Level-5, the Japanese developer behind the delightful Professor Layton series, is making a game focused on those things girls love best – decorating their rooms, changing their clothes, and flirting with boorish Japanese business men.
Girls’ RPG Cinderellife is basically an enhanced 3DS version of Level-5’s popular mobile game Kyaba Joppi, in which you play a hostess club employee. Cinderellife stars a country girl who has come to “Neo-Ginza” seeking fame and fortune, but ends up lighting cigarettes, pouring drinks, and fending off the sexual advances of drunken salarymen at a club called The Castle. The gameplay revolves around chatting up your male guests – which range from powerful politicians to famous singers to anime characters – so that they’ll purchase overpriced food and drink items from the club’s menu.
What’s weird here, you know, other than Japanese culture, is that I don’t find this remotely as insulting as Hannah Montana: The Movie: The Game. There’s nothing that gets my estrogen-fueled blood boiling faster than a developer slapping a Bratz or Barbie or Disney tween-sation skin on their latest suck fest and marketing it as a “Game 4 Girls.” It’s incredibly insulting, and I’m not talking about the generally poor quality of the games. I’m talking about using the numeral “4” than the preposition “for” – girls can grasp the subtle complexities of language mechanics just as well as boys!