Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #87

Hey Blerdy Tribe! It’s 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 have 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.

Sailor Moon Money

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 out this week’s thrifty gaming picks!

The Morning Star

The Morning Star (2021)S. Jean (Ronove)

Cost: Free (Name Your Price)

Windows, Mac, & Linux | Android

Waking up in a field off a 2-lane highway isn’t the best start to anyone’s night. Especially when you don’t have a single clue how you got there to begin with.

Unfortunately, it’s what Alec has to deal with tonight. It’s cold, the wind’s bitter, and he simply can’t remember what happened earlier in the night. It must have been something big.

At least he finds a bus stop for shelter, but given it’s a bus stop, he’s not the only one there waiting.

Alec has two choices before him. Ignore the stranger’s attempts to converse (he could be a serial killer, after all) and wait for the bus, or engage him (what else is there to do stranded at a bus stop) and see what happens.

The choice is yours.


The Morning Star is a short visual novel developed by S. Jean (Ronove). A  young man wakes up in the middle of a field with barely a memory of how he got there…he shortly discovers that he is not alone. Interact with the stranger (or ignore them) and see what the night has in store for Alec and his companion. Get to know them and uncover memories you’ve buried deep down. Your choices will determine which of the game’s three endings (The Bus Ending, The Star Ending, and The Morning Ending). Two of the endings have multiple ways of unlocking them, while the last route—The Morning ending, has one set path. The game takes roughly 1-2 hours to complete. 

*Note: This game does discuss suicide which can be troubling for some people. 

Fujiwara Bittersweet (1)

Fujiwara Bittersweet (2020) Magic Bench VN

Cost: Free

Windows, Mac, and Linux | Steam

“Aya just moved to a new little town near the mountains. Her new life as a high school freshman begins now, join her as she navigates through life and meets new people. Will she make friends or perhaps… find herself falling in love?”


Fujiwara Bittersweet is a slice-of-life indie otome developed by Magic Bench VN. Play as Aya as she navigates her freshman yean at a brand new school in a small town in the mountains. Get to know some of your classmates find love along the way! While the game has a cute slice-of-life vibe to it all of the routes delve into some dark themes (hence the bittersweet in the title). There are six romanceable characters, each with two unique endings (Friendship and Sweet). 

There is a recommended play order: Ikki (clover leaf)> Toshio (cigarettes)> Yuta (headphone)> Haru (bracelet)> Kenji (keychain)> Ryu (herbal tea)

Dates and Wires

Dates & Wires (2021) Io Black and Mary Safro

Cost: 4.99€ ($6.09 USD)

Windows, Mac, & Linux

The year is 1995, and you’re newly single, ready to mingle… and fresh off the plane in Stradania, the dysfunctional micronation whose chief exports are pig iron, human misery, and radioactive souvenir mugs.

Your travel guides have steered you to the hottest nightclub in town. Now it’s up to you to seize the evening by getting up close and intimate with Stradania’s Most Eligible Vaguely Handsome Self-Absorbed Guys You Happened to Spot in the Club.


Dates and Wires is the official indie otome game adaptation of the ongoing cyberpunk webcomic series, Drugs and Wires created by Mary Safro aka Cryo and Io Black. Navigate the 80’s inspired cyberpunk city of Stradania, meet some of the city’s interesting residents. Make friends or find love, the choice is yours! Play as a gender-neutral protagonist and woo, each of the game’s six romanceable characters. Unlock each of their unique endings! 

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That’s it for this week’s thrifty buys, but, don’t worry I’ll have more titles for in next week’s post, so be on the look out for that next Thursday! But, if all that extra money you saved is burning a hole in your pocket and you just can’t wait for next week’s list, definitely check out some of my previous Thrifty Gaming posts, there are tons of games for gamers who like me are ballin’ on a budget!

Thank you for reading and Supporting Blerdy Otome! If you like what you see be sure to drop a like or a comment to let me know your thoughts on this week’s Thrifty Picks!!

Thank you for reading and supporting Blerdy Otome!

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