[PlayStation 4] Roommates Review
Roommates is a visual novel by Winter Wolves Games and Ratalaika Games that tells the story of six roommates through the eyes of two of them in their first college year. Check our Roommates review!
Play as either rock god Max or book smart Anne as they make their way through the first year of their college experience.
Between bitter tenured professors and a ridiculously distracting student body, it’s going to take everything they’ve got just to make it to year two.
The story of Roommates can be played from the perspective of either Anne or Max. Anne is a shy girl that doesn’t want to stay that way and wants to make new friends in college, while also focusing on improving her grades. Max, on the other hand, is a young aspiring rock star that got to college only to be able to be closer to the city and find a job so that he can drop out of school and pursue his musical career. Both arrive on the same day in the house and are introduced to the other tenants. From there, either character’s story will evolve depending on your dialogues choices and in your week’s planning.
With this one being a visual novel, there isn’t much gameplay involved, per se. You are occasionally presented with choices for the dialogue, and your answers will potentially impact how you gain or lose affection points with that person. Apart from those choices, after a brief prelude, you’ll be presented with a grid for your week’s planning. Although there is a lack of information on how this works, you quickly find out the details of your weekly planning.
For each day of the week, there is a slot for the morning, afternoon, and evening. By default, each of your mornings will be filled with school. The rest of the activities will be up for you to choose from. After selecting one of the slots, the bottom of the screen will offer a list of activities you can do. Each activity will make changes on a mix of three things – your money, your energy, your grades -, or one of the six character traits that you can boost.
Visually, the different scenes and characters feature some colorful images that are nice to look at. Where I felt the game was less stunning is in the weekly planning screen. The screen felt cluttered and without any fluent navigation and usability. It was difficult to see which slot was selected, and it annoying to always have to navigate down the screen to select an activity and then go all the way back to select another slot to repeat the process. The only thing that could indicate you are on the Play or Reset button was a change from an icon to the text, and a few times, I hesitated about confirming my action since I wasn’t sure I was on the right button.
Apart from those issues, I wasn’t able to fully enjoy the story. I played from Max’s perspective, and there was way too big of a focus on him wanting to have sex with pretty much any girl you met. This happens straight from the start of the run, and it didn’t allow me to dive into the story proper. The focus on this was further amplified by some stereotypes, like Anne’s shy schoolgirl persona or Isabella’s hobby as a pole dancer. All this together made my interest in the story quickly fade away.
As for the trophies, the game can be an easy one to Platinum if you end up following a guide, but will still require a few playthroughs, since you’ll have to romance each available character partner with both Anne and Max. After those playthroughs, another Platinum trophy will finally be in your trophy collection.
Roommates had an interesting premise but quickly became a disappointing story, at least from my perspective. Considering the $19.99 price, it’s one that should be played only if you’re a big fan of visual novels who is looking for an easy Platinum trophy.
This Roommates Review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Ratalaika Games.