College Craze | Game Review | NSFW 18+

Sugardale U: Work Hard. Play Harder. Lose yourself in a haze of pheromones at Sugardale University in ‘College Craze’, a new indie 18+ otome game by Pretty Ink…

Game Name: College Craze
Developer: Pretty Ink
Publisher: Pretty Ink
Platform: itch.io
Age Rating: 18+ for graphic sexual content
More information: here!

Ratings

The ‘sweetness’ varies greatly from one route to the next, but as there is only 1 chapter available so far, there generally hasn’t been much opportunity for deep emotional connection (yet).
College Craze is one of those rare exceptions in the otome world where spicy scenes are both textually and visually explicit. These scenes aren’t voiced, but they do have some spicy visuals.
This game has a huge selection of characters to pursue, including a mix of gender, ethnicity, age, appearance, and personality… and somehow they’re all hot?!
I love the story that’s currently available, but it feels like it’s just getting started, with lots of plot threads still waiting to be tied up. It seems promising though, and I’m excited for future chapters!

Premise

“Create your own story and get into steamy situations, all while helping (or sabotaging) your friends, keeping secrets and revealing mysteries about the town’s shady happenings…”

– Game Description (itch.io)

A horny hot mess of a college experience – the thing I love most about College Craze is the variety. Not only does the MC have customization options, but there are so many potential love (or lust) interests to choose from, all with several different potential outcomes, depending on the choices you make. There are four obvious routes to pick from (based on the club you decide to join), but even these routes have multiple characters to romance, each with different results.

Some of these results will change based on seemingly innocuous choices made early in the playthrough, before you’ve even chosen a club, and others will be affected by how you treat the other characters, so it’s great in terms of replayability. I had so much fun going back and trying different options to try and seduce my favourite characters, sometimes even meeting new characters entirely that I hadn’t met in my previous run of the game.

In terms of themes, there’s a lot going on in the game, but essentially you’re a freshman at college with a whole lotta hot people to try and sleep with. The options are basically endless, with each route feeling completely different from the next, so it’s a great game for players who like to self-insert and feel like their playthrough was tailored to them and their choices.

The player choices in College Craze allow for a completely different playthrough each time.

However, with great choices come great responsibility. As there is such a wide variety of characters to pursue, there are different fetishes and preferences included in the game to cater to a range of players with different tastes. This is great for making sure lots of players can find at least one character that really appeals to them, but it does mean you’ll have to be careful when playing the game to spot warning signs for any tropes that you really don’t find appealing.

There is a content warning at the beginning, but it might be difficult to guess which characters those warnings apply to, so I’ll include some more specific warnings for each romanceable option in the ‘character’ section of this review. There is a stalker sub-plot, and a couple of characters who are significantly older than the MC, as well as one pursuable character who is a bit aggressive, with dubious consent, among a few other common tropes in the Romance genre that may or may not be everyone’s cup of tea.

Still, these characters are easily avoided, and I actually liked the fact that all of the characters are flawed in one way or another. These ‘problematic’ tendencies aren’t just there to satisfy any particular kink or fetish (although this is also true), as they also serve to make the characters more unique and interesting. I’m curious to see how these characterisations are developed further into the game, particularly as the experience becomes more tailored by player choices.

All in all, I had a lot of fun working my way through all the different routes of College Craze and my sole criticism is simply that there isn’t more of the game already! Currently, Chapter 1 is available via the Pretty Ink itch.io page, with bonus content available at their Patreon, and more story developments on the way…

Game Trailer

Characters

College Craze has an outstanding cast of love interests to choose from, each providing a completely unique experience and dynamic. Unfortunately with only one chapter available, their personalities and backstories have yet to be fully explored, but there is already plenty of content and entertainment on offer.

I don’t have any particular recommended play order, because I think the best way to enjoy College Craze is just to go in blind and see what happens. I’ll explain more about each character below, so you can decide who to pursue and when, as I don’t even think you need to necessarily play through each character if they don’t appeal to your tastes.

The plot is entertaining no matter which version of events unfold in your playthrough, and I never felt like I was missing something, nor was I confused due to a lack of information. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t read a particular plot reveal, as the experience instead revolves heavily around each interaction, and the relationships you build with the other characters…

Main Character (MC)

Name: Customizable – no default
Pronouns: She/Her
Appearance: Customizable (three skin tones, three hair colours, and three hairstyles to choose from)

The MC for College Craze seems to be more geared towards players who like to self-insert. There’s no default option for the player name, so you’ll have to come up with something yourself, and you can customize some elements of your character’s appearance.

Your personality is also largely up to you, as you’ll be presented with a wide variety of player options throughout each route that’ll affect how you’re perceived by the other characters, as well as how they react to you later in the game. It will also affect your GPA and bank balance, which further alters which options are available to you as you progress through the story.

I personally love this style of protagonist, as it makes each playthrough feel unique and tailored to my choices. There’s no illusion of choice in College Craze – every option matters, and making one seemingly-innocuous decision can drastically change what (or who) you can do later on.

