As the fourth game of Onmyoji franchise, Onmyoji: Yokai House undoubtedly grabs the heart of female players with its adorable paper-cutting design and Japanese-inspired settings. QooApp had a sneak peek of the game as it displayed a demo in the NetEase booth at ChinaJoy 2019.
Although the release date is not yet confirmed, the pre-registration of the game has started.
Onmyoji: Yokai House is basically a casual breeding game, which you can interact with the signature characters from Onmyoji, as well as attack enemies by flinging them like pinballs.
▍Adorable Paper-Cutting Design
Unlike the three-dimensional CG designs of the original game, Onmyoji: Yokai House sets in the world where all shikigami are paper-cutting dolls. All decorations and items are two-dimensional with a unique aesthetic. The chibi illustration may be welcomed by many female players, but not sure how the male players will response.
As previously announced, there are currently 48 shikigami, which includes 8 SSR characters, 15 SR characters, 13 R characters, and 12 N characters. Although there are fewer characters in this game than the original Onmyoji game, you can still find some of the most popular shikigami, such as Otengu, Ibaraki Doji, Ubume, Yamaisagi, and Hotarugusa.
▍A Monster Strike-like Battle System
The battle system is pretty much like Mixi’s MMORPG Monster Strike. You can fling your shikigami like pinballs and attack enemies as they bounce around. A variety of obstacles, such as indestructible blocks or direction deviating accelerator, will get in your ways in different stages. Missions are different in each stage and some include clearing the stage in limited moves.
The shikigami can unleash ultimate skills after certain moves, and it still follows the attack feature of the Onmyoji characters. For example, Otengu can attack the enemies by commanding a blade storm and Ibaraki Doji does so by summoning the infernal hand.
The gameplay feels a bit déjà vu and you can’t really feel the excitement when you fling the shikigami to the enemies. The visual effects during the battles are not obvious and it will be a weakness compared to other similar types of games.
However, there are different kinds of battles in the game, including boss raid and PVP. The PVP system allows you to battle other players with their shikigami. It looks fun when more characters are available, as the combination of the teams creates different effects. After the boss raid, you can even adopt the boss as a pet! Feed them food and it can increase the overall ability of the characters.
▍Summon your Shikigami with a pair of Scissor
You literally have to use scissors and cut the paper in order to summon characters. Just like Onmyoji, where you can summon shikigami by drawing different patterns on the amulet, you can also cut the paper dolls into different shape when you summon shikigami in Onmyoji: Yokai House. It means that you can create a real paper-cutting art or a bizarre paper doll!
The game community is one of the successful features of Onmyoji and this element also injects into the game. For instance, you can share your creative shikigami paper dolls on the Friend’s Notebook, which is an in-game social media platform for you to upload pictures and leave comments. You can also chat with other players or form teams through the community channel.
▍Increasing the Intimacy level of Your Shikigami
The breeding system of the game is kind of complicated as you have to increase their intimacy level, as well as enlighten their mood by decorating the garden with toys and furniture. Their mood is showcased in their diary and you will know how to improve your “services” when they write their needs on it.
The intimacy level is crucial when it can enhance their ability, including Attack and Life. You can place dinner on the table and after a moment, the Shikigami will gather around to enjoy dinner. What they can do depends on what furniture you buy for them. For instance, they can also fly kite or play swing in the garden.
But one thing is that the breeding process takes quite a long time and you may need to prepare to spend some money in order to cut the time short.
My first impression is that there is really a lot of content in one game, which makes me kind of confused at the beginning. You may need some time to familiarize yourself in the game. You can still find some elements of Onmyoji in the game, but with a chibi design. I wish there are more variety in the battle system, but I guess it’s cute design already attracts some fans.