Author Archives

pokeninja90

I'm a blerd who just so happens to love anime, manga, and games (especially Pokemon and Otome Games).

From Chatrooms to Panels – Mystic Messenger Webtoon First Impressions

Like many of you, I dived head first into Mystic Messenger hell back in 2016—between the quirky characters and real time chatrooms—the game’s unique gameplay style quickly stole the hearts (and sleep) of everyone in the otome community. And even now four years later, Mystic Messenger is still going strong, spawning new events and stories—but, did you know that Cheritz’s wildly popular mobile game had an official webtoon?! Invitation of the Mystic Message is the official webtoon adaptation of the dating sim, Written by GIMAN with Art by meriG.

Synopsis

Hana is usually a glass-half-full sort of person, but lately, nothing seems to be going her way. After yet another fruitless day of job hunting, she finds herself pouring out all her frustrations to a stranger in the street. The kind stranger disappears before they get a chance to exchange names or numbers, however, leaving behind a phone with nothing but a single messenger app. “Can you read this message…?” As soon as Hana logs on, username “Unknown” tells her they know the person she is looking for. Although a little suspicious, she is intrigued. Who was the stranger that lent her a shoulder to cry on? Who is this “Unknown” she is chatting with? To find the answers to her questions, she must first accept a mysterious invitation. Time to get reacquainted with Jumin, 707, Zen, Yoosung, Jaehee and the rest of Mystic Messenger!

Currently the Prologue and the first 2 chapters are available for free over on Tappytoon with the next three chapters going live on 7/11/2020! And what self respecting otome fan would I be if I didn’t immediately read the available chapters?! This won’t be an official review, since there are only 3 chapters available right now, but I did want to share my thoughts on the comic.

Continue reading “From Chatrooms to Panels – Mystic Messenger Webtoon First Impressions”

Behind the Games – Interview with Nix Hydra

Hey Hey Blerdy Tribe, I’m back with another Behind the Games post! For those of you just joining the party, Behind the Games is a segment where I interview the folks ‘behind the games’ I review. Giving you guys a chance to get to know the developers that spend so much time carefully crafting the games you enjoy.

Last time, I spoke with members of Lunaris Games team—the team behind the LGBTQ+ visual novels When the Night Comes and Errant Kingdom. This time around, I had the chance to chat with members of Nix Hydra, the team behind the massively popular fantasy mobile game, The Arcana.

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Taisho x Alice Otome Review – A Twisted Fairytale Adventure

As usual I’m behind the rest of the otome games fandom—it’s been about a year since Pencil released their localization of the fairytale inspired otome game Taisho x Alice: Episode I and I’m just getting around to playing it. Now, this isn’t the first time this game has made it’s way stateside. Many of us still remember the now infamous E2Gaming localization fiasco of 2017, that brought “Hiragana Alice” and “Katakana Alice” to prominence. But, it seems that the second time’s the charm for Taisho x Alice, with Molly Lee (known also as Verdelish) taking the reigns in this greatly improved English translation of the game—and fan response has been overwhelmingly positive. So now, with the otome community’s collective stamp of approval I figured now was as good a time as any to give Taisho x Alice a try and boy do I have some thoughts about it.

Taisho Alice Review 1.png

For those of you not familiar with the game—Taisho x Alice is a re-imagining of popular fairytales, but with a twist—each of the love interests are gender swapped versions of famous characters like Cinderella and Snow White! The game was originally released in Japan in 2015 for PC and was split into four episodes, each with two LIs. The first episode features Cinderella and Red Riding Hood’s stories; the second—Kaguya and Gretel; the third episode— Snow White and the Wizard; and the fourth and final episode focuses on Alice. In the game you play as an amnesiac young woman who must navigate the mysterious Looking Glass World and save your Prince Charming, guiding him towards his happily ever after.

Game Details


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Hi, I Like Anime! YES, I’m a REAL Anime Fan!

gate·keep·ing

/ˈɡātˌkēpiNG/
noun
  1. the activity of controlling, and usually limiting, general access to something.

We are all familiar with the term “gatekeeping” at this point in the game, especially if you run in many of the nerdy circles of the internet. Because, let’s face it the nerd community isn’t always the wholesome escape we want it to be—especially if you happen to be BIPOC, female/ female presenting, or anyone that isn’t a straight white male. So, being a black female nerd is like a double whammy sometimes, with me having to constantly PROVE that I am a “real” nerd, to folks who feel they are the last remaining accolades of some secret club. Just because I don’t watch or read the hottest “mainstream” nerd media, that somehow invalidates my nerd card and that’s just not fair.

Continue reading “Hi, I Like Anime! YES, I’m a REAL Anime Fan!”

Castle Mango – Boys Love Manga Review

A love hotel, the adult film industry, and a high school aged uke… sounds like the set up for a really sleazy, cliche boys love series. But don’t let the synopsis fool you, Castle Mango written by Narise Konohara and illustrated by Muku Ogura is a surprisingly heartfelt read. A hidden gem in an otherwise sex heavy genre, Castle Mango is a breath of fresh air! 

The series follows Yorozu Shirosaki, a studious high schooler whose family runs the love hotel, Castle Mango, where for a few hours, couples come to let off some steam. Yorozu sometimes helps run the front desk, but otherwise keeps his family’s business a secret from the rest of the world. His “quiet” life is interrupted when an adult film director, Togame, decides to use Castle Mango as the set of their next porno shoot and he is mistaken for one of the “extras” in the film. Embarrassed and ticked off, he vows to give the director a wide berth, but when it seems like Togame has his eyes set on his younger brother, Yorozu devises a plan. So, he tricks a drunk Togame into believing they slept together, in hopes of diverting his attention. Yorozu thought it would be enough to scare Togame off, he never imagined Togame would actually ask him to be his BOYFRIEND?! 

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In Blood – Demo Review

In Blood is the newest visual novel from indie game developer Jaime Scribbles Games, the creative team behind Pinewood Island and As We Know It. Follow Eleadora, a young woman who finds herself drawn into a world of supernatural horrors, when she unwittingly makes a bargain with an ancient god. In Blood brings together elements of Gothic romance and Lovecraftian horror to create a darker and edgier narrative experience reminiscent of games like Demonheart and Cinders, which are notable for their mature storytelling and characters.

In Blood Demo Review Nyarbalte

So, I had high expectations going into this demo and now that the Kickstarter campaign is live, I figured this was a good time to share my thoughts about the game and the premise. At first glance, In Blood put me in the mind of a CW supernatural drama series, a la Vampire Diaries—a dark and edgy supernatural romance with attractive 20 somethings…and surprise surprise, I am a sucker for these types of stories!

Continue reading “In Blood – Demo Review”

Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #58

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 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.

Broke.gif

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!

Continue reading “Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #58”

Blerdy Otome Monthly Recap – June 2020

Hey there Blerdy Tribe, there’s no denying that 2020 has been a bit of a bummer and this is only the halfway point… but, I’ve taken this time to kick my ass in gear and really revitalize things here at Blerdy Otome. In the past, I’ve had a pretty lax approach to blogging which isn’t especially conducive to much growth. So, I’m making an effort to be more social, something I have struggled with a lot—I’m not the most outgoing person IRL…I get super anxious about reaching out to people for the first time (I tend to wait for people to reach out to me first). But, I’ve been reaching out more to people online, and I’ve met some super nice people!

I did a Instagram live with Blaque N’ Kulture that was super fun and we’re even working on a fun new project that I think you guys will love! Lizzo from Soulcial Dreamers Entertainment invited me to do an interview for their site and I am still in shocked that she thinks I’m cool enough for a feature. Heck, I hiked up a mountain this month!! Despite everything going on in the world right now, I’ve been making small strides and I want to thank you all for sticking with me over the years! So, let’s look back at the month of June here on Blerdy Otome!!

