These past few weeks of trying out hentai games on Steam has given me some insight into how these games operate. A shocking amount of them feature some banal copy of a well-known arcade game, like Pipe Dream, Puzzle Bobble, or in this case Tetris. You are expected to grind out these mini-games, which eventually reward you with some barely-passable hentai gifs. Hentai Crush is basically the same thing as Waifu Secret, which is basically the same thing as Gamer Girls.
All this has begrudgingly given me newfound respect for Spooky Starlets, which at least had a competent animator onboard.
Anyway, let’s at least pretend that Gamer Girls is an original concept for a moment.
The game puts you in the boots Kyle; a young man who hopes to become a journalist. He has just moved to a new university, where he has 2 months to complete his project. The intro alludes to some complicated narrative about Kyle turning his thesis into a video game, but none of this makes much sense. He just starts talking with a bunch of girls and the game is framed around Kyle’s increasingly-flirtatious dialogue with them. You don’t actually make a game, you don’t work on a project, and the girls aren’t even really that much into gaming themselves.
Why it’s called Gamer Girls then is an enigma that I am not equipped to answer.
Credit where credit is due, Gamer Girls at least has an original framework to it—unlike other games I’ve recently talked about. You have a computer with a Discord knock-off on it, through which you strike up conversations and make video calls with the girls. You can even agree to meet-up with them “IRL”, but all of these options take on the form of dialogue sequences where you can ask them questions. These reveal more of the characters and fill up a little heart meter, which awards you with a lewd gif each time it fills up.
However, you can’t just work through this as you please. Each interaction has a price to it, to be paid in points that you receive for playing Tetris. You can just press a button and play a round of Tetris on a time limit. Score as many points as possible, cash them out, and now you can go on dates again.
It takes a concentrated effort to mess up Tetris, which Gamer Girls fortunately avoids. The game is functional, though I did have the feeling that the distribution in what blocks you get was skewed somewhat. Too often did I get an alternating pattern of the same 2 blocks or the exact same ones several times in a row. Still, it plays mostly fine and I do like a game of Tetris every once in a while. What I don’t like is 4 hours of Tetris in a row.
The cost for each interaction is steep and the points you get stingy, especially if you get a few bad runs. I’d be lucky if I got enough points in one round to afford a single interaction with a girl, of which you need around 3-5 to level up your relationship each time. Tetris is fun, but not if you need to play it for 10 minutes to get a few lines of text, followed by 10 more minutes of Tetris.
There are levels, but all this does is extend the timer so you can score the points needed for late-game dates. A very, very tiny subset of levels have blocks already placed that you can try to clear. These are so rare that I usually panicked when I finally got one again, which led to me promptly messing up. There’s no retrying levels either, so messing these up left me feeling particularly upset with the game.
While talking with the girls, I was honestly surprised with the amount of writing that went into it. There are only 3 characters, but they went to great lengths to make these characters feel well-rounded. You can ask them many different things about their personal and romantic lives, to which they have lengthy answers that are, honestly, quite interesting to read. They really dig into the girls’ mental state and what matters to them, which far outclasses any other cheap hentai game I’ve played so far.
However, the quality comes crashing down once more when it comes to the erotica. The dialogue for the porn and the dialogue for the rest of the game simply don’t match up. You can get into fights with these girls or have them reject your advances, but if you just leveled up the relationship you’ll still get some flirty message right after. In some cases, characters will call out Kyle for being creepy, insensitive, and weird, then suddenly go all meek and send a video of themselves masturbating. “You’re shallow and a creep! Teehee wish you were here~”
As I have come to expect, these gifs suck. 4 of them usually form a set that gets increasingly erotic, so instead of 12 unique pictures, you only really get 3. These are “animated” in the sense that the girl moves, which is done as cheaply as possible. Different parts of the body wiggle around independently of each other, which causes the characters as a whole to go off model or move in unnatural ways.
The final picture always comes with the same timing mini-game, where you need to press the mouse as a metronome passes over the center. This builds up an orgasm meter that also makes the metronome move faster. The trick is to adjust to this increased speed and keep hitting the center, until it’s full and you “win”. Your reward is that the girl is now covered in juices, most of which don’t actually match what just happened. You’ll get a scene of the girl masturbating, yet she ends up covered in goo all over.
It’s a shallow reward for a very shallow gameplay loop. I have no clue why the game’s priorities are so mismatched. Somebody writing the dialogue clearly cared a lot and wanted these characters to feel special. Then other people handled the animation, mini-game, and presentation, and just messed it all up. Hilariously, the Steam achievements use pictures that don’t even line up with the correct girls and the trading cards use placeholder names. All that effort to write a deep character, who is now listed in Steam as Girl_1.
You can get better Tetris gameplay just about anywhere and the erotic animations are so bottom tier that any free alternative will outclass Gamer Girls. Don’t bother with it.