I played this as soon as the TL was released, but have only just got around to reviewing it! Dra+Koi is a very short visual novely by Nitroplus, but don’t be fooled by it’s length – this game definitely has substance.
This review is for the unofficial English translation of the game.
The story is short, and at first glance simple: Boy meets Dragon and gets involved in her fight. But it’s much more than that; it has romance, action, battles, mechas, comedy, sex, and a deeper thread running under it all to tie it together. A modern reworking of the traditional dragon and slayer story could have been an excuse for excessive moe and clichéd storytelling, but the ideas here are fresh and engaging. As for endings, there are a total of four, two of which are ‘terminations’. For the two main endings there are what I would class as a ‘happy’ end and a ‘sad’ end, both of which end the story in a satisfying way.
My criticism is that combining all these things sometimes left it feeling a bit disjointed. It would be slapstick comedy one moment, then solemn reflection the next, and then maybe a sex scene. The scenes and locations also change very quickly which can be confusing. It was a bit all over the place, to say the least.
Overall though I loved it. It was very philosophical and kind of meta, with lots of reference to classical myths and legends. It’s these interesting themes and the excellent writing that make this game stand out from the crowd despite it’s length.
Also I have to add here that Moogy’s English translation was really beautiful.
The sweary, aggressive Protagonist was a lot of fun. And of course the sadistic yet vulnerable Dragon was great. I found her a little annoying at first but, just like for the Protagonist, she really grew on me. The protag’s Mother was meant to be funny, but I found her kind of annoying.
Most of the CGs are for the H-scenes, and these are very nicely done. The sprites are all lovely too. I lovelovelove the design of the Dragon, she’s so cute, so that bumps up the points from me.
I enjoyed the dialogue in the H-scenes, and the art was good too. Nothing to complain about here.
I loved the music, which included vocals, and was very happy to hear sound effects too as they really added to the action scenes. It did get a little overwhelming at some points though.
If you’re looking for a short game to play over an evening or two, then I would highly recommend Dra+Koi. It’s got a bit of something for everyone, and you’re sure to fall for the beautiful but sadistic Dragon. It’s a lot of fun to play, but also has emotional impact and an interesting take on myths to leave you thinking about.