*Disclaimer: Welcome to Gaming After Dark, a series just for games best enjoyed after dark. Games featured in this series are NSFW (Not Safe For Work), contain adult content and explicit themes, and are not meant for those under the age of eighteen. The reviews for the games will also feature content that is NSFW and is intended for mature readers only.
Full Service is a NSFW Yaoi (MLM or BL) visual novel created by indie developer Herculion with gorgeous artwork by its LGBTQ+ content creator/founder Mazjojo. Your choices will affect the game with over 1,000 variations and over 200 unique, hot and heavy illustrations, giving this game the advantage of multiple upon multiple play-throughs. A quick note from the developers before we visit the Full Service Spa: Full Service depicts sexual situations between two consenting male adults, and has elements of non-consensual sex, allusion to drugs, bondage, and male nudity. If such contents are not comfortable, we discourage you from playing the game.
Brief intro: You are Tomoki Nakamoto, a young hard-working adult who wants more to his life than just going to work at the bank day after day after day. By pure chance on your way to work one day, you’re invited to the Full Service Spa to help you de-stress. After a bit of prodding from your friend, you decide to give the spa a try, and you get much more than you expected…
Review: I have been more than ready to dive back into finding games for my Gaming After Dark series since my last review. Life has had other plans unfortunately, but when I happened upon Blerdy Otome’s review of Full Service‘s demo, I immediately added it to my Steam wishlist. The holidays came through for me in the way of Steam game gifts, and I have finally had time to sit down and give Full Service my ~full~ attention.
My first impression of the game was honestly just surprise. I didn’t play the demo myself, and while I did read Naja’s review of the demo quite awhile ago, I didn’t remember much aside from a couple of screenshots that I thought were particularly spicy even with the characters’ clothes on. I went into the game basically blind. I knew the basic premise was going to be romancing some very handsome masseurs, but that’s pretty much the extent of my knowledge going to Full Service. So when I booted up the game, I had no expectations other than just the standard visual novel experience. I got so, so much more which I’ll break down a bit later. Let’s chat about my initial route first.
If you aren’t new to Gaming After Dark, you already know I always play how I want to on the first play-through before going back and trying different routes. On my first trip to the Full Service Spa, I ended up picking a Thai massage which gave me the very attractive, red-headed Kovit. My first experience with Kovit left me feeling a bit flushed; it was too bad that I didn’t have enough money to see what a happy ending would have looked like with him. Regardless, the first rendered graphics of Kovit performing his massage style on Tomoki were tasteful and gorgeous. The artist really outdid themselves. I was excited to figure out how to make more money and see Kovit again.
As I began to get into the game and completed the tutorial with the help of Tomoki’s friend and co-worker Hisami, I realized that this isn’t a typical visual novel experience. There is a map where you can choose to go after work and on the weekends with opportunities to increase your relationships with any of the masseurs. There is also a work mini-game that allows you to make money for gifts, massages, and happy endings at the spa with the masseur of your choosing. You as Tomoki are working with a typical work week of Monday through Friday, and once the work mini game has been completed (or skipped if you prefer), you have some free time before heading to bed and starting the next day. On the weekends, you can spread your time out a bit more and explore other areas of Morningwood (hah!) and talk to other characters. Time does pass in the game as a “day by day” experience meaning completing work, exploring the map, then heading back to your apartment to sleep is one day. You then begin again the next day. This day-by-day experience is different from the time jumps I have often experienced in other visual novels. So you’re in this for the long haul or a slow-burning, spicy romance; which one you choose is completely up to why you are playing this game in the first place. I’m definitely the second one.
On my second trip to the spa, with my hard-earned happy ending money in hand, I was able to pick from the staff this time rather than a massage style. Interested in seeing where Kovit’s route would go (and because his laugh made me giggle – seriously, it’s so ridiculous but cute), I went with Kovit and was able to experience what a happy ending looks like at the Full Service Spa. The beautiful and saucy graphics of my first happy ending did not disappoint, but an added bonus was the bit of sexy voice acting that goes along with it. I don’t typically care for full on voice acting in visual novels, but I do enjoy a bit and Full Service gives me just that. Regular dialogue usually has some repeated phrases as the characters “speaks.” During spicy scenes though, you get a bit more than a few seconds of phrases or words so having the sound on is part of the Full Service experience.
