Overview – developed by One-Hand-Free-Studios and published by eastasiasoft, Waifu Uncovered is a single screen, bullet hell style shooter with a twist. Players battle an alien menace that threatens a group of girls, infecting their clothes with the only way to save them being to blow them away. This title is available on the Nintendo Switch and Steam service, if you want to check it out for yourself, a link to the game will be at the bottom of this review.
Disclaimer: before I get into the review, I would like to thank eastasiasoft for providing the copy of Waifu Uncovered that was used for this review. The provision of this title has not influenced the contents of this article, all thoughts and opinions contained within are my own.
Mature Content Warning: this title is rated as mature, the content contained within is not suitable for children. The game contains nudity, sexual themes and strong language. If you are under the age of 17 or do not like the content featured in this title, please skip this review. Reader discretion is advised.
Now with the introduction and content warning covered, let’s get into the review, starting with the story.
Story – aliens have invaded earth and their target is cute girls, infecting their clothes with a deadly virus that puts their lives at risk. You are a ninja with a horse head who has been chosen to go into battle with these aliens, defeating them in battle and saving the girls by destroying their infected clothing. The lives of the maidens are now in your hands, save the girls and the world.
Gameplay – Waifu Uncovered is a single screen, wave based shooter that features bullet hell style challenges. The objective is simple, select a ship, pick a girl and wipe out the enemies to collect falling shuriken, reducing the on-screen counter to clear each wave. Each stage is made up of several waves, each increasing in difficulty as the stage progresses, with the chosen girl losing more clothing with each cleared wave, culminating in a boss battle to clear the level.
The challenge can increase in one of two ways, through natural progression, or player choice. At the start of each stage, before gameplay even begins the player has an option of two girls, on standard and one designated as harder. The harder stages feature more enemies, tougher obstacles and an increased number of bullets on screen.
The game does offset this as with the power up system, however this can be a little shallow as the upgrades appear very frequently, with few of the downgrade items appearing to make the game tougher. There is also a screen clearing kunai bomb, this is very overpowered as two bomb attacks can almost wipe out a boss before the battle even starts.
During play, there is a number of unlockables that can be earned by saving the girls. As stages are cleared, new ships are made available, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. If a certain amount of girls are saved from the aliens something special may occur, but I will leave that as a surprise. The unlockable bonuses offer something for players to work towards, although it does feel a little shallow as all content can be unlocked in an hour.
There are a few issues with this title that can put a dampener on the experience, and while this is a budget title, it may not make it worth purchasing for some. I will start with the first major problem, the performance. The game suffers with terrible slowdown during intense moments of bullet hell chaos, this puts a dampener on the experience, especially when trying to avoid the hail of bullets that will bombard the player, alongside the huge enemies that can be impossible to stop.
The secondary issue I have with the game is its length. Waifu Uncovered features only eight girls, with each girl having their own stage. However, the standard mode uses seven of the girls at a lower difficulty, with an “Arcade” mode that features all eight girls. The simplicity of the stages and the small roster of girls means that the modes can be cleared in as little as 30 minutes, this is unfortunate as once the game modes are cleared there is little else to return for except the online learderboards.
Now I have covered all gameplay elements that I wish to discuss, I want to move onto the other aspects of Waifu Uncovered.
Controls – there is two distinct control methods to this release, for the standard and arcade modes, the game uses a traditional control scheme. Movement is covered by the left side of the controller and attacks are on the face buttons. The second control method is used by a special touch screen mode, where a finger or stylus controls the ship with auto fire and taps to activate bombs. Both methods work well enough, unfortunately, the slowdown affects the touch mode, causing attacks to suddenly stop.
Difficulty – as mentioned in the gameplay section, there are two methods to control the challenge presented in this game. However, I want to take a moment to discuss the difference between the standard and arcade modes. When playing normal mode, a single boss will appear at the end of each stage. This is changed in the arcade mode, with dual bosses appearing further into the game, adding an increased pressure as more enemies can spawn and more bullets will appear onscreen.
Presentation – visually, Waifu Uncovered has a simple yet effective graphical style. There is limited animations for character sprites, which doesn’t hurt the game, but can make some movement look stiff in motion. The girls are all beautifully rendered, with high quality background art for all layers and variants, with strategically placed censors for intimate areas that fit each of the girls themes. The only flaw visually is the slowdown, which is an unfortunate issue that lets this release down.
The sound design, like the visual style is simple, but just as effective. The soundtrack is made up of electronic beats with some catchy melodies mixed into it. Sound effects are unfortunately a little flat and quiet when the music is set to an equal volume, leading to little impact when hit by enemy fire. The voice acting is minimal, with giggles and gasps from the girls as actions are performed, adding a little depth to the gameplay.
Final Thoughts – overall, I did have fun with Waifu Uncovered, but unfortunately there were several issues that caused a break in immersion. The biggest complaint I have is the use of rage comic character, sadly dating the game as soon as it released. The slowdown, poor difficulty balancing and short length of the game made this a fleeting experience. There may be more enjoyment from the two player co-op and leaderboard system, but sadly I didn’t find much point in it.
The charm of the clothing destruction gimmick, along with the novelty of the special touch screen mode wore off quickly. I applaud the hard work that the team at One-Hand-Free-Studios, there is a lot of polish and the game is fun, but there is little to do once all characters and unlockables are obtained. I recommend this to fans of shooters, gimmick titles and lewd/fanservice games. It is a fun game and is value for money even with its flaws.
In the end, I give Waifu Uncovered a score of 3/5. A fun and entertaining game in short bursts, featuring enough fanservice to satisfy those who have an interest in it. As a budget title the content included makes the game worth the price, even if it does have some issues. If you want to pick this title up, links to purchase the game are below.
Link to Nintendo Switch version (HERE)
Link to Steam version (HERE)