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Behind the Games – Interview with Lunaris Games

Hey Hey Blerdy Tribe, I’m back with another Behind the Games post! For those of you just joining the party, Behind the Games is a segment where I interview the folks ‘behind the games’ I review. Giving you guys a chance to get to know the developers that spend so much time carefully crafting the games you enjoy.

Last time, I spoke with Tida and Charissa, founders of the indie game studio, Oracle and Bone—their first project is the yuri visual novel A Summer’s End – Hong Kong 1986. This time around, I had the chance to chat with members of Lunaris Games, the team behind the LGBTQ+ visual novels When the Night Comes and Errant Kingdom.

The team released their first game, the supernatural fantasy visual novel, When the Night Comes back in 2019. The game has received a great deal of praise for it’s immersive story and diverse cast of characters—featuring a main cast that consists primarily of BIPOC and LGBTQ+ individuals.  In the game, you play as a Hunter who has been called to the quiet town of Lunaris to assist the local Enforcers with an investigation into a series of increasingly unsettling, supernatural murders. When the Night Comes was originally released episodically, with each new chapter drawing you deeper into the rich fantasy world of the game. Earlier this year Lunaris games released Errant Kingdom, a queer high fantasy visual novel which promises to be just as engaging as their first game—bring with it a new cast of characters and imaginative world building.

I was one of the many fans eagerly awaiting new chapters of WTNC, so I am super excited to have the chance to chat with the members of the team that brought such an amazing game to life. Kris, Anna, Kevin, Nadine, Lennox, and Marina, gave me a chance to pick their brains about their work with Lunaris Games and I just had to share with you!  So without further ado, let’s turn things over to them…

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Melanin Monday: Lovestruck

Hey there Blerdy Tribe, it’s Melanin Monday here on Blerdy Otome and that means I’m spotlighting another Melanin Friendly Game! For those of you just joining the party—every Monday I spotlight games that feature Black and brown characters for anyone looking for titles with just a bit more representation. As a blerd and a gamer, I am always on the lookout for representation in my games. This is largely a personal project for me—there are almost no “diverse game” tags on major game sites—so, it can be pretty difficult find games with characters of color… unless you already know where to look.

This week I’m doing things a little differently, instead of spotlighting one game I’m going to cover the story app, Lovestruck. Now, I will readily admit that I wasn’t the biggest fan of Voltage’s decision to move all of their original English language content from the pay-per-route model to the freemium format. But, it is what it is and there’s no point in crying over spilled milk. What I want to talk about instead is how from day one representation has been a big part of why I love Lovestruck and the Voltage Inc. original English language titles.

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Steam Summer Sale – Boys Love Edition

It’s that wonderful time of year once again! The annual Steam Summer Sale is LIVE and with thousands of titles available at a steep discount this is the time when most folks pad out their gaming library and who can blame them—some games are listed at up to 80% off!

Steam

The sale started on June 25th and will run for two weeks until July 9th 10AM PST! With so many titles on sale, it can be a bit overwhelming, so I’ve gone ahead and compiled a list of all the Boys Love games I could find! Check out the below list and take advantage of this amazing sale!

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Steam Summer Sale – Otome & Romance Visual Novel Edition

It’s that wonderful time of year once again! The annual Steam Summer Sale is LIVE and with thousands of titles available at a steep discount this is the time when most folks pad out their gaming library and who can blame them–some games are listed at up to 80% off!

Steam

The sale started on June 25th and will run for two weeks until July 9th 10AM PST! With so many titles on sale, it can be a bit overwhelming, so I’ve gone ahead and compiled a list of all the Otome Games and Romance Visual Novels I could find! Check out the below list and take advantage of this amazing sale!

Continue reading “Steam Summer Sale – Otome & Romance Visual Novel Edition”

5 Reasons You Should Play Collar x Malice

Collar x Malice is the newest otome game localization to make its way to the Nintendo Switch—the console that is quickly making itself the hub for otome fans after the death of the Playstation Vita. Anyone who played the game back when it was released here in the west will tell you that Collar x Malice is one of the best otome games to make it’s way stateside—with it’s engaging story and stellar cast of characters—this is one of the games that I most recommend to folks looking to make the jump to otome games.

Collar x Malice is a detective mystery otome game that was published in Japan by Idea Factory under their Otomate brand of games in 2016. The following year in 2017, Aksys Games released an English language localization of the game for the PS Vita. Collar x Malice follows a rookie police officer who is unwittingly drawn into a series of gruesome crimes when she is kidnapped and collared by the terrorist organization, Adonis. It’s a race against the clock and failure isn’t an option. With her life on the line and the fate of the city hanging in the balance, Ichika must team up with a group five strangers—some of which are former police officers—in order to uncover the truth behind the X-Day Incidents and Adonis.

So, if you are still on the fence about whether or not to snag a copy of this game now that it’s available on the Swith, here are 5 reasons you should totally be playing Collar x Malice!

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Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #57

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 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.

Broke.gif

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!

Continue reading “Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #57”

Behind the Games – Interview with Oracle and Bone Studio

Hey Hey Blerdy Tribe, I’m back with another Behind the Games post! For those of you just joining the party, Behind the Games is a segment where I interview the folks ‘behind the games’ I review. Giving you guys a chance to get to know the developers that spend so much time carefully crafting the games you enjoy.

Last time, I spoke with Dani, Alexis, Lisa, Percy, and Kevin, members of the ValiDate team—their first project is the upcoming LGBTQ+ visual novel ValiDate: Struggling Singles in Your Area. This time around, I had the chance to chat with Tida Kietsungden and Charissa So the founders of the indie game studio, Oracle and Bone, and the creative team behind the 80’s themed yuri visual novel, A Summer’s End – Hong Kong 1986.

A Summer’s End – Hong Kong 1986 is a yuri visual novel and  Oracle and Bone’s debut title—follow the story of Michelle and Sam, and how their chance meeting evolves into a deeper relationship. Set in vibrant Hong Kong in the year 1986, it is an original story about love, family, and culture. Inspired by Hong Kong cinema and 80’s anime, A Summer’s End – Hong Kong 1986 is loving homage to one of the most memorable periods of time.

I recently had a chance to chat with Tida and Charissa, about their work on A Summer’s End, so without further ado, let’s turn things over to them…

Continue reading “Behind the Games – Interview with Oracle and Bone Studio”

Being an anime fan back in the day was a STRUGGLE

I was browsing Crunchyroll and I ran across the anime Demon Lord Dante and man did it trigger some serious nostalgia. For those of you that don’t know—Demon Lord Dante is a supernatural horror series by Go Nagai, the man behind Devilman and Cutie Honey. The 2018 ONA,  Devil Man Crybaby is based on Nagai’s Devilman series and if you thought that was trippy, you NEED to check out Demon Lord Dante, because MAN IS IT WILD—religious allegory, satanists, demons, monsters, naked women being sacrificed, and just a hint of incest to top it all off…and it’s AWESOME (and terrible). Just watch it (dubbed) and see what I’m talking about.

Now, technically, Sailor Moon, Pokemon, and Yu-Gi-Oh were my first “official” anime watches, but back then we had no clue that what we were watching was anything other than cartoons. So, in my head I have a hard time thinking of those series as anime, because growing up they were just “cartoons”.  It wasn’t until I was well into my teens that I realized there was a difference and began actively seeking out anime.

Continue reading “Being an anime fan back in the day was a STRUGGLE”

Melanin Friendly Games – ‘Chronotopia: Second Skin’

Hey Blerdy Tribe, it’s Melanin Monday here on Blerdy Otome and that means I’m spotlighting another Melanin Friendly Game! For those of you just joining the party—every Monday I spotlight games that feature black and brown characters for anyone looking for titles with just a bit more representation. As a blerd and a gamer, I am always on the lookout for representation in my games. This is largely a personal project for me—there are almost no “diverse game” tags on major game sites—so, it can be pretty difficult find games with characters of color… unless you already know where to look.

