Honey Rose: Underdog Extraordinaire is newly released Steam game that fuses fighting games and visual novels. It’s a game about choice, something that even extends to its pricing model.
The game is about Red, a university student who’s also an amateur fighter. You have to juggle both of her lives and all the complications that come with them. Here’s what it looks like:
So you’ve got life management in visual novel form along with fighting/beat-’em-up segments where you beat the crap out of people. Truly, this is the video game of our times.
Steam, believe it or not, doesn’t have an option for pay-what-you-want pricing, so Honey Rose’s developers got creative with that, too. It’s entirely free to download and play, but if you want, you can grab any one of eight DLCs, each of which add… nothing. Instead, they function as donation tiers. So you play, and then you pay. Or not.
“‘Pay-what-you-liked’ is a system designed after ‘pay-what-you-want,’ except you choose to support the game after having played it for yourself, and determined its personal value based on your own experience,” the developers wrote. “It is designed to offer each player the most choice possible in how, when and why when considering whether to support the game or not.”
No, it’s not a revolution, but it is a clever way of working a pay-what-you-want-style system into Steam’s confines. I’ve seen a handful of developers use DLC to get around Steam’s limits. It will be interesting to see how this attempt works out.