[PlayStation 4] C14 Dating Review
Otome visual novel C14 Dating from Winter Wolves Games and Ratalaika Games follows a girl named Melissa over a few weeks. Check our C14 Dating review!
You play as Melissa Flores, a 3rd-year anthropology student participating in a summer archaeological internship. The field school takes place in Belgium, over 5000 miles away from your native California!
You’ll be staying in an unfamiliar country for two months, it can be nerve-racking, but you couldn’t pass up such a learning opportunity!
Right off the bat, C14 Dating will feel like a weird title for a game but is actually referring to Carbon-14, the isotope that can date artifacts, and the fact that this release is a dating sim game. Melissa, our main character, left California for eight weeks and moved to Belgium to study archeology, where this game takes place.
Belgium is a country where Dutch, French, and even German are spoken, so at first, Melissa was shy of her accent and had a slim vocabulary. Some characters were rude to her, while others were more open-minded. You’ll live the game from her point of view as she meets new faces, which – as you can guess from the game’s title -, might eventually evolve into love interests. As you lean towards a different love interest in subsequent runs, you’ll notice how much of the story each character has.
As you begin, the game offers two font options if you don’t like the default one. I liked the default one but noticed a small overlook as the game mentions that the font styles can be switched at any moment by “Pressing the ‘F’ button,” which, as you probably know, isn’t a button available on the DualShock 4.
I thought that this game’s story was slightly longer than the visual novels I usually play, which is to be expected since the game spans over eight weeks. As each week begins, you’ll prepare Melissa’s schedule by selecting in her journal which activities she’ll take on each morning, afternoon, and evening. I liked how selecting different actions leads to different events, and you can even influence Melissa’s relationships based on said activities. One thing I didn’t like about this screen is how awkward it is to control using your DualShock 4 controller. This really feels like it was designed to be played with a mouse pointer.
There are two archeology mini-games embedded within the story. The first one asks that you chisel away the dirt over sediments, then excavate manually to recover artifacts. This one looks a lot like Pic-a-Pix and was fun to play. The second one asks that you clean an artifact by using different tools, and you have to guess how much cleaning you must do without overcleaning – thus breaking – the artifact. Those were fun at first but became somewhat tedious as the game progressed. The good news is that they can be skipped without any consequence to the story nor the trophies.
There are a ton of trophies that can be unlocked in C14 Dating, split into 14 Bronze, 16 Silver, and 4 Gold that will lead you to add a new Platinum for your collection. As expected, there are trophies tied to you connect with a specific character by the end of the eight weeks. Trophy hunters that take on visual novels are used to skipping a ton of the text to speed up the process. For C14 Dating, you’ll probably need to follow a guide to do this as fast as possible since there are many combinations that can lead you down one path or another.
This is a visual novel with a catchy theme song, although the song sounds as if it wasn’t properly mastered and balanced. I loved the art style of this game, and I liked how there are many different backgrounds for the game, which was better than How to Take Off Your Mask Remastered, which only had nine backgrounds for the entire game.
If you’re curious, here’s a trophy guide to help you get through the game.
This C14 Dating review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Ratalaika Games.