Cafe Enchante (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Drew Hurley 09.12.2021

Review for Cafe Enchante on Nintendo Switch

Otome fans in the West are going through a golden age with the Switch. Aksys are piling on to the considerable catalogue already available with regularly scheduled Otomate localisations. The latest of these is bringing those fantasy and gothic husbandos for all the fans out there. The heroine of this story, Kotone Awari, is dealing with the bereavement of her grandfather and subsequently from this has inherited a cafe in the process. This isn't quite the normal coffee house though. Upon visiting the bistro to check the place out, she stumbles on a strange door, a door to other worlds. This little cantina of cryptids will see Kotone serving the strangest harem of husbandos yet.

So Kotone is going to be serving these supernatural suitors and of course, being dragged into some fantasy shenanigans, especially since it seems there's a whole government department dedicated to keeping these "people" in line. The Government Paranormal Measures (GPM) has an agent that checks in on the regular. Like most Otomate games, there's not just one story to play through here. There's a different route from each suitor each with their own different endings.

Durarara fans can look forward to a Dullahan to tempt. Canus Espada is a headless knight of the fairy world, he's not rocking the motorbike helmet like Celty Sturluson, going old-school with a Dark Souls looking helm instead. It doesn't seem to scare the locals though. Canus is well-loved by the neighbours who look forward to him helping out with their gardening. For Canus' story Kotone visits the fairy world and the game really delves into the fairy lore of Ireland, with iconic characters regularly popping up in support of the made tale of death and sacrifice centred around the legendary Yggdrasil.

Canus is played by Yūichirō Umehara. A relatively small name in the world of Japanese voice actors but he's managed to snag some big roles in recent years. He stared as the player character in Bandai Namco's Code Vein, along with taking the leading roles in Goblin Slayer, and The Hero is Overpowered but Overly Cautious.

Screenshot for Cafe Enchante on Nintendo Switch

Next up is "Il Fado de Rie", a strange name, but apparently fine in the world of heaven. Il broke a taboo law of the seraph, he developed emotions. This turned his wings black and cast him out of heaven, now he wanders the mortal realm desperate for the sustenance that keeps him going. Human blood? Sex? Drugs? Rock and Roll? No. Something far more addictive. Otome games. It's a nice little meta twist. He's the childish one of the group. A hikikomori style shut-in with a sweet-tooth who can't manage on his own and constantly has the others looking after him.

Il's story stands above and beyond all of the other routes in this game. Fitting with the character, the story positively shines. The inside jokes and easter eggs scattered through for long time Otome fans have some genuinely hilarious moments, it's easy to get attached to Il and that makes the story all the more devastating as things begin to develop. The focus of the tale is all around Il's development from a childlike innocent being into a man, and just like in real life, sacrifice is a big part of that. His route runs the gambit from touching to heartbreaking to uplifting to infuriating. Easily one of the best routes of any otome game of recent years, and that's a high bar to hit.

Il Fado de Rie is played by Kaito Ishikawa, a VA with a heap of big titles and big characters under his belt. Genos of One Punch Man, as both Dante and Nero in Devil May Cry, Tenya in My Hero Academia. He's even taken a big role in another Otomate game. Starring as Dante Falzone in Piofiore.

Screenshot for Cafe Enchante on Nintendo Switch

Counterpoint to Il is Ignis Carbunculus, a beast in a humanoid body. Ignis is a pyrokinetic werewolf. As hotheaded as his powers, with a love for meat fitting with his lupine nature. Ignis is a beast in every way, strongest in his world, yet a real softy with a heart of gold. Ignis' story is another tragic tale. When Minotaurs come flooding into the real world from his home, this Tsundere warrior travels back to try and stop it. In doing so he finds that the biggest danger coming from that world is himself.

Ignis is played by Yuki Ono, another Otomate game alumni, having played Yuzuru Saeki in Collar X Malice. Ono has a considerable resume to his name, though admittedly one that is made up of mostly supporting roles. There's been a few starring roles but none as important as the main man himself Josuke Higashikata! Hopefully, Kotone doesn't comment on his hair.

It's not just magical beings on offer for romance, there's a human here too. Kaoru Rindo works for the GPM and has been tasked with keeping an eye on the unique inhabitants at the store. However, he's grown close to his assignments. This isn't the hot young rookie on the force though. He's a veteran. Seasoned. An older suitor is more of a mythical creature in these games than an angel or a demon, so it's interesting to see one added here. Rindo's story shows why he's more lenient with the otherworldly creatures than his compatriots. His sister was transformed into a creature, something he now has to struggle and balance, between keeping her technically alive but utterly immobilized, or to let her be free but to become a terror.

Screenshot for Cafe Enchante on Nintendo Switch

Rindo is voiced by Junichi Suwabe. A voice acting legend whose dulcet tones will be immediately recognisable to anyone who has watched anime in the last twenty years or so and his roles are only growing. Another Otomate alumni as Kaname Asahina in Brothers Conflict. He's also starred as Ryomen Sukuna in the latest Shonen hit Jujutsu Kaisen, Shota Aizawara in My Hero Academia, Archer in just about every iteration of FATE, Tseng in the wonderful Final Fantasy VII Remake, the titular Dandy of Space Dandy and many, many more.

Kotone finishes big with the final potential suitor. His name is Misyr and he's an old school cookie-cutter demon king. Arrogant, powerful, and obsessed with the magical ambrosia known as coffee. Misery is unlocked after finishing all other routes and it's worth not delving into his tale too much for fear of spoilers. There's little to say on the character's voice actor either. Misyr is played by Kenji Akabane, a voice actor with plenty of roles but mostly just supporting cast or bit parts, little of note. Though he does a perfectly decent job here.

Each of the Otomate titles has a principal artist who sets out all of the character designs and overall style of the game. The artist this time is one well known for her work on Otome games, though this is her first Otomate. The artist here is Yuuya (you can find her on Twitter as @ Y_at), in her work with Enchante she delivers an impactful and memorable style. Not just in the characters but the world she crafts. Looking like a high-end anime, it looks absolutely superb. The CGs unlocked via playing through the routes and experiencing every ending are stunning, incentivising finding them all, then reviewing them in the main menu, where the scenes are showcased like items in a high-end cafe menu. Each suitor can also be quizzed via these menus once their stories are complete.

Screenshot for Cafe Enchante on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Aksys has brought across another winner and hopefully, they will continue to do so as the Switch has become a wonderful home for visual novels. Like most Otome games there is drastically different quality between the individual stories, with some feeling like filler to pad out the game. But good stories here are so good, it really sets it apart, with those routes managing to land on every emotional level. Steamy romantic moments, heartbreaking moments, touching tear-jerking, genuinely funny comedy. This combined with a cast of suitors that cover off just about every otome archetype makes for a must-buy for anyone wanting to embrace their inner Fujoshi.

Developer

Otomate

Publisher

Aksys Games

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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