Ciel Fledge (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Sandy Kirchner-Wilson 15.10.2020

Review for Ciel Fledge on Nintendo Switch

Having no idea about this game until recently, it's been an interesting dive into a bizarre subgenre. Developed by Studio Namaapa and published by PQube for Nintendo Switch and PC platforms, this title marks a new entry into the raising simulator genre. It's a little like the Princess Maker series or Long Live the Queen, a niche little video game from 2012. Where this concept came from is a mystery, but it's proven reasonably popular with most people, scoring between average and good. Here's a look at Ciel Fledge on the Nintendo Switch.

Ciel Fledge is a story about how you (yes you name the main character, so it's you) end up in a situation where you must raise an orphan as if she were your own daughter from the age of 10 till she becomes 18 and gains independence. This situation arises due to the world design; its futuristic world where humans live on arks. Recently war has begun to raise its ugly head in said world, and an ark was shot down. This is how this 'daughter' character becomes an orphan. Cue your assignment of the orphan girl, giving her a name as she has amnesia, deciding her weekly schedule and budgeting so you can live comfortably. It's a very bizarre concept, but the world on offer is quite well explained, and the reasoning and writing is all very serious and well thought through.

Screenshot for Ciel Fledge on Nintendo Switch

This is essentially a management sim with some simple "battle" mechanics. Each day, the game lets the player create a schedule for the virtual daughter, which includes going to lessons, resting, and socialising, all of which contributes to the daughter's stats and skills. This is made into a challenge by getting players to balance the schedule with the girl's mental state and stamina. For example, it's important to build in rest days, or she'll get sick and ultimately you'll get points against your performance - do this too many times and this will soon be over.

This balancing of resources is simple but well implemented, and quite fun to see how far the boundaries can be pushed. It's important to get this balance right otherwise the quest is pretty harsh, and it's hard to get to the point of unlocking new outfits and accessories or progressing the story in a meaningful way. The day then plays out from a sort of RPG-esque map screen. Here a chibi sprite of the girl will run through her daily schedule with dialogue screens and various choices to make. The whole time her stress meter is displayed, and if it maxes out the day will fail. Fail too many days in a row, and the game will remove you, with a rather blunt game over. Then when combat encounters come into play, it's time to groan…

Screenshot for Ciel Fledge on Nintendo Switch

Combat is an incredibly simple affair. It's akin to rock-paper-scissors, but slightly less random. Basically all one needs to do is to match colours, but they don't need to be in a specific pattern, so skill is almost not a factor. What colours are matched correspond with attacks that the girls can use. These attacks have different stat alignments, meaning that how she is raised is important. Battles are mostly reserved for expeditions to the surface. These are essentially the dungeons, and they and allow the player to form a party out of the girl and her friends. This party, assuming they survive, will increase in social ranks and deliver items to the player. It's not bad per-se, but it is a tedious system. The matching system also sneaks into other facets, muddying them a little, with some being unbearably easy, and some being hair-rippingly frustrating.

Screenshot for Ciel Fledge on Nintendo Switch

The best aspect of the game is actually seeing the girl grow over the course of the years based on your actions. She will be stronger or smarter, or maybe even get heavy if you focus on meals. It's really quite compelling, and by far the biggest draw here. When combined with the story and the expeditions, this system and its level of detail can be engrossing. With all of that said, this is very mobile phone-y, with occasionally wonky dialogue flow and a reliance on static images for both backgrounds and characters alongside some rough translations.

In terms of visual design and aesthetics this ranges from wonderful to quite droll. The character designs and art scenes shown during the story are fantastically drawn and really aid the atmosphere while providing some world building. Then there's the chibi art, which just doesn't fly with the rest of the aesthetic - both it and the world map feel so out of place and awkward. As far as the UI is concerned, it does a good job of organising and displaying statistics in a meaningful way that compliments the management side of things. Sound design is also good, with some nice ambient music and decent dialogue.

Screenshot for Ciel Fledge on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Not the best, not the worst. Its most interesting point is the bizarre world and the way the game approaches the management system. The colour matching battling is a bit too simple, and overbearingly frustrating at times. Despite some downsides, the game has fun moments but is hampered by a lack of focus. It offers a little incentive to play through again with the various factors of the daughter's growing statistics and has some properly endearing characters that help the ride go smoothly. In conclusion, take Ciel Fledge with a pinch of salt, as it's a love it or loathe it kind of deal.

Developer

Studio Namaapa

Publisher

PQube

Genre

Simulation

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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