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…
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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…
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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.
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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.
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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
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