Innocent, or not so innocent? Another character option I loved was being able to decide whether or not your character has had sex before the start of the game, which does actually change how the sex scenes unfold later on. If you’re a completionist, I highly recommend saving before making the choice to be (or not to be) a virgin, as you may want to go back to this point and re-play the same route to see how the scenes are different.

Love Interests: Arts Association

Rafi – President of the Art Club and campus drug dealer, Rafi is that ‘problematic fave’ friend who’s always getting into trouble yet somehow gets away with it every time–likely due to his suave charm. He’s a painter who likes to party, and his introduction is flirty and charming, but your bestie, Blair, makes it pretty clear from the beginning that she already has her eye on him…

Demi – You won’t meet Demi until partway through the route, but the story will branch at a point that basically determines whether or not she’ll be an option. Her route was super cute (and super hot!), making her one of the more wholesome, un-problematic options in the game. I loved the final scene before the chapter ending, and I’m especially curious to see how her route progresses with future updates!

Blair – Your bestie from High School, Blair is a somewhat erratic character whose relationship with you will be vastly different depending on the choices you make early in the game. I’m interested to explore her character more in future updates, as it seems like there’s something going on with her that isn’t fully explained in Chapter 1. She isn’t technically a love interest, but there are bonus scenes with her in this route, with the potential to get a little less platonic, if you so choose…

Love Interests: Science Club

Thomas – Blair’s ‘stupid stepbrother’ and president of the Science Club, Thomas was difficult to pursue, but his final scene in the chapter was surprisingly cute, and I enjoyed getting to know his character more as the story progressed. He may seem a bit cold at first, but once he warms up to you, you’ll see a surprisingly sweet side that makes his character much more interesting…

Professor McGregor – While not technically a romanceable option in this route, picking the Science Club will give you a bonus scene with him that does get a little bit flirty. There are several bonus interactions throughout the game that have made me super interested in his character, and he’s one of the one’s I’m most looking forward to exploring further in future chapters!

Shaun – Another mysterious character, you won’t get too far with Shaun in Chapter 1, but there are several hints to his personality and backstory throughout the game that have made me interested in getting to know him better in the future. There just seems to be a lot more going on behind the scenes that I want to explore, so I’ll also be keeping an eye out for more Shaun content in future updates…

Samir – I mentioned earlier that there is a content warning at the beginning of the game, but it can be a bit difficult to tell which characters to be warned about. Samir is one of the ones where I’d say to emotionally-prepare yourself before pursuing him, as his scene is a little more aggressive than some of the others. I personally enjoyed it, but I can see how it might be a little uncomfortable for other players, so just be cautious, or maybe avoid it altogether if you’re not interested in more ‘dubious’ scenes.

Love Interests: Investments Club

Bryce – Bryce is the first romanceable character you’ll meet and he’s probably one of the more problematic ones. If you’re here to be a chaotic horny mess, then his route will deliver exactly what you’re looking for. I found his route interesting from a plot perspective, as it exposes more about Trish’s character, and he has the added appeal of just unapologetic horniness– I just can’t quite say he’s one of my favourites so far…

Trish – Your roommate Trish (infamously known as ‘Trish the Bitch’) is Bryce’s girlfriend, and she’s not technically a romanceable character (at least, not yet), but this route has more interactions with her that explain more about her personality and past. She’s actually one of the most intriguing characters in the game, and I’m curious to learn more about her in future updates (plus there is one scene with her towards the end that made me interested in her for different reasons…)

Chad – The ultimate frat boy yet somehow nicer than Bryce. Aside from the way MC felt after the spicy scene towards the end of the chapter, I actually enjoyed his route much more than I thought I would. The whole Aladdin/Genie thing during the initiation party was so intense my eyes were glued to the screen, and it’s super sexy if you’re into dominant/submissive power dynamics. Plus, I just liked how refreshingly honest he was, regardless of how MC ultimately felt about the encounter. Again, this initial chapter felt like more of an introduction into his character, so I’m keen to pursue that relationship further in future updates.

Love Interests: Job Route

Gabe – Ahh… Gabe. Sorry Blair, but he’s my problematic fave of the game. He has an iconic introduction early in the game – before you’ve even chosen your club – and he has a few scenes with the protagonist no matter which route you choose (provided you make the choices that open up those opportunities). You’ll need to pick the ‘job’ option when selecting a club to join in order to get the full spicy scene at the end of the chapter, and this scene varies greatly depending on your choices, so I recommend saving frequently. I’ll say it again–sorry Blair, but he’s so hot, and definitely one of my favourites of the currently available characters.

Grady – Difficult to seduce, but worth the effort. I love the variety of kinks and fetishes explored in College Craze, and I particularly love the way they’re handled, especially in Grady’s route. He’s significantly older than MC (he’s in his 30s and MC is 18), but I like that he’s an option, especially as an older player myself. He adds a little maturity to the cast that I personally find appealing, and his scene was actually surprisingly wholesome, rather than seedy or creepy. He’s not perfect, by any means, but I’m glad I actually found his route, as he’s a fairly easy character to miss completely, simply by accident.

