November 6, 2013 5:00 PM | Lena LeRay
The Magical Girl Jam finished about a week ago, and this entry from TwinTurtle Games manages to capture magical girl shows in a nutshell as a visual novel. Magical Majorette Drummer Garnet: Handsome Boy Blues can get a wee bit tedious in the middle, but even that tedium serves the cause of gentle, loving mockery of the magical girl formula.
At the beginning of this visual novel, Garnet is called to save her favorite mall from an evildoer by her talking animal friend Topaz -- but not before Topaz lampshades the magical girl costume trope. Once at the mall, Garnet tries to talk the bad guy down but ends up having to fight him, using silly move names like Open-Handed Beatings and Pungmul Pageantry Paradise Storm. The enemy has his own array of silly moves such as Baker Street Bakuhatsu. Fighting goes back and forth for a while, with both sides taking damage to stats including "unblemished skin", "pennies", and "cranial integrity".
Eventually you get a break in the fighting to make a dialogue choice and continue trying to convince the bad guy to give up his case. Only one of the dialogue choices moves the story along; the others just anger him and put you back in the same loop until you make the right choice. Even when you make the right choice, you usually have to fight again for a while, which is where the tedium comes in. The battles are amusing, but they go on for a bit longer than one might wish. Overall, it captures the ebb and flow of a magical girl show pretty well, complete with the enemy turning into an ally at the end.
It was made in Ren'Py and doesn't stretch the engine any, but it has charm. They're planning to make this the first in a series, and as entertaining as this one was, I'm looking forward to seeing more. For now, though, why not give this entry a try? It's available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.