Ciel Fledge: a Daughter Raising Simulator Review (Switch)

Game: Ciel Fledge: A Daughter Raising Simulator
Genre: Role-Playing, Simulation, Strategy, Lifestyle
System: Nintendo Switch (also available on PC)
Developers/Publishers: PQube
Price: £17.99| 19.99| CA $26.24| US $19.99,|AU $30.00
Age Rating: US E10+, Pegi 7+
Release Date: February 21st, 2020

Review code provided by PQube

The Future in a Dystopian World

When I first saw ads of Ciel Fledge, I didn’t think much of its story. Instead, I was too focused on the game’s very interesting premise of raising a daughter. What I didn’t realize was that this game has a beautifully fleshed out story that really grounds your and Ciel’s relationship in this dystopian world full of mysteries.

The first mystery you meet is Ciel herself. After watching a short cutscene that places you in this marred and recovering world, you hear a knock on your door—a wind of change. You meet a woman who wants to confirm your identity. My first surprise of this game was the character custimization. Since this game has features akin to a visual novel, I suspected your character was pre-set. Instead, you get to choose your character’s name, their origin, and even their work. My character, Nina Lavender, was born a surface-dweller, growing up in the harsh wastelands of Earth before moving to Arc 3. These days, she spends her time as a teacher, ensuring the older students of Arc 3 are well informed of the history that led them to their sky-bound utopia.

Once you confirm your history, the woman (basically a social worker) introduces you to your new charge, Ciel. (What’s neat is that you can even change her first name. I kept her as Ciel ). She comes to you from the remnants of Ark 5, retaining no memories of the life she left behind. And from there, your life with your new daughter begins.


Schedules, Schedules, and even more Schedules!

The premise of the game is that you have ten in-game years to raise your new daughter. The activities she engages with, the people she spends time with, the work that she does, and even the food she eats not only affects her relationship with you, but also how she grows and changes; becoming a daughter unique to you.

Each week is determined by schedules. Think Fire Emblem Three Houses. There are four specific categories to setting Ciel’s schedule. First, you decide what you will be up to that week. You can work (overtime is a scarily real option) or spend some time spoiling Ciel. Next, you get to choose her weekly meal plan. You can feed her lavishly, if you can afford it, or starve her…if that’s what you want.

Then you move onto her day to day where you determine how Ciel spends each day (whether in class, in work, or even resting). Lastly, you have a weekend day where Ciel can either hang out with some friends, go shopping with you or even do more work. It’s up to you to decide how much you’ll spoil or restrict Ciel.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that all your decisions impact Ciel’s affection towards you, her personality, her stress, her mood, her discipline and even stamina. If you plan too much work for her then she’ll pass out (eventually sending a social worker to check in on her. I wish I was kidding). If you allow Ciel to do nothing but rest day in and day out, then she won’t really gain anything, and may even become more defiant.

It’s important to give Ciel a good mix of work and rest, even keeping in mind not to oversaturate her with just one class. Essentially, if you care more about Ciel’s athleticism more than her sensitivity, then you could in fact schedule more gym class than meditation time. Essentially, her boons are up to you. However, the game also has a skill tree where you can keep track of her accomplishments. Completing certain tasks rewards with you with treats like cheesecake (useful for recovering stamina during a week of activities).

This game is not without its fair share of play, of course. During the weekends you and Ciel can take a trip to town to do some shopping. I was actually quite surprised by how many custimization options you can apply for Ciel. Once the shopping center opened, Ciel and I checked out a couple clothing stores. One was a bit too expensive, so we settled on a cheaper store where I bought her a new outfit. After getting some clothes, we decided to check out a grocer to see what foods I can add to her diet. There, we met someone names Juno. This segues into my next point, relationships.

Friends and Fights

Another major surprise I had while playing this game was the amount of relationships Ciel can foster. I thought the social worker and her core set of three school friends would be her main interactions. To my surprise, she is able to engage with the grocer, Juno, a woman who works at a clothing store, Sophia, an odd and passionate surface-dweller, Nieve, and even a pair of musicians. Throughout the game you are constantly met with randomized cutscenes that engage with different characters. These cutscenes really help to flesh out the world of Arc 3 and even Ciel herself. Also, I found these cutscenes to be a welcome change from the consistency of the schedules.

Another feature that randomly pops up are the encounter battles. To briefly explain, there are a multitude of different types of battles, like quiz and action battles. I say “battles”, but essentially you are given a set of cards with varying colors. You need to match these colors in order to make a certain set. Sometimes, in order to win, you need to get a certain amount of, say, blue sets in a row. Other times the expectation is to ger eight sets in a row without mistakes in a certain time limit.

In fight battles, you have to create sets required of a certain attack. For example, to kick an enemy, I may need to make a set of blue, red, and green cards in that order. That will unlock the attack which I can then perform with ‘x’ or ‘y’. During battles I can even call on Ciel’s friends to help. Another thing to keep in mind is that Ciel’s strength and intelligence, for example, affect her ability to perform her actions. For example, I was constantly attacking an enemy, but Ciel’s strength was weak and barely causing any damage. We were great at quiz battles, but I think the only action battle we won was against a cockroach she found while cleaning…

Conclusion

Ciel Fledge is a game that you want to take your time with. Sometimes, the scheduling can get very monotonous, in which I would only play for bursts of five to ten minutes. Other times, I found myself enamored with trying to earn enough money to buy Ciel some new clothes or food, spending an hour or two on the game at a time.

This is a simulation game to its core. The main gameplay is setting schedules and reading dialogue, essentially you, as the player, is watching life go by for Ciel. Speaking of dialogue, there’s a lot of it, especially at the beginning of the game. It isn’t too hard to pick up the controls, but the first chunk of the game is reading an immense amount of tutorials.

In all honesty, early on in the game I was beginning to wonder what I got myself into! However, as I mentioned, as you play the game you learn what it is you need to do. It doesn’t take long to quickly realize how much Ciel can manage as well as what you want her to focus on.

This game isn’t particularly visually stunning (despite coming from a fairly well-established publisher), but I actually didn’t find that distracting. Sure, I would have enjoyed a bit more artistic development, but I think that was set aside to focus instead on the growth of all the character. Every time I would save my game I would make several files so I can see the difference in Ciel’s height from the last time I played. I found it lovely that she didn’t just change based on years (which I expected), but instead from week to week.

Ciel grows, in stature, in personality, and even affection towards you. Life may start out some wheat awkward, but soon you’ll find yourself falling into a routine, becoming accustomed to Ciel’s personality, and even looking forward to evening discussions on the porch after a long week. This is a game to enjoy slowly, like passively watching a setting sun. Ciel and the world she inhabits hold so much depth and mystery, and it truly didn’t take long for me to think fondly of my virtual daughter.

Final Verdict I Like this game a Lot I like it a lot!

4 comments

  1. Chloe!! What a great review, you have a real talent for writing. After reading what you wrote about the game, describing the highs and lows of play, and being honest in your opinion, I’m going to go look up the game. I just might buy it ..all because of your review. Thanks for playing and reviewing this game!!!

    1. Thank you so much!!! This game is super cute and I always find myself randomly wondering about my daughter lol! I hope you have fun raising her too!!

  2. Saw this in the eshop and was very curious about it. Looks like something I might pick up! Thanks for the great review

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