Other Characters

Story

I definitely get the sense that this is just the beginning of the story, as there are certain characters I was able to seduce and then receive a follow up message indicating they’re interested in more, before the chapter ended and I was returned to the main menu.

There’s also some plot intrigue that was introduced that hasn’t yet been resolved, so I’m definitely looking forward to future releases to see where the story goes.

In terms of what is currently available, I think Pretty Ink has done an amazing job of setting the stage and introducing a wide array of characters. Even if it is just getting started, the story so far is already entertaining in its own right, and the explicit scenes work well as standalone moments to get the juices flowing, if you know what I mean…

I only noticed a couple of inconsistencies in the game, but these were fairly minor and usually just the protagonist’s character sprite swapping to a different outfit temporarily before going back to what she was wearing at the start of the scene. There was nothing particularly major, and as it was always resolved fairly quickly (and it’s an indie game that’s otherwise outstanding in quality), so it’s nothing that actually affects my overall opinion of the game.

The only notable inconsistency is related to a scene that can happen in any route (triggered by offering to give a dollar to the guy in the convenience store), which introduces you to a particular character (not the guy you give a dollar to, but his roommate).

What I noticed was that even if you bump into that character later, neither he nor MC seem to remember that encounter, and act as though it’s their first time meeting. However, due to the circumstances in which they met for the first time, it’s entirely plausible that they wouldn’t recognise each other. Plus, the screen time with this character is (so far) fairly limited, so there’s every chance it may end up being addressed later in the game.

On the whole, College Craze does a phenomenal job of keeping track of so many different routes and variations, with each scene having a completely different experience depending on who you’ve already met and how you interacted with them.

Story Structure

There are four main routes in College Craze, but each one has multiple characters available to pursue. Typically, you’ll have two main characters to choose from, but you can usually add multiple characters on ‘PopMe’ – the in-game social media platform – regardless of which route you choose.

Each route corresponds to the club you decide to join early in the playthrough; Arts, Science, Investments, or getting a job instead of joining any of the societies. I mentioned which of the clubs you have to join in order to unlock the spicy scenes with each character in their respective sections earlier in the review, so I won’t repeat myself here, but it’s worth playing around with different choices to see which interactions you can unlock.

Gameplay

College Craze is a visual novel with plenty of player choices and four main stats: Account Balance, Body Count (the sexy kind, not murderous), PopMe Followers, and GPA (this is technically college, after all). Your choices will affect these stats, as well as the nature of the relationships you build with other characters, and the options available to you later in the game.

In terms of settings, College Craze is built with Ren’Py, so the usual options are available. I’m not sure if this is a general bug or just my laptop doing something dodgy, but I wasn’t able to take screenshots by pressing ‘S’ as the controls indicated, but again that could just be my laptop or user error.

Otherwise, the gameplay is fairly standard for a visual novel, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to get the hang of if you’re already familiar with the genre. I personally enjoyed the number of player choices, and I found it fairly intuitive to work out how these choices impacted the rest of the game, especially after I went back and altered a few of my decisions.

Final Thoughts

While the story of College Craze may just be getting started, there’s already plenty of content to enjoy (around 5-8 hours of total playtime, depending on how much you try to clear), and it’s a great way to get a taste for the characters – sometimes literally – and pick your faves to pursue as the game continues to develop.

Explicit visual novels with a female protagonist are, unfortunately, pretty rare – especially ones like College Craze that have a variety of romance options available. You can check out the itch.io page for more details on the specific kinks and fetishes that are explored, but it’s also not just a horny smut fest.

The story is already intriguing, and the cast is genuinely entertaining, with a wide variety of characters to choose from. Each playthrough felt completely different from the next, and it was fascinating to re-play and see how different choices would affect the outcome of each route, each scene, and the nature of your relationships with other characters.

In fact, I’d say I enjoyed College Craze so much, that my only criticism is that there isn’t more of it already! I’m dying to find out more about mysteries of Sugardale U, and I’m keen to further explore the relationships that have begun to develop in subsequent chapters…

If this sounds like the kind of game you’d be interested in playing, you can download the demo on itch.io, or check out their Patreon for the latest updates.

You’ll like College Craze if you like: super spicy otome games that aren’t afraid to be explicit; modern college settings that integrate social media as a realistic dating element; juicy drama between a variety of interesting (and hot) characters; and quality storytelling with lots of player choices that make each playthrough feel unique from the rest…

Game Info

Game Name: College Craze
Developer: Pretty Ink
Publisher: Pretty Ink
Platform: itch.io
Age Rating: 18+ for graphic sexual content
More information: here!

~ Thank you to Pretty Ink for providing us with a review copy of College Craze – it was a lot of fun! ~

Thank You

~☆ Patrons ☆~

SSR – Tarranga

SSR – Caroline

SR – Fitzroy

SR – Teryarel

SR – Tein

R – Vilicus

Contact Us

For media, PR, and business enquiries, please email us at: sweetnspicyreviews@gmail.com

Patreon | Twitter | Facebook | Reddit

More like this…

7 comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.