From Super63, Edge of Elsewhere is a stat-building otome game set in a fantastical magical world. Saskia has just entered the Royal Academy of Automagic, in a city right on a cleft in the veil between Human and Faery. Join her as she learns to forage and craft unique magical items, makes new friends, and accidentally summons a cute genie prince.
A review for this game was requested via the VN Game Den review request form. It’s described as a demo, but it’s not clear what level of completeness the current download represents.
The art is bright and cheerful with a lot of saturated colors and a soft, round feel that leans on just the right side of cartoony. The bright, hot pink interface took me, personally, a moment to adjust to, but it overall is part of a very well-constructed, very complex user interface system. The sprites have very charming designs with a lot of physical variety. They’re maybe not quite as expressive as they could be, but with the nature of the game as hopping between different interfaces and interactions, it’s not as obvious. Every so often, some of the technical rendering feels a little off. Maybe an eye or a piece of furniture is at a slightly weird angle. Overall, though, those small flaws slide past, leaving the overall aesthetic just really cute and fun to look at.
The writing does a really great job of just dropping you into the setting in a very organic way. It’s not a complex fantasy setting, but then it also doesn’t really need to be. It’s your basic touching-the-fae-plane, alchemy, magic-school kind of setting with a little bit of extra interest with passed-down familial magic and a djinn character. It’s that fun, gentle, sort of fluffy fantasy that’s really easy to just slide into.
I think it does suffer with something that’s pretty common in stat builders. The main story that sort of connects the stat-building cycles is a little weak, and sometimes the story feels sort of slow-moving. I feel like it takes a really long time to get to know the characters or even meet some of them. I really like the characters, and interacting with them, so that’s mostly what keeps you playing from cycle to cycle. With this being a stat-raiser and having a strong slice-of-life feel, some of this slowness is almost expected, so it’s almost a matter of just sticking with it. The amount of extra stuff you can choose to dig into with the chat boards and text conversations does make up for a lot of that. You have access to an excellent amount of background story and character development if you choose to interact with it.
The stat building and crafting system itself is largely complex and very impressive. I think the scheduling system where you pick the order of events that happen is really fun. With so many stats available to you to manage, I think it’s a really great way of creating a structure that makes it easier to see everything laid out in front of you. And while the stats don’t build very quickly, with the way they’re structured and how they relate to the main story, I felt comfortable just playing around with them and seeing what the different classes do. I think it really lends itself to a more exploratory feeling, versus feeling the need to min-max and pay close attention to the numbers themselves.
The crafting system is a little trickier. There’s a lot of it, and that’s very impressive, but I almost wonder if it’s too big for the nature of the game that it resides in. You can see your ingredients from the scheduling screen, which is nice. However, from what I can tell, you can’t see requests unless you’re actually in the crafting event. So you can see what you have, but not what you need. And figuring out how to acquire an item is a little weird. You can see little symbols on the places you can go, and in the crafting screen, you can hover to get the location you need to go to acquire a thing. So the information is there, but retaining it is very difficult because there’s so much of it and it’s spread through so many screens. It just really feels like it would benefit from an index-able ingredient list that’s always accessible, even if you have to uncover things as you go. But generally, the whole system actually runs very smoothly.
Edge of Elsewhere is a delightful otome stat-builder with a fun cast, a decent story, and a surprisingly deep world in which it lives. There’s a lot to it, there’s a lot to explore, and it’s perfect for someone who likes a little more complex gameplay in their dating sims.