In Code Realize you play as Cardia Beckford, a young woman with only vague memories of the past who also happens to have poison skin. If Cardia touches anything or anyone, the object -- or their skin -- melts away as if being eaten by acid. Cardia is considered a monster by the locals due to her poison skin but is saved by Arsène Lupin before she can be captured by Queen Victoria's guards. She meets and befriends a cast of characters loosely based on famous novels including the gentlemen thief Arsène Lupin (from Arsène Lupin), the inventor and mechanic Impey Barbicane (From the Earth to the Moon), the scientist and doctor Victor Frankenstein (Frankenstein), the great marksmen Abraham Van Helsing (Dracula), and the enigmatic Count Saint-Germain (based on, in fact, a real historical figure known as The Count of St. Germain). Many of the other characters are also based on characters from novels, some overlapping with the novels already mentioned. The game also takes place in a steampunk version of London, in which the Industrial Revolution occurred sooner than in real life.

The 5 LI's are trying to help Cardia discover her past she can only vaguely recall, as well as solve the problem of her poison skin. Some of the LI's have mostly self-contained stories, while others have overlapping backstories. There's a lot of subterfuge, questionable governmental decisions, and revelations about certain characters that reveal a game full of rich lore that's unfortunately not expanded upon enough.

I enjoyed this game. It has a very long common route which is many players' gripes. I don't mind long common routes because I enjoy learning about the different characters and seeing them interact; I feel that in some games you lose a lot of character interactions because they have to put friendships on the backburner to focus on the romance. Impey and Lupin are friends who live with Saint-Germain -- who seems to consider them slightly amusing pets. Victor and Van Helsing join later, but the relationships between the characters are a little chaotic. Van Helsing in particular never REALLY seems to like any of the guys and is mostly staying with them out of convenience. Victor gets along with everyone for the most part, but he can be a little hands-off with them. Sometimes the chaos was funny, but other times I just kept thinking "Why are you all together when you keep getting annoyed with each other." "Plot reasons" is of course the answer, and also it would be much harder for Cardia to develop a relationship with all the guys without them all living together.

There are a lot of antagonists in this game, but as a lesbian, I have to mention THE most important one: the beautiful, slightly evil, and voluptuous Queen Alexandrina Victoria. Queen Victoria's whole schtick is that she's trying to make London the most powerful city in the world. This has led her to do a lot of horrible things in the name of progress. I loved her as a villain! She's very cool and is also, unfortunately, the only other woman in this entire game. You'll see her in the long common route, and if you decide you're a Victoria stan you'll be happy to know she's heavily featured in Victor's route. She does make occasional appearances in other routes -- mostly Lupin's -- and you'll find she has some fascinating motivations for what she does.

I'm a firm believer in Otome Kitten's route order, and this game benefitted from following it. Technically, you can do Impey/Victor/Van Helsing's routes interchangeably; however, in my not-so-humble opinion, you must do Saint-Germain's route last out of those 4. His route completely changes a lot of the things you understand about the game and the setting. Lupin is a locked route and you can't play his until you play the other 4 LI's routes.


Otome Kitten's Review/Route Order Guide

Arsène Lupin

Lupin is one of the very first LI's you interact with in the game. He sweeps Cardia off her feet -- quite literally -- and "kidnaps" her to save her from the military agents sent by the Queen. As a self-professed gentleman thief, he uses tricks and "magic" to get out of sticky situations as opposed to strict violence. He's a sweet character and cares about Cardia and his friends.

He's generally quite supportive of Cardia's romantic pursuits in other routes. Unfortunately, he falls into the same trap that many poster boy/locked route LI's do and his route is lacking in many ways. His route serves to solve the problems found in all the other routes and wrap them up in a neat little package. Lupin also has to solve the big, over-arching plot points as well. Romance in his route falls to the wayside frankly, and while I don't have a problem with that, if you're rooting for Lupin because of the other routes you might be disappointed that he doesn't get the romantic moments some of the other guys get to experience.

I do think his route is fantastic storywise because it pulls everything together (mostly) so if you're just here purely to see how Cardia gets rid of her poison skin (and other plot points I can't mention) you'll love his route. I liked Lupin a lot; he's a bit of a safe poster boy since he doesn't have a chaotic personality -- like Impey, for example -- and he's quite sweet with Cardia.

Impey Barbicane

Impey is the other LI you meet right at the start of the game. He's an inventor/mechanic who dreams of going to the moon one day. He's the butt-monkey of the group and is poked fun at -- or straight-up bullied in the case of Van Helsing -- but he has a heart of gold. Despite that heart of gold, I found him annoying and unbearable. I like genki girl characters but genki guys tend to drive me insane. Some of them are endearing but I just desperately wanted to skip through Impey's route and, of course, it's the first route in the recommended order.

Despite not liking Impey, I'm glad I didn't spam through his route because he does have a decent backstory and it lays out different aspects of the other routes. I did like that even though Impey tended to be a bit of an idiot, he was still a SMART idiot. His inventions sometimes backfire, but he's very intelligent and mechanically minded despite also being a dumbass. I thought his interactions with Van Helsing were hilarious. If you like genki characters or lower-stakes routes then you'll probably like Impey. In my opinion, he has the lowest stakes of all the guys -- although his finale was a bit insane. I thought he was annoying as hell and preferred him as a side character in the other routes; he also has the most annoying villain of all the villains in this game, but that's okay.

Impey has a mildly romantic route and a very sweet ending. Also! He's a great cook if that matters to you.

Victor Frankenstein

Victor is a doctor working in a slummy area of London. It's later revealed in his route that he worked for Queen Victoria as a scientist; he doesn't like talking about it because he feels that he created something terrible while working for her, and that's why he instead became a doctor -- he wanted to help people to make up for the destruction he feels he wrought from his invention. Victor is VERY sweet, he cares a lot about helping Cardia and is friendly with the guys -- although he does tend to keep a certain distance.

