There are no spoilers in this review. Midnight Cinderella is an otome game by Cybird in their Ikemen series. It plays like a visual novel accompanied by mini-games. With currently ten bachelors to choose from, there are months of story content available. To keep things interesting, frequent events keep you entertained with new items and additional side stories to unlock.
There are no LGBTQ options available in this game. You play as a straight, cis female with only straight, cis male suitors.
Now that we got the complex-sounding-yet-actually-simple gameplay out of the way, it’s onto the story! The town/kingdom of Wysteria’s king is ill and he has no heir. As is the custom in Wysteria, a princess elect is chosen to fulfill the role of an heir. Once chosen, the princess must select a prince consort to share her rule with. You are that chosen princess, and you must choose your prince. In order to start a story, you must select one. So who will it be?
*1. Alyn Crawford: The haughty head-knight of Wysteria
*2. Louis Howard: The quiet, cold Duke of Wysteria.
*3. Giles Christophe: Your advisor and tutor as princess of Wysteria. He’s
*4. Leo Crawford: A Wysterian Bureaucrat who is both a flirt and bookworm.
*5. Byron Wagner: The mysterious king of Stein.
6. Nico Meier: A butler in the Wysterian palace. He’s your right-hand servant and he likes to tease the people around him.
7. Robert Branche: A childhood friend of your character. He’s a painter and traveler.
8. Sid: Very little is known about Sid other than rumors that he deals in secrets and information.
9. Albert Burckhardt: King Byron’s right-hand advisor and Stein army leader. He’s serious, analytical, and adorably awkward.
10. Rayvis Harneit: The intelligent and flawless duke of Stein. Rayvis is new since my last review.
*Has an Ever After: a second story playable after the main line for that character.
At its base level, Midnight Cinderella can easily be played in 10-20 minute intervals daily. Every day at 7am, you receive 5 story tickets and can read 5 sections of your current chapter. Each story has 2 sections per chapter with a total of 13 chapters.
The story will periodically gate you with Royal Challenges that require bells or grace to continue the story. Grace checks are covered more in-depth below.
Some Royal Challenges give you two options of clothing to choose from – one you can purchase with Bells, and one you can purchase with coins. The former continues the story in its standard way. The latter adds a steamier turn of events that can be reread from your archive later. If you’re short on cash, skip the earlier coin-locked scenes. The ones near the ending are better.
Coins can be obtained through the shop with real money. Since my previous review, a “free-charging” station has been added to watch adds or download apps for free coins. Thank you, Cybird!
Bells are the in-game currency. During some Royal Challenges, you will be asked to pick between two articles of clothing. One item will require bells to purchase, and the other will require coins. Coins are converted from real-world money. The coin purchase is tagged with a “steamier story” attached to it, but most of these are not worth doing. If you want to go this route, save your money for late-chapter challenges.
Unless you do Princess Lessons a lot, don’t spend your bells outside of the Royal Challenges. I know the boutique tab with all the pretty clothes is tempting, but if you empty your Bell total on shopping, you will stall out on Royal Challenges in your main story and waste precious story tickets. The boutique items are the same as those from the Royal Challenges, so you’re better off waiting.
Grace is obtained in the Princess Lessons tab by burning 5 stamina points per round. The stamina bar maxes out at 20 and regenerates 1 point every 3 minutes. In the Princess Lessons mini-game, the system pits you against a random player in a challenge of Grace and Beauty. The rule of thumb here is to challenge players with fewer grace points than you since you cannot see the opponent’s beauty.
New! Since my first review, Cybrid added a quality of life improvement I didn’t know I needed. Princess Lessons can now be done in batches, shortening the time it takes to complete them. Genius.
Note: Grace points in the Princess Lessons total all grace points earned, period. However, Royal Challenges that require grace will only total the grace you’ve earned while on that story.