Chronotopia Hair Combing Scene

This week, I’m spotlighting the dark fantasy visual novel, Chronotopia: Second Skin from Träumendes Mädchen. Unlike some of the previous games in this segment, Chronotopia is still in development, but a beta demo is available for free. Chronotopia is a retelling of the Donkeyskin fairytale and promises to be a more mature take on the tale. Princess Kionna lives a peaceful existence in her castle, enjoying her days with her best friend and confidant, Nahima. That is until her father, gone mad since the death of his beloved, decides he should wed her instead. Kionna has to find a way to escape from this fate, but how? She doesn’t know it yet, but it’s the beginning of a long nightmare that will take her to the edges of madness…

Continue reading “Melanin Friendly Games – ‘Chronotopia: Second Skin’”

A Summer’s End – Hong Kong 1986 Game Review – Press Play on this Engaging Retro Yuri Romance

A Summer’s End – Hong Kong 1986 is the debut LGBTQ positive yuri visual novel developed by indie game studio Oracle and Bone.  Follow the story of Michelle and Sam, and how their chance meeting evolves into a deeper relationship. Taking us through the various stages of their relationship—from their first fateful encounter to the confusion and joy of falling in love. Set in vibrant Hong Kong in the year 1986, it is an original story about love, family, and culture. Inspired by Hong Kong cinema and 80’s anime, A Summer’s End – Hong Kong 1986 is loving homage to one of the most memorable periods of time.

A Summer's End Hong Kong 1986 Game Review

Game Details

  • Yuri, Romance, 80’s Inspired, Story-Based
  • Available on Windows, Mac, & Linux | Steam 
  • Price: $14.99
  • 5+ hours of gameplay
  • Optional Adult Content Patch

Continue reading “A Summer’s End – Hong Kong 1986 Game Review – Press Play on this Engaging Retro Yuri Romance”

Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #56

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 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.

Broke.gif

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!

Continue reading “Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #56”

Wholesome BL Reads to Add to Your Reading List

Boys Love used to be a dirty little secret fujoshi and fudanshi enjoyed in the dark recesses of their bedrooms—and I will admit that there was a time when I wouldn’t dare admit that I liked anything even remotely related to the genre. But, times have changed and BL media isn’t the taboo it once was—hell I remember the days of watching BL OVAs on YouTube and reading poorly rendered manga scans on questionable sites. But, now BL media is readily available with series like Dakaichi and Given getting full anime series and publishers like Juné and SuBLime licensing entire series for English speaking audiences. And, a lot of that has to do with the gradual shift from the smut heavy boys love stories to more wholesome romance stories.

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of boys love series that glorify sex, but more and more series are striving to tell more realistic romances. This de-sexualization of boys love media makes them more accessible to folks outside of the target demographic. Even, as a seasoned fujoshi, I welcome this change, because it opens up the genre to more varied stories and proves that relationships between men are more than the stuff of rampant fangirl fantasies. So, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite wholesome boys love manga series to add to your reading list!


Continue reading “Wholesome BL Reads to Add to Your Reading List”

Behind the Games – Interview with the ValiDate Team

Hey Hey Blerdy Tribe, it’s been awhile since I did a Behind the Games post—but I figured it was high time I revived this oft forgotten series. For those of you just joining the party, Behind the Games is a segment where I interview the folks ‘behind the games’ I review. Giving you guys a chance to get to know the developers that spend so much time carefully crafting the games you enjoy.

Last time, I spoke with Chu-3, the founder of the indie game studio, RoseVeRte Games—the developer of the Eroolia and Cafe 0 series. This time around, I had the chance to chat with the team behind the upcoming LGBT+ positive romance visual novel, ValiDate: Struggling Singles in Your Area.

Validate Struggling Singles in Your Area

ValiDate is a romantic visual novel about 12 adults in Jersey City navigating new relationships and the harsh realities that come alongside them.

Plot Synopsis

Anywhere can be the city of love if you’re willing to try hard enough, and some of these folks from Jercy City are desperate. ValiDate presents a smorgasbord of relationships to bear witness to— but the dating scene is difficult even when you aren’t marginalized in six different ways, so happiness continues to fly just out of reach for these unlucky lovers.

The team working on ValiDate consists entirely of people of color and they each bring their own experiences and unique voice to the project. What makes this game so exciting for me is that, like the development team, the main cast of ValiDate is very diverse featuring characters from a wide range of backgrounds, sexual orientation, and gender identity. And with 12 playable characters and over 30 routes, this game promises to shake up the indie gaming scene when it is released Q1 2021. In the meantime, four of the members of the ValiDate team—Dani, Alexis, Lisa, Percy, and Kevin—let me pick their brain about the upcoming project! So, let’s turn things over to them…

Continue reading “Behind the Games – Interview with the ValiDate Team”

Without a Voice Yuri Game Review – A Melancholy Fairytale

Without a Voice is a dark fantasy yuri visual novel developed by L3 for Yuri Game Jam 2016. The game borrows elements from fairy tales with some subtle nods to Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid, but with a darker twist. Without a Voice follows Cassidy, an exhiled princess living alone in a small cottage in the woods. It’s a far cry from her comfortable life in the palace in the kingdom of Veromere, but she has made the best of her circumstances spending her days exploring the forest and reading. One day, while out on a walk she encounters a mysterious woman resting in the shade of an ancient wisteria tree. Captivated by the beautiful woman, Cassidy spends her days getting to know Elowen–but, unbeknownst to her, the wheels of fate have already begun to turn, and the pair will have to fight for their happily ever after.

Without a Voice Review 1

Without a Voice takes anywhere from 2-3 hours to get through and there are 8 unique endings to unlock. It’s available for PC either through itch.io or via the Steam platform. Like most of the older fairy tales, Without a Voice does get pretty dark in some of the bad end which can be triggering to folks sensitive to blood and/or death.

Game Details

Continue reading “Without a Voice Yuri Game Review – A Melancholy Fairytale”

[Pride Month 2020] Even More LGBTQ Positive Visual Novels

Hey Hey Blerdy Tribe, it’s LGBT Pride Month, the annual celebration dedicated to the richly diverse LGBT+ community!! Now more than ever, representation matters, especially in the wake of the recent string of injustices carried out here in the United States and abroad.

These past few years I celebrated Pride Month with lists of 10 LGBTQ positive visual novels–2018’s List and 2019’s List–and  I highly recommend giving those a read, there are some seriously great titles there that definitely warrant a look. Because it’s June once again, I have compiled another list with even more LGBTQ+ positive Visual Novels!

I tried my best to choose games that presented members of the LGBTQ+ community in a positive light, focusing less on sexual orientation or gender identity and more on telling meaningful stories that focus on the human experience. As in previous years, I have include links to each of the games, a synopsis of the story, and a short summary of the types of representation you’ll find in the game. So, without further ado, here are Even More LGBTQ Positive Visual Novels that you should totally check out this Pride Month!

Continue reading “[Pride Month 2020] Even More LGBTQ Positive Visual Novels”

Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #55

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 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.

Broke.gif

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!

Continue reading “Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #55”

What Did You Eat Yesterday? – Volume 1 Manga Review

I am a huge boys love fan, but looking back at some of the series I own, a lot of them aren’t exactly what you’d call “wholesome”. I’m not ashamed of this, I like smutty BL as much as the next fujoshi, but every so often I like to pick up something a bit more tame—so during one of my RightStuf hauls I snagged a few copies of Fumi Yoshinaga’s What Did You Eat Yesterday? I’d run across the series a few years ago in the dealers room at a Con and back then I wasn’t ready to invest in a longer series, especially when each volume is $12.95 a pop. But, when faced with extra time at home, I figured now was a good time to start adding to my manga library and I have not regretted my purchase! What Did You Eat Yesterday? is one of the most wholesome boys love manga I have read in a long time.

