It’s the 15th century and one of Japan’s leading figures, Oda Nobunaga, tasks a 21st century school girl and a trio of ninjas to slay the Demon Lord. With the power of friendship and kisses, off you go to save the world. Emphasis on kisses, by the way, because if the title didn't give it away, Samurai Maiden is that type of game. However, it is a bit lighter on the fanservice than some of its peers.

The plot is just there. Nothing ground breaking, nor terrible — it’s an excuse to bring the girls together and make a pretty catchy opening theme. Still, the interactions and banter is entertaining enough to ignore the generic plot, and the quite lengthy visual novel-esque cutscenes that sometimes regurgitate plot points.

Most of the enjoyment relies on the hit and miss gameplay. There are more than 24 missions alongside optional quests known as 'bubble pockets'. You will find out very quickly there’s a lack of level design variation. It's rinse and repeat through quite linear paths until you reach big and, sometimes, detrimentally small arenas where enemies are more or less a reskin of each other with similar attack patterns.

However, the bubble pockets do add some variety to the regular formula, with light puzzle and platforming elements making a nice contrast to the overall monotonous main missions. They're also essential in boosting your combat skills. In fact, anything remotely optional, such as bolstering your relationship with your teammates, is where the game stands out.

Every time you use your partners’ skills, your relationship with them rises. They're pleasantly designed in a way that means you don't have ton rely on them, acting more as stun mechanics. In addition, these attacks help mask the game's numerous frame rate dips. Sadly, these drops, alongside your main character's stiff attacks, make Samurai Maiden's encounters much more frustrating than they should be.