Make Your New Virtual Boyfriend with VR Kareshi

You’ve just broken up with your boyfriend and to make matters worse, you don’t have a place to stay anymore. Lucky you, your childhood friend Akito, who you haven’t seen in years, lets you stay at his place on the second floor above his coffee shop. Sounds like you can add romance right by coffee for what’s brewing at this cafe.

With VR Kareshi, IVR is working to create an immersive romance VR game for women. IVR VR engineer Ryuki Kobayashi shares, “Previously, we’ve received many requests to use our technology to make a VR game for women. The timing was right, so we decided to make one.” With the company’s previous experience, IVR CEO Kimiaki Mochida says, “We’ve created beautiful female characters before, so it wasn’t difficult to make good-looking male characters.” 

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After playing the demo, I was surprised by the attention to detail to features like the veins in Akito’s forearms and his defined clavicles, not so subtly peeking from his unbuttoned shirt. I’m not exceptionally perceptive; he gets close enough for you to notice. If that isn’t enough to pique your interest, another unique aspect to the game is your ability to customize your very own Akito. You can change everything from his hairstyle, clothing, skin tone and even muscle mass to create your own ideal boyfriend. What’s more, you can choose from three different voices that give Akito different personalities.

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On why your romantic adventure takes place at a coffee shop, Mochida explains, “It’s a warm environment. Also, the idea of living together creates a heightened sense of intimacy.” When you enter the cafe, you’ll also meet Akito’s dog, Haruo: “We wanted to include an animal companion as well to help boost that sense of intimacy.” You won’t just be hanging out with Akito at the cafe though. Mochida adds, “Of course, you will later be able to go on dates outside like going for a drive.”

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Testing out the game, I appreciated how fluid Akito’s movements were and how it felt like he was really in front of me and engaging with me. As attractive as Akito is, I also enjoyed looking around the cafe and taking in the details of the surroundings, making the game feel more immersive.

After a tiring day of work, Akito offered to whip something up for me to eat. He chatted with me while cooking and served me a dish of omuraisu, topped off with my name written in ketchup. A little cheesy, but how many guys do you know who would do that?

While VR Kareshi is still in development, the gameplay is estimated to be 2.5 hours. There is no concrete release date yet, but IVR is aiming to release the mobile game for both iOS and Android devices in Japan later this year and an international release afterwards.

Mai Nguyen

Editor-in-Chief at Asia Pacific Arts.
Feel free to send me a note on Twitter to @hellomailee.

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