A hard-working middle-aged gay couple in Tokyo come to enjoy the finer moments of life through food. After long days at work, either in the law firm or the hair salon, Shiro and Kenji will always have down time together by the dinner table, where they can discuss their troubles, hash out their feelings and enjoy delicately prepared home cooked meals!

-Synopsis

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Night in the Woods Game Review – Growing Up is Scary AF

Every so often I switch things up and play a game that isn’t an otome game, sometimes I need a break from the rose colored world of bishies and romance—what can I say, variety is the spice of life. Since picking up my Switch I’ve been branching out more and the eShop has been pretty accommodating, it’s a treasure trove of indie titles. On one of my eShop browsing expeditions, I picked up Infinite Fall’s Night in the Woods. This wasn’t completely a blind buy, I’d heard a bit about the game before, generally positive feedback, so, I figured it was a safe bet.

Night in the Woods Review 5

In Night in the Woods, you play as Mae, a 20-year old college sophomore, returning to her hometown of Possum Springs after deciding to drop out of school. But, nothing is as she left it—the town is on the brink of collapse after the closure of the coal mines and her old friends have changed in the two years they’ve been apart. While Mae struggles to reconnect with her friends and family, she is plagued by strange dreams that may be linked to a series of mysterious disappearances and sinister secrets some in the town would rather stay buried.

Game Details 

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The Blerdy Tribe – Black Creators You Should Be Following

So, it occurred to me that my Blerdy Tribe was looking kinda thin, so I quickly set out to correct that and wound up discovering some truly amazing Black creatives—and I just had to share! With everything going on right now it is extremely important that we share our own stories and connect with one another, because at the end of the day we are all stronger together!

And as the media continues to drown out Black voices and tries to paint us as thugs—but we are people and our voices deserve to be heard! So, I’m gonna do my part to amplify some great accounts run by wonderfully unapologetic Blerds! I urge you guys to go out and show each and every one of them some love because they are out here proving that Black people are MAGIC!

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A New Life Game Review – How Will You Fill the Pages of Your Story?

Angela He just dropped her newest visual novel, a new life the sequel to her game, missed messageswhich explores the importance of communication, as we explore the relationship between a young college student and her roommate, May. Despite living together, the two rarely interact and when May begins to distance herself further, you must decide whether or not you will reach out and bridge the gap. missed messages deals with some heavier themes related to self harm and suicide, which can be triggering for some individuals. However, despite that missed messages manages to tell an emotionally driven story that will stay with you long after it reaches its conclusion.

A New Life Review 1

a new life brings back the main characters from the first game, following August and May as they embark on their happily ever after together as a couple. But, sometimes life has other plans—a new life gives us an intimate look at their relationship as they navigate the emotional highs and lows of life and love. Like Angela’s previous visual novels, a new life doesn’t hold back on the emotional punches and there are a few heart-wrenching moments, but ultimately, it is worth the experience.

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Last Day of Spring – Game Review

Last Day of Spring is the sequel to npckc’s LGBTQ positive visual novel, One Night, Hot Springs—which followed Haru, a 19-year old transgender Japanese woman as she goes on an overnight trip to a local hot spring for her oldest friend Manami’s 20th birthday. The game focuses on Haru’s experiences during the trip and the affect they have on her—One Night, Hot Springs delves into many of the anxieties Haru has over not being treated as the woman she is and while it does have its fair share of heavy moments, the game is ultimately very positive.

Last Day of Spring Review 8

During the trip, Haru meets Manami’s friend Erika and while they have a shaky start, there are opportunities for the two to spend more time together and eventually become friends. Last Day of Spring, picks up a few months after the first game and follows Erika, who at this point has become really good friends with Haru. At the start of the game Erika learns from Manami that it’s Haru’s birthday and decides they should do something to celebrate. So she sets out to plan a special spa day for her, Haru, and Manami.

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NaNoRenO 2020 Review – ‘Divilethion’

I originally planned to keep my NaNoRenO 2020 reviews contained to the month of May, but what the hell, I’m having a lot of fun with this—so I’ll keep cranking these bad boys out till I’m satisfied! Next up is the dark comedy fantasy visual novel, Divilethion developed by Nemlei. This is their second NaNoRenO submission, the first being, Jack-in-a-Castle, and like their first title, Divilethion has the same smart writing and a macabre comedic tone that will have you in stitches!

Divilethion Review 1

You play as Lynn, one of the high priests serving the benevolent and illustrious god, Divilethion, the protector of your village. But, Divilethion’s protection comes at a price, a trifle really—the occasional human sacrifice—no big deal. Lynn has more important things to worry about, like his strained relationship with his younger brother Marrow. But, when you’re the high priest to a high maintenance (and jealous) god like Divilethion, sometimes sacrifices have to be made…

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Blerdy Otome Monthly Recap – May 2020

Hey there Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs another month has come and gone, and with it 2020 continues to be the gift that keeps on giving. Many of us are still at home as COVID-19 continues to rages on and now the unnecessary murders of black people at the hands of those sworn to protect has major cities all across the country in an uproar.

It’s a emotional time for us here in the States and it’s just further evidence that things need to change. So, it is with that backdrop that we say goodbye to the May, a tumultuous month in an already difficult year. And, with that said, lets look back on the month here at Blerdy Otome.

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Blerdy PSA: I Am Tired Of This!

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs~ I planned on having a review up today, but I think right now, this is more important.

While most of us are still sheltering at home while ‘Rona rages on outside, here in the States, we’re still reeling from the most recent string of Black slayings and the resulting civil unrest as many take to the streets to show their disgust at the double standard that continues to exist within our country.

As a Black woman I am so tired of seeing so many of my people murdered for no other reason than they were Black in America. COVID-19 is not the only threat—a corrupt system that functions on inequality is—what happened to George Floyd is not new and senseless killings like this won’t end until the system that runs on fear and hate is dismantled. I know, this is a bit heavier than what I usually post here, but I’m tired of seeing the same shit day in and day out! I’m tired of having to be on my guard when I leave the safety of my home to go about my day to day life. And I refuse to stay silent in the face of such blatant and disregard for black lives. Being Black in America should not be a death sentence.

If you are looking to show support to those in Minnesota the Minnesota Freedom Fund is taking donations. And if you are unable to donate, share their donation site information.

Minnesota Freedom Fund

Click the banner to be taken to their donation page

To everyone out there, whether you are at home or out in the streets protesting—Stay safe. Be Well. 

 

5 Games Like Taisho x Alice

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs it’s time once again for another Games Like post—the blog series where you guys vote on the otome game and I go out and find five games that are similar to them. Last time I wrote a list of 5 Games Like Code Realize and this time around I ran a poll over on Twitter and 23 of you guys voted for Taisho x Alice!

Taisho x Alice is a game that has been localized in English not once, but twice. The first time was the infamously bad localization done by E2 Gaming, that not only had a laughably subpar translation, but absolutely terrible English voice acting. Thankfully, Primula decided to take matters into their own hands, with their parent company pencil handling the localization this time around. The OtomeArmada’s own Verdelish worked on the translation for Episode 1 and she definitely brings her own unique flair to the English version.

For those of you unfamiliar with the game, Taisho x Alice is a re-imagining of popular fairytales, but with a twist—each of the love interests are gender swapped versions of famous characters like Cinderella and Snow White! The game was originally released in Japan in 2015 for PC and was split into four episodes, each with two LIs. The first episode features Cinderella and Red Riding Hood’s stories; the second—Kaguya and Gretel; the third episode— Snow White and the Wizard; and the fourth and final episode focuses on Alice.