At this point, I realized that there is a game setting where you can easily switch between Japanese voice acting and English voice acting. I had been playing with Japanese voice acting option and had been enjoying the experience, but I thought I’d at least like to give the English voice acting a try. I switched between both to get a feel for the regularly occurring characters as well as a spicy scene with the English voice acting instead. I prefer the Japanese voice acting, but that isn’t to say that the English voice acting was bad. It was actually very well done; they sounded extremely professional and not as cheesy as you’d expect. The main reason I prefer the Japanese over the English voice acting is strictly because of the spicy scenes. I mostly chock this up to being more comfortable watching hentai than “regular” porn. That’s a subject for another day though.
Further on, I unlocked a special experience that would give me a rare gift in exchange for a bit of money as well as the opportunity to visit the spa for a soak in the hot spring with all of the love interests. I played my cards right to get a couple of naughty scenes with Kovit in the hot sauna. At this point in the game-play, I couldn’t help but hope that I’m on the right path to get a good ending with him! As I continued on in my first route, I was met with new additions to the staff, one who I happened to bump into one night and helped him find his way to the spa. Upon my next visit to the spa, there he was! And later on I met the twins, body guards for the “master” of the spa. At this point, I can start to see that all is not as it seems… And I can only assume that the “new” additions to the staff also have a route that can be pursued as well, but at this time, I have only played through once. (I did a quick check on Google in an effort to not spoil things for myself but still give an accurate review, and all I can say is that yes, there are other characters you can pursue.)
As I continued along Kovit’s route, more and more little hints at something dark continued to pop up. Crime reports, disappearances, other characters telling me to be careful at night, etc. I haven’t mentioned the soundtrack to Full Service yet, but trust that it’s very good at helping you read a situation. When I heard the trill of suspicious sounding music as I left the spa one night, I got a chill. I don’t want to spoil anything further about this part of the story line, but the darkness that I had felt slowly creeping in, began to show its true colors. I think this may have been the first time since I played Katawa Shoujo that I feared what would be coming next in an adult visual novel…
There’s so many good things to love about Full Service like the amazing artwork, voice acting (both Japanese and English), the multiple routes for each romantic interest, and the extra bits of added mini games and a map that contains multiple locations and backdrops. With that said, there are a few things that I think could be done better. First, let’s talk character art. While all of the characters are very conventionally attractive, there is really only one body type represented which is being muscular. With this body type being pretty much the only body type for most of the characters, I wish the characters’ clothes fit a bit better. One wrong move and it looks like Tomoki’s suit would rip to shreds! I believe Naja even commented about this in her review. And while the work mini game is a nice add in, it can get repetitive; you can reach the point where you have plenty of money and can skip it though if it’s not something you want to sink any time into. And lastly, getting an ending takes time. This isn’t a short-route, full-of-sex-scenes kind of game. I have found that I really like this about Full Service, but it can definitely be a con if you’re looking for something short and sweet – er, I mean, spicy. With that said, I did find the repeated dialogue during the week to be a bit boring. It’d be nice if the characters switched it up from day to day.
And while I understand that this meant to be a Japanese visual novel, I would love to see more diversity overall in a game like this. Body types, ethnicity, and backgrounds are pretty limited. Don’t get me wrong; I am super happy to see some representation of LGBTQ+ characters; after all, this game is heavily focused on gay relationships. I’m glad there is a bit more than just the “G” going on here too. With this in mind, I have decided to start looking more into diverse NSFW visual novels that can make up more of Gaming After Dark. I think NSFW games like Negligee and Full Service have started helping me turn to more than just straight-presenting, mature dating sims, but I need more representation that just the LGBTQ+ side of things too. Naja has an amazing collection of reviews for beautiful games that shine with representation if you’d like to check those out here: Melanin Monday.
Overall, Full Service is an extremely well made visual novel that is worth the price tag. Artwork? Mesmerizing. A bit of voice acting? A huge plus that makes those naughty scenes even naughtier. Slow burning? It makes the spicy scenes that much more rewarding. Characters? Sexy, endearing, and quirky, but also in desperate need proper fitting clothes. Highly recommended for those who enjoy a bit of well done voice acting in Japanese and English, BL NSFW games, and are looking for a quality spicy experience.
Bottom Line: The Full Service Spa will have you coming again, and again, and again, and again, and again.
Official Rating: 18+
Genre(s): Single Player, Mature Visual Novel, NSFW Dating Sim, Eroge, LGBTQ+
Follow A Geeky Gal!