Category: Review

Lake of Voices Game Review – Who Will You Leave Behind?

Whether it is weathering an on coming zombie horde or fending off malevolent spirit, in most horror stories the ultimate goal is survival. However, even in the most hopeful horror stories, not everyone will make it through alive. Some people are just not going to get a happily ever after, which gives more weight to the narrative and the actions of the characters. Each and every choice matters, and one misstep could be the difference between surviving and dying a horrible death.

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Super reassuring… 

GB Patch’s Lake of Voices is built around the idea that ‘anyone can be saved, but not everyone can be’. It’s a story that forces players to accept the fact that there is no perfect solution to every problem and that sometimes, in dire situations, sacrifices must be made. Lake of Voices follows guard for hire, Kikka, and her companion Belleme as they attempt to cross Sinnlos, a lake that’s home to gruesome monsters. The creatures that dwell beneath it’s murky depths have claimed the lives of many unfortunate travelers. In order to complete the journey, Kikka and her companion must rely on mysterious Guide if they have any chance of surviving the treacherous two day journey. However, they are not the only travelers hoping to cross Sinnlos, but with a larger group, the chances of survival are significantly decreased….

Game Details

  • Genre: Horror, Suspense, Thriller
  • Fully Voiced in English
  • Available for PC (Widows, Mac, Linux) | Steam
  • Gameplay Lengh: 4-5 hours
  • Cost: Free

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The Doll Shop Review – A Slow Atmospheric Horror

The horror genre has always been about telling good stories. Made up campfire stories, urban legends, and folk tales… there’s something thrilling about a good scary story. But more often than not it seems like most big budget horror media is more concerned with hashing out the same old played out cliches and tropes, than they are with telling a good story. Jump scares and predictable characters are the norm, to the point that it’s rare to come across anything that feels genuine, let alone telling a good spooky story.

Every so often I come across a good scary story, one that renews my faith in the horror genre and Atelier Sentô’s The Doll Shop is one of those hidden horror gems. The Doll Shop is a slow tale that ditches the usual horror cliches in favor of telling a truly unsettling story. In a secluded Japanese village, there lives a quiet doll maker, who is content to spend his days with his dolls. Each one is more beautiful than the last, and so he spends his days in isolation, until his childhood friend, a beautiful young woman from the city arrives. She’s unlike anyone he’s ever met before, and suddenly his dolls aren’t enough to fill his lonely existence. But, he has a secret… he’s just waiting for the right person to share it with…

Game Details

  • Genre: Horror, Suspense, Thriller
  • Available for PC (Widows, Mac, Linux) 
  • Gameplay Lengh: 2-3 hours
  • Cost: Free
  • 3 Endings

Continue reading “The Doll Shop Review – A Slow Atmospheric Horror”

One Thousand and One Days Game Review – An Enchanting Fantasy VN

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.

Game Details

  • 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”

Misadventures of Laura Silver Chapter I Game Review – Silver Bullets Are A Girl’s Best Friend

I am a huge fan of detective/investigative games like the Ace Attorney series and the Hotel Dusk series, they’re the games that sparked my love of visual novels in the first place. With their immersive stories and intriguing mysteries there’s always something new to discover. So, when indie developer Studio Attic Salt emailed me about their supernatural detective mystery visual novel, Misadventures of Laura Silver, I made sure to add the game to the top of my play list!

Set in 1935, Misadventures of Laura Silver follows paranormal detective Laura Silver and her assistant Orewell Cooper as they traverse the globe on a quest to catalog the mythical creatures they encounter. Along the way they come across a series of unexpected events that have them questioning the intentions of their bureau as they find themselves drawn into a web of murder, lies, and corruption.

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Currently, Laura and Cooper are on assignment in Czechoslovakia, in search the Vodnik, a sea beast that has been terrorizing one of the local towns. But, when the agent already on site is found murdered in his hotel room, Laura must determine whether his death was the work of the supernatural or something much more sinister.

Misadventures of Laura Silver is an episodic visual novel, however, as of this writing only Chapter I is available (Chapter II is scheduled for a Summer 2020 release). Chapter one is a bit on the short side with roughly 8-10 hours of gameplay, but with over 100 choices for players to make in addition to the interactive investigative gameplay features, there’s plenty of content to explore in Misadventures of Laura Silver.