So far, only the first episode has been released, but there are plans to release the subsequent episodes in the near future. So while we’re waiting for the rest of the Taisho x Alice games to be released here in the West, here are five game titles that are sure to help fill the void! As always, I tried to go with games that have a similar vibe to TaiAli so don’t expect games that are play by play clones. Now, with that out of the way, let’s check out five games like Taisho x Alice!

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Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #54

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 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.

Broke.gif

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!

Continue reading “Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #54”

NaNoRenO 2020 Review – ‘Love Rewind: A Magical Time Travel Romance’

Full steam ahead with another NaNoRenO 2020 game, this time around I’m looking at Love Rewind: A Magical Time Travel Romance, a fantasy romance visual novel developed as a collaboration between three game developers—Omelette, Foleso, and Illusia. It’s not uncommon to see devs collaborating on a single game for NaNoRenO and there are a handful of collaborative efforts among this year’s submissions. I covered Foleso’s solo NaNoRenO 2020 submission, Demon Kiss, though the other two devs are relatively unknown to me, but after playing Love Rewind I’m definitely going to have to check out some of their other works soon.

Love Rewind 1

After an accident 10 years ago, Yuki fled civilization to live out the rest of his days as a hermit in the woods. One day, his solitude is broken when he finds a dying cat outside his cabin. Unwilling to let the poor creature die, he takes the cat home in hopes of nursing it back to health. To his surprise, the cat is actually a guardian spirit named Aurelia, and she is duty bound to grant Yuki his deepest desire as gratitude for saving her life. With her powers Aurelia gives Yuki a chance to correct the mistakes of his past…

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Creating the Ideal Partner: The Adaptive Nature of Heroines in Otome Games – May 2020 “Adapt” OWLS Blog Tour

It’s time for another OWLS Blog Tour, most of you were probably directed here after reading Scott’s post about Crest of the Stars and Banner of the Stars, and if you haven’t read his post I definitely recommend giving it a read!! If you stumbled upon this post by chance, welcome to Blerdy Otome!

For those of you newbies, I am a part of a group called OWLS and we are a group of bloggers and vloggers that hope to spread a message of acceptance and understanding through thoughtful community activism! We use our love of pop-culture and other media to discuss a wide range of topics. Each month we host themed Blog Tours where we discuss topics we feel are important to the greater fandom community. In the wake of the current pandemic and the many changes it has caused in our lives, this month’s tour is all about adapting.

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Right now, we all have lost something or gained something in return during this dark time. Our lives have been completely altered due to coronavirus. For this month, we will be talking about anime series and other pop culture media where we have characters having to adjust to changes in their environment. Whether it’s adjusting to a new school or heading towards an isekai fantasy world, we will be discussing characters that had to make changes within themselves in order to adapt to the circumstances they are in. This will also give us an opportunity to express our own personal lives as we try to adjust to a “new normal.”

– May 2020 Blog Tour Prompt

As is the theme with these blog tour posts, I struggled to come up with a topic, so I decided to fall back on what I know—otome games. For those of you unfamiliar with the genre, ‘otome’ refers to a sub-genre of story based visual novels aimed primarily at girls and women, where the main objective is to romance a group of attractive male characters, known as love interests.

Continue reading “Creating the Ideal Partner: The Adaptive Nature of Heroines in Otome Games – May 2020 “Adapt” OWLS Blog Tour”

Melanin Friendly Games – ‘Date Warp’

Hey there Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, it’s Melanin Monday here on Blerdy Otome and that means I’m spotlighting another Melanin Friendly Game! For those of you just joining the party—every Monday I spotlight games that feature black and brown characters for anyone looking for titles with just a bit more representation. As a blerd and a gamer, I am always on the lookout for representation in my games. This is largely a personal project for me—there are almost no “diverse game” tags on major game sites—so, it can be pretty difficult find games with characters of color… unless you already know where to look.

Date Warp 1

This week, I’m spotlighting the sci-fi mystery romance visual novel, Date Warpfrom Hanako Game. This was one of the first English otome games I played when I started out on my journey into otome hell and even 10 years later, this game still stands up! Date Warp follows Janet a college student who left her dorm one night to go on a blind date with one of the most popular guys on campus—and never returned. Was she kidnapped? Murdered? Solve puzzles and piece together clues to uncover the truth… but, be warned the truth might not be as straightforward as you’d hoped…

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NaNoRenO 2020 Review – ‘Dream Dilemma!’

This has turned into quite the undertaking and while I’m pretty sure I won’t get through every submission by the end of the month, I have enjoyed the games I’ve played so far. For those of you just joining the party—all month long I’ve been working my way through submissions for the annual one month game jam, NaNoRenO, which is usually held between March and April. There were over 100 submissions for NaNoRenO 2020 created by newbie devs and veterans alike, covering a wide range of genres so I highly recommend checking a few out if you have the chance.

Dream Dilemma 1

Next up on this tour of NaNoRenO games is the short fantasy visual novel, Dream Dilemma from AmesyFlo. This one’s a bit on the short side, taking roughly a half hour to get through, but it has a total of five endings that are each worth exploring. Dream Dilemma follows Jane, a seemingly ordinary girl who has been having strange dreams featuring a handsome boy. While his identity is a mystery she can’t help but feel like they’ve met somewhere before. Unbeknownst to her, there are greater powers at work and Jane and her dream boy are just the unwitting pawns in a life or death riddle game that could spell disaster for the pair should they fail…

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NaNoRenO 2020 Review – Flour Hour

It was only a matter of time before I unearthed another boys love title from among the NaNoRenO 2020 submissions. I’ve said this before, but it deserves repeating—boys love games tend to fall into one of two categories—comedy or angsty drama. There are a few exceptions, but for the most part if you take any given boys love title you can pretty much place it neatly into one of those two categories.

Sayumi101’s boys love visual novel, Flour Hour falls squarely into the latter category—even the synopsis describes it as a “light-hearted (probably unnecessarily drama-heavy) BL”. And I’m not going to lie, Flour Hour reads like an angsty, drama heavy 90’s boys love manga, touching on just about every cliche in the book and yet I couldn’t help but get invested in story and characters Sayumi and their team created.

Flour Hour 1

The game follows Yuki, a reserved baker who has taken over his ailing grandmother’s flower shop and turned it into a moderately successful bakery. Things are going well for him until a Lawyer informs him that he owes a considerable amount of money and that if he can’t pay, he will have to turn over the property. But, with the shop’s meager earnings, he isn’t sure he will be able to come up with the money in time… to add insult to injury, his ex suddenly bulldozes his way back into his life stirring up feelings Yuki thought he had long since buried.

Continue reading “NaNoRenO 2020 Review – Flour Hour”

Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #53

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.

Broke.gif

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!

Continue reading “Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #53”

Crocheting While Otaku: Keepin’ It Casual

Hey there Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, it’s been awhile since I last wrote about crocheting, and I’m going to be honest with you guys, I didn’t have anything to share because I just wasn’t in the mood to make anything new. I had to fulfill a custom order a few weeks ago, but aside from that I haven’t picked up a skein of yarn or my crochet hook since. I love crocheting and I find that it’s one of my more therapeutic hobbies, but sometimes I just don’t feel like creating anything. Which can seem strange in a world where just about everyone is trying to find ways to market their hobbies to the masses, I mean, Blerdy Otome is  kind of built on that same concept—I started this site as a place where I could talk about otome games and it’s kind of snowballed from there…

Blerdy Girl Crafts

I know… including a link to my Etsy store in a post about keeping hobbies just hobbies… cliche af

Granted, I do sell my crochet creations over on Etsy, but I’ve always maintained the notion that crocheting would always be a casual hobby. I mean, if I make a few bucks every now and again cool, but I’m not trying to build a crochet empire over here. Because even though there is clearly a market for crochet items, the act of crocheting has always been a personal thing for me.

