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.
This week, I’m spotlighting the sci-fi mystery romance visual novel, Date Warp, from 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…
Continue reading “Melanin Friendly Games – ‘Date Warp’”
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.
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…
Continue reading “NaNoRenO 2020 Review – ‘Dream Dilemma!’”
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.
Continue reading “NaNoRenO 2020 Review – Enamored Risks”
I absolutely love NaNoRenO because it gives up and coming developers the opportunity to make their debut in the game development world and bring their own unique ideas to life. These are usually smaller projects put together by a much smaller team, however, I’ve played quite a few NaNoRenO games in the past that are on par (if not better than) some bigger name commercial releases. You never quite know what you’re going to get with a NaNorenO title, but you can always be sure it will be a one of a kind experience.
So, when Yoshibb reached out to me about their NaNoRenO 2019 entry, My Only Sunshine I was more than happy to give the game a look since the premise was quite unlike anything I have ever seen before: A romance fantasy visual novel involving humanoid versions of the planets. I was intrigued. I’ve played otome games where you date representatives of astrological signs, gods and goddess, but never planets.
Once every millennium, Sun holds a huge gathering of the planetary spirits. While Sun has found herself down in the dumps recently — including a relationship with Terra (Earth) that is on the rocks and what she now considers a largely mundane, solitary existence — she hopes that the get together will brighten things up. However, after Terra ruins her event with his reckless behavior, Sun decides it’s time to play the field and chooses a new planetary partner.
Continue reading “My Only Sunshine Review – A Romance VN That’s Out Of This World!”
When the Night Comes is an episodic supernatural fantasy otome game from indie team, Lunaris Games. I’ve played my fair share of supernatural otome games, each promising a fresh take on an already over-saturated genre, but, When the Night Comes is truly something special.
Each new chapter builds on the momentum of its predecessor drawing you into the complex world of magic and mystery. In the game, you are a hunter that has been called to the quiet town of Lunaris to assist with an ongoing investigation into a series of grisly murders. But, there’s more to this case than your superiors are letting on, delve into the world of Witches, Vampires, Demons, and Lycans to slowly uncover the secrets of the town. The closer you get to the truth the more dangerous things become, forcing you to rely on the very creatures you’ve been tasked with hunting. But, with more sinister forces at work, you will need all the help you can get and maybe you’ll discover a little romance along the way.
- Genre: Supernatural, Fantasy, Romance, 18+
- Available for PC (Widows, Mac, Linux)
- 6 Chapters (ongoing)
- Gameplay Lengh: 2-3 hours per chapter
- Cost: Free
- Male, Female, and Poly Romance Options
- Similar Games: Changeling, Spirit Parade, and Love Ritual
Continue reading “When the Night Comes Review – A Devilishly Addictive Supernatural Mystery”
Newbie developer Steamberry Studios delivers a magical adventure in their debut supernatural fantasy visual novel, Changeling. The game follows Nora, a high school senior who finds herself drawn into the world of the paranormal after moving back to her childhood hometown of Pine Hollow. A community of Cryptics (supernatural beings) operates in the shadows of Pine Hollow, each with their own secrets… After experiencing a number of strange occurrences, Nora discovers that she is also a Cryptic and the revelation sends her world into a tailspin. But, unlike her friends and fellow member of the Supernatural Club, her supernatural origins might be darker than anyone could have anticipated. With danger around every corner, Nora must rely on one of six guys, to uncover the secrets of her past while also helping them deal with their own supernatural issues.
I’ve been following Changeling‘s production for a very long time now, from the kickstarter campaign to tumblr dev updates to the beta testing and I’ve talked with the devs at length about the game on a number of occasions. So, I suppose you could say I am really invested in this game.
Continue reading “Changeling Review – An Imaginative Supernatural Romance VN”
Jaime Scribbles Games just released their newest game, a dystopian life-sim visual novel As We Know It. Set in the distant future, where the world has been plagued by climate shifts that have turned the surface into a veritable wasteland, people have taken refuge in underground sanctuaries. One such subterranean town, Camden offers a safe haven for a those select few lucky enough to secure an invitation to the exclusive oasis. You (default name Ashlynn Phillips) and your mother are given the opportunity to escape the surface for the safety and security of Camden. The mayor, Rick Davidson and the people of the city welcome you with open arms, and the abundance of resources are a welcome change from scarcity of the surface. But, all is not as it seems in Camden, as seeds of descent spread the social order of the city starts to deteriorate and you must decide where your allegiances lie. Do you stand with the Mayor and protect your new home or do you rebel? The choice is yours.
