Month: May 2020

Heartstopper Volume 1 by Alice Oseman – Graphic Novel Review

When I was faced with the prospect of weeks/months stuck inside my one bedroom apartment, I began stockpiling things to keep me entertained while I waited out the pandemic raging outside. Among my early purchases were several volumes of manga, some games, and print copies of Alice Oseman’s ongoing webcomic series, Heartstopper. I’d been seeing snippets of this series on Tumblr for ages, but I wasn’t quite ready to commit to another ongoing (see: D.N. Angel is the Reason I have Commitment Issues with Ongoing Series). But, with an overabundance of free time on my hand, I figured now was as good a time as any to give the series a try, so I plunked down and ordered not one, but, all three of the available print volumes from Amazon. The series is also available online over on Tapas, but I think there is just something special about holding a physical book in your hands… and I will readily admit that Heartstopper was more than worth the investment!

Boy meets boy. Boys become friends. Boys fall in love. An LGBTQ+ graphic novel about life, love, and everything that happens in between – for fans of The Art of Being NormalHolly Bourne and Love, Simon.

Charlie and Nick are at the same school, but they’ve never met … until one day when they’re made to sit together. They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn’t think he has a chance.

But love works in surprising ways, and Nick is more interested in Charlie than either of them realized.

Heartstopper is about love, friendship, loyalty and mental illness. It encompasses all the small stories of Nick and Charlie’s lives that together make up something larger, which speaks to all of us.

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Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #51

Hey there Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, it’s once again that special time of the week—Thrifty Thursday!

In a world where it’s all about the almighty dollar, sometimes it’s a little tough to make our pennies stretch enough to accommodate our hobbies. But, there are plenty of ways to balance your budget while still enjoying the things you love, you just have to be a little thrifty about it. So, I created Thrifty Gaming in order to spotlight some lesser known indie titles that are both entertaining an affordable.

If you’re a new follower or someone who has been following since my Nice Job Breaking It Hero days and has been gone for awhile, here’s a refresher… Thrifty Gaming, is a weekly post series where I spotlight three games/visual novels that are under $10.00. These can be mobile games, PC games, and a few times I have found some nice indie console titles too. The list used to focus on just otome games and romance visual novels, but after requests from a few readers I have since expanded to other gaming genres. I don’t include sales or limited time offers, each title has to be consistently priced at $10.00 or less without any promotions to be included in this line up.

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Note, these are not reviews, rather recommendations so your mileage may vary with some of these titles. This week’s post will include a brief synopsis and links to each game so you can add them to your gaming library! You don’t have to break the bank to enjoy your hobbies, so save a little bread and check this week’s thrifty gaming picks!

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Guilty Parade Demo Review – A Quirky Wartime Visual Novel

“One war. Two sides…” This perfectly encapsulates the premise of Nozori Games’s interactive visual novel. Guilty Parade.  Experience two sides of a military conflict, by stepping into the shoes of two very different protagonists on either side of the barricades. On one side is Nemo—an amnesiac young man who is taken in by the Commander of an unusual squadron of soldiers. Though he doesn’t remember much about his past, he is thrust headfirst into their cause as he and his new comrades attempt to investigate a mysterious crime. On the other side is Lien—a child of war, desperate to avenge the death of his mothers at the hand of the black apostates. There are always two sides to every conflict and Guilty Parade gives players a chance to experience both as you navigate the complexities of war through the eyes of two characters right there on the front lines.

Guilty Parade is definitely one of the more unusual demos I have played in quite some time. It features an eclectic cast of quirky characters that you’d expect to see in a comedic anime—not a post apocalyptic wartime visual novel, and yet strangely enough… it works. Guilty Parade‘s unique cast is by far it’s most distinguishing features, giving what normally would have been a grisly story a sense of levity. Though, despite it’s eccentricities, Guilty Parade is a wartime story, and it takes great pains to depict the pros and cons of military conflict.

Game Details 

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My Favorite Boys Love Anime (so far)

It’s no secret that I’m a huge BL fan with a few years of experience with the genre under my belt. So, I’m always amazed to see how much the genre has grown over the years. Newer series have started moving away from the sex heavy stories towards more realistic depictions of same sex relationships, opening up the genre to more general audiences.

And with greater mass appeal comes more anime adaptations of popular BL series. However, Boys Love anime tend to do poorly, mostly due to low production value, but every so often a true gem of a series will crop up that redeems the genre. So, that got me thinking about some of the some of my favorite BL anime adaptations, and thus this list was born! So, whether your a fan of BL media, or just an anime fan looking for something new to dive into,  there are some pretty fun titles for you to check out!

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Melanin Friendly Games – ‘Errant Kingdom’

I’m re-purposing my Melanin Friendly Games Black History Month project as a weekly game spotlight segment where I hype up visual novels and games that feature Black and Brown characters in prominent roles. As a black woman gamer, representation in the media I love is important and I want to celebrate the games that make the extra effort to include a bit of color in their lineup.

And today’s Melanin Friendly Game pick is…

Errant Kingdom is a queer, high fantasy visual novel and the sophomore title from Lunaris Games, the developers behind the episodic supernatural fantasy, When the Night Comes. I loved their first game, for it’s immersive supernatural fantasy story and for the inclusion of so many well written Black and Brown characters, both in the main cast and the supporting cast! While they’re relatively new on the indie scene, they have made a name for themselves with their engaging stories and characters and their phenomenal social media presence.

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