In this story, we have run away from home (it's not clear why, but I suspect that our father has a lot to do with it) and are trying to obtain a ticket to get to the next destination on our journey. We've managed to lose all our money, probably to a pickpocket, and must somehow earn our way to that ticket.

There seems to be a very self-conscious attempt at acknowledging different cultures. Our heroine greets everyone in their native language, and she first appears wearing traditional garb. Wikipedia tells me that this traditional garb actually is worn as casualwear in Japan, but it still gave me pause. I'm not used to traditional garb being worn for anything other than formal or ceremonial purposes. The multi-language greetings are a little more troubling: for one thing, it makes me wonder about the background of our heroine, and for another, some of these races are less visually identifiable than others. The overall effect is of trying too hard.

The setting is a port city somewhere in Japan. It's rife with corruption, and there is an attempt to philosophise on the people who live there. The philosophising caught me a little off-guard the first time I came across it: while I was aware that perhaps this part of the world was not the Garden of Eden, I was not aware that we had drawn any conclusions about the people around us or the way they lived their lives. It was interesting, yes, but it also felt a little as though I'd missed the introduction and thesis statement.

In terms of gameplay, most of it was quite engaging. I would have been quite happy (grey shades of urban decay aside) to noodle around looking for ways around whatever obstacles came my way. I could have done without the randomised earnings: I found myself hitting "undo" a lot, trying to get the best deal on everything, and this got in the way of my enjoyment of the game.

The writing was mostly competent. The heroine occasionally came off as a bit of an authorial mouthpiece, thanks to the afore-mentioned philosophising. There's a very strange syntax that occurs more than once, the use of "made" in place of "went" when describing onomatopeic sounds: "sound made the thing". This makes me wonder if English is not the author's first language.

So, I would say that this is a work that's trying very hard in multiple directions: it's trying to convey an atmosphere, a culture, an artistic statement ... it seems it's also trying to express itself in a foreign language. It's perhaps a little over-ambitious; I'm not sure that it quite manages to reach as far as it's trying to. It's like kedgeree -- interesting, and perhaps a little exotic to most -- just a little bit overcooked in this case. I would follow it with chrysanthemum tea, no sugar, just a hint of bitterness.