The heroine is kidnapped and wakes up to find herself in the Edo castle!? For a month's time she is ordered to take the current shogun Iemitsu's place, as she resembles her greatly. She is also ordered to get along and eventually pick one out of the hundred male candidates residing in Ooku. Ooku (inner palace) is best known as the harem of the Edo Castle, and in this mobile game the genders are reversed.
*also available to play through GREE and Mobage platform. ( This review is based on playing through GREE)
The heroine is just a normal village girl who's been kidnapped and taken to Edo castle. She learns that the shogun Iemitsu has left to experience and research a "normal" lifestyle, leaving her duties at the castle. Lucky for them, the heroine looks exactly like Iemitsu. Pretending to be the shogun, she must take on her duties while risking her life (attempted assassination are not unusual) and not raising any suspicion by visiting Ooku.
What I found interesting and fun about the whole concept was that the roles are reversed. We have a harem of males for the shogun who is female. There is a well known manga with the same type of concept (although in that version there is a plague that only affects men leaving the male population at a dwindle w) The heroine must act like the shogun which in itself is amusing at times.
[Ikemen Ooku ~ Garden of Love]
The game play itself is rather easy and similar to any other mobile game you may of already played. 5 tickets per day are given free to continue the story. As you clear the character routes and log in everyday you will get missions and or reward items. The missions themselves aren't very hard, sometimes it can simple like obtaining an item you buy with Ryo (in game currency). You can send friend requests and greet them once a day to earn Ryo. You’ll also get to “go out” (battle by picking a serving tea and fancy fan) with other players to raise points. Should you want to you, can also pay real money to move the story forward and unlock stories/items you may not get otherwise.
Age: ? | H: 182.8 cm | B: ?
A mysterious onmyouji (practitioner of the art of onmyōdō), has unknown past ties with Eikou.
[New Chapter Ikemen Ooku ~ A Forbidden Love]
In the new game, the same characters are present as well as 3 new additions. As the heroine is saying goodbye to Shougo, Iemitsu herself persuades the heroine to becoming her replacement for a while. The character routes and story changes as the player must choose which “versus” route to play. In this version, you are forbidden to fall in love with any of the male candidates in Ooku. You can pick Takatsukasa vs Natsu, Hyuga vs Eikou, Kasuganotsubone vs Kujyou, Hokage vs Asato and (coming soon) Mizuno vs Mikado. The vs routes will last until around chapter 7 or 8 and is refreshing to see these characters interact in the new story. Like the original game, the same story/ticket system is set in place and is easy to get the hang of.
The artwork is lovely, and I think with the second app it's improved. Of course, more stories and cgs are offered if players are willing to pay. The heroine suffers from no-eyes syndrome. The artist for the game seems to go by Ichimiya but unfortunately I could only find an empty blog online. If there is ever an artbook released I would love to get my hands on it!
Four drama cds have been released with a fantastic voice cast that fits the characters very well. They follow the 4 main character routes in the game rather accurately, so it may be a little spoiler-ish if you've already listened to the cds beforehand. It's really nice hearing the music and voice acting since they are lacking in the original.
7 To be honest I really didn't have high expectations since I'm usually not too fond of feudal period based otome games but this one has kept me coming back daily! Each character is very likable (as you can see there are quite a few!) and even though playing for free may not get you everything, I still really enjoyed myself. I guess my only nitpick is that for the vs in Forbidden Love, you'll need to replay the same scenes untill ch7-8 each time you play for a new character.
It might be a bit difficult if you can not read Japanese, as the setting itself is in feudal times. To my knowledge there is no music or voice acting. I know it's a long shot for a mobile game but it would of been nice to have at key moments! I would love to see this get a psp port one day.