7.2

Hot hentai game review: Crystal Maidens

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Written by Otaku Apologist

Crystal Maidens is a free hentai browser game, developed and published by Super Hippo Games on Nutaku’s gaming portal in late 2017. A real-time strategy game with great art, and gameplay, this title is a hallmark release in the history of the western hentai scene. Against all odds, we westerners finally got a game that’s not mediocre trite bullshit that panders to skilless scrub casuals in every aspect of its design. Yeah, a fucking actual hentai game that challenges your skills in resource management, team composition planning, while demanding a basic level of multitasking talent. What planet are we on?

This review is based on the desktop version of Crystal Maidens. The game has an Android phone version.

GRAPHICS

The art of Crystal Maidens is objectively the best on the market. The level of detail in the character sprites, (some of) the backgrounds, and the sex CGs, is fucking insane. If you’re the type of horndog that plays shitty games, just to unlock sexy pictures of girls, then these babes will keep you playing Crystal Maidens a long-ass time. Every girl I’ve “romanced”, was beyond sexy. I’m not even verbose enough to describe the perfection.

Each girl has their own impressive battle attire, under which lies exquisite lingerie, and under that, the goods. I’ve always loved women’s lingerie. It’s a special treat to see the babes get progressively more naked, rather than jump to the fact.

The background art is fine on the eyes, but sometimes blurry. The material often looks oil-painted. My complaint is that they don’t cover the whole screen when you view a story sequence. The long black squares above and below the backgrounds, seem like a failed attempt at a “cinematic view”. Were they covering up for their brainfarts in the production process? Were they cutting costs? I don’t understand the point of the black areas.

The contrast between the glorious character art, and their cute little 3D versions in the actual game part, would be ripe material for my usual snide jokes, if the 3D art wasn’t the best in the market as well. That’s a sad statement, because the bar for quality in the hentai gaming industry remains lower than low.

GAMEPLAY

Crystal Maidens’ gameplay comprises of city building, and battles.

Let’s talk about the battles first. In most maps, you run from the left side, to the right side of the map. Your obstacles are enemies, which brings me to voice a criticism: The environments aren’t very interactive. It would be interesting to meet walls you must break down with damage, damaging floors, traps on the ground, power-ups, etc.

Your four maidens automatically run towards the red artifact on the right side. On the first levels, you can let your girls auto-walk the whole shit without interfering. Later on, the damage enemies deal increases, and you’re forced to start paying attention. The positioning of your units on the map, health bars, and spell cooldown timings, are the main things you’re keeping track with. It’s like driving a car into a crowd of innocent people.

Just like your characters, the enemies have powerful burst spells, that they auto-cast when aggroed – your only defense against their damage is clicking every girl to a safe position. What? Let me explain. When you move on the map, a green demarcation line moves with you. Within the area behind the line, you can move your maidens freely. This mechanic provides the game a surprisingly high skill cap. If the developers can keep designing interesting environments, and attack mechanics for enemies, I could see this game gain real recognition among RTS players.

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If you’re like a master league Starcraft 2 player, you won’t have problems avoiding half the spells the enemies cast. There’s lots of juggling in later levels. Dangerous situations develop fast, you don’t have time to blink before someone dies. You also have a timer to work with: Complete the objective in less than two minutes, or get no rewards.

Every tenth level is a boss battle. The bosses have decent variety, like differences in health pools, different attack cooldowns, number of targets they hit. Some bosses have cleave, which punishes team setups with multiple melee units. At time of writing, I’m stuck at two boss battles, that I just can’t beat in the time-limit, I’m hoping the studio will keep designing varied boss fights. The current ones are fine, but could easily offer more interesting challenges than a DPS check.

Despite 20 years of playing videogames, and roughly a month of practice, I’m still often failing at keeping my girls alive. The game has the classic RPG “difficulty staircase”: You have moments when you overpower the content, and then you hit a wall again. To overcome that wall, you need to grind up levels, loot, and improve your mechanics.

The city building part is very simple, nothing like Simcity. Most structures add passive bonuses, like damage boons.

When you start building the next level of a structure, the place will be under construction for several hours. Thanks to cloud saving technology, they keep building while you’re offline. Five buildings are damage boosters for your maidens, others are economic structures: Coin storage, item storage, temple. There’s also a colosseum for player-versus-player battles, that hasn’t been released yet.

 

CHARACTER BUILDING

The game has five classes: Mage, marksman, support, warrior, and engineer. There’s multiple maidens for each class. Characters of the same class can use each other’s gear. I personally use one mage (Nuka), one support (Althea), and two warriors (Uzume and Helen). Your characters gain power as they level up, when they gain new gear, when you upgrade the temple of their element, when you advance affection levels, when you upgrade their spells. I’m not ready to call this customization, because the choices only impact numbers, not playstyle. Each maiden has one spell. You can only upgrade the spell’s numbers.

The items you gain from your adventures, are color-coded from common to legendary. It’s not a choice what gear to use, when there isn’t more choices of gear within the same tier of rarity. Hopefully I’m wrong, as it would suck if the items I have now, don’t have higher item-level versions waiting deeper in. All my girls are wearing no less than rares, while Nuka has her first legendary and epic.

