, I got exactly what I wanted! (Minus the explicit scenes of course! lol) Here’s my real issue with this game though, I WANTED MORE! 

It took me around 8-9 hours to finish the entirety of NEKOPARA Catboys Paradise. It was indeed a very short game yet highly entertaining and enjoyable. The prologue was only an hour or two long and each route only lasted about 45 minutes (or less) depending on your reading speed. Since it’s a kinetic VN, I played it on auto-mode the whole time without a single worry about stumbling into bad ends. Ha! 😄

I love love love ALL the main catboys and their very distinct quirky personalities. As far as favorite characters and routes, I’d have to say Fennel and Sage ranked top oshi’s in my book. Fennel was already a bias because one, he’s a catboy megane, and two, he’s voiced by Komada Wataru (cackles). Sage, however, won me over his cheerful fun-loving persona (and those impeccable cat pecs…😻nyaaah!)I just wanna cuddle this big ball of floof all day long! 🥰

I think it’s important to note that this game does not have any complex plot nor any kind of dramatic structure. This visual novel is merely all about your day-to-day interactions with these cat husbandos. Plain and simple. Do not play this game expecting some plot twists or any eventful conflicts, as you will be disappointed. 

Do I recommend this game. YES.
NEKOPARA Catboys Paradise is a simple all-fluff (self-insert) otome game about running a cafe with the help of four handsome catboys. If you’re like me, who’s an ultimate sucker for catboy LI’s, you will absolutely love this title! I am personally smitten by this otome game and although it doesn’t boast anything story-wise, it certainly delivers a delightful cast of characters that’ll no doubt make you swoon! Play this for the fluff. It’s definitely worth every minute of your time!

CHLO’S RATING: 8/10


10 thoughts on “NEKOPARA – Catboys Paradise (Otome Game) Review

  1. I’m sold. Has there been any news of a sequel/extension? It sounds super popular, and I’m sure if the creators made a patreon or a gofundme that it would garner enough money to help for a full game.

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    1. Hi Laura! It might be that the devs are probably gauging on how popular this spin-off would get (that means how many downloads + positive feedback this game will have after release), then they can decide if they’ll want to make a full game out of it.

      Like

  2. So fast, Chlo!
    Thank you for the review. 🙂 I’ve yet to play it (don’t have no PC at the moment >,<) but I'm happy you enjoyed your time with the game! A 8-9 hours gametime is nothing to scoff at for a free title, especially if the studio made the choice to hire VAs, and it seems to be full of fluff.
    (Fennel's design and personality are the most intriguing to me, but as a massive Yuuichiro Umehara fan and recent genki-type enthusiast, Sage may end up being my favourite. Things to look forward to, in any case!)
    Also glad to see mostly positive reviews on Steam. I don't necessarily need *more* catboys in my life (this may be subject to change after I play…) but the devs stepped of their comfort zone with this so that's neat that it worked.

    Hope you are doing all riight, as always! Take care. 🙂

    Like

    1. Hiya! Nice to see you dropping by! 😀
      The game is also available both in iOS and android I believe, so you can play it there too if you currently don’t have PC access atm. Typically all the characters are adorable but Sage is just best boi material (to me lol) 😁 I’m sure you’ll like him too! ❤
      Take care as well friendo! ^^

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      1. (Whoops I totally meant Laurier when I said Fennel. Love the lazy-bum-is-actually-a-secret-genius trope. ><)
        And thank you for very much for the tip! I'll dig into that, fingers crossed that my phone can handle the massive amounts of cuteness – if not that's gonna be one more factor towards upgrading, hehe!
        Have a good day 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m glad you enjoyed the game! Even though I was disappointed by the lack of choices or any hint of personality on the part of the player, the charm of the catboy characters more than made up for it! (And after all, free is free is free!) Quick question, by the way, what does “top oshiis” mean in this context? :0 Is it a reference to Mamoru Oshii or is it something stupid obvious I just didn’t pick up on?

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    1. Hi mikoshibamikorin! 🙂
      All the nekopara games are kinetic visual novels (that means there are no choices) – so I’d expect Catboys Paradise would follow suit with the theme. Glad you enjoyed the game too!

      Ah, sorry I just noticed I misspelled “oshi” as “oshii” lol. 推し is an otaku slang that means “favorite” or “fan of something/someone”. I guess in the west, you can translate it as your “bias” or better yet, “best boi”. ^^

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  4. im glad u liked the game! i had my eyes set on it since the trailer and it did not disappoint! i dont really like nekoparas lack of choice for their games but it is a free game with catboys on it so i didnt really mind. and youre right, its so short i actually gasped when it said “fin” in a white screen. i was already giggling a bit *too* much playing fennels route, which is the only one ive done so far, and i admit, i was somewhat devastated it was so short. Do you think theres a chance for it to become a full game? i wouldnt mind paying for it tbh 😸😸

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If the game gets a lot of downloads plus positive feedback i think there’s a chance we’ll get future volumes in this spinoff. That is, if NEKOWORKs listens and considers our demands 😆 lol

      Like

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