It’s no secret that I’m not a huge fan of free to play otome games, but the premise of an otome game set amidst a zombie apocalypse was so bizarre I found myself putting aside my biases about freemium mobile games. Dangerous Fellows is a 2018 mobile otome game published by Korean game developer Lucy Dream. Dangerous Fellows is the first Lucy Dream title that has been made available in English, their second title, Mystic Code was released in May 2019.
A sudden outbreak of an unknown virus has destroyed the entire world.
Most of the people has turned into horrendous, blood-seeking zombies……….
As I was trying to escape from a deadly attack by the zombie,
I was miraculously saved by some strangers-five attractive fellows.
They’ve been concealing themselves safely in a school building with other survivors.
……But, is this place really safe for us?
Can we all survive from this bizarre catastrophe?
Find out the shocking ending of a romance thriller
that you’ve never experienced before!
Like most otome games, players have the chance to gain affection points with each of the available love interests (Ethan, Harry, Zion, Lawrence, and Eugene) by making in-game decisions. There are three types of choices: Premium choices, which require Rubies to unlock; Critical choices, which are timed; and normal Affection Choices, which raise affection points with specific characters. You can get 10 free Rubies a day just by logging in or you can purchase them in app (the smallest bundle – 430 Rubies is only $2.49 USD).
In addition to choices, you will have to choose specific outfits for your in game avatar to complete certain Critical checkpoints. Thankfully, there are only three checkpoints and once you purchase the required outfits you never have to do it again. You can also increase a character’s affection by giving them special items/gifts which you can only get by doing repairs around the school. Each location gives a different item (with the most common being Candy Bars and Water), but, remember specific items can only be given once per playthrough. Lastly, in order to obtain character specific CGs you’ll have to use Tickets, which you can get either by doing repairs or by purchasing them.
Dangerous Fellows takes place in South Korea not long after a zombie outbreak occurs turning much of the population into the undead. You play as a young woman who has been moving between abandoned houses to survive. One day while out on a food run she attracts the attention of a lone zombie, with nothing to defend herself with the MC resigns herself to a bloody end. But, just in the nick of time she’s saved by a group of handsome survivors who invite her to stay with them at a nearby school where they have taken up residence. There she meets the rest of their group some of whom aren’t too happy to have a stranger in their midst. Soon strange incidents start happening and it becomes clear that the survivors have more than just zombies to fear…
The game is kind of like Train to Busan the otome, except you trade the train for an abandoned high school full of angsty, terrified teens. They explain early on that the zombie outbreak is caused by a “mysterious” virus that can be spread through a bite or a transfer of body fluids (so there’s nothing new there). In fact, Dangerous Fellows doesn’t add anything new to the whole zombie mythos, perhaps what is most intriguing about the premise is the fact that you’re supposed to fall in love with one of five eligible bachelors while also trying survive the zombie outbreak. There’s always this heightened sense of urgency, since quite literally one wrong move could spell disaster for you or anyone in your group of survivors and that’s just something you don’t get in many otome games.
You spend a lot of time getting to know the survivors living in the school, some of which aren’t love interests. Dangerous Fellows has a well defined cast made up of male and female characters, which for an otome game is a rarity. There are four female side characters that play a pretty significant role in the story, three are fairly friendly while the third is unnaturally hostile towards the MC. I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to play a game with female characters, since otome games tend to be sausage fests… however, there is one in particular that I wish they had left out. Scarlett is one of the most unsympathetic characters I have ever come across in an otome game ever! From day one she makes it her mission to blame the MC for every single bad thing that happens to the characters to the point that I was genuinely happy when she gets murdered. It’s a zombie apocalypse and she is more concerned with blaming the MC for her lost lip balm… what the whole fuck?! Thankfully, the other side characters are at least decent enough to give people the benefit of the doubt before jumping down people’s throats… except Jay, he’s an ass…
The love interests are all pretty likeable (for the most part, but, I’ll get there in a minute) and pretty cute ranging from 17-18 years old. Ethan is strong silent type, who judges people by their actions, before the zombies he loved baseball and has taken to carrying a bat around. Harry is a sweetheart, he is seriously too pure and innocent for the hell that is this zombie outbreak. Zion is the hothead of the group, he’s quick to get emotional about things and he is besties with Eugene. Eugene is the tsundere of the group, and the youngest love interest; he can be a bit harsh with his words, but he means well. And then there’s Lawrence…. fuckin’ Lawrence… Outwardly he is a kind and considerate leader who ensures that everyone in the group is safe and taken care of, however, beneath that nice guy facade Lawrence is a honest to god psychopath (read: yandere) obsessed with the MC.
Unlike most otome games where there is a clearly defined route for all the characters, Dangerous Fellows uses more of a round robin approach. You don’t select a specific route rather your choices during throughout the game determine which of the characters you romance. For example, Ethan’s ending is the easiest to get, since you only have to raise his affection points. However, if you want to get Lawrence’s ending you have to raise his affection and purchase his premium choices with rubies. Each of the LI endings are bittersweet, yes, they’re technically happy endings (except for Lawrence’s ending that’s a straight up bad ending on par with Toma from Amnesia). Characters die, main characters die and the character that survive are left with some deep psychological scars. So, prepare yourself for some heartbreak. Also, if you’re going to get Lawrence’s ending… let’s just say it’s a pretty standard yandere ending and the game doesn’t sugarcoat how cringy it is, you will feel uncomfortable about it.
Out of all the routes, I have to say I like Harry and Zion’s the best since out of everyone they seem to have the “happiest” outcomes. Ethan’s route while not the worst, kind of ends on a bleak ambiguous note that differs dramatically from the other love interests… and Lawrence is batshit crazy, so yeah living with a crazed yandere is never the ideal. In fact, I like the prefer the ending where everyone dies to Lawrence’s route… that’s how much I hate him.
As far as otome heroines go the MC in Dangerous Fellows is actually one of the better female leads, she is has a great deal of agency going head to head with zombies and other survivors. She has a lot of backbone, and while she does have moments of “vulnerability” given the circumstances, I found that her actions were pretty relatable.
Overall, I really enjoyed Dangerous Fellows, it has an engaging and unique story and a solid cast of diverse characters. While the romance is significantly downplayed for an otome game, I found that I didn’t really miss it, since the suspense and thriller aspects of the game were much more intriguing.
I mean come on, it’s a zombie apocalypse, romance will always take a backseat to survival, so if you’re going into this expecting roses and flowers, you’ll be sorely disappointed. But, if you’re looking for a different kind of otome game with high stakes, a good story, that you can play on your morning commute, Dangerous Fellows is definitely the game for you.
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