Sympathy Kiss review

by on February 21, 2024
Reviewed On
Release Date

February 27, 2024


I’ve played all manner of Otome games over the last few years, with a whole load of weird and wonderful premises. One thing has run true throughout my time playing this niche branch of visual novel, though: whether I’m hanging out with hunky circus performers or hunky samurai, I’m probably having a good time. There’s something to be said for a simpler setting though for your video game rom com, and the workplace drama of Sympathy Kiss has exactly that.

Our main character Akari Amasawa is a humble UI designer who works at Estario, a company known for its popular smartphone apps. Akari is happy at her job, but one day is summoned to meet up with her boss and is told she’s being transferred to a new department. The company news app has been losing popularity for a while now, so a team has been formed to help it become great again.

A screenshot of Sympathy Kiss

This would be fine, if not for the fact that there’s a rumour that if the team doesn’t bring in a whole host of new users then they’ll all be laid off. Worried about how she’d cope without her job and tasked with bringing together a team of varied personalities, Akari has a lot on her plate before even thinking about dating any eligible bachelors.

This is an Otome visual novel though, and as such Sympathy Kiss is all about finding love. As you go about your business you’ll meet a selection of hunks who are all interested in forming a romantic connection with our lovely protagonist, and they all have their own distinct charm. Who you decide to spend time with is totally up to you, and at different points in the story you’ll make choices that decide the fate of your love life.

The variety of dishy dreamboats in Sympathy Kiss is wonderful, with plenty of options depending on your personal taste. One of the first potential love interests you’ll meet is an easy going guy who spends his life sleeping on the sofas of women who take pity on him, which I promise is less creepy than it sounds. There’s also a widower with an adorable child you meet at the park, the somewhat mysterious bartender at your local, and all manner of work colleagues who you can find your happily ever after with. All it takes is a few correct narrative choices and you’ll be shacked up and living the good life in no time.

A screenshot of Sympathy Kiss

Sympathy Kiss is an incredibly straightforward visual novel, without a whole lot of exciting mechanics that set it apart from its peers. You’ll simply read through the story, and at set points will be given choices that dictate which of the game’s endings you will get. Early on these choices will dictate which man you spend your time with, but once you’re locked in to a specific guy they will instead determine if you fall in love. It’s simple stuff really, and if you want to have your happily ever after it’s never too much of a challenge to choose the option that leads down that path.

Sympathy Kiss doesn’t have the extensive branching paths and ridiculous numbers of secret endings that the Otome genre is often known for, and instead focuses on telling a simple but effective workplace romcom story. If you’re looking for something a bit more involved or that will require multiple save files and loads of trial and error then you’ll be disappointed, but if you just want to play through a game a few times and meet the man of your dreams then you could do much worse.

Ultimately Sympathy Kiss is the most grounded and by the numbers Otome game I’ve ever played, but there’s not really anything wrong with that. There’s a story full of drama and romance, and loads of men to woo and fall in love with. If you’re looking for something a bit more involved or something a little more outlandish then this isn’t the visual novel for you, but for the rest of us Sympathy Kiss is a simple but effective narrative game that’s well worth playing.


A simple but charming Otome game
Lots of lovely guys to romance
Has a nice grounded setting


Very by the numbers
The setting won't suit everyone
Less branching paths and endings than its peers

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

Sympathy Kiss is a simple but effective visual novel, with plenty of charming hunks to romance and a familiar office setting.