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Kokoro Clover Season 1 Switch Review – A Game That is an Anime

Kokoro Clover Season 1 Switch Review – A Game That is an Anime

kokoro clover season 1

In Kokoro Clover Season 1, you join the Spirit Summoner, Treffy, in a side-scrolling action-platformer in the style of a Sunday morning anime TV show. In season 1, Treffy begins her story with Spirit friends and some clumsy bad guys, and she fights using magic and transforming, using Elemental Spirits in this interesting and comedic adventure.

However, is this a solid showing? Or does this pilot episode of Kokoro Clover Season 1 need to be pulled? Let’s find out!

kokoro clover season 1

Right off the bat, as I tend to talk about the story of a game first, Kokoro Clover Season 1 is such a wonderfully unique game in that it is masked as a Sunday morning anime from Japan. What I mean is that Season 1 here is split into 12 episodes (stages) that all tell their own little story while also connecting dots for the grand story. I cannot say that I have ever played an anime before, despite the amount of anime games I have played, because this is genuinely a game that is an anime.

The story is a fun one that follows the Kokoro Clover, a precious gem with quite the history behind it. Things open up with it being stolen, and our clumsy villain is introduced, which very quickly brings us to Treffy, the hero of Kokoro Clover Season 1. Treffy is an adorable witch labeled a Spirit Summoner, and she is a fun and friendly character that can be a bit lazy but constantly has good intentions. All of the characters in the game are enjoyable, and the dialog that happens throughout is simply fantastic.

As this is an “anime”, the pacing of the story and game itself follows such. There is a long introduction that paints the scenario of the episode, the commercial break, the gameplay section, more commercial and story stuff, a boss fight, closing story, and then the classic Sunday morning anime closure that shows rewards and hints towards the next episode, while the proceeding episodes recap the previous ones (Even with chiptune cheers implanted here and there). The story and the anime setup is absolutely the best part of Kokoro Clover Season 1, and it is such a blast following along Treffy’s journey as new threats emerge and plot twists take place.

kokoro clover season 1

As far as gameplay goes, Kokoro Clover Season 1 is not the deepest or even remotely engaging. The controls and combat are about as bare minimum as you can get, and this does cause the overall experience to suffer a little bit, as the gameplay clearly feels like a segue between the story segments and not an integral part of the game. There is a lot going on, but honestly, most of it can be ignored simply by spamming the attack at the appropriate times.

You do get to choose a card, a playable character, an assisting character, and a type of emote before you start an episode, which is nice and all, but there is not a whole lot in what you choose because, no matter what, Treffy is going to be a bit overpowered and most enemy movements are quite predictable. Episode stages are also relatively short if you cut all of the story stuff out, as the stage itself takes about 2 minutes or less to clear, and bosses even less so. That means the amount of gameplay in this game that is an anime is minimal while the story, animation, and other areas are the major focus.

Controls in Kokoro Clover Season 1 are also clunky and at times unresponsive, but considering there is not a high demand for button input, this is not a big deal. However, it never feels good to have sticky-feeling controls, and the way Treffy moves, jumps, and attacks here is reminiscent of those old NES games that have not stood the test of time. I even experienced larger-than-average hit boxes when fighting bosses that made me scratch my head. I mean, I clearly jump over a projectile, and yet I still take damage. What?

kokoro clover season 1

As far as content goes, there is a bunch in Kokoro Clover Season 1. There are 12 episodes and a tutorial in the Story Mode, and Adventure Mode is essentially the same thing with extras except there are no story or anime-inspired elements (Just gameplay). On top of that, there is Boss Rush, a Shop to buy goodies with your coins, a Library, a music player, and even a couple mini-games (One rhythm and one gacha/claw game). This all definitely raises the value, as there is a lot to do and plenty to entertain, but the Story Mode is the core of the experience, meaning all of these extras are for hardcore fans that seriously enjoy this one.

The artwork and overall design is incredible! So much work went into all of the characters, and the direction to turn this game into an anime is wild. I adore the transitions between different moments of the episodes, as they really do create an authentic anime experience. My only gripe regarding the visuals are the subtitles. Since there is already a speech bubble for the characters, I wonder why the translations are subject to the bottom of the screen and not replacing the Japanese text in the bubbles. It only puts too much noise on the screen, and I would have preferred one text instead of two. Being bilingual in Japanese also felt a bit overwhelming, as I was constantly trying to read both sets of texts.

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Similarly, the sound department is amazing. I love the chiptunes, the little bits of vocals, and the transitional melodies used throughout the story, and even the menu and other sections have wonderful soundtracks to create a one-of-a-kind gaming experience.

kokoro clover season 1

Kokoro Clover Season 1 is a solid package. This is one of the most creative indie games I have played in a long time, and the Sunday morning anime theme is a delight. The gameplay is disappointing, as it is not even remotely close to the standard set by the story and animation, but it works for the most part and gets the job done. Thankfully, there is just a lot to do here, so you will get so much bang for your buck.

I understand that Kokoro Clover Season 1 may be a hard pill to swallow for some, as this is a very niche game for a very niche audience, but let me set the record straight: this is quite the experience and is definitely one any anime fan would enjoy. I only wish the gameplay segments had a little more love put into them, but despite that, Kokoro Clover Season 1 is still a great game to watch (and play, I guess)!


Kokoro Clover Season 1 Switch Review provided by Nintendo Link
Publisher: Gotcha Gotcha Games
Developer: hikotel ひこてる
Release Date: August 4th, 2022
Price: $18.99
Game Size: 515 MB

kokoro clover season 1
0
Amazing
77100
Pros

Fantastic and unique storytelling thanks to anime theme

Fantastic artwork and character designs

Unbelievably good music and sound

Great value, as there are loads of extras

Cons

Gameplay is lackluster

Controls feel a bit sticky at times

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