- Genre: Life simulator, Romance, Drama
- Available for PC (Widows, Mac, Linux) and Steam
- 30 Endings (4 romance routes, 3 potential friendships)
- Gameplay Lengh: 3-5 hours per playthrough
- Cost: $19.99 USD
- Life-Sim Gameplay
- Customizable MC
- Similar Games: Aloners, Who We Are Now
Continue reading “As We Know It Review – A Diverse Post-Apocalyptic Visual Novel”
Delve deep into the heart of intrigue, and uncover a murder mystery that still hangs over the city like a shroud.
Be careful what secrets you reveal and what choices you make… yours is not the only fate that hangs in the balance. Magic, romance and mystery await. Who will you choose to love and who will you choose to condemn? How will your story unravel?
The story follows an unnamed magician’s apprentice (you decide their gender/gender pronouns; he/she/they), with a gift for fortune telling. When your master, Asra, a renowned magician leaves on an unexpected trip, you are left to look after his shop. But, before he leaves, you with his prized Tarot deck. Not long after, you are visited by two mysterious strangers: the beautiful Countess, Nadia and the disgraced physician Julian. Each stranger has a request that will change the course of your life forever.
Inspired by the Major Arcana Tarot Cards, Nix Hydra’s fantasy romance The Arcana delivers equal parts mystery and intrigue in this wickedly addictive and visually stunning mobile visual novel. I’m usually pretty wary of mobile games, especially freemium visual novels, given the staccatoed pacing of their ticket based narratives and rather formulaic premises. However, The Arcana is anything but by the book, with it’s lively visuals and captivating premise, this game will have you on the edge of your seat as you delve deeper into this richly woven murder mystery… and if you play your cards right, a bit of romance too.
- Genre: Fantasy, Romance
- 3 Love interests
- Available: Google Play | App Store
- Cost: Free (optional micro-transactions)
Continue reading “[First Thoughts] The Arcana”
Let the prank wars begin, in Lockvia Studios’s debut title, Prank Masters, follow Juliet Hayes, a self proclaimed prank master, who isn’t above pulling a few practical jokes. But, when her parents move to a new town, Juliet finds that the jokes on her for once when she meets three formidable pranksters that stir up some unexpected feelings. Perhaps there’s more to life than pulling pranks?
Her parents are famous writers and big fans of Shakespeare. Hoping for a daughter filled with beauty and grace, they name her Juliet.
Instead, their daughter grew up to be the opposite. She’s a girl who cares about doing things her own way: the prank master way.
When her parents bring her to a new town in search of inspiration for their careers, Juliet is enrolled in a new school.
A few unexpected situations make her first day of school one to remember. Now, after having not pulled a prank in a while, she is quickly back to her old self.
Though this time it’s not just going to be all about pranks. Juliet might be running into a few unexpected feelings as well….
-Synopsis (Game Site)
After playing the demo back in 2014, and I fell in love with the premise and the characters, so, I immediately opened my wallet and pre-ordered the game. But, as the years went by I began to lose hope that I’d ever get to play the game, and then BAM, I get a notification on itch.io that the full game had been released and the rest is history!
- Available for Windows, Linux, and Mac; Steam
- 3 Potential love interests (4 Endings Each; Total 12 Endings)
- 30 hours of Gameplay
- Cost: $17.99 USD
Continue reading “All’s Fair in Love and War!- Prank Masters Review”
The Crossroads is a short GxB supernatural romance visual novel created by Seraphinite for the one month gamejam, NaNoRenO 2017. This is a name your own price game and is playable on Windows and Mac operating systems. The game is roughly an hour long, with two male love interests and a total of three endings.
The Crossroads tells the story of a young woman (name changeable) who is hired to house sit a large mansion in the country after losing her job and her apartment. She hopes to take the time away to get her life together, that is until she encounters two very handsome men working on the property. But all is not what it seems at the house, both men are hiding something that will change her life forever.
*If you wish to download the game, do so, HERE!*
Since developers only have a month to create these games, I will be a bit more forgiving of these titles’s shortcomings, however, that doesn’t mean I won’t give you guys my honest opinion in each review.
Continue reading “[NaNoRenO 2017] English Otome Game- The Crossroads”