Ikémen Vampire | Game Review
Very spicy, lots of voiced content, beautiful art.
Could be improved
Dark, angsty, brooding vibes might not be to everyone’s tastes.
Premise: You’re a travel blogger from the 21st century who accidentally followed a mysterious man through a magic door that closed behind you, leaving you stuck in 19th Century Paris in a mansion full of dangerous and seductive vampires.
The door won’t reopen for another month, so you offer to assist with the housekeeping duties in exchange for food and board. The head of the house, Le Comte de Saint Germain, agrees to let you stay with them until you can return to your own time, but can you make it through the month without getting too involved with the other residents?
“A chance encounter in the Louvre leads you into a mansion full of some of the greatest men from history! But there’s a twist: they’re all out for blood. Your blood. Can you survive a month living under the same roof as these deadly handsome men? Or will you give into temptation?”– Ikémen Vampire Website
Ikémen Vampire is perfect for mature otome game players who enjoy angsty, spicy romance stories. The game can get quite heavy, but not quite ‘Diabolik Lovers’ or ‘Mystic Messenger – Another Story’ level of heaviness. Death, emotional baggage, and trauma are prominent themes, but this is to be expected from a game centred around people who have died and been reborn as dangerous creatures of the night.
Ikémen Vampire is a romantic (and sometimes tragic) melodrama. However, that’s not to say the entire playthrough is serious or difficult to read. There’s still plenty of comedy interspersed between the angst and the men of the mansion have interesting dynamics between themselves that provide plenty of opportunity for more light-hearted scenes.
As with other CYBIRD games, Ikémen Vampire is witty, dramatic, and doesn’t shy away from the steamier content. After playing multiple times you can spot a bit of a formula when it comes to the structure of the plot, but the characters are still distinctive and I’m yet to find anything too repetitive.
Each route follows a unique story with your chosen love interest, and the background plot is slowly revealed across each of these routes. This means you learn a little bit more about what’s happening behind the scenes each time you choose a new character, keeping the story fresh even after multiple playthroughs.
Note: Ikémen Vampire is a story ticket based game; it offers 5 free tickets a day which is enough to read 1 chapter (with each route having 25 chapters plus a 1 chapter ending). You can also purchase extra tickets if you want to read more, and you often receive free tickets through events and log-in bonuses.
As an avid fan of vampires, I would love to give Ikémen Vampire a 5/5 for character design. However, while each character is certainly unique, they all maintain some element of angst. If you’re not into gothic romance, they might not be as appealing to you, hence the 4/5.
However, if you do love vampires and gothic romance, then you’re bound to fall in love with the cast of Ikémen Vampire. Each LI is easily distinguishable from the others; and, while they do play off traditional tropes, there’s always some sort of unexpected trait or extra layer to the character that makes them stand out.
Even with the dark and broody atmosphere of the game, they still managed to incorporate a sunshine-incarnate Vincent Van Gogh, an elegant and princely Napoleon Bonaparte, and a feisty but secretly Very Good Boy Theodorus Van Gogh. So long as you’re prepared for a tumultuous romance, there will be a vampire here to suit your tastes. I also absolutely love the art style and overall aesthetic of this game, and the cast members all have a unique style that suits their personalities.
For more information on the love interests, we have individual reviews for the following characters:
Ikémen Vampire follows the same story ticket system as the other games in the Ikémen series. As you progress through your chosen route, you also encounter several ‘challenges’, which require you to complete a minigame or purchase a piece of attire for your avatar. When you complete a minigame challenge, you receive an item as a reward (usually something themed with what is happening in the story, like a piece of jewellery that matches the one he will give you in the following scene).
If the challenge is based on a piece of attire, you will be able to choose between either the ‘normal’ attire, or the ‘premium’ attire. Normal attire can be purchased with either gold or diamonds – gold is earned through minigames and diamonds are purchased with real-world currency. Premium attire, however, can only be purchased with diamonds. If you choose the premium attire, the following scene in the story will be longer and a copy is saved to your collection to re-read at any time.
There are also frequent events happening, including limited-time gacha, story events, and story sales, where you can purchase bonus stories that are saved to your collection. Even with only 5 free chapter tickets a day, there is plenty of content to enjoy between your daily dose of the main story.
Personally, I enjoy this style of gameplay. Instead of paying a large amount of money up-front for a game you aren’t sure you’ll like, you can play the main story for free with the option to pay for bonus content if you want more. The normal story options are still good, so you won’t miss out on any romance or plot by choosing not to pay.
The minigames are quick and easy, so they don’t take up too much time or require any strategy. You use the cards you collect in the game’s gacha system, but you are also given a card for free when you begin a character’s route, so you don’t have to use the gacha feature if you don’t want to. The attire challenges just require you to choose which story option you want and click a few buttons to purchase the attire, so again, not particularly time-consuming or strategic.
Ikémen Vampire is sexy, angsty, and compelling. The characters are intriguing and complicated, with each route providing a unique experience. If you’re looking for a more mature game, Ikémen Vampire fully embraces the spiciness we expect from vampires, and explores the hearts of a diverse cast of love interests, all with their own fascinating stories.
I particularly love how certain aspects of each of the historical figures are incorporated not only into their character design and plot, but also smaller details, like the names of their premium stories. If you’re a history fan, you’ll enjoy the subtle touches and references to the real people these Ikémen are based on, and even if you don’t know much about them already, the stories are still entertaining in their own right, and you may just learn a thing or two along the way.
Sexy vampires, creative character designs, steamy collectible art, and you get to choose how much you do or don’t want to pay… what more could we ask for?
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