Welcome back to another edition of our weekly Twitch recap, where I give my thoughts on the game I played last week over on the VN Game Den Twitch channel. Last week, I played Hamilton Hour’s Otome Jam 2022 game 3 Seasons!
- Developer: Hamilton Hour
- Genre: Amare, Fantasy, Otome, Slice of Life, Romance
- Price: Free (Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux on itch.io)
The game follows Ivy (whose name and pronouns are changeable), who after a bad string of luck, finally lands an interview at a private company called 3 Seasons. Curiously, she’s sent a NDA, but she signs it without really reading it and goes off to her interview later on in the week. When she arrives, she’s teleported to the elemental realm with three handsome men, each of whom is associated with one of the four seasons: Sol, the energetic Summer Spirit; Rye, the laid-back Fall Spirit; and Yuto, the grumpy but sweet Winter Spirit. Your task is to care for the Spring Spirit’s tasks until he returns in five days. Will you find romance or friendship with one of the three elemental spirits within that time?
First all, I want to really praise the entirety of Hamilton Hour for creating Ivy, who is such a likable, well-rounded protagonist. She’s an absolutely beautiful main character who’s relatable with the struggle of trying to find a job, and when she finally lands one, she’s easily able to find the confidence to do the work she has handed to her despite being in such an unfamiliar place. Not to mention that she has some game when it comes to flirting! Slowly but surely, we’re beginning to see more and more meaningful representation with BIPOC in leading roles in otome games and visual novels in general with games like Belle Automata and ValiDate, and 3 Seasons now joining them. Representation matters, everyone!
Speaking of characters, quickly after you meet the three characters, you get to choose who you will be working with for the rest of the week. While I would have preferred to interact with the characters more, I think the introduction scene where you get to know the gist of their personalities is enough information for the player to gauge who they want to pursue. For the stream, I went for Sol, who falls into one of the three types that I love for fictional men: the sunshine boy. The game focuses less on the work, which comprises a couple of minigames, and more on the relationship between Ivy and Sol—which I think is a good move, since that’s what we’re all here for! I really love Sol as a character; he’s super sweet and gentle, making sure that our main character feels comfortable and enjoys her time in the elemental realm. There are a lot of touching moments between the two, such as him getting Ivy her favorite food after a day of work despite the fact that he only learned what it was through a single line of dialogue. It shows how kindhearted Sol is, even though he doesn’t really know Ivy all that well at the time. Of course, just like with every sunshine boy, there is a touch of sadness to Sol that I won’t get into due to spoilers, but it did make me feel for him a bit.
The game allows you to pursue either a romantic or a platonic relationship with one of the three boys, which I think is cool. To help you decide what kind of bond you want to have with the character, choices that are romantic are marked with a heart while the friendly choices are left unmarked. A lot of the time, I feel like romance games often push you into pursuing a relationship with someone, and when you don’t, the character will get sad and then you feel awful about it. Thankfully, that’s not the case here with 3 Seasons, as platonic companionship is just as valid of a path as a romantic relationship!
Overall, I really loved my time with 3 Seasons! If you’re looking for a short but adorable fantasy game that dabbles a bit into magic, then I think you’ll absolutely enjoy this game.