Nicole is one of the newer releases to come from Winter Wolves who are well known for their impressive otome games that allow players to explore a diverse roster of romantic partners. Available across Windows, Mac, Linux, mobile and console platforms Nicole is a paid story based title with great accessibility (note the iOS version provides some free content).
Similar to the other titles in this genre from the Winter Wolves development team Nicole is a game that has otome style features at the core but is also a life simulation game with players controlling the character of Nicole as she experiences college life. Making decisions of how she efficiently uses the hours in the day you’ll guide the story, Nicole’s personal development and explore a touch of mystery and detective work.
This story centres around the events soon after Nicole settles into her new college dorm she learns that a number of other students have gone missing around the campus. This definitely isn’t the start to her college life that she had dreamed of but keen to make the most of a bad situation Nicole sees if she is able to help solve the mystery while meeting other life obligations. To make matters worse though the students that have gone missing include three girls and Nicole is worried that she might just be next on the list.
Within the game the primary mechanic is players ability to arrange Nicole’s day and fill it up with activities that you want to accomplish. Your options include applying for a job to earn some extra cash, exploring your new campus or taking part in extracurricular activities that all have a different impact on Nicole or the story. In addition to these main activities players can also go on dates with one of the four guys (Ted, Jeff, Kurt and Darren) while also hunting down the culprit of these recent college disappearances.
Ultimately Nicole ends in one of 10 different endings that are tied to the respective four romance options (or lack of). Of course each of these love interests have their own visual designs, occupations and personalities which will provide different sense of attraction. From the dark haired Darren who volunteers at the park to the stylish lab assistant Jeff players will get to learn more about all the potential love interests through various interactions and activities. With locations including the cafeteria, campus, movie theatre, laboratory, library, public park, convenience store and your dorm home there are many ways to explore the world and date the available male characters.
There is a lot of depth and strategy involved in planning Nicole’s daily activities and it isn’t simply about choosing what you want to do (just like real life). Players have to carefully consider how each activity impacts on her skills and energy that may play an important role in the ending you are trying achieve. These stats include morale, energy, grades, clues, zeal, diligence, amity and wit that each have a role to play in your adventure and will fluctuate over time. Taking an afternoon nap for example can provide a boost to morale and energy although prevents you performing actions for 2 game turns that could have been used to do homework or tidy your room instead.
In addition to this Nicole has access to various shops with a large number of items to help you on your adventure like books on motivations or luxury items like the pocket watch and antique quill. Nicole also has enough flexibility though that if you want to only involve yourself in the dating side of things you can put nearly all your focus into that game aspect instead.
- Another life and dating simulation from Winter Wolves that explores the life of Nicole as she explores her new dream college.
- Discover the truth behind the recent disappearances of college students while dating one of four guys.
- Develop a romance with the four potential male relationships (Ted, Jeff, Kurt and Darren).
- Manage your time, stats, skills and money to efficiently complete your life goals.
- Purchase items to help you achieve success with vital boosts to your core stats.
Review Platform: PC
I’ve just finished the free trial and all I can say is that I really really enjoyed it! At some points it gets a bit repetitive in its day to day things to level up the stats BUT after trying Love and Order a different otome game from the same company I can honestly say that the mechanics and gameplay for Nicole is just simply so much better. And a lot more interesting to boot.
But my favourite part of this game has to be the fact that you don’t have to choose which guy you want to end up with right from the start like in most otome games, this one actually allows the player to experience the story and meet and fall for all of the guys first…which is terrifying since supposedly one of them might be planning on abducting you.
Nicole is endearing and the story intriguing, interesting character development for all the characters.