Criminal Girls: Invite Only Revisited in 2023 – Was NISA Right to Censor?

Criminal Girls is a Japanese role-playing game (JRPG) developed by Nippon Ichi Software and released for the PlayStation Vita. The game follows a group of seven female delinquents who are sent to hell and tasked with completing a rehabilitation program in order to redeem themselves. This was actually the first game I ever reviewed for the Vita, but it was for another publication, and the review never went live because the publication went under. It’s a bit of a controversial one, but on the whole, I enjoyed it. I reviewed it again in 2020, but a lot has happened since then in the world, and how the world views games like this. So, I thought it fitting to revisit the game. I also reviewed its sequel, Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors (you can read the review here). So here I go again!


In my original review, I focused a lot on my personal feelings toward kinky games. And I want to reiterate: I approve! And particularly when the depiction of the kinky aspects is consensual, like it’s the case here. But I thought I’d leave aside my feelings for a bit and be more meat-and-potatoes about this revisit, so that you can make up your own mind on where you land regarding the game.

The gameplay of Criminal Girls revolves around turn-based battles where the player controls a party of female delinquents who possess unique skills and abilities. These battles take place in randomly generated dungeons, and the player must navigate through these areas while fighting off monsters and other enemies.

The game’s combat system is designed to be strategic, with players having to make tactical decisions about which skills and abilities to use against different types of enemies. Additionally, the punishment system, which involves administering “motivation” to the delinquents, adds an element of strategy to the game’s combat system.

However, the game’s high encounter rate can make the gameplay feel repetitive. The frequent and often unavoidable random encounters in the dungeons can become frustrating and can make it feel like the player is spending more time in battles than actually exploring the game’s world.


The motivation system is one of the unique gameplay mechanics in Criminal Girls. During battles, players can choose to “motivate” their delinquent characters by selecting various mini-games that range from poking them with a finger to slapping them on the face.

The purpose of these mini-games is to increase the delinquents’ stats and make them stronger in battle. Each delinquent has their own set of mini-games that they respond to differently, and players can experiment with different combinations to find the most effective way to motivate their party.

During the motivation minigames, the delinquent characters are shown in various poses and facial expressions while the player performs actions such as rubbing or tapping the screen. The characters’ reactions to these actions are animated and accompanied by sound effects, which can range from giggles to moans.

The presentation during these minigames is generally well-executed, featuring colorful and detailed character designs and smooth animation. The sound effects and voice acting add to the immersion of the minigames and can be engaging for some players.

It’s worth noting that the sexual elements in the game are presented within the context of a consensual relationship between the player and the delinquent characters. The punishment system, which involves the player motivating the delinquents through various mini-games, is presented as a willing act between the player and the characters.

The game does not depict or encourage non-consensual or abusive behavior towards the female characters. The characters are portrayed as willing participants in the punishment system and their reactions to the player’s actions are presented as positive and enjoyable.

One of the big no-nos about the Western releases of the game, however, is the censorship that takes place during the minigames. There is a “pink mist” covering parts of the girls’ bodies, and a lot of people didn’t take kindly to that. To be honest, I was disappointed myself, but a few years on, I can see the other side of the argument.

This is probably the biggest change in how I feel about the game as a whole. My feelings on the presentation and the somewhat repetitive gameplay remain the same. But I do think that this game is a walking a very fine line, and I can see a case for the “pink mist”.

It’s worth noting that the Steam version of this game is also censored, but there are community mods to bring back the features removed.


Visually, the game features colorful and detailed character designs, environments, and enemy designs that are well-animated and visually pleasing. The game’s art style is consistent with other Japanese RPGs, featuring a mix of anime-style character designs and fantasy-themed settings.

The game’s soundtrack is also notable, featuring a mix of upbeat, catchy tunes and atmospheric tracks that fit well with the game’s overall tone and setting. The voice acting, which is in Japanese, is also well done and helps to bring the characters to life.


So, what do I make of Criminal Girls on my third review? Well, the game is a Japanese RPG with a unique gameplay mechanic that involves motivating delinquent characters through various (kinky) mini-games.

The game’s presentation is visually impressive, featuring detailed character designs, environments, and animations. The game’s soundtrack and voice acting also contribute to the immersive experience.

However, the high encounter rate in dungeons can make the gameplay feel repetitive over time, and the sexualized nature of the punishment system has been controversial (as well as the censorship issues around the “Motivation” stuff). Despite its flaws, Criminal Girls may appeal to fans of Japanese RPGs who are looking for a unique and engaging experience. However, players who are uncomfortable with sexualized content may want to approach the game with caution.

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About Marcos Codas 384 Articles
Lover of portable gaming and horror cinema. Indie filmmaker and game developer. Multimedia producer. Born in Paraguay, raised in Canada. Huge fan of "The Blair Witch Project", and "Sonic 3D Blast". Deputy head at Vita Player and its parent organization, Infinite Frontiers. Like what I do? Donate a coffee: