Category: Visual Novel

Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #31

Hey there Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs!! It’s Thrifty Thursday and that means another Thrifty Gaming post, the weekly post series where I spotlight three games/visual novels for gamers on a budget. Whatever your financial situation, I’m here to bring you affordable games that won’t break the bank!! All of the games on this list are $10 or less (does not include limited time offers and sale items), so no more weepy wallets!
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This week’s post will include links to the games and a brief synopsis, but let me stress that these are not reviews, but recommendations… so your mileage may vary! Now that that’s out of the way lets get on to this week’s list!!

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5 Games Like Collar x Malice

I know it’s been a while since the last 5 Games Like… post, but I wanted to get through Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly and Collar x Malice just in case one of them won the poll. And wouldn’t you know it, Collar x Malice swept the Twitter poll! Thanks to everyone that participated and for those of you that missed out, check out my twitter for the next poll.

 

In the last time I wrote a list of 5 Otome Games Like Steam Prison and this week I’m bringing you guys a list of 5 otome games like Collar x Malice. For those of you unfamiliar with the game, 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.

Unlike most otome games that focus more on romance, Collar x Malice offers a more story driven narrative that’s more in line with a suspense thriller or an investigative adventure game. This is my favorite otome localization so far, and you can bet I’ll be getting Collar x Malice: Unlimited when it comes out next year. But, in the meantime if you’re like me and you’re looking for games similar to Collar x Malice, here are five game titles that are sure to hit the spot! I tried to go with games that have the same feel as Collar x Malice 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.

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Episodic Otome Games and Visual Novels You Totally Should Be Playing

Happy Monday!! What better way to kick of the week than with some game recommendations?!

Despite my aversion to cliffhangers and my love/hate relationship with ongoing series, I’ve really been getting into episodic games lately… There really is something to be said for playing a game at your leisure, with new episodes released every few weeks (or months). It gives you something to do between game releases or while your procrastinating on a project without losing hours of your life… It’s like a gaming snack rather than a whole meal and with my crazy schedule, episodic games offer the perfect fix for when I’m craving some gaming time, without the a long gameplay commitment.

So, I compiled a list of some of my favorite episodic games, from life sims, to puzzle games, to visual novels, and more! These are the 8 episodic otome games and visual novels you should totally be playing!!


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Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #30

Hey there Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs!! It’s Thrifty Thursday and that means another Thrifty Gaming post, the weekly post series where I spotlight three games/visual novels for gamers on a budget. Whatever your financial situation, I’m here to bring you affordable games that won’t break the bank!! All of the games on this list are $10 or less (does not include limited time offers and sale items), so no more weepy wallets!

shut_up_and_take_my_money

This week’s post will include links to the games and a brief synopsis, but let me stress that these are not reviews, but recommendations… so your mileage may vary! Now that that’s out of the way lets get on to this week’s list!!

Continue reading “Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #30”

Enchanted in the Moonlight Review – Spirited Away by Ayakashi Hotties

The Japanese mobile otome games company Voltage Inc. is the latest publisher to jump on the Nintendo Switch bandwagon. Earlier this year the company announced that a few of their mobile Otome Romance titles would be made available on the Nintendo Switch and the first game to make the move is their supernatural romance, Enchanted in the Moonlight. Rather than release one game with all of the characters, the Switch version of the game is split into two titles: Enchanted in the Moonlight: Miyabi, Kyoga, & Samon and Enchanted in the Moonlight: Kiryu, Chikage, & Yukinojo and comprises of all the season 1 to season 3 main stories from the mobile app Love 365. 

Enchanted in the Moonlight was released as a standalone mobile app for Android and IOS back in 2014  and even after the termination of the app in 2018 has experienced a revival as one of the titles on the new Love 365 portal app. In the game you play as a young woman who finds her life turned upside down when she is attacked by malevolent Ayakashi drawn to her unique blood. A group of handsome Ayakashi come to your aid, but there protection comes at a price: they’ll protect you from evil Ayakashi that lust for your blood, but in exchange you must bear their child. With dangerous Ayakashi after your life who will you choose as your defender?


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Collar x Malice Otome Review – How Do You Define Justice?

These last few years have been pretty good to otome games fans, with tons of new English language releases of Japanese otome titles and two upcoming otome anime adaptations. One of the games that has been getting the most attention lately is Idea Factory’s mystery/detective visual novel, Collar x Malice. Within the span of a month fans were treated to an upcoming anime announcement and at Anime Expo 2019, Aksys Games announced that they would be releasing both Collar x Malice and it’s new fandisk, Collar x Malice: Unlimited for the Nintendo Switch in 2020. So, after dragging my feet for two years, I finally carved out some time for the game and I am kicking myself for waiting so long to jump on the Collar x Malice hype train. This is by far my favorite localization release to date!

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Collar x Malice was published in Japan by Idea Factory under their Otomate brand of games in 2016 and release exclusively for the PS Vita handheld. In 2017 Aksys Games released an English language edition of the game. 2017 was a huge year for western otome games fans, with a ton of great titles making their way stateside, but of all of them Collar x Malice stood out the most for me. The game follows a rookie police officer, Ichika Hoshino living in Shinjuku. The city is currently under a mass quarantine after the terrorist organization, Adonis commits a series of violent crimes known collectively as the X-Day Incidents. One night while on patrol, Ichika is kidnapped and fitted with a collar set to dispense a lethal dose of poison into her neck. A voice from the collar instructs her to investigate the X-Day Incidents and uncover the “truth” behind Adonis and their plans for Shinjuku. With her life and the fate of the city on the line, Ichika must rely on the help of five strangers, each with their own reasons for wanting to solve the X-Day cases. Together, they might be able to remove Ichika’s collar and liberate Shinjuku from Adonis’s grip.

