From September 15-18 the 7th annual Game Devs of Color Expo took place, featuring panels, talks, and game showcases featuring creators of color in the gaming industry. This weekend long event was created to uplift and amplify the voices of diverse creators while also giving them a chance to connect with other creators.
As part of the conference GDoC Expo hosts, Gradient Convergent, an event that showcases games and demos from diverse creators. Of course I needed to check it out and I was impressed by the titles included in the event. I absolutely encourage you to check out the full list when you have the chance! But, for now here are some of the games that caught my eye!
Solace State – Vivid Foundry Corp
You play as Chloe, a young hacker who seeks to find her missing friend Rebecka as a biotech crackdown embroils the city of Abraxa. With political intrigue and private police surveillance at large, how will Chloe make her mark in this city? How far does she have to go to protect her friends and communities struggling to have a future worth living for?Story Synopsis
Y’all, a cyberpunk visual novel, about fighting the system… sign me up! This is right up my alley, the diverse cast and fun 3D landscapes are just the cherry on top. The demo is available and trust, the moment I get some time I am giving it my full and undivided attention!
Night Reverie – Somber Pixel
Night Reverie is a Puzzle/Adventure game in which a child must solve the mystery behind the distortion of his house. Explore puzzle-filled environments and discover strange creatures living in the house as you reach the truth behind of what looks like a bizarre nightmare.Official Synopsis
If I have learned anything over the years, it’s that these cute pixel puzzle games are ALWAYS an emotional gut punch. But, I do love me a good mystery and the prospect of exploring this imaginative dream-like world is too enticing to pass up.
OPUS: Echo of Starsong – SIGONO Inc.
Taking place in a lawless solar system at the height of a gold rush in space, players play as the exiled noble Jun, who is accompanied by Eda, a witch orphaned by war. Together, they embark on a journey of self-discovery, as they search for treasure-filled asteroids of legend and lore. However, what appears to be a blessed encounter will turn into a lifelong burden… Will Jun, now a withered old man, be able to see his lover one last time?Official Synopsis
I will admit that I just learned about this game from the GDoC Expo and it looks amazing! It kinda gives me the same vibes as The Game Breaker’s Haven with the bittersweetness of Voices of a Distant Star—an emotional story following two characters separated by time… in spaaaaaace~ The visuals are gorgeous and the premise seems interesting (and it’s on sale) so I’ve definitely added this to my game collection.
Belle Automata – Jellyfish Parade
Aureve [renameable] is an android, content with a life of weaving silk tapestries alongside her master in his workshop–but when her master dies, his family sells her off to a wealthy, reclusive buyer due to her being a rogue: a self-aware android.
Thrown into a new home of refuge for rogues, Aureve must find her place amongst them and answer the question once and for all: can an android truly feel?Official Synopsis
Jellyfish Parade is one of my favorite game devs… period. This team has such imaginative stories and they have been consistently creating romance games with an almost entirely BIPOC cast! Belle Automata is a sci-fi indie otome game that follows a self-aware android as she attempts to find meaning in her life. The game brings up some interesting questions about what it means to really be alive.
Pekoe – Kitten Cup Studio
Blend tea and friendship in the flavorful world of Pekoe, a cozy cat-filled tea-making simulator about taking the time for self-care and connecting with what makes you happy. Build relationships, upgrade your teahouse, and discover new recipes as you work towards creating a place you can call home.Official Synopsis
Cute kitties and blending tea—Kitten Cup Studio’s Pekoe is the epitome of cozy vibes! Sure, this is a management game, which are experiencing a bit of a boom right now, but how on Earth could anyone say no to adorable kitties?! This looks perfect for a lazy weekend of gaming or a bit of after work positivity.
Love Shore – Perfect Garbage
Set in the cyberpunk city of Love Shore, Sam and Farah attempt to navigate the monstrous underworld in hopes of uncovering the means of saving their friends. Love Shore is a visual novel cyberpunk noir featuring an entirely LGBT+ cast. With 8 unique romanceable characters and routes, over 24 endings and packed with action and thrillers, Love Shore acts as Perfect Garbage’s debut.Description
I am so ready for Love Shore! I covered the demo for this game back in 2020 and we are finally coming up on the release date and I cannot be more excited. A cyberpunk visual novel with questionable characters, mystery, adventure, and a diverse LGBT+ cast… yes, please, thank you!
A Taste of the Past – Sondering Studio
Meet Mei, a shy, Chinese-American high school student dealing with the sudden passing of her mother. After losing all of her mother’s recipes, Mei embarks on a train…only to realize her ancestors have boarded as well. She must uncover her mother’s recipe for traditional noodles while learning about self-love, grief, and healing.
Experience a story of growth through reliving precious moments with family and cooking. A Taste of the Past is a relatable and touching journey about holding those you love close.Official Synopsis
The premise is pretty simple, you travel through a train meeting Mei’s deceased family members while collecting ingredients for her mother’s noodle recipe. With each person you meat Mei comes closer to healing from the loss of her mother. I played A Taste of the Past over on my Twitch channel a few months back and y’all this is such a beautiful emotional story!
Love, Ghostie – Janbeh Games
Be a wholesome ghost matchmaker and grow relationships between the mansion’s residents! Gift items to brighten their lives, set them up on dates, and watch their love bloom! What romances will you create?Official Synopsis
A cute ghostie matchmaker has made it her mission to spread love! I don’t know about you all, but sometimes you don’t need a complex story or gameplay mechanics—sometimes you just need something cute and chill.
Dot’s Home – Rise-Home Stories Project & Weathered Sweater
DOT’S HOME is a single player game about DOROTHEA (DOT) HAWKINS, a young Black woman in her late 20’s living with her grandmother MAVIS HAWKINS in Detroit, Michigan. Following a cryptic conversation with her grandmother, Dot receives a MYSTERIOUS KEY. This key allows Dot to open a door within her house and travel to another space in time within her own family history.
In order to return home, Dot finds that she must interact with and influence her family members (MAVIS HAWKINS, KARL HAWKINS, and ALMA HAWKINS) to make important life decisions in order to receive a key back to her present, but Dot soon finds out that her journey to the past is steadily affecting her current reality…as well as the potential future.Official Synopsis
I’ve talked about Dot’s Home more than once here on Blerdy Otome, but I refuse to miss another opportunity to shout out this amazing game! Follow a young Black woman in Detroit as she experiences her family’s history through the lens of the systemic, social, and historical barriers that have shaped their lives. Dot’s Home isn’t afraid to pull back the curtain on the harsh realities people of color face every day.