An onsen is a place for relaxation and healing, where people go to unwind – but you won’t be the one doing the relaxing in Onsen Master. This madcap customer management sim sees you take the role of an apprentice named Mu as he endeavours to keep his customers happy in the absence of his sensei, mixing ingredients, placing charms, guiding customers, and dealing with tricky yokai.
I’ve been dreaming of an Onsen-themed game since finding myself hypnotised and enchanted by the mock game sections in Wednesday Campanella’s Diablo music video. While Onsen Master isn’t quite the old-school RPG or side-scrolling beat-em-up from said music video, it certainly captures the same magic, keeping me entirely invested in its intricate little world throughout.
The first thing to strike you is the wonderfully cohesive aesthetic and style presented throughout. The music is perfect, boasting traditional vibes that perfectly encapsulate the environment, and the overworld map where you select levels is both charming and elegant, paying homage to gorgeous Japanese ukiyo-e artwork.