Category: Games

First Impressions: Pipe Dream Demo

Pipe Dream is an upcoming slice-of-life dating sim developed by indie studio, Notome Games. This is my first experience with this team, but when your studio claims to specialize in “unusual otome game experiences”, let’s just say I take notice! Unlike most otome games that end when the player bags their boy, Notome Games wanted to create a game that explores the complexities of maintaining a relationship with your chosen beau. Aside from Storm Lover Kai, this is the first time I’ve come across an “otome” game that attempts to give players a more realistic romance experience. 

Pipe Dream follows Robin, a young woman living under the thumb of her overbearing mother. Tired of having her whole life decided for her, Robin plans to make a desperate escape and attend the college of her choosing. Finally free from her mother’s control, Robin is excited to begin her new life as a university student. Follow Robin on her journey, balance your classes with your new social life and possibly uncover a brand new romance along the way. 

Notome Games just launched the Kickstarter campaign for the game so you all have until February 14, 2021 to support the project. But, if you’re still on the fence about the game, there is a demo available—of course I had to give it a try for myself! So, here are my thoughts on the demo for Pipe Dream…

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Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #75

Hey Blerdy Tribe! It’s Thrifty Thursday!! 

In a world where it’s all about the almighty dollar, sometimes it’s a little tough to make our pennies stretch enough to accommodate our hobbies. But, there are plenty of ways to balance your budget while still enjoying the things you love, you just have to be a little thrifty about it. So, I created Thrifty Gaming in order to spotlight some lesser known indie titles that are both entertaining an affordable.

If you’re a new follower or someone who has been following since my Nice Job Breaking It Hero days and have been gone for awhile, here’s a refresher… Thrifty Gaming, is a weekly post series where I spotlight three games/visual novels that are under $10.00. These can be mobile games, PC games, and a few times I have found some nice indie console titles too. The list used to focus on just otome games and romance visual novels, but after requests from a few readers I have since expanded to other gaming genres. I don’t include sales or limited time offers, each title has to be consistently priced at $10.00 or less without any promotions to be included in this line up.

Sailor Moon Money
 
 

Note, these are not reviews, rather recommendations so your mileage may vary with some of these titles. This week’s post will include a brief synopsis and links to each game so you can add them to your gaming library! You don’t have to break the bank to enjoy your hobbies, so save a little bread and check this week’s thrifty gaming picks!

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EPHEMERAL- Fantasy on Dark- Scheduled for January 21 Nintendo Switch Release

Ephemerally, beautiful, a World in Darkness.

HuneX just announced that they’ll be releasing “EPHEMERAL -FANTASY ON DARK-” for the Nintendo Switch on January 21, 2021. The game was first released in English in 2018 on Steam. This new release features an updated translation! A trial edition will also be released the same day as the full release.

A forbidden campus love story across races, between Cloé and the other Residents of the Dark. Dark Fantasy X Campus Love Adventure coming to Nintendo Switch!! Featuring full Japanese voice acting by the stellar cast of Takashi Kondo, Shun Horie, Kazuyuki Okitsu and Toshiyuki Toyonaga as the charming Residents of the Dark in an ephemerally beautiful story!

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What I Look for in an Otome Heroine

Over the years there has been a lot of discourse surrounding otome heroines. In the early days, otome heroines were pretty bland, sweet and demure, but otherwise nondescript. I mean, when a character’s entire purpose is to be a stand in for the player, it makes sense that they’d be a bit lacking in the personality department. But, in recent years there has been a shift in the types of heroines we see in otome games, with many writers giving them a much more defined personality and motivations. Heck, in some cases like Saki from Sweet Fuse, the heroine is a much more interesting character than the actual love interests!

Of course, there’s the other side of the spectrum, where a heroine can be a bit too much to the point of being unlikable. In the Voltage game Liar Uncover the Truth, the heroine is a smart, confident career woman, with a clear vision of what she wants in a man–all amazing qualities to have in an otome heroine–and at first, I LOVED her. But, as the story progressed her impossibly high standards made her less and less relatable… and by the end of the game I found myself rooting against her.

Heroine characters are more a reflection of feminine ideals and as women’s roles in society change so too do our expectations of how female characters should be portrayed in our media. So it’s important to keep abreast of changing norms when crafting female characters, especially those in media targeted at women. It’s about striking a balance between the fantasy that otome games provide and the reality of how women identify themselves. So, that got me thinking about the qualities I look for in my otome heroines and thus this post exists.

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Code: Realize ~Wintertide Miracles~ to Launch February 25th on Nintendo Switch

Cozy up with your favorite Code: Realize characters for more adventure and romance

Aksys Games announced today that they will release both Standard and Limited Editions of Code: Realize ~Wintertide Miracles~ for the Nintendo Switch™ next month on February 25th. The third chapter in the beloved interactive fiction series, Code: Realize ~Wintertide Miracles~ invites fans to join the poison-skinned heroine Cardia Beckford for further escapades with a team of famous (and famously handsome) figures from Western literature as they face new challenges, new friends and foes, and new opportunities for love.

The Limited Edition of Code: Realize ~Wintertide Miracles~ includes a set of five 1.5” metal buttons featuring new holiday chibi artwork and a 3” acrylic keychain of Cardia in her winter costume. This keychain will be the third in the Code: Realize exclusive set of acrylic keychains.

~Wintertide Miracles~ takes fans deeper into the world of Code: Realize and its intriguing characters. Experience the seasonal magic and chaos of two-on-one dates and play with dynamics (and hearts) by bringing multiple members of Lupin’s gang on a wide variety of romantic romps. Learn more about the dashing detective Herlock Sholmés and the enigmatic Finis in continuing sagas involving the newest men in the Code: Realize universe, and join Cantarella, the mysterious young lady Cardia encountered in one of her many adventures, as she is caught up in the chaos that always seems to surround Lupin and his gang.

About the Code: Realize Universe
The story begins with the main character, Cardia, isolated and alone in a mansion on the outskirts of a 19th century steampunk version of London. A victim of a mysterious affliction that makes her blood a virulent poison and her touch instantly lethal, Cardia is shunned as a monster. Through a number of events both grand and seemingly insignificant, Cardia is pursued by the Royal Guard, kidnapped by the gentleman thief Arsène Lupin, and joined by myriad other handsome figures from the best of Western literature. With her new-found friends (and suitors) Cardia ventures out in the world to unravel the mysteries surrounding her very existence.

The Code: Realize games have been rated “T for Teen” by the ESRB. For more information, visit www.aksysgames.com/wintertide/. Follow Aksys Games on Twitter and Instagram at @AksysGames, and join our Let’s Play streams on Twitch at aksysgames and YouTube.

About Aksys GamesFounded in 2006 in Torrance, California, Aksys Games Localization, Inc. is a visionary video game publisher committed to publishing unique and high-quality interactive content for all current-generation platforms. Its lineup of games includes the critically acclaimed Zero Escape series, Little Dragons Café, the award-winning Spirit Hunter: Death Mark and Spirit Hunter: NG adventures and Code: Realize titles, as well as the wildly successful BlazBlueUnder Night In-Birth, and Guilty Gear franchises. More information about Aksys Games and its unique products can be found on the company’s website, www.aksysgames.com.
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