Continue reading “Crocheting While Otaku: Keepin’ It Casual”

Now Playing: Games I’m Currently Playing – April

Hey Guys! Right now I’m going on 2 1/2 months at home and it has been an experience. I like not having to brave the DC metro to get to work, but I miss the face to face interactions I had with my coworkers and friends… Earlier this month my job told us to expect to be teleworking until July, so I still have a bit more time at home ahead of me. Though, one silverlining is that I’ve had a lot of extra time to power through my backlog! Yay…

I’m currently powering through the NaNoRenO 2020 submissions, but there are over 100 of them, so it’s a pretty big undertaking (and I most likely won’t get through them all). There are some really great games among this year’s submissions so I highly recommend checking a few out! When I’m not playing those I have an ever changing list of ongoing game playthroughs that I’ve been tackling….

Kitty Love Otome

Kitty Love Way to Look for Love

I’m back on the Kitty Love train. DIGIMERCE sent me a review copy of the game awhile ago and while I did play it and write a review about it… I wasn’t exactly forgiving about its many many MANY shortcomings. The first time I played it with a friend and we spent the majority of the time making fun of the characters and the grammatical errors… and while I didn’t really like the game at the time, I did enjoy the social aspect of playing an otome game with a friend.

Continue reading “Now Playing: Games I’m Currently Playing – April”

Melanin Friendly Games – ‘Mermaid Splash! Passion Festival’

Hey there Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, it’s Melanin Monday here on Blerdy Otome and that means I’m spotlighting another Melanin Friendly Game! For those of you just joining the party—every Monday I spotlight games that feature black and brown characters for anyone looking for titles with just a bit more representation. As a blerd and a gamer, I am always on the lookout for representation in my games. This is largely a personal project for me—there are almost no “diverse game” tags on major game sites—so, it can be pretty difficult find games with characters of color… unless you already know where to look.

Mermaid Splash 1

This week, I’m spotlighting the debut visual novel, Mermaid Splash! Passion Festival, from Sofdelux Studio—made up of NomnomNami, creator of Syrup and Ultimate Sweet and DarkChibiShadow, a comic creator who also makes visual novels on the side. Mermaid Splash! is a short yuri visual novel that follows CiCi, a mermaid who wants to participate in the upcoming Passion Festival. There’s only one hitch… she doesn’t really have anything that she’s passionate in—so it’s up to you to help her hone her skills and focus on a specific hobby for the festival. You have just one month tho help CiCi get her act together and maybe you’ll help her find love in the process!

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Confessions of an Otome Gamer – Using Guides and Walkthroughs

Hey, Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs! I’ve been running this site for the past five years, and it just occurred to me that I don’t really talk at length about my gaming process. Sure, I drop a passing phrase or two every now and again in my reviews, but I have yet to really sit down write about what type of gamer I am, and because I’ve been stuck at home for the past two and a half months (aside from going stir crazy) I’ve had a bit more time for self reflection… So, I thought it would be fun to write out a few of my gaming related thoughts and confessions. That way you guys get to know me a little better and I get to get some things off my chest.

Of course there’s always the chance that no one really cares and I’m just screaming into the void like everyone else on the internet. But, all this social distancing has got me in a talkative mood for once…so, let’s just see where this goes. I don’t know how often I’ll post these, but I’ll shoot for 1-2 per month, however it’ll mostly be whenever I have anything specific that I want to talk about. For my first confession—sometimes I use guide and walkthroughs to finish games. 

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NaNoRenO 2020 Review – ‘#influenced’

There is such a huge variety of titles among the annual NaNoRenO submissions, that you never truly know what is going to pique your interest. I’m just blindly picking games at random, giving priority to games that I find aesthetically pleasing—it’s shallow, I know, but when there are over 100 games to get through can you blame me for picking game with pretty art first?

So, this is how I found myself playing Pilot_Star’s kinetic novel, #influenced, which I suppose is fitting given it’s focus on the superficial world of internet influencers. With it’s chic character designs and bright coloring, #infuenced is definitely one of the better looking titles in this year’s lineup—but beneath it’s cute appearance is slow burn horror story that doubles as a surprisingly clever social commentary.

#influenced 1

The game follows Dolly Pearson, an up-and-coming influencer on the social media site Instapix. But, despite visiting all the cutest cafes and taking flawless selfies, she’s frustrated with her meager 5K follower count. Everything changes when she befriends Instapix star Vanessa, who has just made the move from New York to her town. Seeing this as her chance to make it big, Dolly asks her for a few tips and Vanessa is happy to lend her new bestie a helping hand… just so long as Dolly is willing to do whatever it takes…

While I don’t plan on spoiling the game, I feel obligated to note that, #influenced warrants a trigger warning for graphic descriptions of self-harm and suicide. 

Continue reading “NaNoRenO 2020 Review – ‘#influenced’”

Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #52

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.

Broke.gif

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!

Continue reading “Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #52”

Now This is a Story All About How… I Got Hit with a DMCA Notice from Funimation

So, this incident happened a little while ago but I needed some time to cool off before I wrote about it, because at the time I was PISSED! Time has softened my anger so that now I look back on the whole thing with some degree of amusement, don’t get me wrong, I am still pretty frustrated about the whole situation, but not enough to wage a one woman crusade against FUNimation. I’ve put away my pitchfork and doused my torch, and after a bit of self reflection I think I’m finally ready to talk about what happened…

For the past few years I have been running an online shop on Etsy where I sell crochet items. I have a few original creations, but the bulk of my merchandise consists of anime inspired amigurumi dolls. For those of you unfamiliar with crochet or yarn crafting in general, amigurumi is a Japanese term used to describe the art of knitting or crocheting small stuffed toys. The term amigurumi (編みぐるみ) literally means knit or crochet stuffed toy and these can be anything from stuffed animals to dolls and I’ve even seen a lot of people who make cute food plushies. There really is no limit to what you can make with amigurumi, so it really allows the crafter the freedom to let their imaginations soar.

Continue reading “Now This is a Story All About How… I Got Hit with a DMCA Notice from Funimation”

NaNoRenO 2020 Review – Red-Handed Robin

I’m switching gears a bit from the last NaNoRenO 2020 title and I have to admit I was really looking forward to this release. Mystery, romance, adventure—HitOrMissy’s Red-Handed Robin has everything I love in my visual novels! This is the team’s second game release following Fetch Quest, their submission for NaNoRenO 2019 (which is still on my must play list).

This time around the team brings us a good ol’ fashion crime fiction adventure following Robin, a career thief and her loyal bodyguard, Jay as they attempt to flee the country on the brand new luxury train, the Whirlwind Express. With the spoils of her last heist close at hand, Robin is ready to make a clean break… that is until she runs into her childhood friend turned detective… What’s a gal to do? Can Robin lie her way to freedom or will her cover be blown by the handsome detective? Red-Handed Robin is a two part release, and as of right now only part one is available, so the game does end in a bit of a cliffhanger. But, there is still plenty to explore in this fun first installment.

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Melanin Friendly Games – ‘Arcade Spirits’

It’s Monday and with it comes another Melanin Friendly game! For those of you just joining the party—every Monday here on Blerdy Otome I spotlight games that feature black and brown characters for anyone looking for titles with a bit more representation. It started as something I did just for myself, since growing up as a nerdy Black kid in the south, I didn’t really get too many characters that looked like me in the games I played. Things are so much different now, and I want to celebrate each and every “Melanin Friendly” game I find!

Arcade Spirits Characters.jpg

Main Cast L to R: Ashley, Gavin, Naomi, Percy, Queenbee, and Teo

This week, I’m spotlighting Arcade Spirits, an 80’s themed romance visual novel developed by Fiction Factory Games. Set in an alternate timeline where the 1983 video game crash never happened, you play as a new hire at the Funplex game arcade. It’s your job to keep the peace in one of the most popular arcades in the city, while trying to figure out your next step in life. At Funplex, you’ll meet a whole host of unique characters and maybe even find a little romance along the way.

