Name: Pia Carrot Toy Box (60.00% in 9 votes)
Company: Cocktail Soft
Release date: 1998
Reviewed by: Lamuness
This is probably the last PiaCarrot product Cocktail Soft will release...so sad. Why the last? Go read the news section. One can say that Pia Carrot ToyBox is the "goodbye work" Takashi, Charm and Mitsumi (the "trump card" CG artists of F&C) makes before they all leave F&C.
Toybox is an assembly of a series of Pia Carrot-based mini games. Like Libido's Fifteen, it's a internet brower interface where you can explore various places or "virtual sites" and play games or look at CGs. The game is pretty much divided into the following sections:
Best of Arubaitaa (part-time worker)
This is a table game version of PiaCarrot 2. Up to 4 players (you can let the CPU control some of the players) can play this game. During the course of the game, you will encounter events in PiaCarrot 2 as well as all the girls in the game. Your PiaCarrot stats will increase as well. By the end of the game, you will see who is the best aribetter of the 4 players. It is pretty interesting to see the PiaCarrot 2 engine being incorporated into a table game platform.
At first I thought it's just a windows calculator, but it is actually a bring-up game. Using a calculator interface, you help Kaore learn math. You input a formula (for example 4+5) and see if she can answer it right. Soon her math level will increase and will be able to answer harder questions. However, at the beginning Kaore's math is so bad that she cannot answer 1+1=2 correctly. Sometimes she is "smart" enough to give a negative answer (eg -3) when she is only around 3 yrs old and only at beginner's level. It's a bit awkward but it's a very cute bring up game, especially when Kaore scribbles out the answer.
Welcome to Dora Carrot
This title is meant to be a joke targeting Cocktail Soft's ancient Mahjong game Dora Dora Emotion - Senpaiden. Basically you want to find a summer job at a mj place called Dora Carrot. Although you pass the interview, in order to really work there you have to compete and defeat the "female workers" there. What's interesting about this game is that they change ALL piacarrot logos into Dora Carrot.
Basically, Dora Carrot is mini strip mj game. Personally I do not like to gamble (whether it's for real or with computer), so I suck at mj, but Dora Carrot is not a hard mj game at all. Even a dumb-ass mj player like me can pass through the game without extreme difficulty. One bad thing about this game is that there are only 3 girls to play mj with, and that's not alot (too little~!). Also, Rumi is the strongest mj player in Dora Carrot?? Gimme a break... ^_^
Go Go Yusuke!
This is pretty much the "meat" of the game. It's a side story from the PiaCarrot 2 plot. You play the role of Yusuke (the store manager of Pia#2, as well as the "hero" in PiaCarrot 1). The story starts off from the infamous "Hot Spring Peeping Tom" event. After Yusuke was caught peeping at the girls during the vacation, everyone start to hate him. What's worse, Rumi (Yusuke's sister) told Yusuke's fiancee Satomi (one of the girls in PiaCarrot 1) about the event. Furious, Satomi beats Uke up, gave him back the engagement ring, broke the proposed marriage blah blah blah (you get the picture). The player's job is to in a week's time help decrease Yusuke's Notoriety stat back to zero (it's full at the beginning of the game). During the course of the game, upon the encounter of certain events, you will be able to play some new mini-games such as Kaore's version of "Where's Waldo" and helping the drunken Aoi get to the convenience store for beer but at the same time avoid all obstacles. All of them are very fun and enjoyable (and they are not easy as well). Personally, this is probably the best minigame in Toybox because plotwise it's original and interesting. This time you are being hated by all the girls (as supposed to being adored by girls). With the addition of the minigames, this is probably one of the best short side-story games I have ever played.
In addition to these groovy stuff, you can find plenty of wallpapers and 10 screen savers, as well as staff comments etc. In addition the CD has an audio track containing the full version of the PiaCarrot 2 OP - Go! Go! Waitress.
Overall, Toybox is a very successful H-game accessory/misc product (probably one of the best). It's also inexpensive too (only 4000 yen, half the standard Hgame price) and you get lots of groovy stuff. My only complaint is that Toybox tends towards PiaCarrot 2 too much (what happened to the first PiaCarrot stuff??), coz otherwise they should name the game PiaCarrot 2 Toybox. But nevertheless, if you are die-hard Pia Carrot fan, you have absolutely no reason to miss out this game. Also, this is the probably the last PiaCarrot product so it's definitely worth collecting and treasuring.
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