Title: Love & Order
System(s): Windows, Mac, Linux
Release Date: February 18, 2011
Publisher (Developer): Winter Wolves (Winter Wolves and C.Love)
ESRB Rating: N/A, since it isn’t especially violent or suggestive, I’d say it’s good for ages 13 and up.
Pros: Can acquire tasks to perform around the office, interesting story, good character designs, can unlock CGs and some miscellaneous extras, plenty of save slots, four romance options (3 male, 1 female), have to manage work and stress levels, and the game alerts you if you have a date and highlights the location so you don’t miss it.
Cons: Music can be a bit bland. Dana starts screwing up at work the second her stress is over 60%. A few more CGs would have been nice. You can only save at Dana’s office computer.
Overall Score: One thumb up and one sideways, 85/100, B, * * * 1/2 out of 5
Adventure games are gradually gaining popularity among casual gamers, which means people are eager to find new stories to explore. That’s where Winter Wolves’ and Christine Love’s latest game, Love & Order, comes in. It is a visual novel adventure with some light dating sim elements. The main focus is on managing Dana’s life and solving a mystery at her new office, but players can also try to find love with one of Dana’s superiors. If you are patient and plan carefully, you may help Dana solve a major mystery and capture a criminal.
A legal secretary searches for answers and (maybe) love
Dana Larose tried the college thing, but it wasn’t right for her. Still, she’s an intelligent woman and found herself an entry level position as a legal secretary with the City West Crown Attorney firm in Montreal, Canada. Though she’s only a beginner, she’s hoping to make a good impression and place for herself.
But something is going on at City West Crown Attorney. Dana finds a note for a Jean Simone in her desk, saying Case ML-265 is vital for something. When she asks her superior, she learns that Mr. Simone passed away a few weeks ago. ML-265 was settled years ago, so why would Mr. Simone receive a note saying it was important? When Dana requests a copy of the file for herself and picks it up, she finds pages have been removed by someone in the office. Dana soon finds herself caught up in a legal mystery, while also struggling to perform her job and socialize with her coworkers.
Time management and fiscal responsibility
Players have a lot to manage in Love & Order. First and foremost, you have to actually manage Dana’s daily workload at the office. She has to work on tasks for her superiors. If she doesn’t, she’ll be fired. Dana also has to investigate the mystery of Case ML-265, but also take care so her boss doesn’t discover that she’s snooping around. On top of that, she can also date Ross, Jonathan, Pierre or Dorothy. Each day is divided into parts, and you have to talk to people, go to assigned areas to complete tasks and make time to relax if you want to succeed. It’s all organized very well, so you can usually tell exactly what you need to do and where you need to go. Plus, the character portraits and background environments look good.
The downside is, you have to be very careful in Love & Order. The second Dana’s stress level gets to around 50%, there’s a chance she’ll start messing up at work. Hit 60% and it’s almost guaranteed that she’ll fail any task she’s working on. If you fail too many tasks in a project you’re working on for one of the other City West Crown Attorney, then you’ll upset that person and lose favor with him or her. Stress can be lowered by watching TV, making time for lunch in the cafeteria or playing Solitaire at Dana’s computer, but not enough to make a substantial difference. Plus, playing too much Solitaire can get Dana fired. The only way to really decrease stress is to send her out to eat at a restaurant or see a movie.
This means you have to be very careful managing Dana’s money. You may be tempted to splurge at the mall and buy Dana an extra outfit or accessory, but money is very hard to earn so it may be better to make do with what she has. You start with $100 and Dana makes $10 a week. She can make more, if you work during her breaks, but then that boosts her stress. When you consider that the restaurants that can reduce stress can cost between $5 and $25, it’s almost like Love & Order encourages players to be a miser, splurging only one necessary. This is especially true on dates, since Dana and her boyfriend or girlfriend each cover their own half of the bill.
An interesting adventure to keep you occupied a few afternoons
Love & Order is an interesting casual simulation game that should please its target audience, that is women over the age of 16. There are a number of romance options that can be pursues, but the main focus is on managing Dana Larose’s new life as a legal attorney and making sure she finds out what’s going on with Case ML-265 while keeping up with her actual job. Managing her stress, money and workload can be difficult, but if you can manage it the main mystery and its resolution makes it worth the effort.
Site [Love & Order]