Sympathy Kiss (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Nayu 26.02.2024

Review for Sympathy Kiss on Nintendo Switch

The dual nature of the Nintendo Switch makes it the perfect device for playing visual novels, allowing them to be read in bed at night like a book. Developer Otomate, whose parent company is the well-known Idea Factory, have over fifteen years of VN production. Releasing in the commercially most romantic month of the year, Otomate and Reef Entertainment's newest otome visual novel Sympathy Kiss focuses on love in the workplace of an imagined company called Estario. Can there be success both in and out of the workplace?

With so many people working in an office it is refreshing to have a job-based setting as opposed to either a fantasy or historical one. By nature, it is more relatable to most of the intended audience. This is what Sympathy Kiss delivers. After a routine work review the app designer protagonist is sent to Estario's original app team to try and revive the now floundering app. All choices made affect either work, which is represented by a blue flower, or love, symbolised by a pink flower. At a glance, this distinction made it easy to see if a choice needed to be remade, depending on whether the player is aiming to be successful professionally or personally. Sometimes both aspirations were viable but most endings of the eight routes played for review led to success in one area only. There never seemed to be a truly bad ending.

Screenshot for Sympathy Kiss on Nintendo Switch

As already mentioned, there were actually a total of eight suitors available, although two were sneakily hidden within other routes and were stumbled upon by accident. The main six bachelors are routes chosen during the prologue, and are the ones focused on in the game trailers. Everyone has a hidden side to their personality or life that is kept mostly secret at work. It will take quite a bit of patience and perseverance to find out the less public aspects of their lives, although some are stumbled upon with a dramatic entrance. A few plot lines overlap, but it was a bit disappointing when some semi-major incidents were not brought into play for other paths. All routes have varying degrees of camaraderie in the small work group which both feels realistic and aids immersion in the tale.

There is a strong emphasis placed on being able to make choices in Sympathy Kiss that affect the ending, but this isn't always the case. For one candidate in particular the choices to proceed with were essentially exactly the same. Considering the unpleasant nature of that scenario, being pushed in one direction without an option to escape felt in opposition to having freedom of choice. It wasn't an isolated situation, it happened a few more times for different suitors, but was thankfully an overall minority in the total number of choices made.

Screenshot for Sympathy Kiss on Nintendo Switch

Some scenes, such as those in the office or the local bar Evergreen, were accessible regardless of which route was pursued, but several were unique to each bachelor, an aspect that made the image reveal seem special. While the general public personality of each candidate remained the same whichever path is worked on, revealing the private characteristics was for the most part enjoyable and resulted in viewing them differently for subsequent routes. There were some occasions that were heavily influenced by Japanese culture, which meant that those who are not as familiar with some customs might not immediately recognise the full impact of the issues raised. The subtle nature of some problems was carefully layered into the story. All aspects of app development from design, market research, and workplace meetings, to name a few, were fully explored.

Something that was appealing were the spin-off segments where the viewpoint switched to the male's point of view, providing deeper insight into their nature. When unlocked they could be viewed immediately or at any time in the extras menu. This feature seemed to make the characters feel more realistic, alongside the wide variety of scenarios covered in all routes which were often complex and threw up dilemmas for the protagonist inside and outside of work. There were unpleasant and at times scary sides to a few characters that edged into grey moral boundaries, which in an age where consent is crucial may disgust some audiences. Overall, the romance element, while understandably strong, had a mostly behind closed doors approach, with a few sensual scenes getting screen time.

Screenshot for Sympathy Kiss on Nintendo Switch

The extra features included multiple screenshots for each candidate which, if all were uncovered, lead to revealing profile information about them. This wasn't mandatory and many might skip completion but it is something for completionists to work towards. The soundtrack could also be listened to in a player which, considering how appealing some of the tracks were, was a welcome addition. It is possible to save before any choice is made, and with almost one hundred save slots it's easy enough to save at most key decision times for every route. Some of the choices were using emoticons rather than words, which made a nice change from multiple choice responses and these answers could be recalled later on in the tale which again added to the realism.

Screenshot for Sympathy Kiss on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

From the soft pastel colour palette and catchy title song there is a lot to love about Sympathy Kiss. The true to life and often surprising scenarios uncovered through multiple playthroughs make it an engaging addition to any visual novel enthusiast's library, although a few elements may elicit slight aversion to some audiences.




Reef Entertainment


Visual Novel



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date 27.02.2024   North America release date 27.02.2024   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date 27.02.2024   


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