One of the most unique and compelling pieces of software ever made, Princess Maker 2 is an excellent life simulation from Gainax, and the only game in the Princess Maker series to have been translated into English. As to what the game is exactly, MobyGames says it better than I could: "Raise a daughter from childhood into adulthood. Your actions determine whether she will live or die, and what she will become. You can have her enter school, seek adventure in the wilderness, get a part-time job, break into high society, or any of many other possibilities. 74 Unique endings. A very different kind of game."
What makes Princess Maker 2 a lot of fun is the sheer amount of options and actions you can do, which result in a seemingly unlimited range of personalities your (adopted) daughter grows up to manifest. Although you are limited to raising her from age 10 to 18, a lot of interesting choices will be made between then and then. You first choose your daughter's name, your age, both birthdates, and her blood type (which the Japanese think is of significance in their dealings). Then you will decide on a detailed routine of her daily life, from schooling and hobbies, to how you want her to react to different people she will meet throughout the game. There are many surprises and random events to insure that no two games are alike. With many factors that affect your daughter's character, the game's replayability is astounding, and the 70+ endings will keep you hooked for months on end. Two thumbs up, way up!
Note: This is the English translation that was never officially released. Therefore, there are *gaps* in the translation, and missing text in some endings. This beta version was created as part of a three-way contract between SoftEgg, who did the English translation, Gainax, and IntraCorp. The game was never released because publisher Intracorp went bankrupt. The contract expired in 2002, so hopefully someone will release the game as shareware or freeware in the future. You can read the very interesting (albeit unfortunate) story of the English version in the Related Link section below.Reviewed by: Underdogs