His route has a pretty crazy conclusion -- and possibly the best conclusion outside of Lupin's route -- and I LOVED the plot. He can be a bit of a pushover sometimes because he tries to be non-confrontational. I liked him and his route, but he wasn't my favorite. Frankly there wasn't any particular reason, I just happened to like Van Helsing more. I feel like Victor would be the overall lesbian fan favorite if I had to pick because he's a nice guy and has a cool story. His route was decent in the romance department so if you're rooting for Victor to win Cardia's heart, then I think you'd like him.

Abraham Van Helsing

Van Helsing had formerly been part of Queen Victoria's army and was a key player in the Vampire War. He was disgusted with what he felt he had to do to the vampires to protect himself so he retired shortly after. He's an expert marksman and DUEL WIELDS shotguns, which he fills with rock salt bullets so that they're non-lethal. He's the tsundere of the group, and while he cares about Cardia he could do without the rest of the guys -- especially Impey. He wants to bash his head in with a rock most of the time. The running joke is he can't cook and eats inedible food constantly because he's so bad at making food; he eats Impey's actual good food begrudgingly because he doesn't want to admit Impey is good at anything.

Van Helsing is my favorite character, which was weird for me because normally I LOATHE tsundere characters. By God man, please stop being an asshole to the MC, I'm begging you! Van Helsing is stern in other routes, but is rarely an actual dick to Cardia; however, in his route, he IS a dick to her, which was kind of annoying. Van Helsing has the second-best storyline out of all the characters in my opinion. You get a significant amount of context for Victor and Impey's route as well, so it ties them together nicely. As far as romance, there's like, possibly less than Lupin's route. There's a lot of Van Helsing running away to "protect" Cardia, and Cardia running after him because she sort of has a death wish sometimes. Then at the very end, they're just suddenly together.

It was clear Cardia loved Van Helsing, but it wasn't as clear that he even LIKED her because he was so exasperated that she wouldn't stay out of his business. This was the part of the route that was frustrating, but I thought his backstory and the villain of his route were amazing, and I liked his character the most overall. I don't think he'd be as popular with my fellow lesbians simply because sometimes he's just such an asshole to Cardia that I feel hurt, but his backstory! It's so good! He also continued a trend that started with my first non-mobile otome (Cafe Enchante) where for whatever reason I like characters that just sort of want to die.


Saint-G is a rich man who houses the other 4 idiots because he finds them endlessly amusing. He's very mysterious and strange and frankly isn't as involved in the other routes as the other LI's. He makes many allusions to being or acting "old" -- if that gives you any hints -- despite looking the same age as the other LI's. He finds the dangerous plans the other LI's come up with to be entertaining instead of trying to talk them out of it. If you do his route 4th you'll have realized by now that you don't know anything about this guy. Even in the other routes, you pick up pieces of each LI's personality outside of their route. You get motivations and character traits. With Saint-G you get...nothing. He's mysterious, which is on purpose.

There's not much I can say about his route without spoiling EVERYTHING, but I'll just say he has an INSANE route. Pretty much every plot point comes completely out of nowhere, and none of it had anything to do with the other routes which had at least vague allusions to one another. There are a few new characters introduced in his route who are all extremely interesting and have cool and fun motivations for their actions. The only bad thing about this route is that, while Lupin sort of resolves Saint-G's issues in his route, a lot of the plot points brought up just drop off the face of the Earth. He introduces these amazing ideas and then they're not utilized in any other route. It's a little frustrating!

Saint-G's route also starts off very negatively, but honestly, I think he probably had the most romance out of all the guys by the end. He's very self-sacrificing during his route and there are some gut-punching scenes. If you like plot, plot, LOTS of plot, you'll enjoy Saint-G's a lot. If you like romance, you'll like Saint-G a lot. He might be the all-rounder as far as story + romance goes, but I was sort of indifferent to him in the end. I didn't love his character as much as I loved his plot, so the romance was extra meh for me because I didn't care if he and Cardia ended up together. I also wish that the plot points brought up were more important to the overall story, but they're 90% self-contained to his route.

Cardia Beckford

Cardia starts as a "doll," she has very little personality and doesn't understand anything. She's quite naive, although I wouldn't say she's stupid. Cardia goes through a lot of changes throughout the routes; however, and becomes very self-sufficient. All 5 LI's teach her how to protect herself using various tactics that fit their personalities and backstories. Van Helsing teaches her how to physically fight and she utilizes it more than once. By the end of each route, she's a clever, interesting, and well-rounded protagonist. I liked how you saw Cardia grow.

I think a lot of games/movies/books fail to understand how to build a character that starts with little to no personality and makes them a full-fledged character. She's not my favorite MC, but she's very well-written in my opinion, and you wanted to see her succeed. My only wish is that she had a bit more agency in the story because despite becoming self-sufficient, she still has to be saved quite a bit. Yeah, yeah, I know, it's an otome game, the dude has to come in and protect the MC from whatever evil and it'll make her fall in love with him. I get it! That's the number one trope! But honestly, she goes through all that training, fights for her life and does well, and somehow still needs whatever LI to come to save her at the end. Doing my girl DIRTY is all I'm saying!


Code Realize has a decent and thought-out story that I quite enjoyed. It's an older otome that was one of the first Switch ports. It's a pretty long game -- especially the common route -- but I believe it's a good starter otome to dip your feet into the genre. If you enjoy the steampunk aesthetic, enjoy literary allusions, or want to get away from slice-of-life, then you'll probably find Code Realize to be a good fit for you. I'd recommend it, whether you're just getting into otome games, or you're a veteran that's just never picked it up before.