A Summer with the Shiba Inu is an adventure, a simulation, and a role-playing extravaganza in which you step into the paws of Syd the Shiba Inu, or, as she is known on her social media profile, A Syd Doge.
About 10 years ago, Syd fled her life on Shiba Island to the faraway land of Labradors: Canine-da. However, Syd is finally done running from her complicated past. Of course, it seems old habits die hard because she pulls the same disappearing act and leaves her life on Canine-da to return to Shiba Island in search of her brother – a brother who also simply disappeared approximately a decade ago.
Shiba Inu is basically a visual novel with multiple endings based on the choices you make throughout the story. When I first picked up this game, I thought it would be nothing more than a cute little romp with cute little dogs doing cute little dog things. However, I was surprised when the story turned out to be a deep, dramatic story filled with forgiveness, discovery, and redemption.
In fact, the entire time I was playing it, I considered it a more engaging version of The Hunger Games. I honestly don’t want to say too much, simply because of how much wonder and joy I felt going on this ride with Syd. I loved delving into her past, meeting the old dogs she had used, stepped on, and threw under the bus to get to where she is now. It was up to me, as the player, to decide how Syd would continue to treat her old friends and enemies going forward.
The player has the power to give Syd a tail (misspell on purpose) of redemption and forgiveness, or perhaps have her return to her previous cruel ways. The choice is in your hands, my friends, but remember to choose wisely. The writing is quite lovely, and each of the different dog characters has their own unique personality. Each dog is extremely cute too! Since it takes place on Shiba Island, most of the dogs are Shiba Inus, there is, however, a quirky Labrador named Quei-li trying to help Syd with her mission.
The game boasts over 10 different endings, and each one is dependent on how you treat the dogs you meet from Syd’s past. This gives the game plenty of replay value and makes the story and characters all the more dynamic.
In terms of artwork, don’t let the game’s featured image fool you. The artwork is at the same time unexpected and yet oh so cute. The dogs are all drawn realistically, and I honestly loved the artwork. Each dog features different, super-cute, and emotional faces, ranging from confusion to anger to happiness. One can tell the artists really love dogs – Shibas in particular. The details are amazing, and all of the dogs look like you could pluck them right out of the TV and take them for walks
All in all, A Summer with the Shiba Inu provides a compelling story, enchanting characters, and a stellar soundtrack that always fits the mood. For the price, it’s a downright steal of a deal. Don’t let the cute dogs fool you; this is a moving story full of twists and turns, and you won’t want to put down your controller until you’ve finished it. I’d highly recommend it to any fans of dogs, visual novels, or good storytelling.
A Summer with the Shiba Inu £9.99
A Summer with the Shiba Inu is a charming and unexpected visual novel experience that will take you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions and plot twists. The fate of Shiba Island is in your hands, as your choices lead to multiple different endings.