HomeEventsPAX EAST 2020 | "Onsen Master"

PAX EAST 2020 | "Onsen Master"

Have you ever wanted to experience what Chihiro went through while working in a bathhouse in Spirited Away? Onsen Master, an upcoming hot spring organizer, gives you the chance to learn the ropes and make customers happy. However, as one can expect with these sorts of games, chaos will unfold the more people (and other things) make their presence.

At the Whitethorn Digital booth, I had the chance to try the first public build of Onsen Master. As the lone employee of the bathhouse, you will have to do everything to keep your workplace running. Mixing bath salts, cleaning out dirty tubs, and making sure customers are placed in the bath of their choosing is all in a day’s work. However, a monkey wrench will be thrown into your process when yokai show up and cause havoc.

When the Japanese monsters show up, you’ll be forced to halt your work. You’ll clean up puddles on floors made by kappa, deal with bad smells from weird lanky creatures, and attempt to appease them by giving them a nice cleaning. Loads of multitasking will be required as you play Onsen Master, but thanks to its melancholy pace, it never reaches stressful levels. Once done, you’ll be given a score depending on how many customers you satisfied, using the usual A-E rankings.

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Even in its earliest build, Onsen Master looks to dish out a lot of fun. The visuals are very cute, and the gameplay thus far is very enjoyable. One hopes that by the game’s release, a co-op mode will be done, thereby adding a slight competitive element to one’s experience.

Onsen Master is due out for PC and consoles in 2021.

PREVIEW RATING:

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Contributing Editor at ESH since 2008, and host of the No Borders No Race podcast show, which began as a humble college radio program in 2006. My passion for discovering new bands, developers, and Japanese pop culture is what drives me to give you my all in every article published and every podcast recorded.