Game: Takorita Meets Fries
Genre: Adventure, Visual Novel
System: Nintendo Switch (Also on Xbox, Playstation, Steam (Linux, & Mac), Android)
Developers | Publishers: ROSEVERTE | Ratalaika Games
Age Rating: EU 12+ | US T
Price: US $4.99 | EU €4,99| UK £4.99
Release Date: October 1st, 2021
Review code used, with many thank’s to Ratalaika Games
Takorita Meets Fries is a cute but short adventure visual novel. It centres around the titular Takorita, an undersea princess who yearns to explore the world on land…for better food. Let’s see if she manages to eat her way out in this indie title.
Darling, It’s Better Down Where It’s Wetter…
…or is it? That’s the opening dilemma of the protagonist. Takorita Meets Fries begins with the princess being sick of eating soup and small fish, the customary diet of the sea. Instead, she wants to go to the land up above to explore and find the true love of her life, in new and tasty foods!
However, her father opposes her. Though, unlike the dad of a famous mermaid, he quickly caves under the machinations of his wife and daughter, who play him like a fiddle. Right from the beginning, it’s clear that Takorita is smart, cunning, driven, and manipulative, though not antagonistically so. She merely wants the same freedom as her missing grandfather did before her. Thus she heads off, but not without making an Ursula-esque deal with her merman guardian, Mer, who accompanies her for safety.
You Only Get One Shot
For the majority of this game, the player is just reading through Takorita’s experiences. Unlike other visual novels, including ones previously published by Ratalaika like LoveChoice (which I reviewed here), there is only one choice that influences the player’s ending. There are four endings,1 for each of the 3 options given and a bonus one after completing the others. It takes around an hour or so to get through all of them, and the bonus reveals some fun information, so I recommend trying for all of them.
The controls are simple and easy to pick up. Y brings up a log of what has been said, X triggers the menu, which is charmingly designed after fries, A is the interact button, B is back, and the joystick/directional buttons move through the choices.
Art & Music
The art of Takorita is just adorable. It perfectly complements the silly premise and the funny moments. Emotions and expressions clearly communicate what is going on instead of voice acting. I love the bright colors, character designs, and depictions of food.
The music is no slouch either. It also excellently matches what is going on in the story, both in tone and scenery. I never felt like one outpowered the other. They came together in a way that further enhanced the story of Takorita.
Pros and Cons
The standout for me in this game was the writing. It was simple and to the point, but that made the funny moments have me in hysterics. It helps that the jokes are oriented towards an older audience. The references and parallels to other stories, namely The Little Mermaid, were lovely to see. The other thing I adored about this game was that the characters and their relationships had a little depth. I absolutely loved Takorita’s relationship with Mer the most, even if part of it was because much of the humour was at poor Mer’s expense.
The downsides are the length and the romantic potential not being explored. At about a 30 minute to hour experience, Takorita came to an end far quicker than I wanted it to. As a sucker for romance games, particularly Otome and LGBTQ+ friendly ones, I would’ve loved to see the little seeds planted in the story flourish. Though, to be fair, I acknowledge that that’s because this game is ultimately about food over romance. I just wanted more Takorita, which is a sign of how much I enjoyed it.
Takorita Meets Fries was a funny, silly, and overall brilliant experience that came at just the right time for me. It ticked all the right boxes and has easily become one of my favourite visual novels ever. I highly recommend playing it!
Final Verdict: Two Thumbs Up