Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #1

Hello all you wonderful Heroes and Travelers, it’s the start of a new year and with it comes a brand new post series!! Yes, ladies and gents, you read that right… this post is the inaugural post in my brand new Thrifty Gamer series! What is the Thrifty Gamer series? Well, I’m glad you asked!! 😉

So, not too long ago, I was a poor college student, struggling to make ends meet, with the cost of books, my meager retail slave wages were barely enough for me to break even at the end of each month… Then, I discovered the wonderful world of otome games and that just blew my budget clean out of the window! I did what I could to balance my living expenses with the cost of maintaining my new hobby, but I still found myself in a bit of a pickle…

This is one of the most relatable gifs I’ve ever seen…

Keeping up with otome games, well, games in general can put a strain on any budget, which is why I am a firm supporter of gaming on a budget! But, with all the flashy big name commercial releases dangling in front of our faces all of the time, some of the thriftier titles just fall through the cracks… So, I came up with an idea, it’s positively brilliant really, I’m surprised I never thought of it before… *ahem* Why not create a weekly list of recommended games for otome gamers on a budget?! A go to list of games, for folks that want to experience the wonderful world of otome games without breaking the bank, because if it’s a choice between food and games… food will always win!!

So every Thursday from now until it gets to be too much, I will spotlight three otome games/visual novels $10 or less (does not include limited time offers and sale items). Posts will include links to the games and a brief synopsis, but let me stress that these are not reviews, but recommendations… so your mileage may vary! Now that that’s out of the way lets get on to this week’s list!!

Reverse Genji Romance

Reversed Tale of Genji Romance

  • Publisher: Genius
  • Genre: Fantasy | Historical | Romance
  • Cost: Free/Pay Per Route
  • Where to Play: Android | IOS

What era was it that a beautiful empress surrounded by many handsome men fell in love with a single man of not particular high standing? All of the men of high standing grew jealous and tried to rip the two apart, but their love was very strong and they were able to press back against all the objection and jealousy of those around them to get married. Finally, one adorable princess was born between them. Her name was Hikaru Genji (Heroine’s name). With each passing year she grew more and more beautiful. She was eventually dragged into an intense whirlwind of a love contest for her hand against her will.

Official Synopsis

The Reversed Tale of Genji is a GxB otome game that can be experienced as a free to play mobile app or as a pay per route app. Players can earn story tickets that can be used to progress the story free of charge. However for players that wish to unlock all 12 of the main story chapters at once, individual routes can be purchased for $3.99 each. There are a total of four love interests each with their own unique storylines.

Lads in Distress

Lads In Distress

  • Publisher: Catfish Crew
  • Genre: Fantasy | Fairytale Inspired | Romance
  • Cost: Free
  • Where to Play: Windows, Mac, Linux

The whole Lunar Kingdom is abuzz with excitement and curiosity – Princess Charming is throwing a royal ball to celebrate her 18th birthday, much to everyone’s surprise. Invitations have been sent to nobles and royals from all neighboring nations, although Charming and her parents only really care about the princes. After all, everyone knows that the true purpose of the ball is for Charming to find a man suitable as her husband so that she can form an advantageous political alliance, or even merge their nations together to save her kingdom from poverty. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately?) for Charming, the princes may need to be rescued just as much as her kingdom does.

Choose a lad in distress to save in this comedic retelling of three well-known fairy tales!


Lads in Distress is a free GxB PC Original English Language Visual Novel (OELVN). The game was created for the 2016 Visual Novel Game Jam, NaNoReNo, but an extended version is currently under development! The game features three potential love interests and six unique endings.

Where We Lay Our Scene

Where We Lay Our Scene

  • Publisher: Cyanide Tea
  • Genre: Slice-of-Life | LGBTQ+ | Romance
  • Cost: $4.99
  • Where to Play: Windows, Mac, Linux

Christian Marino has become a household name, what with his face and body always visible when you open a magazine or look out your subway train window. But now famous model Christian Marino finds himself at a crossroads. What will he do with his life once his well-known and much-cherished looks fade? Is there even anything more to him below the surface that everyone else sees? As he considers these issues of future and identity, he’s suddenly cast as the lead role in a film based on a bestselling novel. With fresh new challenges to face in an unfamiliar environment, this just might be the solution Christian was looking for—to more problems than one.


Where We Lay Our Scene is a commercial BxB/BxG PC Original English Language Visual Novel (OELVN), created for the 2016 Visual Novel Game Jam, NaNoReNo. The game features four potential love interests (two guys, two gals), each with two unique endings. Each character comes with both a Friendship End and a Relationship End.

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39 thoughts on “Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #1

  1. Just the kind of post and series thrifty gamers needed! It’s a good thing a genius such as yourself came up with the idea, eh? c:

    You’ve got me sold on Lads In Distress. Two Happy Cats has gotten me a little wary of Reverse Genji, unfortunately.

    I’m excited for this series! Another thing to look forward during the week, woo! Thanks for sharing!

    1. lol right?! I wish someone had done this when I first started seriously gaming!

      Lads In Distress is a really solid game! LOL yeah, I’ve been following her posts and I’m curious about it… I might pick it up myself one of these days.

      I really hope you like the other posts I have lined up, I’m trying to add a bit of variety to the line ups!

      1. Well, trailblazer senpai is now here to save the day! It’s a shame that there was no one to help you when you were staring out, though.
        That’s good to hear! About time for a lady to knock some sense into these troubled fellas!
        Wahaha. If you do, please tell me if that conniving woman who dares calls herself your friend is as bad as Two Happy Cats says. She is amazing (in all senses of the word).
        I really am looking forward to them. I have no doubt in my mind that they’re fun and entertaining and different!

