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.
Continue reading “Melanin Monday: Lovestruck”
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.
- 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”
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 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.
Continue reading “Without a Voice Yuri Game Review – A Melancholy Fairytale”
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”
Angela He just dropped her newest visual novel, a new life the sequel to her game, missed messages—which 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 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.
Continue reading “A New Life Game Review – How Will You Fill the Pages of Your Story?”
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.
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.
Continue reading “Last Day of Spring – Game Review”
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.
Continue reading “Melanin Friendly Games – ‘Errant Kingdom’”
One of my first experiences with Japanese culture and anime came from watching Sailor Moon after school. Though the American dub of the series was HEAVILY edited, I was enamored with the series and tuned in every day to see Serena (yes, I know Usagi) and the rest of the Sailor Scouts kicking ass and protecting their city from evil… and Tuxedo Mask, he was like my first anime crush! I can STILL remember singing the opening theme at the top of my lungs much to the annoyance of my mom and brothers, but watching Sailor Moon sparked a love affair with anime and the magical girl genre that has lasted years…
I love me some Sailor Moon, but there weren’t exactly any Black sailor scouts (except for Pluto… I’m gonna go ahead and claim her for the culture), not that that stopped me from wanting to be a sailor scout. But, looking back, I would have loved to have seen someone that looked like me fighting along side the rest of the sailor scouts. So when I came across Xeregha Lopez’s magical girl yuri/otome visual novel, Magical Warrior Diamond Heart it set my little magical girl heart all a flutter!!
Continue reading “Melanin Friendly Games – ‘Magical Warrior Diamond Heart’”
For someone that shies away from incomplete series, I’ve been really getting into episodic visual novels. Rather than blazing through a game in one sitting, the plot unfolds over a series of chapters/episodes and because there is usually a bit of a wait between new releases, this gap in new content gives you a chance to really dig down and fully explore the different story elements and scenarios in the interim. It’s a much more comprehensive gaming experience than I’m used to, but one that definitely allows for a much more immersive experience overall.
Recently I had the chance to give Asif G.’s Arabian Nights inspired fantasy visual novel, One Thousand and One Days a try and I was blown away by what I played so far. The game borrows heavily from ancient Persian mythology and Islamic lore AND features an all POC cast that draw inspiration from Middle Eastern, North African, and Mongolian cultures. On top of that, the game is LGBTQ+ friendly, with love interests with differing gender identities and sexual orientation. There are even poly romance options in addition to the standard one on one romances choices.
- Genre: Supernatural, Fantasy, Romance
- Available for PC (Widows, Mac, Linux)
- 4 Chapters (ongoing)
- Gameplay Lengh: 30 mins – 1 hour per chapter
- Cost: Free
- 4 Love Interests (Male and Female); Poly Romance Options
Continue reading “One Thousand and One Days Game Review – An Enchanting Fantasy VN”
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”
I’ve played many games over the years, but none has so perfectly captured the human experience as poignantly as the short visual novel One Night, Hot Spring. This thought provoking title, gives players the opportunity to step into the shoes of Haru, a 19 year old transgender Japanese woman who has just been invited for an overnight trip to a local hot spring by her oldest friend Manami. While Haru is initially reluctant to attend, she eventually give in to the request. But, what would normally be a simple night out with friends is made much more difficult for Haru, who is still legally male must contend with the rigid gender structures of the Japanese hot spring. As the night wears on and Haru’s anxieties rise the player must decide how Haru reacts to the various obstacles she encounters.
npckc‘s short visual novel One Night, Hot Spring does that and more, by giving players the unique opportunity to experience life through the eyes of a transgender woman in Japan. I originally included the game in a list of ten LGBTQ positive visual novels in celebration of Pride Month and of all the titles on that list, One Night, Hot Spring was by far my favorite. The game was developed by indie developer npckc for the 2018 Trans Gal Jam.
- Available for Windows, Linux, Mac, and Android
- Gameplay Length: 30 mins – 1 hour
- 7 unique endings
- Cost: FREE
Continue reading “One Night, Hot Spring – Game Review”
Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, I’m back… well, kinda. It’s June and that means it’s LGBT Pride Month, the annual celebration dedicated to the richly diverse LGBT community. As an ally of the LGBTQ community I wanted to do something to celebrate here on Blerdy Otome, so I compiled a list of ten LGBTQ Positive Visual Novels I think you guys should check out. I tried to compile a list of games that I thought were representative of the LGBTQ community, so expect a wide range of titles with diverse characters and subject matter.
I want to emphasize that I went for games that represented the LGBTQ community in a positive light, so I shied away from titles that seemed to hypersexualize LGBTQ relationships, so don’t expect any overtly sexual BL or Yuri games on this list! As with any list, your mileage may vary, so if you don’t agree with my choices, you are more than welcome to suggest other games down in the comments section. So, without further ado, let’s get this party started, here’s my list of 10 LGBTQ Positive Visual Novels, you should definitely check out this Pride Month!
*Also be sure to check out Pride Month 2019’s list for even more LGBTQ friendly VNs!
Continue reading “[Pride Month 2018] 10 LGBTQ Positive Visual Novels”