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Game Info:

The Orchard of Stray Sheep
Developed by: Namaage
Published by: Sekai Project
Release Date: June 20, 2016
Available on: PC, Mac, Linux
Genre: Visual Novel
Number of Players: Single-player
ESRB Rating: Not rated
Price: $9.99

Thank you Sekai Project for sending us this game to review!

Ichiro Yamada is a seventeen-year-old teacher at a secluded academy with only a few female students.  As if a seventeen-year-old teacher isn’t odd enough, the students at this private school don’t have any memories of their lives prior to attending the academy.  In their altered state, it’s the teacher’s job is to maintain the physical and emotional well beings of the students. If that means getting close to them, it’s permitted.  Yes, relationships between the students and staff are okay here.

Going along with the oddities of this academy, the students are all named after kitchen items.  The student assigned to the main character is named Casserole, but goes by Cassy.  Her classmates are: Mincer, Peeler, and Oros Zester.  All of the students have a silver halo floating above their head that keeps their emotions in check and allows the teachers to render them unconscious if need be.  This is shown throughout the game and unlike many of the other visual novels I have played, there is very little interaction in this title.

The Orchard of Stray Sheep
Highlights:

Strong Points: Interesting story twist once you discover the purpose of the academy
Weak Points: Short game; not much interaction; unlikable characters; no voice acting
Moral Warnings: Tons of language and blaspheming; sexual situations; violence and blood shown

In fact, the first time I was prompted for a response was in the seventh episode.  There are nine episodes in total and I was able to complete this game and see all three endings in less than five hours.  There is one good ending and two bad ones with one of them being labeled “very bad.”

Once you discover the true nature of the academy and its students, the story gets more interesting.  Until then, it’s building up the characters which I really didn’t care for.  The protagonist is a self-loathing and unpredictable teenager whose mouth is unfiltered towards the staff and students.  There is some sexual dialogue and he does make out with one of the students against her will.  Although he describes the embarrassment of getting an erection in front of the girls, this game doesn’t take it any further than that.

The Orchard of Stray Sheep
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 70%
Gameplay - 11/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 6/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 53%
Violence - 2.5/10
Language - 0/10
Sexual Content - 6.5/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 7.5/10

Like the excessive foul language and blaspheming, the violence in this game is unavoidable.  There are some deaths and blood shown. The main character has a violent past that is slowly revealed as the story progresses.  

The Orchard of Stray Sheep takes place in the future where supercomputers control much of society and artificial intelligence has come a long way. While there are references to God, Adam, Eve, and the forbidden fruit, a supercomputer is also referred to as a god.  

Though The Orchard of Stray Sheep tells an interesting sci-fi story, I can’t recommend this title at full price.  The graphics are good and the background music is passable.  It does get a bit repetitive and doesn’t fit the mood at times.  Unfortunately, there is no voice acting to comment on.  Given the unlikable characters and short amount of gameplay, this title is best scooped up on sale or in a bundle of some sort.  There are better and more appropriate visual novels available at the same price point or less.

 

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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