      2. XD I like the sound of that! LOL I’ll definitely let you know, but it probably won’t be for awhile…

        I hope I can live up to your expectations Remy!

      3. It’s your special title then, wahaha.
        Fair enough. Your queue list is out of this wooorld ;_;
        Oh, it’s always a pleasure to read your posts. Don’t feel pressured and just be you! I’m sure that everyone else agrees!

      4. Mwahahahahaaa 3:) a new title!!

        It is… *sigh* and it’s only gonna get longer too… Aww I will Remy and thank you so much for all of your support! *hugs*

      5. It’s animated and shiny and everything. What a title!

        More games, more problems ;__;
        I’m glad to hear that and you’re welcome! *hugs*

    1. Aww thanks Panda! I’m going to try an add some variety to the games I feature, but for the most part they’ll be indie games!

      I really appreciate the support! 😀

  2. Have I already told you I hated you? 😘😘😘 Keep adding to my VERY EXPENSIVE backlog, why don’t you?! 😂😂😂 ‘Reversed Genji’ is pretty interesting since I read/studied the original in grad school, and it’s the only one on this list on mobile.

    1. Lolol I have to drag you all into backlog hell somehow lol😁😁😁

      Yeah I wanted to have one mobile game and one pc free game and a third commercial item. But, I’m going to rotate the future lists a bit based on some suggestions

      1. LOL my BF teaches and he tells me all the time that it’s definitely a labor of love! The stories he tells give me the chills lol

      2. *NODS* Although I think I had it easier. I taught high school at an all-girls Catholic school, my Alma Mater at that, haha. Not that it wasn’t without its shhhhhh——- hahahaha. I got burned out after 5 yrs of over-dedicating myself. So many yrs later, I realized that that part of my life was over, and that teaching wasn’t for me.

        What does BF teach? 😊

      3. I hear that a lot from people that teach.. they just get worn out by the job!

        Oh he teaches middle school, he works one on one with a special needs child and he coaches children’s jujitsu.

      4. LOLOLOLOL He’s understanding because he knows that if it ever came down to it, the 2D hotties would win 😛

        But, yeah he likes what he does, even if it can be a bit trying at times…

  3. I’m not into otome games, but the idea sounds good. Let us know if you also find some good deals on other genres. ^^
    Also, I always check out humble bundle for great sales on games. They sometimes include otome games as well.

    1. Thanks for stopping by!! While most of the games are gonna be otoge and visual novels, I’m going to try and add a bit of variety to the line ups of the future posts.

      I’ve heard about that but, I’ve never been over there. Thanks for the tip, I’ll be sure to check them out!

  4. OK so do you already how much I love you, sempai? If not, then I fucking love you(as a friend~;))
    Srsly, when we talked last night I never thought you would write such an amazing thing!
    So far, I don’t think I’ll download any of these games, though all games seem quite interesting, particularly “Where We Lay Our Scene”. When I first read the protagonist’s name, I thought of Christian Grey, not Christian Marino. Trust me, I’ve never seen 50 shades(nor I want, fyi), but a good amount of my classmates -even girls wtf- are obsessed with it. Kids these days, amirite?
    And if let me give you a suggestion for this new series, there is this game on Google Play called “Ephemeral” by HUNEX CO.,LTD whose chapters must be bought with points. However, you can get the points in 2 ways: by waiting an entire game for them or by buying them with real money.(Tbh, I downloaded the game 3 months ago to give it a try, so I don’t remember much of it.)
    Then we all know the “Shall We Date?” games.XD
    Anyway, great post and thank you for doing this for us poor lads(including me as well)! Love you!

    1. LOLOL I knew you’d like it! This is what I was working on over the holiday break and I’m really glad it’s getting such a positive response!

      I love all of their games, so I’m sure WWLOS is amazing!! LOL I saw 50 Shades of Grey and I tried to read the book (I just couldn’t get past chapter 13)… when I worked at a book store it was mostly middle aged office ladies buying the books… it was a sight to behold.

      I downloaded that on on my iPad, but I never got around to playing it. But, since you suggested it, I’ll definitely give it a try! Oh man, I have a ton of Shall We Date games to play through lol

      Lovae ya girlie!! 😀

  5. Oooh, this is a great new segment Naja! I’ll be definitely on the lookout every Thursday for it 🙏🙏🙏👌
    Especially the free games for me to add to my pile to do for my youtube channel ohohoho 🔥🔥🔥🔥

  6. Oh yes, this is a great idea for me. I’ve been hanging my nose over various otome games, but I’ve heard tales of these sneaky thinks draining your balance before you know it. I have to keep an eye on my budget, especially as I have actually been known to put buying geeky stuff ahead of food. As long as there’s a few tins of beans and some pasta in the cupboard, I figure I’m fine XD

    I’ve seen your posts about Reversed Tale of Genji before, and now I know you can play it through for free… I think I’ll be giving it a try 😉

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the post 😀

      Oh my gosh yes, they definitely put a strain on the wallet, but the payoff is almost always worth it!!

      LOL I have had to make some tough food decisions in the past and you’d be surprised how often food lost… so, I’m glad to know that I’m not alone 😛 I make sure to stock up on canned food and ramen for days when money is tight lol

      Oh you must mean Two Happy Cat’s posts, she’s currently doing a review series on that game and it’s awesome!!

      1. Yay, irresponsible otaku geeks unite! ✊️😆

        Oh right, it must be then. Duh 😅 All these great fangirly blogs just blur together in my mind after a while.

Gush about cute otome boys~