Lily Kingston has just graduated from college and is trying to find a new job! Lost and alone, she's helped out by her uncle, who is the owner of a fancy Italian restaurant. She begins working there as a waitress even though she has no experience. Clumsy and yet endearing, she tries hard at her new job and is often helped by her attractive male co-workers... Could one of them win her heart or will their secrets threaten a budding relationship...? A slice-of-life visual novel, or interactive story game, about a group of people working in an Italian restaurant. Change the ending of the story through the choices you make and learn more about all the characters and their daily lives. (It's also probably worth noting that this game was made in just one month.)
In my opinion the story is too much of a (boring) soap opera (even the post prologue part of it). Though the game's name already suggests, it's all about love, it could have been less borrowing the cliche.
Furthermore there are too little real choices, so playing this game is all about reading and tapping your space key to get on reading, which becomes quite annoying over time. Due to this, replaying the prologue part by taking other choices, wasn't as much fun as hoped for, because you have to read a lot of already known text until at long last the story takes a very little twist.
On the whole this game wasn't quite enjoyable for me, but technically and in terms of artistical design it seems well done. So if you are fond of manga and light fiction, this is probably yours.
To be fairly honest, I stopped playing after a while - I have finished books or games I wasn't so fond of before, but when I notice I'm jumping every time the "and a few more hours passed" sign appears hoping that it's the last one, I suppose there's no point in going on.
I can see a good amount of effort put into this game, but the amount of polish doesn't alleviate the anatomical errors (particularly the way the hands are drawn in some poses) on one side or the story, which I personally didn't find interesting enough to finish the game.
I understand that the first part is probably supposed to be a bit cliché and not so compelling, but the second part didn't keep me there either, in the end.
It also felt a bit preachy at times, I can think of one bit where one of the characters is essentially told that trying to help his female co-worker is being rude and a chauvinist and making assumptions about her strength... while essentially making assumptions about the intentions behind such actions.
I did, however, appreciate the editing/testing work. I didn't find any glaring errors in the text or bugs disrupting almost play through. A good amount of effort seems to have been taken into keeping the graphic style consistent and customising the UI, and the music tracks are unobtrusive and well chosen for the setting.
I have very mixed feelings about this game. I'd probably have rated it lower than I did were the artwork and general production level not significantly above the level of most freeware amateur VNs.
The trouble is that the game is not exactly what it's promoted as being. That's clearly intentional, but unfortunately I don't find that the twist which occurs after the prologue really adds anything to the game. It comes across as a shot at myself, the player, criticizing my expectations and the conventions of the genre, while still acting out those same conventions with no sense of self-awareness. If you were to strip away the framing device, the post-prologue twist, and all of its trappings, the game could stand on its own merits as one of the better freeware OELVNs, but it's hard to feel good about a game that not only intentionally pulls the rug out from under the player's expectations but proceeds to spend so much of its time calling those expectations shallow and fake.
The game could possibly get away with that if it did something truly unconventional with its story and gameplay, but the real story of Ristorante Amore isn't one bit more unpredictable than the story it purports to be and then mocks the player for wanting.
It just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
After playing about twenty games with absolutely no storyline, Ristorante Amore was a nice vacation for me. It is quite clear that Ristorante Amore has a focus on the story and characters rather than gameplay. You play as Lily* who works as a waitress in an Italian restaurant. As you could have guessed by the title, Lily* has three love options. Each love option covers the general expectation, the rude introvert, the out-going extrovert and the princely dreamboat.
So you play through and you are done... or are you? Here is where Ristorante Amore takes a pretty hilarious twist. What you were just playing was just the prologue, there is much a lot that was originally obscured from view. If I was to tell you what the twist was, I'd spoil the entire game. So to keep the story unspoiled, all I will say is the protagonist role is switched.
Ristorante Amore was certainly fun but it felt more like reading a manga or watching an anime rather than playing an actual game. Most choices you make don't effect the final outcome. There is only one question per “chapter” that effects who you ultimately choose. Regardless, Ristorante Amore was funny, fresh, had great character art and is definitely worth the (free!) download, even for you asexual people out there. Final score for me is 75/100. Good job Cyanide Tea.
Technically this visual novel is a combination of two stories: split into the Prologue and Post-Prologue respectively. The Prologue follows Lily, a young and slightly clumsy waitress working at her Uncle’s high-end Italian restaurant. On this path you have a choice to chase down three of your male coworkers and I’d like to stop here for saying this was probably the most elaborate April Fool’s Joke I’ve seen since one I pulled a few years ago. Despite it’s shortness, the entire Prologue could be classified as a full otome VN. It’s trite and predictable and has no issues poking fun at the medium, but it is a complete game in and of itself and does have some funny moments (mostly from Ethan) outside of the meta jokes. So kudos to Camille for making what could’ve been, nay should’ve been, a throwaway moment for the larger story.
Some of the romances here are possibly easier to navigate than the ones in Katawa Shoujo. You literally have to work at either getting the Friendship ending or failing at a relationship because you can hit coast at certain parts and still have everything work out. It helps that you like most of the people here, but like Katawa Shoujo RisAmo could have easily held up to fresh trauma that Josh had to deal with in order to A: Show he was moving forward with his life and B: He wants to be with the intended person.
I have said in the past that there are three current visual novel artist who can take the anime style and make it unique. One of them is Auro-Cyanide and she absolutely delivers with this one. Everyone looks fantastic and blends in well with the photographic backgrounds.
I got the feeling while playing Ristorante Amore that this was the black sheep of the Cyanide Tea family. No one dies and there’s not a lot of real drama here. It’s a light, heartfelt look at maturing and finding love that, while not perfect, is great in and of itself.
For a free visual novel, Ristorante Amore (RA) is a really good deal. The story and the narative is nice, although the CG art sometimes doesn't look as good as the in-game animation.
The good (and might've been bad) thing about Ristorante Amore is that the flags are pretty obvious to those who are familiar with VN genre. I got all the romantic endings in about 2-3 hours without even peeking at the walkthrough. :)
And I love how the main character interacts with other characters. There are subtle differences when the main character went to different route, but in the end there is an overall consistency for the personality of the main character. The game is open enough for players to tackle each romance route without actually having the main character changing personality. I felt like I saw different layers of a person instead.
I am hooked on the music though. The music did a great job in building atmosphere for the whole game. I have to say, whoever did the music, you're doing a great job. All in all, Ristorante Amore is a good experience, albeit a short one. :)