Fresh off my playthrough of Piofiore: Fated Memories, I was ready for something a little sweeter–more of a latte than an espresso. Luckily, Café Enchanté has a wide variety on offer, from sweet cakes and teas to dark roasted coffee and medium-rare steaks. If one boy is too sweet or too bitter, another should fit your palate just right. So feel free to walk in and pick your boy to swoon over, ‘cause they’re all on the menu.
With a cute art style, an interesting premise, and a new take on some common myths, Café Enchanté did a really good job of pulling me in and keeping me interested. The characters were fun and added new twists to their tropes, and it was really easy to find a favorite or two and root for them. (Il and Misyr are the best, change my mind.) There are plenty of CGs of each LI to keep players happy as well as some really cool character variations throughout the game.
The music and voice acting are great, too. You’ll recognize some voices if you’ve played Period: Cube, Collar X Malice, London Detective Mysteria, Piofiore: Fated Memories, Code: Realize, Bad Apple Wars, or Fire Emblem: Three Houses. From the comedic scenes and heartwarming love confessions to the suspenseful and more brutal bits, they all did a great job of bringing their characters to life and making them stand apart from one another.
A bonus to the game is all the references they included. The Netflix and Chill meme made it in, and so did Tiger King. These bits had me doing double-takes and laughing during my playthroughs. The best was all of the other Otome references in Il’s route. I was able to catch Code: Realize and Collar X Malice in the background, but there is a lot that I didn’t recognize, too. Even still, seeing the adorable chibis and posters for other Otome was an A+ touch to Il’s story, and I absolutely loved it.
Unfortunately for players, it seems that Aksys dropped the ball with Café Enchanté much as it did with Collar X Malice -Unlimited-. The game is riddled with grammar issues, bad line-breaks, inconsistencies, and some horribly awkward sentences. Most of these had zero excuses for existing and couldn’t even be written off as an accident. When Vennia is suddenly and repeatedly referred to as “Vanir” for a chunk of the game, and Kororo is spelled correctly in one line, then as “Kokoro” in the next, and keeps flip-flopping for an entire scene, there is a massive issue somewhere in their team that needs to be addressed immediately.
When it came to being polished, Café Enchanté was treated like spare silverware, left to tarnish in a drawer until it sold. The original team who created the game from the ground up and the fans who purchase the English release deserve better treatment than this.
If you can get past the bad localization job, Café Enchanté is a great game. It’s sweet and funny at times, suspenseful and dark at others, and will either leave you giggling with happiness at the cute endings or shedding a tear from its bittersweet ones. If it weren’t so riddled with grammar issues, I’d say this is a great entry title to the Otome genre. Like with Collar X Malice -Unlimited-, I do recommend this game, but highly suggest getting it on sale instead of paying full price.
Also, check out my spoiler-free Café Enchanté Route Walkthrough Guides!
- Cute artwork and great voice acting
- Interesting story with new takes on common myths
- Horrible translation and localization