Red Embrace is a fun, sweet, occasionally dark visual novel about a young guy who’s working his job at a diner when he discovers vampires are real and finds himself in the middle of their business and in danger because of it. Play as this MC as you romance vampires and humans and try to find happiness with your chosen partner.
The graveyard shift at a dingy diner in San Francisco — that’s where MC’s story begins. It’s just another normal night, or at least it seems to be.
…That is, until a certain mysterious customer stops by, bringing the dangerous attention of a few people with him. When it rains, it pours, and suddenly MC finds himself in the middle of a war he didn’t even know existed… between vampires.
How does MC react to the dark, violent world that opens up before him? That’s up to you!
I really liked this! It was sweet and fun and had sexy vampire biting, so, you know, what’s not to like?
The characters are all different and a bit cliche and tropey. But they’re the perfect trope characters for a quick vampire story. Rex is the fun bad boy vampire. Dominic is the angsty but sweet brooding vampire. Isaac is the smooth-talking, suit-wearing manipulator. Luka… well, I can’t really talk about him without spoilers (he’s the human who got involved with vampires because someone he loved was hurt by them), but he’s just a young human guy, kinda snarky, but also secretly a sweetheart. So despite the cliches, or maybe because of them, I enjoyed romancing all these guys. They all have some secrets and backstory that endeared them to me as I got to know them. I enjoyed getting to know each one better.
The routes in this game are short and each only takes one or two hours to complete. Even less once you’ve played a time or two, since you can skip the beginning and some other parts. So the romances are quick and kinda instalove-y. But, surprisingly, I didn’t mind. They were cute, they made me feel emotion, none of them felt forced, and I wanted these characters to get their happily-ever-afters. Plus the game is only $5 at full price, and I got it on sale, so I think it’s a fair deal.
I was surprised to find that Isaac turned out to be my favorite character, and his route was the one that felt most genuine to me. Even in Luka’s route, you get to see a bit more of Isaac that only made me love him more. Also surprisingly, Luka’s route was my second favorite. Well, the non-romance stuff seemed a bit forced right at the end in his route, but I liked the romance. I never expected that I, a vampire lover since my teen years, would like the human romances best! But as I said, I liked getting to know all the romanceable characters. I think romancing them in any order would be fine, but personally I’d say go for Dominic and Rex first, and maybe Isaac last, as his route drops the most revelations.
There’s a slight story element that progresses things and leads to the ending climax for each route, but it’s not super detailed. It’s mostly a vessel to romance the characters.
The art is nice. And there’s some extra art you unlock as you play. Also a gallery to see the unlockables after.
My first playthrough took about 2 hours, and unlocking everything took me 7 hours total.
There’s not really much else besides that. Not too many choices to make. A basic personality system that locks/unlocks some later options on each route. Eight endings (one good and one bad for each character). Overall a pretty simple visual novel, but well-made, fun, and sweet (or dark, depending on the ending) with lovable characters who really grew on me!
*This game has TTS / self-voicing mode (just press V once the game window has opened), however it wasn’t specifically designed with accessibility for blind and visually impaired players. It’s only accessible if you’re still able to see and read text because game text will be read aloud in self-voicing mode, but not menus or text in images. There’s also no notification on choice screens, but you can tell when you reach one because text will stop until you navigate to a choice.*
– All the trope characters you’d expect in a vampire story
– Lovable characters who grow on you
– Sweet romances
– Also some dark endings
– Slight story element, but mostly romance-focused
– Fairly quick routes
– Unlockable art
– A simple visual novel but fun and well-made!