I finished this one a few days ago and enjoyed it. The setting was great, and the characters were a lot of fun.
As others have noted, it was disappointing that Toni (arguably the most interesting character) was not a RO. I did enjoy the two ROs that were present, though!
A few people also commented that it felt odd that our MC had to be attracted to both John and Lila – that it was just written into the narrative, regardless of what you chose and what you wanted for the MC. I noticed that, too, which felt like an unusual direction for one of these games. But, just to play contrarian a bit , you could argue that not having a choice over whom you’re attracted to actually makes the story more realistic. I mean, who gets to choose who they fall for in real life? In my limited experience with other Choice of Games (and related IF games), it sometimes strikes me as odd when I can suddenly make a choice saying I’m interested in a specific RO even though up until that point, the text has kept me up-to-date on my MC’s innermost thoughts, none of which related to being interested in that RO. Still, I get that Jazz Age’s approach to ROs is atypical, and I can see why players like to have more full control over this aspect, especially for a game under the Heart’s Choice umbrella.
The bigger challenge for me was that I wanted to play the character a certain way (think a smarmy, conniving schemer), but frequently the narrative text kept pulling me the other direction, telling me how bad my character felt about certain situations – basically, acting as the conscious I didn’t want my character to have This didn’t happen as much at the beginning, but it did the closer I got to the end.
While this was a short game, it seemed to have good replayability for me. I went for both ROs, but I feel like I still have a lot left to explore with the other storylines. I got a part in the Broadway show (not the lead) and I seem to have saved my family’s farm (or at least made the first downpayment). But I did not save the club or help the union get started. So, those are definitely new paths I could take.
I’m still new to these games, so I don’t have a ton to compare this one to, but I thought it was a solid entry that met my expectations. It wasn’t perfect, but it had a compelling narrative (if occasionally forced, when it came to my MC’s personality), relatable supporting characters and a very engaging setting.