Sometimes you just stumble upon one of those games that seem tailor-made for you. Lucy Got Problems is a fantasy eroge novel with yuri themes, centering around a cast of mostly dark-skinned characters. I have never clicked the “Add to Cart” button faster in my entire life. While Lucy Got Problems has… some problems, I did end up obsessively playing the novel until I’d 100% completed it.
You play as the succubus Lucy, who is a scout enlisted in the armies of The Legion. This demonic force is rules by the priestess Tiamat, on whom Lucy has a bit of a crush. This is awkward, because the novel starts with Lucy having to explain her latest failure to Tiamat. She was sent on a mission to the Elven forests to retrieve a relic and things got… complicated.
Though she may be a Succubus, Lucy is also an affable goofball. She is dense and has ADHD, causing her dialogue and thought patterns to swing wildly from topic to topic. She is easily overwhelmed and has a lot of cute reactions to all the weird things that happen in the forest. For example, in my first run she ended up becoming hyperfixated on the idea that a random acorn could house a spirit. Whereupon she wasted several minutes loudly attempting to extort it for information.
That’s a good example of how smoothly you can expect your mission to go. Lucy has no clue where to go or what to do. She is going to get side-tracked, and you’re probably going to run into half-a-dozen Elven traps along the way. Maybe you’ll stumble upon incredible magic secrets through sheer happenstance, maybe you’ll get Lucy sexually molested by fish. Who knows?
Lucy Got Problems has a branching story based on your choices, of which there are many. While some story beats are unavoidable, the paths between them can vary wildly. For example, the sum of your choices can either bring you into a position where you can ambush an Elven scouting party or they may end up capturing you instead. Both then lead to completely different scenarios, which themselves have choices that lead to smaller branches.
It can be disappointing when you realize that a lot of story paths inevitably coalesce, but I felt that the story was open enough. I enjoyed seeing what consequences I’d get for my choices and I was invested enough to go back and explore the outcomes I’d missed.
Sometimes you’ll have to make choices under a strict time-limit, such as during action scenes where you need to quickly choose your next move. This works well and adds some intensity to the reading. If that’s not to your liking, the game allows you the option to turn it off. Optionally, you can even turn off dead ends so that your choices will never lead to a premature Game Over, or permit you to rollback a decision you regret. I personally just played with the default settings, but I appreciate the game’s flexibility in accommodating readers who’d want a different experience with it.
With that said, I’d hesitate to call the story “good”. It has a fun premise and I enjoyed the character interactions, but the plot itself is quite shallow. My first run took just under 2 hours, so a lot of the plot ends up feeling way too rushed for how epically it presents itself. The finale felt abrupt and left me feeling somewhat unsatisfied; a feeling that didn’t fade, even after going back to explore every possible ending.
I also had mixed feelings on the game’s tendency to include a bunch of meta humor and fourth wall breaks. It admittedly got a laugh at times, but having the characters use internet language or joke about what’s on TV stresses the already-strained fantasy setting. It can also be too overbearing, like one extended joke that’s a spoof on high-school action anime.
Besides the branching story, other motivating factors for replaying the game are the romance and the erotic content. On her mission, Lucy has opportunities to get tangled up—sometimes literally—in all sorts of naughty situations.
The game wears its perversion on its sleeve. All the outfits for the characters have their sexiness dialed up to 11 and those outfits can get damaged throughout the story. Even the incredibly shy Ellie has her cleavage on full display and rocks a leaf-miniskirt that only extends a millimeter beyond her groin. The sprites use jiggle physics and there are a bunch of suggestive poses as well.
And that’s all just during regular reading. The game has actual kissing and sex scenes, which are accompanied by detailed illustrations like the ones above and below. Lucy can get intimate with different characters, spy on people, and there are some “natural hazards” that can have it out for her. These scenes are done really well, both in art and in writing. For a cheap visual novel on Steam, the eroge aspect punches far above its weight.
And that’s really the main take-away here. Lucy Got Problems is cheap and short, but it’s an entertaining story with some good, erotic highlights. At only 8 euros and with frequent sales, it’s a novel worth looking into if you’re a fan of yuri or fantasy hentai. Most everybody else can probably look at the character designs and accurately guess as to whether this will be up their alley or not.