Welcome to This Is Not A Review. In these articles we discuss general impressions, ideas and thoughts on any given game, but as the title implies, it’s not a review. Instead, it’s an exercise in offering a quick recommendation (or dismissal) after spending enough time to grasp the ideas and gameplay of a thing without necessarily playing it from A to Z.

The subject of this installment: Ciel Fledge: A Daughter Raising Simulator, available on Nintendo Switch and PC, developed by Studio Namaapa and published by PQube Limited.

I’m not sure if Ciel Fledge: A Daughter Raising Simulator from Studio Namaapa and published by PQube Limited has the best timing, or the worst — a game about setting schedules for unappreciative children in the immediate aftermath of an apocalyptic event is a bit too on-the-nose right now. If I were a dishonest sort, I’d say that’s why I can’t get into this title.  Unfortunately, the truth is that this one wasn’t grabbing me before the world went pear-shaped, and it still failed to suck me in after taking a break and coming back to it a few weeks later.

Let’s examine my initial playthrough for a moment.  After a fairly moving cutscene explaining humanity’s flight from Earth to floating cities far above the surface and then the sudden destruction of one of those cities, there was a knock on my virtual door.  A lady appeared and asked if I would be willing to take in a survivor — a young girl named Ciel.  It would be up to me to raise her as my own, nurturing her and providing a moral compass so she could become a successful, enterprising, powerful young woman.  With apprehension (and also with a full heart) I agreed to bring this wayward youth into my life.

…Two weeks later, I was arrested for child abuse because I made her go to school with a cold.

Ciel Fledge offers a ton of options when raising your new daughter, but most of them just don’t make any sense, nor do they point to an overarching goal, which has something to do with Ciel being humanity’s hope against an alien menace, maybe

Having children of my own in the real world, I assumed Ciel should do the kinds of things my 12-year-old does.  So, using a somewhat esoteric interface loaded with way too much information, I gave Ciel an expensive series of meals to welcome her to our home and enrolled her in school. I had her go to school for five days, and then signed her up for a gymnastics class on Saturday and another activity on Sunday. 

As she kept to this schedule that mirrored the schedule of my own kids, Ciel wore herself down to the point she was ill and  I received a cautionary visit from her caseworker, telling me to shape up.  I gave Ciel the recommended snacks to make her feel better, and when her stamina recovered I sent her to school again, only to get sick again.  I guess I’m a terrible parent?

Ciel Fledge leaves me with far more questions than answers.  The game obviously wants Ciel to interact with friends and build up skills via the use of ‘entertaining’ minigames, but I don’t know what skills she’s going to need since game is tight-lipped about Ciel’s future role.

There are a few adorable scenes where Ciel meets up with her new buddies, but those are rare. My first few hours of managing her life essentially boiled down to choosing some stuff for her to do and watching a sprite of her head move across a map.

While the current state of the world may have affected how I received this game, the fact is that I just don’t see myself going back to it anytime soon — There might be a cool management sim in here somewhere, but without guidelines or guidance, my ‘quality time’ with this sweet orphan was overwhelming and unenjoyable.

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