Sakura Swim Club is a Visual Novel and was developed by Winged Cloud and was released in 2015 on PC. It was then published by Gamuzumi for Console on September 23rd, 2021.
*Disclaimer: A code was provided to me by the publisher for the purposes of this review. That does not affect my opinions. As my thoughts are mine and mine alone.
Kaede is once again transferring schools. It’s the 3rd university he’s been to and his father is hoping that he will finally get his act together to figure out what he wants to do with his life. Though Kaede’s father wants him to follow in his footsteps. As he’s a big successful man that everyone knows the name of. What is it that he does? Who knows. He could be a surgeon, or judge, or lawyer, or a hot shot business billionaire! It’s never really explained as to what he truly does.
On Kaede’s first day of school, he’s told by his teacher that he should join a school club. Of course there’s the typical basketball, and baseball and what not. But then there’s the Swimming Club, that the teacher highly advises against. As you decide to go to the school pool to see the club, you meet Mieko and Hiromi. Your adventures then begin to really kick off. So you try to balance your school work, while also getting swim practice in. I’ve got to to be honest, I actually really enjoyed this story a whole lot more than I expected.
I half expected the game to just be a poorly written adventure that focuses mostly on filthy jokes or really pushes the lewd portions of it all to be “sexy”. As I’ve played quite a few Visual Novels that don’t really focus on anything, but throws lewd at you kind of out of context. But this is really well done! You find out that Kaede has a lot of his own struggles with his parents and why he’s always transferring schools. You find out why the Swim Club seems to only have two members and why everyone always advises against joining the club. Mieko and Hiromi aren’t just cardboard cut-out bimbos with big breasts either. They actually have personality. At one point they actually have breakdowns with Kaede about their own struggles and it makes them feel like real characters.
Through all of the game, because of the characters and the writing, I laughed a whole lot. Mostly because of the competitive nature of the Mieko and Hiromi, but I also got choked up. I wanted everyone to succeed. I wanted everyone to be happy. I was very surprised though when there was literally just one ending. I won’t spoil it though, but it did have me laughing a lot. Maybe I’m just easily amused. The game definitely needed a grammar check before it was released though. As there were quite a bit of spelling and grammar errors. Though a lot of people find those funny, there were some lines I had to re-read a few times to understand what was actually trying to be said.
With no alternate endings, that also brings us to the other thing that I kind of didn’t like about the game. Your dialogue choices just don’t matter. You can say what you’d like, and the characters will react to each choice differently, but at the end of the day, you get to the exact same conclusion. Why even bother putting in dialogue choices at that rate? Some choices did make me giggle at the responses though, and I checked every single one after I realized that they don’t matter. Yes it sucks that there’s only one ending. But at the same time, at least I didn’t need to make a billion saves, and eventually get angry trying to get that one specific ending. But there are a ton of CG images you get, of the girls in very sexy positions. Winged Cloud really pushes the boundaries of censorship in this let me tell you. So maybe don’t play it when others are around.
- Really Likeable Characters
- Funny Dialogue
- A Great Story
- Choices Don’t Matter
- A Lot Of Spelling/Grammar Errors
I actually really enjoyed this Visual Novel. It was funny, the characters were awesome, and the story was more than I expected. The game itself lasts 3-5 hours depending on how fast you read. Yes there are no multiple endings, but again that’s okay. So I never got angry when I couldn’t figure out that last ending. I highly recommend this if you want a silly little read. But again, maybe play it when no one’s around. You will be judged by others because of the contents of the CG gallery.
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Game & Developer Information
Developer Website: Winged Cloud
Developer Socials: Twitter
Publisher Website: Gamuzumi
Publisher Socials: Twitter
PSN Store Links: £7.99/€9.99 Europe / $9.99 North America
Trophy Information: 20. 1 / 9 / 6 / 4