Category: Recommendations

#TheAnimangaFestival: So You Wanna Play Otome Games? – Five Otome Game Recommendations for Total Newbies

Hey Hey Guys, I have a super special awesome post today! Auri and Nairne over at Manga Toritsukareru Koto doing it big for their third (er, second) Bloggiversary, by hosting the Animanga Festival. This month long celebration will feature themed posts, events, and games that the entire Aniblogger community is encouraged to participate in throughout the month of October. I just happen to be one of the many bloggers participating in the event and I am super excited to see what everyone comes up with for their posts!!

If you’re still curious about The Animanga Festival check out Auri and Nairne’s introduction post over on their blog for all deets and important links: The #Animanga Festival Begins Tomorrow

Today’s festival prompt is “Anime/Manga You’d Recommend to a First Timer”, since this is a gaming blog, I figured I’d focus on Otome Games. But, I couldn’t decide on just one game to recommend, so I chose FIVE instead!

For those of you unfamiliar with the otome games genre, I highly recommend checking out my Beginners Guide To Otome Games series for a crash course on everything you need to know about otome games. But, if you don’t feel like reading that right now, here’s the cliffnotes version:

“Otome Game (乙女ゲーム lit. otome gemu) is a Japanese term used to describe a series of story based games targeted primarily towards women… the main goal of otome games is to foster romantic relationships between an in game female protagonist (also often referred to as the MC or Heroine) and one of multiple male protagonist (some games also feature female romantic partners), similar to the setup of reverse harem media.” 

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Back to School: 10 School Romance Otome Games

September 23rd marks the first day of Fall, and despite the heatwave we’re having, I  can’t help but be a little nostalgic. For most, the season marks the start of the new school year and many have already started making the daily trek back to the classroom. Everyone has at least one or two fond memories of their school years from late night study sessions in the library to hanging out with friends in the halls to after school clubs and activities.

It’s one of those universal experiences, so it’s no wonder school settings are so popular in our media. School romances are especially popular topics in otome games, from sweet first crushes to the angsty drama filled romances, otome games give you the chance to explore all your school romance fantasies. So, today, I wanted to dive into 10 school romance otome games, that’ll give you some nostalgia for our bygone school days… or maybe even give you the chance to live out your wildest school fantasies…


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20 Years of Romance: My Top 10 Favorite Voltage Inc Games

Today marks the 20th Anniversary of Voltage Inc, the Japanese developer behind the popular Otome Romance line of mobile otome games. There have been many ups and downs over the years and some questionable choices by the company, but despite that, Voltage remains one of the leading producers of mobile otome games content.

Voltage was my first introduction into the wonderful world of Japanese otome and over five years later I still find myself going back their games again and again. There is something special about the characters and stories they create, each one with a charm all their own. They’ve since moved all their standalone apps to their Love 365: Find Your Story platform app, and they’re still releasing new titles. They’ve even ported two of their most popular games, Enchanted in the Moonlight and Star Crossed Myth to the Nintendo Switch and this is only the beginning…

So to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Voltage Inc. I wanted to go through their current line up of games and list out my 10 favorite Voltage Inc. Otome Romance titles. There are over 50 titles available in English, and more on the way… so, you can bet this it was hard to narrow it down to just ten. With 20 years of games to shift through, these are my favorite Voltage Inc. games!

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Five Totally Out There Dating Sims You Have to See to Believe

In the wake of KFC’s I Love You, Colonel Sanders! A Finger Lickin’ Good Dating Simulator announcement the internet is abuzz with delight at the prospect of dating the fast food chain’s chicken loving mascot. The concept is the brain child of UK based studio Psyop, and promises a unique gaming experience full of cooking battles, delicious finger lickin’ chicken recipes, and of course the chance to romance the Colonel himself.

While most of the internet is eagerly awaiting the latest parody dating sim, some in the otome community are worried the upcoming game will do more harm than good to an already niche genre. I’m always down for a good laugh, so I’ll probably check I Love You, Colonel Sanders! out when it’s released on September 24th on Steam.

However, this isn’t the first dating sim parody game (and it most likely won’t be the last). There are quite a few dating sims out there that are sure to have a few people scratching their heads, so of course I did what any sane person would do and compiled a few of them into a list… Your welcome.


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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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The Best Otome Games to Play in English

I’ve been hesitant to write a best otome games list, since they tend to get outdated fairly easily, and with the influx in new otome releases in the west the chances of that happening are pretty high. At Anime Expo 2019, Aksys Games announced quite a few otome game releases between now and 2020, and that’s just one company. Not to mention all the mobile game releases we get each month (sometimes weekly)… But, even with that said there are some game titles that are universally liked by members of the otome community and those that most agree suck.

I tend to be a bit behind the rest of the otome community, since I take my sweet time getting around to playing new game titles, but I’ve been making good progress and I wanted to go ahead and throw in my two cents. So, I broke down and compiled a list of what I consider to be the best otome games available in English…

This is solely for English localizations of Japanese otome games, so there won’t be any OELVNs or English Otome Games on this list. If you guys want that list, I might do one later on down the line (though, it’ll be hard to narrow down that particular list).

So, without further ado, here’s my list of the best otome games available in English… to date!


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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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5 Otome Games Like Steam Prison

In an effort to give you guys more of an active role on the content on this blog, I’ll run polls for certain posts. A few weeks ago I gave you guys the chance to vote on the game for this week’s post. You guys got to choose from four games (Steam Prison, Bad Apple Wars, 7’scarlet, and OZMAFIA) and 33% of you guys picked Steam Prison

 

In the last post I wrote a list of 5 Otome Games Like London Detective Mysteria and this week I’m bringing you guys a list of 5 otome games like Steam Prison. For those of you unfamiliar with the game, Steam Prison is a steampunk otome game developed by HuneX. This is the second English language otome localization from video game publisher, MangaGamer. Steam Prison follows Cyrus Tistella, a young woman from a well to do family, who is accused of murdering her parents. As a result she finds herself stripped of her titles and taken from her comfortable life in the affluent Heights and sent to the underground prison known only as the Depths, where the worst criminals are sent to atone for their crimes. With life as she knows it changed for ever, Cyrus must learn to navigate this new hostile environment, where every day is a struggle for survival. While Steam Prison is an otome, it does deal with some complex themes that add a bit of realism to the game’s fantasy setting. Delve into the complex relationship between those living in the Depths and those living in the Heights, as you interact with various characters and explore unique locales.

So, if you’re like me and you’re looking for games similar to Steam Prison, here are five game titles that are sure to hit the spot! I tried to go with games that have the same feel as Steam Prison 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 Steam Prison. 


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[Pride Month 2019] 10 More LGBTQ Positive Visual Novels

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs,  LGBT Pride Monththe annual celebration dedicated to the richly diverse LGBT community!! Last year I celebrated with a list of 10 LGBTQ positive visual novels, I highly recommend giving that list a read, there are some seriously great titles there that definitely warrant a look. Because it’s June once again, I wanted to compile another list with even more LGBTQ positive VNs!

Representation matters, so I did my best to come up with a list of games that gave a positive look at members of the LGBTQ community, whether that meant shedding light on an often overlooked group of people or offering a positive portrayal of members of the LGBTQ community. Like last year, I will include links to each of the games and I’ll even spotlight which aspects of the LGBTQ community is referenced. As always, this is not an end all list, there are plenty of great games out there, so if you have some suggestions definitely feel free to drop them down in the comments section!

So, without further ado, here are 10 More LGBTQ Positive Visual Novels that you should totally check out this Pride Month!


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