Nurse Love Addiction review for PS Vita, PC

Platform: PS Vita
Also On: PC
Publisher: Degica Co.
Developer: Kogado Studio
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

You could be forgiven for expecting the worst from Nurse Love Addiction. I know I did. After all, it’s a visual novel about a group of teenage lesbian nursing students. Given that Japanese games aren’t exactly known for their sensitivity or maturity when it comes to handling queer characters or LGBTQ issues — or, really, anything involving sex — I was expecting that the only question would be just how offensive it would end up being.

You can imagine my surprise when I discovered that the answer is: not very. There are plenty of moments that, in the wrong hands, could’ve gone wildly off the rails. It’s kind of frightening to think about how, say, Senran Kagura would deal with two girls being caught kissing, or the main character falling onto another girl while both are clad only in nightgowns. Yet, as titillating as you might expect those moments to be, the way Nurse Love Addiction handles them could practically be considered downright chaste. I mean, it’s not, since it still feels like the game is trying to be vaguely naughty, but as I said, it’s very easy to imagine things being much, much worse.

Of course, this raises another question: is it worse to be wildly offensive, or painfully dull? Because if I’m being totally honest here, even if Nurse Love Addiction doesn’t offend me, it certainly does bore me. Main character Asuka is a chronic overthinker: she constantly thinks and rethinks her motivations, she agonizes over every social interaction before it happens, and she parses every single thing that’s said to her. While I have no doubt that there are many people like that, it doesn’t make for a compelling read to slowly forward the text through another one of her freakouts.

(Ironically, the game goes to great lengths to portray Asuka as a “jellyfish”, a person who floats through life without much direction. Whatever she may lack in motivation, I think something like a duck would be a more appropriate spirit animal for the heroine — after all, there’s a ridiculous amount of stuff going on beneath the surface.)

Now, I admit that I’m clearly not the target audience here. The tender story of a young woman coming to terms with her sexuality while also figuring out her career path isn’t the kind of thing I’d normally read, and Asuka’s not compelling enough a character to win me over. All that said, I’m glad it exists for people who do like those stories, and if you want a slow-moving visual novel that’s more character-driven than many of its contemporaries, you could do a lot worse than to pick up Nurse Love Addiction.

Grade: C+