Kowloon High-School Chronicle Review (Switch)

Game: Kowloon High-School Chronicle
Genre: Adventure, Role-Playing, Puzzle
System: Nintendo Switch
Developer | Publisher: Shout! Design Works, ToyBox Inc. | Arc System Works
Age Rating: US ESRB T
Price: US $29.99
Release Date: 4th of February 2021

Review code used with many thanks to Arc System Works and Strangely Compelling Media!

Kowloon High-School Chronicle (also known as Kowloon Youma Gakuen Ki: Origin of Adventure in Japan) is a Visual Novel/First Person Dungeon Crawling JRPG Hybrid developed by ToyBox Inc and published by Arc System Works.

Kotaro Minakami the aloof and laidback student that skips class a lot.

The game is a remaster of a PS2 game called Kowloon Youma Gakuen Ki which only released in Japan developed by Shout! Design Works and originally published by Atlus around 2004. Initially the original release didn’t see a lot of sales but it did gain a strong fan-following by positive word of mouth making it a cult-classic in Japan. It also saw an enhanced re-release in 2006 that fixed issues and added new content.

Is this game worth your time? Let’s find out!

Remastered and Enhanced!

Ayuko Hinakawa, the young and reliable homeroom teacher of class 3-C!

The Switch-exclusive remaster adds a few new things like a full-on dub in Japanese which is really well done, reworked graphics and widescreen support in the dungeon-crawling sequences. The visual novel scenes however are still in a 4:3 aspect ratio which feels odd considering the aforementioned dungeon-crawling sequences.

A Save Room in the Heracleion Ruins!

Despite my feelings on the aspect ratio during the visual novel scenes I still think the artwork is really well done. It has this old-school mid-2000s anime vibe to it. I also really enjoy the music which has a very jazzy and bebop-vibe to it which fits very well with the aesthetic the game is going for.

Performance-wise the game runs really smooth and stable in both Docked mode and Handheld mode/Switch Lite alike!

Living as a Student and a Treasure Hunter!

Old merchant Salah, The old man that assisted the protagonist during his time in the Heracleion Ruins.

Kowloon High-School Chronicle follows the adventure of a young Japanese treasure hunter named Kuro Habaki (you can change his name if you like), who works as a member of the Rosetta Society.

After a dangerous exploration through the Heracleion Ruins, he gets a mission that makes him move to Tokyo, Japan and attend Kamiyoshi High. This is a boarding school that hides many secrets and treasures in the ruins below the school while also trying to maintain a normal high-school life making friends and forging bonds along the way.

Asuka Yachiho, The first friend the protagonist makes in school. Full of energy and a bit of a busybody!

I really like the story and it’s presentation a lot. It really feels like an anime where there is an overarching storyline but it also has episodic plots per chapter. Heck, the presentation leans pretty hard into the episodic anime theme to the point where you have the opening movie playing at the start of each chapter and an ending song that plays at the end of it which really sold that vibe to me personally.

The various emotions that you can choose as a response during certain moments in the story.

During the story, you also need to make choices. Some of these are the usual dialogue choices that you see in visual novels. But the majority of choices made during the story are done by picking an emotion. Some of these may elicit some funny responses from the various characters but it also comes across as a bit confusing to work out which emotion is appropriate for the situation at hand.

Tsukumi Nanase, An avid reader and someone who is interested in the occult and super-advanced civilizations!

During the visual novel sections, you also get to explore the school and the school grounds which allows you to talk to characters, shop for items and investigate rooms. Investigating the various rooms nets you items that may be helpful.

Old-School Dungeon Crawling!

Throwing a Gas Grenade at a group of scorpions.

Kowloon High-School Chronicle will have you go through the various parts of the ruins under the school, and that’s where the dungeon-crawling JRPG gameplay comes in. You get to explore the dungeon, find various items and treasures, evade traps, solve puzzles and of course fight enemies.

The gameplay does show the game’s age a little bit as it will not hold your hand throughout your adventures. Puzzles may be a slight bit cryptic in terms of their hints. However, I do feel that there are interesting ways to solve the various puzzles. From combining items to using items that you find.

Fighting one of the bosses!

When you engage in combat with the various enemies that you meet in the dungeon you have to keep a close look at your AP. The amount of AP you have will reduce by the actions you take from taking steps to attacking with your weapons that have various AP costs attached to it. It is slightly turn-based but you get to perform a lot more actions during your turn until you are out of AP and the same goes for your enemies.

You also enter the ruins with your classmates that can support you in combat with their own passive abilities and active skills. These can be handy if you find yourself in a pinch.

Found a treasure!

The game can also be challenging depending on the difficulty and there will be some grinding and strategic thinking involved while traversing the various parts of the ruins below the school.

You also get to decide how the protagonist’s build will be like by spending Skill points and Ability points that you gain by levelling up and at the start of the game you also get to fill out his report card that decides a few factors related to his stats and skills.


I wonder what those books are!

Kowloon High-School Chronicle is a really fun old-school dungeon crawler that fans of niche JRPGs will enjoy. I personally had a lot of fun with it and I really love how the game leans into the episodic anime presentation and vibe.

I can definitely say that this game is a cult-classic in my opinion!

Final Verdict: I Like It a Lot! LadiesGamers Cyber-Shadow


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