Have you ever wanted to care for a physically and emotionally scarred girl? Patting her lovingly and dressing her up in the trendiest new clothes? Feeding her nice food and slowly teacher her how to trust humanity again? If you said ‘no’ to any of these things, then you’re out of luck my friend: by the time the adorable Sylvie is at your doorstep in Dorei to no Seikatsu -Teaching Feeling- you won’t want to do anything else.
A short disclaimer before we begin: I am basing the majority of my review on the version 1.16 build of the game, as it is 100% translated. It should be noted that most updates include small additions, such as extra clothing options or more details in events such as a waitress in the restaurant now or new CGs and the like. You can still use older translations of the game, but it will simply be incomplete due to not featuring the newer additions. This game is constantly being updated but the core theme remains the same.
Dorei to no Seikatsu -Teaching Feeling-, better known simply as Teaching Feeling, is most accurately described as a love simulator. You play as a local doctor who receives an unexpected visitor; a man who you treated on the side of the road has returned to repay you for saving his life and reveals a small girl covered in scars. The man offers the girl to you, explaining that she was a former slave of a wealthy nobleman and was able to acquire her upon the nobleman’s untimely death. He continues that she has no relatives and as such, would essentially be your property to do however you please with. If you decide to take her in, Sylvie will introduce herself, beginning the game.
The aim of the game is simply to spend time with Sylvie and ease her up to you. You begin the game with her being understandably distant and can only interact with her through talking, patting, or “touching”. Talking to Sylvie will have her tell you tidbits of her past abuse from her previous owner or simply remain silent. If you pat her, she acts confused about what you’re doing and seems unnerved by the whole scenario, as if worried you might harm her. Her dialogue changes over time as you interact with her more, developing in a very organic manner. If you’re not paying attention to Sylvie’s stats, you probably won’t even notice her expression change over time as you simply become accustomed to whatever expression she has at the time. If you’re a dickhead like myself, you will quickly realize that you can rape her off the bat with the touching option. This isn’t the focus of the game though, so keep in mind that you’re not getting anything else out of what’s initially presented in that rape scene.
As you increase your intimacy with Sylvie you will run into scripted events where you two will have a bonding moment together. You get to make a decision such as whether she should have the same meals as you or just bread and water; do you think she should come into town with you or just stay home? Choices like these have very obvious right and wrong answers which are just there to deepen your relationship with Sylvie while also pushing the general story forward. The story, however, is threadbare at best; the plot can summarized as a romance, as it’s all about you and Sylvie falling in love in a master and slave relationship. It’s quite cute, and a lot of the more risqué moments later in the game are hidden behind elusive conditions, which make them as spontaneous as they are in tone. It’s a nice touch to keep things interesting in the late game when you’re just happily going through the motions to raise those stats.
When it comes to gameplay, I hope you’re prepared for repetition, because you’re going to be doing the same few things over and over again. This is especially true of the beginning when you’re more limited in your options. It starts out slow, but once the game opens up alongside Sylvie opening up to you, there will be interactions like going into town or going for a walk in the forest. From these, you can choose options such as go clothes shopping, grab some lunch or have a rest in a field, perhaps even find flowers to dress tea with. This in turn leads to the expanded home options of choosing to make tea or dressing Sylvie in new clothes. The completed range of interactions helps break up the monotony of it all, and Sylvie’s dialogue and expressions really make it worthwhile. When you first get Sylvie though, you will be doing nothing but patting and chatting while listening to the (admittedly quite catchy) background music as you build the required intimacy to move on. It can be very easy to just get bored and rape her, because clicking “Continue” after Sylvie comments on your head patting isn’t the most engaging past time. Once you get access to the local town, the game really picks up and you can have a lot of fun just grabbing clothes for Sylvie and dressing her up. There’s a good selection of items such as dresses, nightgowns, various socks, various hair ties, head wear, glasses, and the whatnot that unlock over time so you can keep finding new stuff early on. It’s great fun and the best part is the clothing persists into the sex scenes if you go with the clothing on option when available.
Of course, I’d be remiss not to talk about the sex in this game, and there’s certainly a high quantity of it once you hit that later plateau. Hell, it’s the main reason you keep playing from that point on. Once you have enough intimacy with Sylvie, you two can start sleeping together, with her being initially shy and nervous before getting into things. This ties back into the dialogue changes from earlier and the detail put into Sylvie’s growth as a character is one of the best things about this game. Once you have the ability to initiate sex, you unlock more stats related to sexual ability and lust that you can aim to fill. The levels of these stats work the same as intimacy, affecting Sylvie’s scenes in various ways. All the effort into the dialogue and expressions really go a long way to connecting with Sylvie, doing wonders for making the sex feel quite intimate. The main “To Bed” options brings you to the main repeatable sex session, where you stimulate and penetrate Sylvie while she’s lying on the bed, using a selection of options to play with her. As you arouse her, she gets progressively sweatier and more dazed, as indicated by the love hearts and text. The higher your stats are with Sylvie, the longer she can go for, so it’s important to “train all her parts” so to speak.
The extra, more conventional VN eroge scenes themselves will change dialogue based on your stats with her. Sylvie initially begins as timid and succumbs to fatigue easily, but becomes infatuated with you and never wants to leave your side. It’s also nice that these extra events can actually change how they play out slightly depending on how close you and Sylvie are. One example is the first time she gives you a blowjob; she can’t really fit it in, but later down the line she’s learned how to deepthroat like a champ. This feature adds a lot of reason to continue playing, because you can still influence how these moments will play out in content and dialogue. It also helps that the art in this game has a great creepy, yet cute appeal, something the creator Ray-Kbys is famous for.
If you’re familiar with Ray’s other works, such as Love At First Sight, then you will be right at home with the art direction here. Characters in Teaching Feeling look appropriately disturbed but in an endearing or erotic way; my personal favorite being the clothing store owner with those bags under her eyes. Another such detail you’ve undoubtedly noticed by now is Sylvie herself being covered in acid burn scars that give her body a unique pattern and texture. One excellent feature in the sex scenes where there are a combination of speech bubbles for sounds and manga-styled text to highlight noises and actions. The best part of this would be the pink love hearts that surround Sylvie as she becomes more and more drunk off sex, losing herself in the passion of the moment. Her heart-shaped pupils during these events are incredibly sexy too. Sylvie in general is adorable but in an appropriately off-kilter way. Her eyes take up most of her face and you can get lost in them as she looks up longing for you, but they teeter close to an uncanny hugeness at times. Ray walks a tightrope over the uncanny, balancing it with ease for his creepy creations that always turn out adorable.
Dorei to no Seikatsu -Teaching Feeling- is an enjoyable erotic experience that tugs on the heartstrings in all the right ways. Developer and publisher FreakilyCharming obviously put in the effort into making Sylvie a lovable character and the game built around her it delivers a wonderfully memorable time with some
wild fucking passionate love-making. I started this game lamenting the fact that I didn’t get to torture Sylvie as her previous owner did, but by the time I was buying her clothes and taking her out to eat, I’d grown rather attached to my slave girl. Teaching Feeling is an excellent game that will teach you how to feel again, and at its current rate of updates, will only get better over time.