Succubus Tales - Chapter 1: Nicci's Revenge Review

Title: Succubus Tales - Chapter 1: Nicci's Revenge
Release date: 2018-09-09 (Patreon release)
2018-10-09 (Public release)
Developer & publisher: Senryu-Sensei

Ladies, gentlemen and self-aware AIs, do you remember the "Village of Nightmare" series of games? For those who are not familiar with those, they are short RPG Maker adventure games staring a succubus, who infiltrates a human settlement and endeavours to corrupt and turn all the inhabitants into succubi, while having a lot of lewd fun in the process.

If you wonder why I'm talking about the VON games, it's because the object of the current review is "Succubus Tales - Chapter 1: Nicci's Revenge" - a short RPG Maker adventure game staring a succubus, who infiltrates a human settlement and endeavours to corrupt and turn all the inhabitants into succubi, while having a lot of lewd fun in the process.... As you can see there are some similarities between the works of Akuoti and Senryu-Sensei. In all seriousness, Senryu-Sensei openly admits that "Village of Nightmare" games were a big inspiration for his current project and "Succubus Tales" is basically a love letter to VON.
Yes, neverending orgy is indeed boring...
We start the game with our protagonist succubus Nicci having turned a small town into her domain and living the life of hedonism and luxury. Everything changed when the fire nation attacked... er, I mean when she manages to piss off one of the higher demons and he somehow arranges for an exorcist to visit Nicci's town and put an end to her existence. However, Nicci is nothing if not resourceful - she manages to transfer her soul to one of the nuns accompanying the exorcist and flees the town to the small village of Tirnambeo. Here we also glimpse a more ruthless side of our protagonist, as she coldly kills one of her sex slaves in order not to leave any witnesses to her still being alive.

I always love to see a darker side to the demon characters portrayed in adult games. Most of the time they are simply portrayed as lustful creatures boinking everyone in their path and many developers shy away from portraying them engaging in the more violent impulses. I, on the other hand, appreciate that the game immediately establishes Nicci as someone who is ready and willing to do anything to save her own hide. The town of Tirnambeo happily accepts "sister Nicci" into their own midst, where she will soon be able to indulge herself into more lustful impulses, as the village is like a fully-stacked buffet for a succubus.
A cute slime girl.
"Village of Nightmare" games in addition to corruption, focused heavily on very specific fetishes, like body odor, body hair and genderbending. The first two are not present in "Succubus Tales" and the third one is much less prevalent than in VON games. Actually, the sex in the current game is more vanilla than I expected from a game with a demonic protagonist. Don't misunderstand me, the sex scenes in "Nicci's Revenge" are quite well done, but I expected some harder and rougher content. There are some monster girl (and monster boy) scenes and a few futanari scenes, but nothing weirder than that.

In VON, all the corrupted humans turned into female succubi, regardless of their original sex, but the creatures were shapeshifters and could become futanari at will. The transformation in "Succubus Tales" seems less consistent, or at least I failed to understand the internal logic behind it. All the females turn into female succubi, but various males undergo different types of metamorphosis: some of them turn into male incubi, others become full female succubi, while others yet become futanari succubi. It's unclear if Nicci herself controls the final form her children acquire, or if the change is some sort of random demonic lottery. In that case, futas really draw the winning ticket, because can you imagine what you could do with both types of genitals...?
She's a changed man. :-)
Anyway, the village doesn't have that many of inhabitants, but Nicci doesn't try to spread her corruption too fast, instead either focusing her attention on one person at a time or setting her sights on a few persons and corrupting them bit by bit, sometimes letting one or the other of them to stew in their own juices (har har) before continuing with the corruption. It's particularly visible with the Mayor's assistant Marissa, who gets a particularly prolonged attention from Nicci. None of the characters you meet are particularly deep, but it' just enough for a short game centered on sexual corruption.

The game is linear and doesn't have a fail state, thus no matter what you do, you will not attract suspicion or fail to corrupt someone. In a way it would have been nice to see some more gameplay mechanics in "Succubus Tales", on the other hand, it's better to have a linear game than a broken or buggy one. Still, Senryu-Sensei promised that the sequel will have a more non-linear gameplay with a suspicion meter. Sooth be told, there is one fail state event in the game, when you have to chase a certain person through the labyrinth, and failing that you can get a "game over" which requires to load a previous save. It was truly random, but luckily I had a recent save to load. Still, I wonder if it wouldn't have been better to place us at the start of the labyrinth upon failure, instead of dropping us to the main menu.
Sounds legit.
At least the first currently released chapter of "Succubus Tales" doesn't have any antagonist and Nicci can go about her business and corrupt people at her own leisure. It's probably gonna change in chapter 2, as it was implied in the end that her demon boss realized she is still alive and is gonna try and get her killed for good, which I hope will complement very nicely a less linear type of play.

"Succubus Tales" has a day and night cycle, and some events are available only during the former or the latter. You can visit three places during the day and one place during the night, though I encountered the few bugs I noticed in relation to the day cycle. Sometimes the day seemed to get stuck and didn't want to change to evening, but would eventually get unstuck after visiting various houses ten or so times. This whole tried and true day/night mechanic is lifted almost verbatim from VON and shares the same problems with that game.
That's an innovative way to mix cocktails.
In essence, there is no indication where you have to go in order to encounter a plot event. You simply move Nicci from house to house, until a new event starts playing. This was one of the unpleasant features that was almost entirely eliminated from VON2, as it artificially extends the playtime, due to flailing around and searching fro plot events. "Succubus Tales - Chapter 1" is a pretty short game and I finished it in 4 hours and 40 minutes, but I gather it would have been quite shorter if the plot were to be streamlines, without a need to go somewhere and to something.

"Nicci's Revenge" is made in RPG Maker - an engine of choice for many indie adventure games. Luckily, it's not the resource-hog MV, but an earlier version VX Ace that serves as the foundation for the game, thus the gameplay I experienced was smooth and without any crashes. VON used 3D Custom Girl renders for characters and CGs, which gave the game a certain retro vibe, while "Succubus Tales" uses a proper 2D art by the game's developer. The art is sparse, but used tactically to enhance the look of the game. It looks really quite good, especially among the grey see of samey looking 3D rendered games prevalent on Patreon.
Sure you are, ladies.
It's heartening to see a developer to use their own art, but it also introduces a problem, as the development of the first chapter was quite long (I believe it lasted about two years). With expanded features it might take even longer to wait for the completion of the second chapter. It might be prudent for Senryu-Sensei to hire additional people to help with the game, but I'm not sure he makes enough money for it to be a viable solution.

And so I really hope the developer doesn't burn out and drop the game, because chapter one is a pretty good if short corruption themed adventure game. We have already seen something similar before, but that doesn't devalue the game, rather it tells us there is a market for similar corruption-centric games. It looks good, plays easy and has just enough kinkiness to keep your attention for four or so hours.

Links of Interest

Developer's Patreon page
TF Games Site page

Final Verdict: 70%


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