It’s always somewhat weird to review a visual novel; there is no gameplay per-se to talk about which is generally the focus of a game. This makes said focus shift towards the other parts of the game: sound, graphics and especially the story. Luckily enough, Syrup and the Ultimate Sweet does a great job in all three departments.
First comes the story; Syrup and the Ultimate Sweet’s story is a pun intended, very sweet one. That said, the general plot is somewhat weak, there are no pressing stakes or anything really driving it; even the so-called Ultimate Sweet only comes in the latter half of the game. Luckily enough, the game is much more about the character interactions than about the plot itself and it definitely does a good job at those.
Everything starts when Syrup finds a candy golem in her lab one day. Being an alchemist who hates magic, her first thought is someone must be attempting to pull a fast one on her. After talking to her assistant, Pastille, he convinces her to keep the golem helping in the candy shop they run together.
During the story Syrup also runs into her rival, the witch Butterscotch, and her cat familiar, Toffee. The relationship between them is a love-hate one, where despite being rivals Butterscotch ironically is Syrup’s best client. As the story progresses, the relationship between these two can change depending on the choices the player makes, leading to several different endings.
The game’s graphics are also really good, with a unique background and character designs. There is also a gallery menu where several extra illustrations can be viewed, as well as those that appear during the game itself.
Syrup and the Ultimate Sweet also has a really good soundtrack, though the individual songs are quite short so they tend to cycle a lot. There is no voice acting at all, which is a shame since it would’ve added flavor to the characters.
As previously mentioned, Syrup and the Ultimate Sweet has several endings, around 10. These endings change based on how Syrup’s relationships develop, with every ending involving at least one of the main characters. The answers to the choices required to unlock these endings are somewhat sketchy; sometimes it may appear like the exact same selection of answers landed a different ending.
It is also worth mentioning the length of the game; it can be completely finished in about an hour. Even the longest endings take 15 minutes or so at best. It’s quite a shame since it’s a really entertaining game.
As always with games, but especially with visual novels, it really comes down to personal preference when talking about how good the story is. Different people may find it better or worse, but it is definitely entertaining enough to give it a shot. For those that are unsure if the game is worth it, the PC and mobile versions can be played for free (the PC one is on a pay-what-you-want model, I’d recommend supporting the creators). The soundtrack can also be found independently over at https://mockoff.bandcamp.com/album/syrup-and-the-ultimate-sweet-ost.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Switch code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Syrup and the Ultimate Sweet Review
Graphics - 10/10
Sound - 8/10
Replay Value - 7/10
Syrup and the Ultimate Sweet is a Visual Novel about a candy alchemist and her relationship with a colorful set of other characters.
- Fun story and characters, lots of different endings.
- Pretty short game.