Fighting game/visual novel Honey Rose releases today

Honey Rose: Underdog Fighter Extraordinaire is a "life-management" sim that mixes visual novel elements with side-on fighting game sections, and what with FIFA 17 getting a BioWare-style story mode, that's not as unusual a combination as you might think. You play as Red, a university student with a dream of winning a masked wrestling tournament, and doesn't that just sound like the plot of the best '80s sports movie that never existed?

True to that, Honey Rose ups the stakes even further, adding an extra wrinkle to Red's story in the form of the following. "This year, she made a deal with her parents: she’d either graduate, or they’d change towns. Unfortunately, the masked fighting tournament also takes place for the first time in the very town Red lives in...making it her one and only chance to make her dream come true!"

Crumbs. Expect "some reading, a little fighting...and lots of planning" in Honey Rose, which hit Steam as a free release today.

Well, free-ish. Developer Pehesse describes the payment model as "pay-what-you-liked", meaning that if you enjoyed the game, you can choose to support Pehesse by purchasing optional DLC. There are eight, increasingly pricey tiers of DLC on offer, ranging from 'Symbolic' to 'Above and Beyond', none of which actually add anything to the game. Instead, you're paying for the experience you just had, whether that's by chucking in under a quid, or shelling out close to £20—you can also choose not to pay anything, if you prefer.

It's an intriguing payment model, and I'll be interested to see if it (pun intended, I guess) pays off. You can find Honey Rose on Steam here. (Thanks, IndieGames)

Tom Sykes

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.