Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Feb 222023
 

Today let’s talk about Synergia, a visual novel described as a yuri thriller, with the tagline “At the end of the world, sometimes love is the ultimate crime.”

It’s set in a cyberpunk world and follow Cila, a woman whose job mainly involves dealing with hostile android situations.

Her life begins to change when she replaces her own android with a new android called Mara who is so advanced, she seems almost human, while at the same time a mysterious hacker starts trying to contact Cila.

At key points in the story, you have choices to make, which put you on track for one of two endings. While I say endings, they actually branch off a decent amount of time before the end and are pretty different from one another. Once you complete both endings, you unlock an epilogue that sheds further light on the story.

Synergia has a lot of detail to its world, enhanced by optional logs you can read at certain points, although there are parts I wish had been fleshed out further and big moments that feel anticlimactic. It’s a short visual novel, which is probably why the pacing feels a bit rushed.

So what about the romance? I actually hesitated over whether or not to include it as part of this romance celebration. Cila and Mara’s relationship is important, but not as much as you might expect from its tagline. Cila’s feelings for Mara mainly contribute to her changing views about androids and the decisions she makes, but the actual romantic aspect felt lacking to me.

(This is the second cyberpunk human-AI romance visual novel I thought to cover this month, but the first one had so little romance that I decided not to cover it. At least here, the romance is present.)

Despite my criticism of the romance and some rushed parts of the story, Synergia is an interesting visual novel to consider if you want a dystopian cyberpunk story in a rapidly changing world.

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  5 Responses to “Celebrating All Things Romantic: Synergia”

  1. The amount of visual novels you review for Romance Month makes me wonder – how many non-visual novel romance games are out there? Surely there are dating sims in other genres, or action games with a front-and-center romance. Hmm, maybe I’ll look into this for you…

    • The first game to come to my mind to really play with a different gameplay genre is Boyfriend Dungeon, where the relationships are mixed more into the gameplay since each “weapon” is also a relationship. Another game that comes out soon (next month!) is Romancelvania, which should be an interesting mix between romance and a Metroidvania-style game.

      …I also assume that romance VNs tend to be shorter and therefore easier to fit a lot of them into one month 😛

    • There’s a handful I know of, but it seems rarer. Lots of games have a romance as a subplot, but it’s not usually the main focus. Ex. something like Dragon Age lets you romance characters, but I wouldn’t describe Dragon Age as being a romance game.

      I’d say it’s probably because if a game’s main focus is romance, it has to be focused on the characters and their relationship, which makes it an easy fit for visual novels (or the occasional adventure game).

      A few years ago I played an adventure game called Half Past Fate that would count.

      In addition to that and the ones Jonathan mentioned, my list of non-VN titles that could fit into this month includes Catherine, Pandora’s Tower, and an indie RPG I got called Knight Bewitched. Of course, I’ll have to play them to see how central the romance…

  2. A yuri cyber-punk eh? Sounds unique

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