Follow Genre: Action, Hack and Slash
Developer: SHADE Inc.
Publisher: D3 Publisher
Platform: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch
Tested on: PS5


Site Score
Good: Concept, Overall cute visuals
Bad: Very shallow
User Score
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 4.0/10 (2 votes cast)

We’ve reviewed our fair share of games with pretty (busty) anime ladies in the lead. We have played generic card games with the chest-laden cast of the Pretty Girls franchise, we chopped up hordes of enemies in the Senran Kagura games where we were surrounded by scantily-clad ninjas, and we have gone to search for treasure with the voluptuous pirate girls in Seven Pirates H. All these games focus heavily around the aforementioned attractive women, but they often lack polish or have very simple gameplay loops. We suspected this would be the same case when taking a closer look at SAMURAI MAIDEN, and we were not wrong.


SAMURAI MAIDEN revolves around Tsumugi Tamaori, who is spirited away from our time to the Sengoku period to halt the resurrection of the Demon Lord. It seems that she is the Priestess of Harmony, and she is prophesized to have the power to make sure the Demon Lord does not walk this Earth again. She will get help from three other female warriors, who have also convened in the underworld to help train and fight alongside the Priestess of Harmony.

Even though it took us a few moments to get into the story, it eventually turned into something quite pleasant and we were curious to see how it would further unfold. Dialogues are presented via basic visual novel-like segments. We would have liked it if there were a few more actual cinematics thrown in the mix, as it currently feels a bit too basic at times.


When it comes to the overall graphics, SAMURAI MAIDEN isn’t an ugly game, it’s just very basic. The character models are nicely made, and these are truly the highlight of the game. It’s mainly the enemy models that get recycled ad nauseam and the empty environments that detract from the game’s initial charm. You’ll constantly go through different areas that simply look identical and they often have little to no clutter in them. You’ll go from one empty hallway to another, to sometimes encounter random floating bridges and ledges that look completely out of place. The game suffered from severe frame drops regularly.

The visual novel portions of the game look quite cute, but sadly the characters lack decent animations, and they keep repeating the same movements over and over again. We also found it quite jarring when they mention items in their hand(s) to then never see the aforementioned items. The foundation is there, but it feels as if the developers were hoping that the pretty girls would distract gamers enough so that they wouldn’t notice the lack of polish.


Overall, the sound design of the game has been handled superbly when it comes to the voice acting and the general soundtrack. Even though the latter is somewhat limited, we did quite enjoy the backdrop for most of the game. The voice acting is, of course, what you’d expect from a game such as this, as it’s prone to loads of overacting, but it does suit the narrative and general atmosphere of the game. The sound effects are serviceable, but they aren’t anything special.


SAMURAI MAIDENĀ is a fairly generic hack-and-slash game in which you play through short levels as Tsumugi Tamaori. To back you up, you’ll have three other maidens support you with special skills. As a whole, you’ll just be battling small waves of enemies, while you platform from one segment to another. Truth be told, there actually isn’t much more to the general gameplay loop. As you progress, you can upgrade your weapons and the weapons of the supporting characters, and you can also unlock a few costumes along the way. The more you use certain characters to support you, the better your bond with them will become, which will in turn unlock more skills. On top of that, it will give you small additional story segments for those characters.

The biggest problems with SAMURAI MAIDEN became clear after only a few moments into the game. The levels you’ll be playing through are a rinse-and-repeat kind of affair, as nearly every level feels identical, and they are often way too short to incorporate a more engaging gameplay loop. Secondly, the progress in the game feels shallow, as there is hardly anything to work towards, safe for bonding with the girls. This bonding is actually one of your main concerns, as it unlocks additional important skills and abilities.

Overall, the game isn’t bad, it’s just a fairly run-of-the-mill experience with some pretty ladies in the lead. If you’re looking for something that is lighthearted, then you’ll probably get some enjoyment out of the short levels and the somewhat basic story that unfolds. We did find most of the controls fairly responsive, but the platforming segments didn’t feel right, and we also encountered situations where we were simply stunlocked by enemies. The latter can be very frustrating if it forces you to restart a level or a harder segment.


SAMURAI MAIDENĀ is a very niche title that does have its moments. The overall formula is enjoyable, but sadly the game suffers from shallow gameplay, a lack of polish, and quite a few performance issues. If you love controlling a cute female samurai while having the option to bond with other lovely ladies, then this title will probably entertain you for a while. If, however, you’re expecting an engaging narrative and complex gameplay mechanics, we suggest you look elsewhere. All in all, you could do worse than this one.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 4.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
SAMURAI MAIDEN - Review, 4.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

Aspiring ninja.

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