The newest title in the Utano☆Princesama mobile game series is the first to be released globally, and we got the chance to take an exclusive sneak peek at the game!

“Utano☆Princesama Shining Live” is the newest entry into the Utano⭐︎Princesama series, which encompasses video games, live music performances, manga, CD releases, an anime series, and soon, a movie. UtaPri, as it is affectionately known by its many fans, focuses on your interaction with its stars, a cast of tasty illustrated boys who just so happen to be singing sensations. (The hint’s in the name -Utano⭐︎Princesama means “Princes of Song”).

▼ Unlock and perform songs to become an idol sensation!

Although the series has been enjoying success in Japan since its first game released on the Playstation Portable in 2010, it has recently begun to be enjoyed by non-Japanese fans with the localisation of its anime series. And now, the first of the series’ games to see a localised, global release is upon us with the upcoming mobile app “Utano☆Princesama Shining Live”, due for release on iOS and Android soon. The global version of the game will be available in English and Traditional Chinese for the global market (excluding Japan and Mainland China.) Ahead of the release, we were invited to an exclusive sneak-peek party at publisher KLab’s HQ, where we got to go (literally!) hands-on with the honey-voiced hunks themselves!

▼ Our hosts provided iPhones with the game pre-loaded, and we got to play for around 15 minutes!

The trial began with a short tutorial on the concert performance rhythm game, and then the boys make their introduction. Each one is beautiful to look at, with vibrant and distinct personalities. Famous Japanese seiyu (voice actors) provide the voice overs for the boys, and each side story is fully voiced, although the main story and event stories are only partially voiced.

The gameplay loop will be familiar to those who play visual novels or mobile games – you progress in the story, unlocking costumes, new songs, collectible photo cards, and a plethora of other shiny items with which you’ll be able to upgrade your boys. It’s all very rewarding stuff, and clearly has the potential to become instantly addictive.

▼ Each boy has a distinct look and personality.

Another snazzy feature is the ability to use your phone’s camera to take a selfie with your favourite boy superimposed on screen.

▼ Our reporter grapples with modern technology. You can pinch and squeeze your UtaPri hunk to move him and make him bigger or smaller on the screen.

Besides the catalogue of catchy, upbeat idol songs, addictive rhythm game part and shiny treasure-collecting aspects of the game, the main charm point of  “Utano☆Princesama Shining Live” lies in the boys themselves, and the relationships you can form with them as the player. Picking a favourite boy early on and unlocking all of his personal secrets and perks is one of the more rewarding ways to play. Also, you can increase bonds between the guys themselves, which will lead them to drop ever more enticing nuggets of gossip on each other and the dynamics between different members.

The guys also whisper sweet nothings and cute soundbites in your ear during your one-on-one time with them. KLab were kind enough to set us up with a giant touchscreen and headphones so we could really immerse ourselves in this experience.

▼ The boys react to your touches in surprisingly realistic ways. When we tried patting this hotty’s cool hair, he purred his approval… *blush*

After being given ample time to sample the game, get to grips with its addictive rhythm game, poke and prod the boys a bit, and scarf down complimentary colour-coded cupcakes, we were allowed to have a short Q&A with the developers. Here, we learned that the global release will keep up with the Japanese release in terms of new features and stories, so you won’t be missing anything by opting for the global version!

▼ Cupcakes and cuties, perfection!

If you’re a fan of Japanese culture at all (and since you’re reading SoraNews24, we’re guessing it’s a safe bet!) then this is the perfect opportunity for you to get a mega-dose of it. Comprising Japanese pop, anime, otome games, and the world of popular voice actors into one package, “Utano☆Princesama Shining Live” is a great way to immerse yourself in Japanese culture while also maybe learning a bit of Japanese and enhancing your daily life with cute idol boys in your pocket.

“Utano☆Princesama Shining Live” is due for release soon and is available on iOS and Android in English and Traditional Chinese. Follow the official twitter account @shininglive_en, Facebook page, or check out the official website for more!

A big thank you to KLab for inviting us!

Game Screenshots ©SAOTOME GAKUEN  ©KLabGames, other photos ©SoraNews24