Preview: Puru-Chara Friends: Hoppe-chan to Sanrio Characters lets you relax and (literally) make friends

Here’s a funny thing about Japanese mascot characters. They tend to get all sorts of games and products based on them. Hoppe-chan has been the star of a number of titles, typically on Nintendo platforms. Most recently, an ambitious cross-over occurred on the Nintendo Switch in Japan: Puru-Chara Friends: Hoppe-chan to Sanrio Characters. Hoppe-chan met Hello Kitty and her friends! It’s a relatively text-heavy game, but one that seems like it suits both the Hoppe-chan and Sanrio experiences.

In Puru-Chara Friends: Hoppe-chan to Sanrio Characters, players follow a newly born Hoppe-chan. You pick out a pattern (solid and rainbow are available here) and color. Then, you determine its size and shape, arrange its facial features and apply bows. Once you come to life, you find yourself in a town and greeted by a Hello Kitty slime. After introducing you to your new life and goal of both populating the town and making its denizens happy, you get to experience some serious slime time.

As a game primarily aimed at children, Puru-Chara Friends: Hoppe-chan to Sanrio Characters functions exactly how you would expect. As the demo shows, you are placed in a very simple environment with clearly worded objectives. Not long after coming into the world yourself, the Hello Kitty slime asks you to create another one. From there, you start learning the basics behind life in this gooey world. You learn to purchase new environmental elements that help you gather new materials and make the world better for its residents. You get a chance to decorate created slimes with new accessories.

It all builds toward a world where you are able to customize things and live your best (and perhaps cutest) life. In addition to Hello Kitty, Cinnamoroll, Keroppi, My Melody and Pompompurin each have their own districts. Every one has its own “look” based on the characters. As you go around and help them, fulfillment hearts fill and bring you closer to earning favor and furniture. Nothing is ever too complicated in the demo. If something can’t be reached, then eventually you’ll have the means to do it.

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However, even in the demo, this means needing to adjust to a certain sort of pace. Puru-Chara Friends: Hoppe-chan to Sanrio Characters isn’t terribly complicated. While there will be eventual platforming elements, like jumping to certain areas or pressing your action button to acquire materials at suspicious spots, it never is a challenge.

Fortunately, there’s a way for people to determine if Puru-Chara Friends: Hoppe-chan to Sanrio Characters is right for them. There is a demo available in the Japanese eShop. It is rather rudimentary, letting you befriend Hello Kitty and experience your first days of life in this new and colorful town. While it is text heavy, it isn’t terribly complicated and has furigana to help you figure out what is being said. Those who enjoy adorable characters, simple tasks and befriending familiar faces might find this a welcome way to spend some afternoons. If you like it, then you can grab the full version!

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