The first thing that surprised me about Natsuki’s Life in Prison is it actually has a plot. Its a heavy one, too. Natsuki’s parents are dead and her brother is dying of illness. Its her job to step up and earn some cold hard cash to afford some of that life saving medicine. And you end up doing just that… but involuntarily. Look – I know why you’re here, and all I’m saying is that the story might make you self reflect and wonder if this is really going to be a pants off evening… until you notice the CGs are all unlockable in the settings menu 😉
In all seriousness, I was taken aback by the serious and depressing tone but it does fit into the game’s theme. I’d say five minutes tops and things start getting crazy. After each scene, you are given some choices that can affect the story’s outcome and your stats. The stats are just a fancy way of showing you which route you’re playing through, but a good idea nonetheless.
The translation is decent but questionable at times. The art isn’t bad, but can have its off moments. The music is depressing yet thematic. There is no backlog, so if you miss any text you would have to load from an old save. The options menu is minimal with only basic settings. There are no animations, and some art tends to get re-used. Quite a list of potential issues, so do take note in case any of these are deal breakers. There are no mosaics however, and the game is fully uncensored.
Would I advise against this purchase? No, however I would recommend waiting for a sale which this publisher seems to do quite often. Natsuki’s Life in Prison looks like it was made in a hurry, as none of it really stands out as exceptional. Buy it on sale and its short playtime can be enjoyed guilt-free.