Tears of Themis is miHoYo‘s latest offering to global markets, a stark departure from its mind-bogglingly popular darling, Genshin Impact. Indeed, Themis is instead more of a visual novel geared towards female audiences, with four 2D men who are in your orbit. The basic conceit is that you play a female rookie attorney at Themis Law Firm with plenty of aspirations for the future, gradually falling into a deep conspiracy as time goes on.
Being a mobile title, the settings menu doesn’t have much room for configuration. Interestingly, it has a “low-temp” toggle for the graphics settings, automatically adjusting accordingly to device performance. Otherwise, the game’s display languages are English, Traditional / Simplified Chinese, Korean and Japanese. Voices are available in Traditional / Simplified Chinese, Korean and Japanese, with most people likely trying it out for the Japanese cast.
The four leading men – Luke Pearce, Artem Wing, Vyn Richter and Marius von Hagen – have accordingly the most attention lavished upon them, with Live2D motion in their various illustrations or sprites. The one-off characters or NPCs typically will be static. The game’s also mostly fully voiced – the main story is, but not other instances – including the supporting cast, while the leading lady is left silent. It’s not unusual in the space of visual novels, as the omission is often to allow for immersion / self-insert. The leading lady does get fully illustrated compared to some where they have plain features and hidden eyes. It depends on your personal taste if you’d prefer more of a blank slate or otherwise. It shouldn’t stop you from roleplaying.
The game is played vertically, and the UI is styled closely similar to a typical smartphone. The guys are pretty cute, which is a given.
As a visual novel, you could argue that the gameplay is light at best, and not really “the point”. However, Themis does employ more interactivity. You’ll be thrown into some investigation sections where you need to find points of interest in areas, make deductive connections as well as “debates”, among other wrinkles.
You can tap around a location to investigate to find evidence and clues to add to your folder. Sometimes you need to look deeper into a particular object for the necessary key points. It’s “easy” in that you know how many you need to find, and there’s also a hint system in case you’re stuck in the pixel hunt. The deductive connections have you find, well, connections between two statements. If you’ve played the Ace Attorney series games, most of this should be familiar to you.
The debates are “battles”, where you have a deck of cards with differing attributes to defeat the opposing party’s “arguments”. Here’s where you want a decent collection of cards from the gacha, which can naturally be upgraded through dupes to increase their levels, or improving their skills. You can auto battle this to head right back into the story. The daily stages for resources have auto repeat for your benefit.
The eternal bane of one’s life. Themis‘ gacha rate is on the lower side, at 1.6% for an SSR. A 10-pull costs 10 Tears of Themis, which can be converted from S-Chips, at 180 Chips to 1 Tear. I don’t feel like the game is particularly generous in providing gacha pulls, but I also haven’t looked too deeply into the currency distribution, so feel free to correct me.
The individual rates on cards aren’t that great either. However, the game does have a pity rate, in which 100 draws will guarantee you a new SSR card. You’re also guaranteed at least one SR card within 10 draws, a similar system also seen in Genshin.
The story, besides the 2D men, is going to be the main draw for the game. You’re slowly eased into it, crumbs here and there as is expected to get you interested in the story. I don’t think it’s particularly attracted me, but that doesn’t mean that the story is bad.
I wish the text would appear instantly instead of scrolling, which is more of a personal nitpick than anything else. Monetization wise, I haven’t gone comparing the relative value to similar games, so if you decide to dip, do so at your own discretion and have a hard limit. I did find it annoying I would get quite a few pop-ups asking me to opt-in for the various packs, it do be like that.
If you’re interested in finding love playing a woman seeking good single man, Tears of Themis is an option open to you.