WOW! I’ve only read your first story so far, but I will get back to you when I move on to the second. Before I get into the actual review, I just wanted to say I thought it was phenomenal! Seriously, I truly enjoyed that first chapter and can’t wait to read the rest when my passes are refilled
While there is limited backstory on the characters we see, I feel it works well in your story. It makes the reader curious for more information on characters such as Nana, Kyle, and Kyle’s parents.
I loved that your story description really gave the reader a taste of what to expect in the story without giving too much away. Well done!
On the topic of “showing and not telling” as many Episode stories are intended for, I think you had the perfect blend of both! Obviously in an Episode story you want to mostly SHOW the events and not tell. (The former is what books are for, which is why many Episode fans have opted for are beloved story-telling app in the first place.) I enjoyed the short descriptions, they really enhanced the story and made me feel like I was truly in Nana’s place.
Nothing felt incredibly predictable or cliche. The only cliches, if any, happen to be the “new kid next door” and “bad boy” tropes, which were not overdone in the slightest. I think the boy next door trope will serve this story well, and that Kyle isn’t so much a bad boy as he is simply a sarcastic and cynical character. I felt that no other story with these tropes really did it in the way you have written, so that’s a huge plus. Not much was predictable either, and so I kept wondering what was going to happen next. Kyle standing outside of Nana’s window was definitely a surprise! I don’t think any improvements need to be made into the plot, and I’ve really enjoyed it so far!
I think your first chapter length worked well. It was a little short, but sweet, and so I don’t think any changes needed to be made. The character customization, as we all know, takes up plenty of lines anyway.
There wasn’t really a cliffhanger, but your writing made me hungry for information on what happened next nevertheless. Well done!
Your grammar was great, with minimal errors that I’m sure were just careless typos that most people wouldn’t even notice. The basics such as commas were used perfectly and not much change is needed if any.
On a side note, I LOVED the way you utilized text effects to make the speech bubbles more vibrant and enjoyable. That enhanced the story as well!
While we don’t know much about any of the characters, I think Nana fares well as the MC. She seems to have a fun personality and is a fun character to play as.
Kyle, who is mysterious, tall, and SUPER HOT (excuse my informality) is a very interesting character with a backstory I’d love to know more about. I can’t wait to see how you develop his character.
Since all we really know about who I assume is Nana’s best friend, Kelly, I can’t tell if there’s going to be any stereotype for her but so far I think she’ll be a fun character to have around. (I usually hate any stereotypes for MC BFFs, such as the “gay best friend” trope or the “dumb blonde”.)
The option to customize Nana was a nice touch and customization always makes the reader feel more involved with the story. Additionally, limited customization always intrigues me and I always want to know why we couldn’t choose the aspects the author limits us to. In your story, we were not able to change the character’s name (Annabelle, nicknamed “Nana”) or her eye color. While I haven’t seen any real reason for this yet and I am assuming this is a personal preference thing, it didn’t really bother me and I thought customization was enough for me.
There were no layering issues from what I saw.
The way you utilized sound effects was FANTASTIC. Every noise and music clip seemed to fit perfectly with the scene and I really enjoyed playing with my headphones in. Nothing felt out of place and so I really enjoyed that bit.
The only glitches I noticed were in the first scene, and it was the inevitable - Richard, while in a looping background, seemed to be sliding while performing the laughing animation. I don’t really blame you for this though - I think Episode needs some more walking animations.
The animations seemed to go well with the character’s feelings & thoughts.
There was some well done more complex directing - spot directing was used to make certain characters taller than others and I always love to see that, because it’s not always easy and requires a determined author! I enjoyed how Kyle was taller than both of his parents and Nana’s mother was taller than her. Nice job!
I liked seeing a use of filters in the beginning scene. Not many stories use this feature so I’m always excited to see an author taking advantage of it.
The zooming was well done and I enjoyed all of it. It was well-paced and none of the zooms felt too fast or too slow.
I liked having outfit choices, and I felt like all of the outfits were cute and well put together. I usually struggle with this, so I’m a little bit jealous! I do think you could have used a few more choices, but to each his own! Sometimes we get a little to into the story to remember to add those pesky little things.
The hugging/kissing animations used with Nana and her mother were placed and layered well and looked great.
Kyle, who is Asian and Nana who can be of any ethnicity by reader choice added a small bit of diversity. Besides the option of Nana by the reader, we haven’t seen any characters of color but this is obviously subject to change. I think all stories can benefit from diversity with included characters of many ethnic backgrounds and a few LGBTQ+ characters here and there.
I think the cover art could have been a little bit better. Especially on the larger cover, where we can see a little bit of a choppy white outline on the characters. Obviously this is just an opinion and has nothing to do with the quality of the story.
On an unrelated note, I just ADORED Nana’s sister Mandy! She was super pretty and I couldn’t get enough of her! I hope to see plenty more of her in future chapters. However, I am wondering if she was possibly adopted, as she looked different from Nana and both the girls’ mother. Obviously this depends on the customization done by the reader, but I kept Nana’s hair and skin tone the same.
Overall, I absolutely ADORED your story and am super excited to read more!