The stats on the characters are basic RPG stuff: health, damage, attack speed, defense, dodge, etc. There’s also cooldown reduction, extremely important for your team’s healers.

The choice of maidens you employ in your team, is the most impactful customization. That actually affects playstyle. I’m just finding it difficult to boost low-level girls to the same power level as my first acquisitions. The game has a highly restricting stamina system. I’m finding myself stuck with my current composition.

 

MUSIC

The sound quality is flawless, and the execution of every note sounds perfect to my ear. The songs are composed intelligently, considerate of the player who will be listening to them for endless hours. The number of tracks is very limited, so the songs have to be easy on the ears. Commenting on the actual content, I enjoy the battle songs: They build up a hype adventurous vibe. I’ve found myself humming one of them when in a good mood.

The soundtrack is a smooth, but short listen. I’ve counted around six different songs, if you count the “victory” jingle, and the “failed” jingle. The battle tracks I can listen for hours a day, but the menu song is just repetitive. I suspect the studio designed the shitting thing around whatever the latest psychological research says increases the spending habits of players.

SOUND EFFECTS AND VOICE ACTING (SFX)

Crystal Maidens has no voice acting. I usually don’t miss voices in these games, because the available acting talent in the western hentai scene, is seldom adequate for commercial products. Nice Japanese female voices however, would’ve been a nice addition. Hopefully the game gains enough commercial success from players supporting it, that the studio can keep developing it. The tiniest pool of players overall spend money on these titles, so the games seldom receive major updates.

The sound effects are cartoony, save for the weapon swings. The sound design fits the feel of the game; a happy anime-style fantasy world, where death is bloodless. I particularly enjoy the various little sounds in the menu screens. I love the sound of clicking buttons in this game. There’s just something really cheerful about the overall audio.

 

STORY

The story is total bullshit. The gist is, there’s an evil warlock doing evil things, and you’re building a small army to defeat him. And four magical women are enough for this hit gig. The concept is like fucking Powerpuff Girls, with porn.

It’s hard to talk about the characters, because I didn’t bother to spend time reading a single sentence. The storytelling was so stupid, partly excused by the limitations the developers were working with. For example, the characters don’t have any alternate facial expressions, so emotions are a little challenging to convey. The little bits I read described the women just randomly falling into marches in the swamp, getting sand in the pussy at the beach, slipping on ice in the mountains, et cetera. The story is used as context, nothing more.

 

BUSINESS MODEL

Compared with other free-to-play erotic games I’ve played, I’m impressed that the studio had the balls to slap price stickers on virtually everything in their game. There’s an in-game shop for digital goods, much more expansive than I’ve seen in most games of this genre.

I did some shoddy math to determine the best value-buy for players on a tight budget. You want maximum long-term gains for minimum spending. Hence you want permanent things, like the multi-build feature. Multi-build allows a player to construct several buildings at a time. You’ll realize quickly that this upgrade would speed up progress massively. It costs 1200 gems, roughly 12€. You will also want higher quality girls early, to avoid investing time into shit-tier waifus. The maximum power potential of legendary girls compared to common ones, is always substantial in gacha games.

For 30€, you buy 3000 Nutaku gold, snatch the 25€ monthly pack of 5400 gems (600 gems instantly, 160 gems every day for 30 days). You have 500 gold left over, which buys 500 gems. You end with 5900 gems, 50 gems shy from affording the multi-build feature, and 10 premium gacha rolls. Farm the missing gems from quests.

I recommend ignoring the crystals packs, the boss respawn resets, the EXP boosts, and the normal gacha. Ignore anything you’re getting from normal gacha, which you already roll three times a day for free.

HENTAI

The sex scenes are standard eroge fodder: Generic descriptions of in-and-out vaginal intercourse, with occasional sexual dialog. The scenes have three different alternates of the CGs: Before genital impact, intercourse, and the sloppy seconds. The imagery is high quality. Unlocking this material for impromptu masturbation sessions, is rewarding. The clickbait image featured at the top of the article, is my favorite. I confess, several nuts have been busted to that lip bite.

The game’s limitations in technical storytelling (no varied emotions, single pose sprites, etc.) ate away at my enjoyment of the “foreplay” scenes, which affected how the finale scenes felt. Younger players with a better attention span than my old self, I imagine reading the scenes to finish while stroking their oozing genitals.

FINAL WORD

It’s ironic. I would’ve loved games like this in my horndog teens, and now I’m so sexually jaded from producing erotic content 12 hours day for my websites, I can’t even hype this shit up. It’s a good game, okay? The sluts are hot, the gameplay is addicting, and it’s all free. You give this game a try, you’ll be waking at 5:00am in the mornings, just to time the next upgrade.

This hentai browser game gets my personal recommendation. Play Crystal Maidens now>

Our Rating

GRAPHICS9
GAMEPLAY7
STORY4
MUSIC8
SFX8
HENTAI7
7.2

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OtakuApologist

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