Beauty is the other component used in Princess Lessons. Beauty is accumulated through acquiring clothing, accessories, makeup, backgrounds, and decorative items. These can be earned in events, through the course of your story play-through, purchased at the boutique, or won in the Garden Gatcha mini-game. You can customize your avatar and decorate both your room and your garden. You do not have to use the item in your inventory for it to count toward your Beauty.
The garden is an outdoor space where you can select a suitor to feature and decorate at your whim. Show off your favorite bachelor t your friends.
There is limited space in your inventory. Items are easy to obtain, but you may find yourself constantly frustrated with a full closet. Purchase closet upgrades in the shop for coins or delete lesser-point items to free up space.
There’s also a free daily Garden Gacha, that’s just a random chance click game that may give you rare items for your avatar’s garden scene or secret side-stories. It’s worth it to do the freebie daily, but for me, it’s not worth it to dump cash into this game to get the super rare items. You will need to obtain a super rare item from the Garden Gacha to fill up the heart meter located above the Love Trajectory meter. This meter, called the Heart Lamp, unlocks a special Gacha sheet with another special side-story if you happen to get the ultra-rare prize. It doesn’t seem possible to do this unless you spend a lot of real money.
Bonus Side Story Events: I don’t know if bonus event stories are still in the game. These stories don’t require story tickets, but the chapters are Grace-gated. Working on a bonus event story will cannibalize progression on your main story since the grace obtained for the event can only be used for the event. I found the side stories not worth doing, and there’s no chance of ranking or getting high-level prizes without spending a fair amount of real cash.
Item-Gathering Events: Since I came back to the game, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the events. The most recent I played was Critter Sitter. Doing normal tasks like reading the main story and princess lessons grant Insignias. These insignias could be turned into one of several suitors featured with a pet. Only logging in 1-2 times a day, lots of milestone rewards and two suitor-completion rewards.
Midnight Cinderella has bonus side stories, grab bags, and clothing sets available for purchase with coins. Coins are mainly obtained through purchasing with real money.
Endings: Sugar or Honey… or Secret?
Throughout your story, you will be prompted to respond with a choice of three options, and these options affect your Love Trajectory meter. The options are always one neutral, one Sugar response, and one Honey response. You won’t know which is which unless you cheat and look it up. Answering with a sugar response will move your meter one spot to the left while a honey response will move you one spot to the right. Neutral responses keep you in the same spot.
Sugar endings are solely from the princess’s point of view with no epilogue following. Honey endings feature an epilogue from the suitor’s perspective. If you have a honey ending and have over 15,000 grace (not total grace, see note above), you will unlock a bonus, secret ending.
Spoiler free. Let me say, hands down, Cybird has some damn good writers behind their games. The stories aren’t cheesy or over-the-top. If you find you don’t like a suitor, you can change your bachelor at your whim.
I did full play-throughs with Leo, Byron, Louis, and Albert (finally!!). I selected Giles at one point and quit before the first section was over. He gives off a really… uhhh… creepy vibe. Like, dude, I’m not giving consent for this. During my Louis playthrough, I did that thing I warned about at the top, so I was locked up in a Royal Challenge for several weeks until I earned the needed bells.
I liked Leo’s story. He feels like he’s faking the flirtatious thing, which is a bit weird but not necessarily in a bad way. He’s reminiscent of Loki from the anime Fairy Tail if that helps your choice.
I loved Byron’s story. It had the most uncertainty and tension with the mysterious country, Stein, and the love story felt believable. The same goes for Albert’s. Louis’s story is predictable but sweet. That’s all I can say without spoilers. Rayvis is a new character since the last version of my review, and since I’ve loved the storylines for the Stein characters, I can’t wait to play through this one.
Overall, it’s a nice, casual game. For a while, I used it to wake myself up in the morning by reading the next 5 sections. The stories are sweet, somewhat predictable with some interesting turns. Once you’ve read a revelation in one storyline, it ruins the surprise in the other play-throughs. It is my longest played otome game and probably Cybird’s best game.