I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this, as I usually prefer more blank-slate MCs, but the characters and dialogue are great! The group really feels like childhood friends, and I enjoyed how the MC can create a web of relationships as they encourage everyone’s crushes/friendships. I also liked how how all the choices have impact and are often called back to.
A minor complaint is that I was looking forward to the science fiction aspects in the story, so by the time I reached the spin the bottle scene it started to feel like the plot was dragging on a bit. That scene made the MC feel a bit inconsistent, too, as some choices had the option to kiss on the cheek while others didn’t.
Another thing is that Olivia’s character seemed to drastically jump between liking and disliking the MC even when her relationship stat was high. I thought her reaction to the MC kissing Jordan on the cheek was odd as well since she already said it was allowed in the rules. The MC’s relationship with Jordan also didn’t seem to fit his relationship stat – it read like they were getting along really well, but by the end of the demo he was the lowest at 17%.
The stats page, and how it reads as MC’s notebook with the bios and pictures, is great. If I had one complaint about it it’s that before the player chooses their gender/name it shows the picture/description of a male MC calling themselves “Unknown”. I feel like having that description suddenly change if the player doesn’t choose a male MC, as well as the “Unknown” part, breaks the immersion of it being a notebook somewhat.
Finally, I agree with @Roby95 about it being strange that the player doesn’t find out sooner about the major event that broke up Madison and the MC, but only because in the beginning it says it pops into the front of the MC’s mind every time they see her. Perhaps if that line wasn’t there then it’d be easier to accept that the MC doesn’t mention it even in their thoughts or the narrative like the other first half of that paragraph suggests.
Looking forward to chapter four!