  • Where to Play: Windows, Mac, Linux | Steam
  • Genre: Detective, Supernatural, Investigative
  • Gameplay Length: 8 -10 hours total
  • Cost: $7.99 USD

Continue reading “Misadventures of Laura Silver Chapter I Game Review – Silver Bullets Are A Girl’s Best Friend”

Chasing the Stars BL Game Review – A Cyberpunk Fantasy That’s Out Of This World

I absolutely loved Ertal Games’s debut BL visual novel, A Hand in the Darkness, so you can bet I was super excited to get my hands on their sophomore title, steampunk sci-fi visual novel, Chasing the Stars. I’ve said this before, but Ertal Games has a knack for storytelling, with their intriguing characters and immersive narratives, each of their games is a rare treat. This time around Ertal Games delivers a rich cyberpunk fantasy that is out of this world! 

Follow Tirs Abril a young college student who has always dreamed of going into space and helping usher in a new age of colonization on one of humanities satellite cities. When Alaya, a new planet is discovered and proven to have the right conditions for human colonization, Tirs’s dreams are suddenly much more attainable. After getting dumped by his longtime boyfriend there is nothing holding Tirs back from pursuing his dreams and he decides to take position as a scholarship researcher in the lab of his professor and renowned Environmental Engineer, Marc Rossell, who is currently heading the team working on the Alaya terraforming project. However, Tirs soon discovers that things are much more complicated than he ever imagined forcing him to decide how much he is willing to sacrifice to follow his dreams…

Game Details

  • Available for Windows, Mac, Linux | Steam
  • 3 pursuable characters (male)
  • Partial English Voice Acting
  • Languages: English
  • Cost: $9.99
  • Gameplay Length: 10 hours

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The Seven Districts of Sin: The Tail Makes The Fox Episode 1 Review

Seven Districts of Sin: The Tail Makes the Fox takes us on a journey into the depths of Hell with Lilim (name changeable) an ambitious (and naive) two-tailed gumiho working as an auditor under the most illustrious one, Lucifer. Loyal to a fault, Lilim is over the moon when her exulted leader of hell gives her a special assignment- investigate allegations of soul laundering in the district of Kumonoito. If she does a good job, maybe Lucifer will finally give her the recognition she deserves… But what awaits our naive heroine in the house of Anzu, the governess of Kumonoito will be anything but a cake walk. Will she be survive her mission? Or will she fall prey to the secrets of Anzu’s palace?

The Tail Makes the Fox is the first episode in a series of collaborations between Reine Works and Top Hat Studios (though Episodes 2 and 3 have yet to be released). Each episode is meant to be a self contained story, that follows the same cast of characters.

Game Details

  • Genre: Parody, Comedy, Romance
  • Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux | Steam
  • Gameplay Lengh: 4-6 Hours; 9 Endings
  • Cost: $9.99 USD
  • 2 male and 2 female romance options
  • Full English Voice Acting

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Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly Otome Review – All Aboard the Feels Train

I am super late to the party with this one since Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly was the first game released as part of Aksys Games’s “Summer of Mystery” otome game releases, alongside 7’scarlet and Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk. Of the three games Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly was the one that got the most hate and I’m not gonna lie, it’s not my favorite otome game in the world. In fact, like many others have said, the romance aspects of the game is one of the biggest shortcomings of the story and I honestly could have done without it. But, is Black Butterfly really the dumpster fire everyone seems to think it is?

No, not really… Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly has many, many flaws, some of which really bog the story down, however, there was some good in there too. I want to stress that this game isn’t for everyone and if you are looking for a standard by the book otome game, this is definitely not the game for you. But, if you’re looking for a short game with an interesting premise Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly will keep you entertained.

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The game follows Beniyuri, a young girl who wakes up in a mysterious mansion with no memory or who she is or how she got there. But, she isn’t alone, gruesome monsters roam the halls attacking anyone they come into contact with… After a run in with said monsters, she is saved by a group of guys who are also in the same predicament as she is, and together they attempt to find a way out of the mansion. Behind the scenes the enigmatic master of the mansion promises to free them from the mansion and return their memories if they collect the missing pieces of a strange kaleidoscope. With no other leads, the group sets out to locate the lost pieces of the kaleidoscope, uncovering the secrets of the mansion and its elusive owner along the way…

Game Details

  • Genre: Detective, Mystery, Romance
  • Available for PS Vita | Steam
  • Gameplay Lengh: 1-2 hours first play through/ 15-20 hours Total
  • Cost: $34.99
  • 5 male romance options
    • Suggested Play Order: Best/Main Ending→ Real World Ending → Kagiha → Hikage → Yamato → Monshiro → Karasuba → Summer Camp Ending
  • Similar Games: 7’scarlet, Re: Birthday Song, Bad Apple Wars

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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 

Continue reading “Collar x Malice Otome Review – How Do You Define Justice?”

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

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