It feels kind of cheating to put this here because this game is neither “unknown” or “unpopular” so it might sound like I’m trying to explain what doesn’t need to be explained but I still will explain why I like this game from my perspective, why I suggest it to people and what I would’ve done different.
First of all, my appreciation for the art comes from a long long time ago when Sachinama had a circle called Happy Life. I absolutely loved the art of 美奈子 ～帰郷した田舎で村人たちに寝取られた最愛の妻～and it’s still one of the best looking games out there to this day. Now, art wise, while there are some stuff I like in his “new style”, I personally prefer the old style because the body angles looked better in my opinion and so did the body proportions, it was more “realistic”, however his new style is still amazing and offers other advantages, it’s a matter of preference, really. Regardless if I liked the “old style” more, both of them look absolutely gorgeous.
Second and this is probably my favorite point, you can tell that this game was a game made by someone with a vision. The game was thought out, planned and executed “perfectly”. You can tell the team took no shortcuts to make this game in order to get it out faster so they could make a quick buck, no sir, they had a plan and they took as long as it took to make their vision exactly as they imagined, regardless of how long it took which wasn’t long because Sachinama and Rem are both certified hard workers.
With the barrage of “fast food games” that has been hitting the shelves lately, this was a breath of fresh air. The amount of work that took to make this game and the amount of minutious detail in which was made, with coding skills way beyond the vast majority of developers out there, this game puts a lot of triple A games to shame and certainly some of the top selling and recognized circles in the hentai panorama, you know, those that charge you 60~70$ for their games with quality nowhere near the quality of Karryn’s Prison. These guys deserve every single dollar you throw at them.
Everything from the parallax mapping, the simple yet well used soundtrack, the amazing voice acting, the dialogue, the rich battle system with many possible approaches, the titles, the roguelike feel, the edicts, etc. etc. etc. I mean, there’s absolute “revolutionary” stuff in this game! I guarantee you that there’s very, very few developers in the hentai genre that could put this game together as Remtairy did.
The setting is refreshing and the delivery is nothing short of amazing. The first time I picked up Karryn’s Prison I lost track of time and spent hours playing the game, afterwards I had nothing but massive expectations for it. For a person that plays an hentai game every 1~2 months and is usually disappointed at mostly everything that comes out, this game was the light at the end of the tunnel.
Now, nothing in this world is ever truly perfect (hence why I used “perfect” with air quotes up there) and believe me, I always find something to criticize in games, specially on my own games and well, being that person that I am I also have some “issues” with Karryn’s Prison.
While this game was so much more than virtually anything that came out in a long ass time and it’s probably second to no game out there, seriously, you can tell X game is as good as this but you can’t tell X game is better than this, it’s up there in my perspective, but… after the first preview of the game, I expected better, I expected more.
I think a huge component of the game was completely forgotten and unexplored. When I play epic games of this genre where you go from town to town (in this case from block to block) exploring the world and in between you go into the wild and you fight enemies, I usually expect two different “gameplays”. When you’re in the wild fighting monsters in a hentai game like this there’s a big chance you can get violated by some of your assailants, human or otherwise, the delivery of these scenes can be done in many different ways, clothing damage leading to groping or scenes, game over rape, battle fuck, battle restraint, story related game over scenes that lead into different scenarios, etc. etc. and then there’s the component in which you go to town and you have some scenes that have some story behind them and hit some tropes/fetishes to offer something different from the mindless “I got raped” type of sex.
The first part, Remtairy did beautiful, it’s pretty much the main gameplay of the game. You can get groped and sexually assault by all the different types of species of prisoners in Karryn’s Prison in a battle fuck system that is probably the best I’ve ever seen, granted, I never enjoyed battle fuck that much, in fact, other than Virgin Island (乙女神物語～リフィのカラッパ島奮闘記), Vitamin Quest (and Vitamin Quest 2nd Attract) and lately, everything OneOne1 does (which is a circle that i hated at first but have since toned down the wild stuff) that can and has been argued that is pretty much a “knockoff” of Butakoma 300G’s style used in Vitamin Quest, I don’t remember other games where battle fuck was used that I actually enjoyed. Karryn’s Prison delivered it perfectly, flawless, it has your stats in mind, it’s progressive, slowly escalating, corruption style Battle Fuck and really hard to abuse in a fashion that goes against the story. This is the soul of the game and what makes it unique and spectacular.
Now the town/story part, I found it incredibly disappointing. The way this was kind of delivered was through the small mini-games and other “key” repeatable characters which from the top of my mind was just the guards outside your room. Yeah, I love the bar, the stripping, the glory hole, etc. but it felt like, shallow, like scratching the surface. In terms of story, there’s nothing writing home about which honestly, it’s not Remtairy’s forte since, well, Remtairy became Remtairy. When I played the game for the first time I expected a deep corruption / moral degeneration system and I and others that heavily discussed the game in Heaven Studios’s discord were heavily disappointed in this regard that patch after patch this was never introduced to the game.
I expected certain characters within the prison to try and have their way with Karryn and slowly morally degrade her, from having sex in the vicinity of the emperor to doing more and more humiliating stuff and there were plenty of opportunities and build-up to do this, mainly Yasu. Yasu ended up feeling like an afterthought instead of someone that at key points would continue to try and have his way with Karryn and slowly have her being more permissive until she eventually became his bitch. The ogre could work as an inside guy for Karryn who wanted to be repaid in Gold and when she was broke or refused to pay him (if moral was low enough), then he’d ask for sexual compensation instead. Some of the guards near the hall and what not could have a few groping short cutscenes when Karryn interacted with them the sluttier she became, and this is just a few scenarios that could’ve been implemented just on the first chapter!
Finally, there’s no scene viewer / gallery and that’s a big minus for me.
Personally, I think that this game deserves a 9 out of 10 in terms of enjoyment. It’s a 10 out of 10 in terms of development skill, but had the story and the side character been more than a afterthought for a dozen escalating scenes? This game would become a timeless classic.
Well, that’s my “review” and the reason why I enjoyed Karryn’s Prison so much, moreover as a developer and appreciation of the art as a gamer. I absolutely suggest you get the game, available on Steam, DLSite and many other platforms, seriously, it’s worth your money! Go support quality developers.
That’s all for now, see you guys tomorrow with another review,