We all know that part of being a hero is being a shining pillar of society, standing up for the weak, withstanding temptation, and defeating any Demon Lord minions that cross your path. Of course, it’s difficult to keep your composure when said Demon Lord minions are seductive monster girls that just want to help you with your “ripostes and parries”. I mean, it’s for the greater good, right?
Well, we see if it’s better to route those sexy monster girls or let them rope you in, in the prurient platformer from Kyrieru and Critical Bliss – Eroico! However, will it’s “reward from defeat” mantra heartily hook us, or will it leave us scrounging for satisfaction.
Clocking in at a 3 for the level of adult content, Eroico features a good deal of naughty business where you’re “rewarded” by being defeated and/or knocked out by the enemies you encounter. Although nothing is really left to the imagination, with full nudity and penetration, much of what’s happening is slightly obscured by the reduced detail of the sprites. Technically because of this we really wanted to rate the game a mid to high 2, but rounded it up due to the fact that the animations and sound effects, plus the game over screen illustrations, more than make up for what you can’t see while in game.
When it comes to the type of content you’ll encounter, much of it is your standard run of the mill stuff, featuring very little in the way of kinks. Other than you having relations with monster girls, who are, with the exception of a few of the characters, more humanoid than monster. That said, we did end up bumping the rating up a few points, since the sexual actions performed on your character could be considered non-consensual and are triggered by your character becoming unconscious (willingly or not) or by losing all of your heart points. There is no dialog to suggest your character is in distress, and the game’s overall tone is lighthearted so we thought a good middle of the road rating of 35 would suit the game the best.
We’re always on the lookout for new and exciting lewd games to play, and Eroico popped up on our radar not too long ago. Once those delicious summer Steam sales started up and Eroico was included among them, we knew it was fate. We did get a little buried under other tasks, so it took us until now to actually get around to playing it, but I’m glad we finally did.
I was particularly excited for this game because we haven’t played, or even seen for that matter, many side scrolling, action, rpg type games of the NSFW variety. Eroico looked plenty cute and colorful, and with scores of mesmeric monster girls to boot it seemed like a win-win-win situation!
What initially drew me to Eroico was its gorgeous pixel art, it’s impressively smooth animations, and because it was filled to the brim with monster girls! I guess the fact that it was an action platformer was pretty cool too! Which is a surprisingly rare take for NSFW games. Honestly though, I loved the character designs for Eroico and I knew that if the gameplay could match the polish of its art style, then we’d have a real gem on our hands. The only thing left to do was play it for ourselves to find out!
The adult content in Eroico is almost exclusively tied to how well you do in the game. I say that because you’ll only ever encounter it, if you get knocked out by a monster while fighting it (for the specific in-game animations), or if you’re defeated by a monster (for the game over illustrations). During the in-game scenes, there’s some interaction, but it’s not related to you actually performing the act, but instead you trying to escape by mashing as many buttons as you can.
It was fun to see all of the different monster girls and the various nefarious deeds they would do to your unassuming hero, but I’ve always been of two minds when it comes to having to fail to be rewarded. On one hand it takes a bit of the sting out of losing, but then you’re faced with the dilemma of “should I lose on purpose”, so you can see all of what the game has to offer. Which kind of goes against the whole idea of having to be successful to progress. Which is a concept that most video games are built on, including Eroico. I mean, Eroico isn’t exactly the easiest game either, so losing means you have to slog through large portions of the game again if you happen to die. The draw is real though, and we ended up suffering the consequences of trying to see each monster girl’s scene!
The adult content in this case is limited to how each of the monster girls attack and or “kill” the main character. They have a basic attack that will knock our hero flat and if you can’t get him up off the ground fast enough, via mashing buttons, then the girls will mosey on over and take advantage of the situation by taking Mr. Hero to Pound Town, as it were. If he takes enough damage and a monster girl is in the near vicinity then the kill screen will feature an artfully drawn still shot of the main character and the victorious monster girl involved in some sort of boot-knocking naughty business. The bosses function the same way except you only see their sexy sprite time after they’ve killed you instead of after each attack.
The sprite work and art direction in general is amazingly well done. Lots of fun extra detail and each monster girl had a very specific look all her own. The music was a little on the repetitive side, but it was catchy enough that you never really minded. I also thought there were plenty of clever mechanics that were utilized well despite the game being extremely short. Like the hidden upgrade pedestals and the blocks that shoot you in different directions.
Really Eroico had plenty of high points worth talking about, with that being said however, there were unfortunately just as many low points that really ended up tapering off my enthusiasm and leaving me with only a lukewarm impression overall.
The game may have taken us two-ish hours to beat, but about half of that was us having to start a level completely over again after dying. The levels are built to feel like the odds for success are really stacked against and checkpoints are pretty much non-existent until you progress to the next stage. On top of it all, you also have to recollect anything you picked up every… single… time, which is part of the reason we died in the first place as much as we did.
Also, as odd as it is to mention in this type of game, I have to say that the “finishing” noises after the sex animations are… disgusting. The whole act in general sounds very squishy and gloopy, but that final sound when he hits the high note is really kind of a low point in my opinion. We’ve played a lot of lewd games at this up until now, and I’ve never encountered a situation in any of them, to this day, that I can honestly say I found distasteful, until this that is.
In a lot of ways Eroico was pretty great, and fun to play. Like I mentioned, the character designs were fantastic, and on top of that the soundtrack was upbeat and catchy. What it lacked however was polish. Which in the end resulted in a frustrating playthrough that was more challenging than it needed to be. With the only thing propelling us forward, was our desire to find each and every monster girl!
It wasn’t even the controls, level design, or the learning curve required to play the game, that made it frustrating. It was its horribly sparse checkpointing system. Which is the one thing that I hope is improved if we were ever to see another game from Kyrieru. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I love a good challenge, especially when it comes to my action platformers, but having to replay large swaths of a level after dying, really chipped away at my motivation to push on. I will give the devs props for adding a checkpoint just before each boss fight though! That was a huge relief.
Speaking of boss fights, those encounters in Eroico were some of my favorite parts. They were satisfyingly challenging, with smart gameplay design, and some of the best looking characters in the game! The perfect cap to a frustrating run through a level. In fact, each boss fight was probably what refreshed us and motivated us to keep going!
Despite our frustrations with Eroico, in the end it turned out to be a decently fun game, who’s potential, and focus on an alluring art style, really outshone its faults and dearth of refinements. Fortunately, we were able to find the fun during our playthrough, and although we wouldn’t say Eroico is a must play, due to its very short length and all of the other things that did happen to catch our eye, it’s definitely a game worth checking out.
If you’re interested in giving Eroico a shot, you can find it right now on Steam!
Have a curiosity for adult themed games, but are wary of what type and level of content they may contain? Use our at-a-glance After Dark Gauges, to quickly see if a game is for you! Check out the After Dark Gauges Primer page, for more information!