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Blerdy Otome Monthly Recap – April 2020

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs~ 2020 marks the beginning of a new decade and yet, I don’t think anyone would have anticipated the absolute sh*t show this year has turned into. It’s been one thing after another since January and now many of us are just waiting for things to settle down.

With the stay at home orders in place in the DMV, I’m spending a lot more time at home, which has given me more opportunities to write. Nothing like a pandemic to get the creative juices flowing… I think this is the most active I have been in a long time and I’m having fun coming up with new content and checking out other blogs. Since there’s so much more content now, it’s finally time for me to revive my recap posts. If you’ve been following me for awhile, you probably remember my old Last Week Today post. This is the same concept, just much more condensed—doing a weekly recap was just a bit overwhelming, but I think this format will be much easier to manage each month. So let’s get this show on the road and look back at the month of April here on Blerdy Otome!

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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.

Continue reading “Heartstopper Volume 1 by Alice Oseman – Graphic Novel Review”

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.

Broke.gif

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!

Continue reading “Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #51”

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!

Continue reading “My Favorite Boys Love Anime (so far)”

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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NaNoRenO 2020 Review – Dear Devere

This is such a different type of game from the ones I usually review on this site, I tend to focus on more interactive visual novels and otome games, and occasionally I dabble into the world of platformers and adventure games. So when Katy133 emailed me about her newest visual novel, Dear Devere, I will admit that I was at a bit of a loss, since it wasn’t my usual jam. I’d be more inclined to label Dear Devere as interactive fiction or a kinetic novel than a visual novel, since you don’t really influence the story by making choices or anything like that. Rather, the story unfolds through a series of letters written by two strangers.

Dear Devere

Set in 1935 Dear Devere follows Angela Bard—a quiet, solitary woman living in the Scottish isles. After a disagreement with a woman in her town, Angela decides to write a letter venting her frustrations, which she leaves under a rock at the edge of the nearby forest. She is of course surprised to discover that someone has replied to her letter—the mysterious Mr. Devere. Who is this Mr. Devere? And how is it that he’s come across Angela’s letters? The truth is something wholly unexpected and yet, worth finding out.

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NaNoRenO 2020 Review – Demon Kiss

I’m committing myself to playing through these NaNoRenO 2020 game releases and next up is Demon Kissa short indie boys love visual novel from Foleso. This is my first experience with this dev, but the art looked nice so I figured I could give it a go. The game follows Felix Wright, an IT guy, who’d much rather stay at home and play his favorite MMORPG with his online friends. Fed up with his antisocial attitude, his bubbly bestie manages to convince him to be her plus one for a Halloween house party. But what should have been a night full of watered down booze and awkward socializing turns into a night of horror when a hunky demon lord gate crashes!

Demon Kiss 1.png


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Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #50

Hey there Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, it’s once again that special time of the week—Thrifty Thursday! This is the 50th Thrifty Gaming post!! What a milestone! *throws confetti*

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.

Broke.gif

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!

Continue reading “Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #50”

Full Service 18+ BL Game Review – Find Your “Happy Ending”

Black Monkey Pro is the gift that just keeps on giving. After their disbandment back in 2015, I thought I was done with the company and their… unique boys love game offerings. But, lo in 2017, a kind reader informed me that BMP had risen from the ashes and re-branded themselves as Herculion, retaining many of the original staff. But, the cherry on top of this delightful revelation is that they were already hard at work on their “first” boys love visual novel, Full Service. Given my less than enthusiastic opinion of BMP’s previous titles, I was wary of anything remotely related to the BMP brand, but I played the first demo for the game and I was genuinely surprised by how much I enjoyed it—I found that I was actually looking forward to the official release!

Full Service 1.png

Full Service follows Tomoki Nakamoto,  a workaholic looking for a little excitement in his life. One day, he gets invited to visit the local spa, where he meets a group of hunky masseurs who are more than happy to help him relieve a little excess stress. Suddenly his mundane life is about to get much more exciting.

*There are some uncensored NSFW images towards the end of this review*

Game Details

  • Available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Steam
  • Cost: $39.99
  • 7 pursuable characters (male)
  • Gameplay Length: 60+ hours (15 hrs per route)
  • Partial Voice Acting (English and Japanese)

Continue reading “Full Service 18+ BL Game Review – Find Your “Happy Ending””

NaNoRenO 2020 Review – Enamored Risks

The annual one month game jam, NaNoRenO 2020+ has come and gone bringing with it over 100 new game titles from a wide range of genres from veteran game devs and newbies alike. NaNoRenO is a treasure trove for indie gems and throughout the next month or so I’ll be reviewing quite a few of them. Since these games tend to be on the shorter side, rather than writing the usual long-form reviews, these will be mini reviews.

First up is Enamored Risks developed by Crystal Game Works, the team behind the josei romance visual novel, That Which Binds Us and the supernatural romance, Memories on the Shoreline. This is the third game I’ve played from the team, and I think they’ve finally hit their stride, Enamored Risks is a much more grounded title, than their earlier offerings (at least the ones I tried). The game follows Alex, a recently emancipated nursing student, struggling to find herself now that she is free from her overbearing parents. One day she overhears some classmates discussing a mysterious urban exploration social media account full of photos of ruined buildings, rooftop views, and rooms trapped in time, desperate add a bit of excitement to her life, Alex decides to a little exploring of her own. Along the way she meets three urban explorer who help her uncover sides of herself she never imagined existed.

Enamored Risk 1

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F#@k, Marry, Kill Otome Edition – Star Crossed Myth

Here I am once again using all of my years of otome related experience to ask the hard hitting questions others are afraid to ask! This is quality stuff right here, carefully crafted after not one, but two glasses of really good red wine and an afternoon of playing OZMAFIA.

This is the post that no one asked for, but I felt compelled to write down. I could have easily used this time to tackle my neglected backlog or catching up on game requests, but I felt that a Fuck, Marry, Kill post was exactly what the world needed right now. For those of you that didn’t play this game as a kid, the basic premise is this:

One person poses three names of people known to someone else (either people known in their personal lives or of celebrities). The other person then has to decide which of the three they would kiss (or fuck, in more mature versions of the game… like this one), which one they would marry, and which one they would kill.

-Da Rulez

I’m cutting the middle man and just using the love interest lineup from otome games to answer three sacred, age old questions— Which otome guy would I fuck? Which otome guy would I marry? Which otome guy would I kill? The first game on the chopping block is Star Crossed Myth… because I’ve played all the routes.

Continue reading “F#@k, Marry, Kill Otome Edition – Star Crossed Myth”

Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #49

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.

Broke.gif

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!

Continue reading “Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #49”

I Wanna Give Myself a Chance to Believe in Myself Again: How Shizuo Never Gives Up Hope in ‘I’ll Give It My All… Tomorrow’ – April 2020 “Hope” OWLS Blog Tour

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, its been awhile since I last participated in an OWLS Blog Tour. We all started this year full of hope, but the recent COVID-19 pandemic has put many of us in a tight spot. Many have already succumbed to the virus and those that haven’t are facing economic hardships brought on by stay at home orders and mandatory social distancing. It’s hard not to feel discouraged, when the impacts of the virus is such an ever present part of our lives. Whether you have been personally affected by the pandemic or know someone affected by COVID-19, it’s important that we keep moving forward. So, it’s only fitting that in the wake of the current pandemic, that the April 2020 Blog Tour topic should be Hope.

We are in the midst of a pandemic which has led people to live in fear and anxiety over the coronavirus. For this month, rather than seeing the dark side of the situation we are living in, we will be exploring anime and other pop culture mediums that bring hope for humanity and why they have such a positive impact on us.

