Lovingly Evil drew me in right away with its unique premise, playing as a terrifying villain within a quirky dating sim. That description alone hints that this game is going to be filled with comedic moments and is by no means meant to be serious. However, I don’t mind ‘silly’ games from time to time, especially when they entertain me and are fun to play. That being said, I had a good time playing Lovingly Evil, making me wonder why there aren’t many other visual novels like this, rather than the usual Japanese and Anime-style ones? (Rob – Arcade Spirits is another inclusive VN with dating elements which we highly recommend).
Meet the other Villains
Lovingly Evil takes place during a villain conference where the player can meet other likeminded evildoers. From vampires to Satan, this game offers all kinds of scary creatures to interact with and while exploring the place, the player can get closer to the villains and get to know them better. There is nothing more interesting than finding out more about the origins and background of all the love interests, especially seeing as they couldn’t be more different from one another. Each one was very unique with their own personalities and attitudes, allowing the player to easily select their favourites.
Comedy? — Bring it on!
By far my favourite thing about Lovingly Evil was the comedy within the narrative and dialogue. As the player is portraying a villain themselves, looking for other troublemakers, I instantly presumed that the game would be full of hilarious scenes. Luckily, this visual novel didn’t disappoint as it delivered a lot of amusing moments. Aside from yourself and the other potential love interests, there’s a clone of your character walking around which also regularly engages in pranks and comedic moments due to people easily confusing them with yourself.
Overall, the light-heartedness of this game entertained me and I found it very relaxing to play as I casually worked my way through the story, never feeling bored or like I wanted to skip the dialogue. In fact, I was very interested and delighted to find out more about both the characters and the world within Lovingly Evil.
What about the Characters?
Besides the comedic moments, Lovingly Evil introduces a lot of facts about each villain as well. The way it presents the information made it seem so authentic that I believed everything which I was being told, I honestly don’t know if it was all ‘factually’ correct or simply made up! Well, admittedly I don’t know a lot about robots or Satan, other than the obvious well-known things such as the three laws of an android, but everything the game brought up actually makes sense (in relation to who you’re talking to). Because of this, it was nice to get more insight into the backstory of each character as it was done really well.
This lead to me looking forward to each day so I could find out more about my chosen love interest, finding myself getting disappointed if I didn’t find them to interact with.
A very appealing thing about Lovingly Evil is the customisation options. The player can create their very own ‘evil’ character by setting their profession, goals, greatest achievement, and their appearance. However, the visual options are rather limited as I could only choose basic things such as the hairstyle, clothes, accessories, and their colours, but I still had a lot of fun putting all the options together and forming my own unique character. Although I didn’t get to see the sprite often, you regularly saw your doppelganger (the clone) walking around.
What I found quite silly and confusing though is that the clone looks slightly different than the custom character I created, leaving me wondering how everyone got the two of us mixed up if we aren’t literally identical?
One of my biggest disappointments was how the game handled the choice of gender for your custom character. While the choice of desired pronouns was great and easy enough to choose, the character model neither looks male nor female but something in between. I understand that there was no other option as the developer clearly wanted to have a single unisex design, however, this issue could have been easily solved by also implementing a more feminine and/or masculine-looking option.
Although this may not seem like a big issue, when given the choice of gender and/or the ability to create my own character, I always want to play as a clearly feminine character – something which is sadly not possible in Lovingly Evil.
Visit your Love Interest! … And play Mini-Games
Lovingly Evil lets the player select a place they want to visit on the map of the conference, allowing you to move around freely and meet new people. This is because each of the five love interests spends their time in different places, although they are not meetable in every timeslot of the day. If you do happen to bump into a character you wish to increase your bond with, each one has their own mini-game which you can play. I found myself serving small devils, putting together a bouquet of flowers, playing a card game, and even participating within a quiz.
I have to say, the variety of these mini-games made the whole playthrough even more fun for me.
It’s a small thing, but I liked that you could look up the rules to the mini-games anytime after completing the tutorials, just in case you’d forgotten how to play them (some games just presume you’ll remember). I also liked that each of them was so different from one another and none of them was too hard. For the card game, a certain amount of luck is required but other than that, the other mini-games were not luck-based. The quiz was quite interesting too as I got to test my knowledge and learnt something new when I didn’t know the answer. All in all, it was a refreshing feature I enjoyed engaging with and each time the characters asked me whether I could help them out with the mini-games, I accepted every time!
However, should you wish to focus on the story and don’t want to play the mini-games, you can turn them off within the settings. This turns the experience into a more traditional dating sim with its visual novel narrative.
Graphics and the Immersion
As aforementioned, I didn’t really like the protagonist’s design as it didn’t look feminine or masculine enough, it was too unisex and neutral. However, the design of the characters you interact with are all well-done and it was a delight to look at them. In addition to that, there are even multiple facial expressions available which made the cast more lively. In short: The art style is lovely and I couldn’t decide whether the villains were adorable or terrifying, maybe it was something in between, if that’s even possible? Also, although Lovingly Evil doesn’t support voice-acting, a few words are voiced for special occasions within the game.
The options menu has a setting which you don’t see too often, the ability to change the font and text box colours to help if you can’t see the words properly. However, there’s no preview which meant I had to go back to the game after selecting an option to check what it actually looks like. The issue here was that there is an option where reading the text is impossible due to the badly chosen colour combination, which greatly confused me when suddenly no text showed up anymore (a white text box with white text!).
It’s easy enough to go back to the options to change it – it’s just confusing as to why you have the option of picking this combination.
The title ‘Lovingly Evil’ already tells you everything you need to know; Evil villains are romanceable within this inclusive dating simulator. If that’s not already enough of a reason to give this game a try, the comedy is splendid, the visuals are lovely, and I couldn’t help but complete a full playthrough in one sitting. I really appreciate light-hearted games and this one was definitely an entertaining title I couldn’t stop playing. Besides all the interesting facts for each villain, you can even participate within a variety of mini-games with your chosen love interest in order to create a stronger bond with them.
Lovingly Evil is a must-play for everyone who enjoys visual novels with a zany concept and those who have always wanted to date an evil creature they can actively support. After all, we are supposed to help our beloved ones out, right?
- - You and the love interests are villains
- - A zany premise with lots of comedic moments
- - Interesting facts about each love interest
- - Engaging mini-games
- - Lovely artstyle
- - The unisex protagonist was hard to relate to as they were neither female nor male enough in their appearance
- - No preview for font/textbox color options