Game Details

  • Genre: Detective, Mystery, Romance
  • Available for PS Vita | Nintendo Switch (2020)
  • Gameplay Lengh: 5-7 hours first play through/ 30-50 hours Total
  • Cost: $34.99
  • 5 male romance options
    • Suggested Play Order: Mineo → Takeru → Kei → Shiraishi → Yanagi
  • Similar Games: 7’scarlet, Steam Prison 

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Beyond Eden BL Game Review – A Steamy Victorian Revenge VN

Once again I am diving head first into another period drama BL visual novel. I loved Ertal Games’s debut title A Hand in the Darknessso I was excited to discover that another developer, Studio Pieplus had released a similar title back in 2017. Beyond Eden was just what I needed. The game trades in the posh private school setting for an out of the way country estate of Ashgrove, home to the Baron William Edenic and his sons. But, behind closed doors, the Edenic family is hiding dark secrets that could prove detrimental to the Baron and his family if the public were to learn of their past misdeeds. Alex Wake, the former ward of the Edenic family has been biding his time and amassing wealth of his own and now he is on his way back to Ashgrove in order to exact revenge against the Baron and his family! He has been holding a grudge for 10 long years and he won’t be satisfied until all the Edenics are brought to their knees.

*Moderate NSFW images*

Game Details

  • Available for Steam
  • 5 romantic partners & 1 friendship route
  • 17 unique endings
  • Voice Acting: Korean
  • Cost: $34.99
  • Gameplay Length: 15-25 hours

Continue reading “Beyond Eden BL Game Review – A Steamy Victorian Revenge VN”

Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #29

Hey there Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs!! It’s Thrifty Thursday and that means another Thrifty Gaming post, the weekly post series where I spotlight three games/visual novels for gamers on a budget. Whatever your financial situation, I’m here to bring you affordable games that won’t break the bank!! All of the games on this list are $10 or less (does not include limited time offers and sale items), so no more weepy wallets!

shut_up_and_take_my_money

This week’s post will include links to the games and a brief synopsis, but let me stress that these are not reviews, but recommendations… so your mileage may vary! Now that that’s out of the way lets get on to this week’s list!!

Continue reading “Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #29”

Silver:Line – Demo Review

I usually have a hard time writing reviews about demos, since unlike completed games, they don’t always have all the finalized assets that you’d expect from a full blown release. If you’re lucky, a demo will cover the common route or the prologue, which at least gives you a fairly good feel of the game’s concept and characters. But, if you’re not, a demo is more of a teaser trailer of ideas that doesn’t really stand up to much scrutiny, which doesn’t allow much for me as a reviewer to write about. So I tend to be very particular about which demos I review.

Recently Code V Productions released a demo for their upcoming fantasy visual novel, Silver:Line and I was impressed not only with the quality, but the execution. A fully realized world with an inventive premise and unique characters, Silver:Line is by far one of the best demos I have played this year!

Recruited as an imperial scholar serving the crown of Lucarene, you lead a peaceful life at the castle, responsible for researching, tracking, and recording everything there is to know about the royal city. Living a life you once thought you could only ever dream of, you wouldn’t change anything for the world. But as fate would have it, you’re thrown into a turmoil of events where you’re pinned as a scapegoat and forced to flee the country, running for your very life. You set off on a journey, featuring a colourful cast and new horizons.

Official Synopsis 

Demo Details


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Melanin Friendly Otome Games & Visual Novels

I’ve written about the importance of representation in media quite a few times in the past, I even have a post series dedicated to talking about inclusion and diversity in nerd culture. Most recently, I wrote a post about diversity (or the lack there of) in otome games and after penning the post an indie developer friend of mine reached out to me about the topic. We had an awesome discussion about the depiction of people of color in visual novels and the importance of wholesome representation. She even gave me some insight into the difficulties some content creators have when crafting characters of color in their games, a perspective I hadn’t considered. I’ve seen quite a few polls and surveys floating around about the content of western otome games and visual novels, many of which have sections dedicated to gauging player interests in diverse characters.

I love that there is an open dialogue about diversity in games, especially in romance themed games since there is a noticeable disparity in the number of otome games that feature black and brown characters in major roles. However, I’ve heard through the grapevine that there are a handful of developers that have been saying that they don’t include darker skinned characters in their games because they “look bad” or aren’t as attractive as non black and brown characters. Some people have stated that it’s harder to create characters with darker complexions using the anime art style common in otome games… and hearing that is really heartbreaking. On some level, I feel like this is just a carryover of colorism, and the notion that dark skinned individuals are not as attractive as lighter skinned individuals (which is not the case at all). But, on other levels, it’s less an issue with darker characters looking bad and more a case of an artist needing more experience depicting characters of color.

There is a demand for more diverse games, heck, this past weekend someone used the search term ‘otome games black girl friendly’ to get to my site and I’m gonna be honest with you guys, it made my whole weekend! As more people start playing otome games (and romance visual novels) the demand for more inclusive characters and narratives will only rise and those who stay stuck in their ways are really limiting themselves. So, for the person that searched for black girl friendly otome games and for the folks that think “darker characters look bad” here are a few Melanin Friendly Otome Games and Visual Novels!!

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