-OWLS April 2020 “Hope” Blog Tour Prompt

Continue reading “I Wanna Give Myself a Chance to Believe in Myself Again: How Shizuo Never Gives Up Hope in ‘I’ll Give It My All… Tomorrow’ – April 2020 “Hope” OWLS Blog Tour”

Up Until The End – Game Review

I got this request months ago and while I’d like to say that the reason it took so long to review this game was because I was busy with real life obligations that wouldn’t be entirely true. The truth is, at first glance Up Until the End just didn’t grab my attention—the premise was definitely unique, but the art really didn’t do it for me, so I pushed it further and further down my list. I am not proud to admit that I judged this game before even playing it, but I am human and while reviewers strive to be impartial, it’s not exactly an easy thing to do.

So, with the prospect of being stuck at home indefinitely due to COVID-19, I decided to revisit Letitia Lambrechts debut visual novel, Up Until the End and I will admit that I owe her an apology for waiting so long to play this game. It’s not perfect, but, I may have been too hasty in judging Up Until the End, it is a rather enjoyable and inventive story that is worth the playthrough!

This was supposed to be an ordinary day, in an ordinary life. But it isn’t.
You were in the town library, reading a good book when…You don’t really remember. You know you passed out. When you wake up, you are surrounded by flames !

Will you get out of danger? Will you create bonds with your companions? And maybe, will you find love on the way?

-Synopsis

Game Details

  • Available for Windows, Mac, Linux 
  • Price: Pay What You Want
  • 1 optional pursuable male character
  • 15 Unique Endings
  • Gameplay Length: 2-5 hours

Continue reading “Up Until The End – Game Review”

Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #48

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.

Broke.gif

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!

Continue reading “Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #48”

5 Games Like Code Realize

It’s been a long time since I popped out one of these Games Like posts. Part of me wants to say the delay was brought on by real life obligations, but really I had a hard time thinking of games like Code Realize. I ran the twitter poll back in October, but this post has been sitting in my drafts these past few months because I wanted to pick games that really did Code Realize justice (and fingers crossed that I actually did that).

Last time I wrote a list of 5 Games Like Collar x Malice and this time around I’m bringing you guys a list of 5 games like Code Realize. For those of you unfamiliar with the game, Code Realize is a steampunk fantasy, featuring a cast of characters based on famous literary and historical figures. Code Realize was developed by Otomate for the PS Vita in 2014 and later released internationally in 2015. In the wake of the fall of the PS Vita, Code Realize has made the move to the Nintendo Switch. The game follows Cardia—a young woman whose body produces a deadly poison that melts anything she touches—spends her days in an abandoned mansion to protect others from her affliction. Labeled as a monster by the locals, Cardia resigns herself to a life of loneliness until Royal Guards break into the mansion and attempt to capture her. She is saved by infamous gentleman thief Arsène Lupin, who promises to help her find her father, the only person who might be able to remove the poison coursing through her veins.

Code Realize has been universally praised by otome fans for it’s immersive story and well developed characters. It’s definitely a stand out among otome game titles, managing to balance romance and good, solid storytelling. So if you’ve played Code Realize and you’re looking for something similar to dive into, here are five game titles that are sure to hit the spot! I tried to go with games that have the same feel as Code Realize and not so much a play by play clone of the game. So, they’re not exactly the same, but, they definitely capture the spirit of the game.

Continue reading “5 Games Like Code Realize”

Now Playing: Games I’m Currently Playing – February/March

Hey! It’s been a while since I wrote anything here on the old blog, but I got really into crocheting again… so I took a break to make a few dolls (which you can see on my Instagram).

So, we’re going on a little over a month of social distancing and we’ve all been digging deep to keep ourselves occupied while we wait out the COVID-19 pandemic. The extra time at home has given me a chance to dive back into some of my more neglected hobbies and my streaming watch list is at an all time low. Though, my backlog remains pretty much unchanged. In fact, I think it’s grown quite a bit since all of this started—probably because of all the “Stay At Home” game sales and deals… and if there is one thing I’m weak to, it’s sales. I’m still kind of playing the field with my games, but, there are a few that I’ve gotten pretty far into… so, here are the games I’ve been playing recently.

Afterparty

Afterparty

After finishing Pokemon Sword, I found myself in need of something to fill my gaming void, so I did what any red blooded gamer would do—I started browsing the Nintendo eShop. I love me some indie games, and the Switch has quite a few titles to choose from, but out of all of them, Night School Studio’s Afterparty really stood out from the rest. It’s an adventure game that follows two recently deceased best friends, Milo and Lola, who find themselves the newest residents of Hell. Not up for spending an eternity in Hell, the pair discover that there is a get out of Hell free card—You just have to out drink the prince of Hell, Satan and he’ll send you back to Earth!

Continue reading “Now Playing: Games I’m Currently Playing – February/March”

Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #47

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.

Broke.gif

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!

Continue reading “Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #47”

Self-Care in a Time of Social Distancing – How I’ve Been Taking Care of My Mental Health from Home

Hey hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs! I hope you all are doing well wherever you are in the world during the current COVID-19 pandemic. These are some troubling times and while we weather this storm, it’s important that we all remain safe! Many countries have already enacted stay-at-home mandates, and I myself have been working from home for these past three weeks, so it’s been a quite the task keeping myself busy in this new age of social distancing. I’m mostly an introvert, so I’m welcoming the extra time at home, but I know many are finding this change to their daily routine isolating, so it’s definitely important that we continue to take care of our mental health by practicing self-care.

Self – Care

/ˌselfˈker/

noun

      • the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.

During the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s easy to forget to take a step back and put yourself first, especially when you’re busy taking care of other things. The COVID-19 pandemic has put a lot of us in a pretty tight spot and while I know things are hard for many, it’s important to help one another and maintain a positive outlook for the future. Trust me, I know how hard it is to stay positive in the wake of what seems like an overwhelming situation—I have experience multiple job losses, financial difficulties, and there was a point not too long ago that I was close to being without a roof over my head. Things do get better! This COVID-19 pandemic is just a small setback and together we can get through this! I don’t often share stuff like this here, but in this time of fear and uncertainty it is important to do things that elevate your mental health by doing things that make you happy and improve your mood. So, I wanted to share some of the things I’ve been doing to keep myself uplifted and centered at home during the current pandemic.

Continue reading “Self-Care in a Time of Social Distancing – How I’ve Been Taking Care of My Mental Health from Home”

My Burning Heart BL Game Review – A Steamy Arabian Nights Fantasy

My Burning Heart is a story set in a 1001 Nights world.

Our protagonist, Adnan, gets sold as a slave and, instead of being sent to work in the fields, as he expected, he ends up in a Sultan’s harem… Although they try to trick him with good words and promises of being well fed and no physical punishments, he decides to comply with the Sultan’s orders… but only while he plans his escape from the palace.

-Synopsis

As a Black gamer I tend to shy away from games that depict slavery, for obvious reasons—it makes me uncomfortable. Especially when slavery is depicted in romance themed games, since there is a degree of power imbalance that undermines any perceived notion of consent, because lets be real for a second—slaves cannot defy the whims of their masters, and as such are subject to whatever treatment their masters see fit. I take particular offense to games that tend to sexualize the relationship between a master and a slave, because by definition these relationships are inherently non consensual, since slaves don’t have the agency to reject the advances of their masters.

My Burning Heart Rashid 2

So, I find myself in a bit of a dilemma with Ertal Games’s Arabian nights themed visual novel, My Burning Heart—its very premise is built on the dubious consent of a slave/master relationship—the protagonist, Adnan, is brought to the palace of the sultan to be his new harem slave. Despite the benevolence of his master, Adnan plots to escape his comfortable life in the palace, but in order to do so he will need to give himself over to the Sultan. *internal scream*

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