Harold’s Harem: The Neckoning (PC) Review

By Athanasios 28.11.2021

Review for Harold’s Harem: The Neckoning on PC

Do you hate Date Sim tropes? Or, if you are a tolerant person, do you enjoy them, but would like to see them satirised? Look no further then, as Harold, the most loveable human being in existence is there to show you how it is done. WhiteVault studio has created a visual novel that pokes fun at the genre… and then some, with its plot being great for those who like their game a little bit more bonkers than usual. Just makes sure to remember that while playing Harold's Harem: The Neckoning, there's a high chance of falling in love with Harold. You've been warned.

You know the deal. Simple guy gets entangled in a "story" full of sexy cuties, and they all magically fall in love with him. Date Sims are silly guilty pleasures; romantic fantasies, basically, where one can "get the girl" without much fuss. This is played from the point of view of the sexy cuties, however… and that's too simple of an explanation of what's going on in here. The player is part for an 'Erotic Infiltration' unit, a division of an agency tasked with… err, saving the world or something. It just so happens that a local hunk by the name of Harold holds important information that must be extracted in three days - or else!

The current unit is not the first. Others have tried to gather the necessary info, but have fallen victim to Harold's charms, and beautiful green sweater. The joke here, of course, is that Harold is ignorant of his sexual magnetism. Oh, and he is also a super-unimpressive, slipper-with-white-socks-wearing, moustached and bald man in his fifties, whose only passion seems to be the magic world of VHS films. He just can't understand why all these girls are trying to flirt with him, and why they are so interested in his love life.

Screenshot for Harold’s Harem: The Neckoning on PC

It won't take long before you realise that this is actually a parody of Date Sim visual novels, with the comedic writing poking fun at character stereotypes, as the girls have to assume "fake" personalities, like the tough-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside tsundere, the silly bimbo, or the stern, but still sexy, glass-wearing lady. The girls of the infiltration unit also have to dress up as sexy nurses, maids, and so on, with Harold remaining impervious to their appearance. This is only one part of the equation. Harold's Harem goes beyond the confines of a simple parody, and offers a lot of extra wackiness, that is many times funny because it is unexpected.

Aesthetically this is definitely a unique specimen, as it doesn't try to imitate the typical anime look of Date Sims. It's not a visual treat, but it's undoubtedly distinctive. A weird detail is how characters occasionally do a "wobbly" animation, which adds to the unique vibe this has. Of course, being a visual novel, it's all about the quality of the writing. So, how good is it? The answer is: it's good. Occasionally it's a little bit more than that, occasionally it becomes a chore to read through, but most of the time it's good. Comedy is in the eye of the beholder, of course, so the only way to check if this is for you is to watch a playthrough.

The "it's good" comment, however, also means exactly that: it's good. Far from something spectacular. A small (two hours tops) visual novel, with a quirky sense of humor, which will be appreciated by lovers and haters of Date Sims, almost at equal measures. It has a few slow moments, which feel like the last more than they should, but as a whole, it's ok. So, if you don't mind something 'ok,' give it a look. Maybe you'll fall in love with Harold too.

Screenshot for Harold’s Harem: The Neckoning on PC

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Despite Harold himself being the most enchanting creature that has ever graced your monitors, Harold's Harem: The Neckoning doesn't do him justice. It's a decent-to-good visual novel, which makes fun of Date Sim tropes, and it will give you about an hour and a half of laughs. It's a unique specimen for sure, with a pretty quirky sense of humor and overall design, but in all honesty it's nothing special.

Developer

WhiteVault Studio

Publisher

WhiteVault Studio

Genre

Visual Novel

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

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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