#TheAnimangaFestival – Set Sailing: Why I Love KuroTsuki

Hey Hey Guys, as many of you know, The Animanga Festival is in full swing! But, if this is your first time hearing about the festival, here’s the cliffnotes explanation: Auri and Nairne over at Manga Toritsukareru Koto doing it big for their third (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 everyone has been putting out a lot of great content and it’s only the second week. I’m a bit behind with my Animanga Festival posts, but I just couldn’t pass up on writing something for the October 9th prompt: Set Sailing!

Ever shipped two characters that were non canon but would actually make a great pair? Well, now’s your chance to shine. Head out, explain your stance to support your ship and set sailing!

-Set Sailing Prompt

And of course anyone that knows me knows that I am a huge fan of one particular Haikyu ship…. KuroTsuki is my OTP Haikyu ship! You can keep your TsukiYama and I don’t wanna hear about KuroKen, for me, Kuroo Tetsuro and Tsukishima Kei are a match made in heaven. So of course, it only made sense that I’d write about KuroTsuki for the Set Sailing prompt, it’d be criminal not to share my love for the BEST SHIP IN THE SERIES!!


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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.

Lake of Voices 1

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

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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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Romance to Die For: Five Romance VNs to Get You in the Mood for Halloween

It’s that time of year again! October marks the beginning of Halloween season, the time of year when we celebrate all things spooky. From ghosts and goblins to gothic horror and all things macabre, there are 31 days of spooky good fun ahead of us! I absolutely love the horror genre, so this is the month when I’m really in my element and I really like to do it big here on Blerdy OtomeSo, for the entire month of October I will put out a series of horror themed posts and content to get you in the mood for Halloween! Kicking things off is a list of five horror themed romance visual novels!

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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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OWLS “Lovers” Blog Tour – A Natural Otome Romance: Enomoto and Ichika in ‘Collar x Malice’

Hey Hey Owlets!! It’s been awhile since I participated in an OWLS Blog Tour and chances are you were directed here by Carla over at Pop Culture Literary and her amazing post about how fan culture influences how we view relationships. If you haven’t already given her post a read, I highly recommend giving it a once over!

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For those of you that are here by chance, I’m the next in a long line of bloggers, vloggers, and content creators participating in the September 2019 OWLS Blog Tour! As many of you guys know I’m a member of the blogging group OWLS (Otaku Warriors for Liberty and Self-Respect). We’re a group of bloggers and vloggers that hope to spread a message of acceptance and understanding through thoughtful community activism! We use our love of pop-culture and other media to discuss a wide range of topics. Each month we host themed Blog Tours where we discuss topics we feel are important to the greater fandom community. 

Last month during our Believe Blog Tour we celebrated the great works from acclaimed animation studio Kyoto Animation as a way to show our love for the studio in the wake of the heartbreaking tragedy back in July. This month, we’re continuing to spread the love with our Lover Blog Tour.

When it comes to romantic relationships, what do we look for in a partner? What core values do we seek when it comes to building a healthy and loving relationship? For this topic, we will be discussing some of our favorite couples in pop culture and what they have taught us about love and relationships, the good and the bad.

September 2019 Lover Blog Tour Prompt

Love is a topic we’ve talked about quite a few time during our past OWLS Blog Tours, but I still had a hard time choosing a topic for this month’s tour. OWLS members before me put their own spin on the topic, and since most of my posts are related to games, I figured it would only be fitting if I talked about otome games. I mean, the main goal of otome games is to successfully romance one of several male love interests, each with their own “unique” personalities. Otome games, like most visual novels give gamers a chance to craft their own fantasy romance experience, for better or for worse. Though some criticize otome games for their unrealistic depictions of love and romantic relationships, I think there is a lot we can learn from otome games about love. So for this month’s tour I wanted to talk about one of my favorite otome couples and why they work.

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Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #34

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!
pennies gif.gif

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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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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Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #33

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!
pennies gif.gif

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! I’ve kind of been on a detective kick, so all of this week’s picks are along those lines… Now that that’s out of the way lets get on to this week’s list!!

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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

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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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My 10 Favorite Megane Otome Guys

Megane (noun):

is the Japanese word for eyeglasses. Typically used to describe an attractive character with glasses.

So, unless you’ve been living under a rock, it’s no secret that I love megane men. I go out of my way to celebrate the beauty of these bespectacled hotties at least once a week if not more. There is just something about a hot guy in glasses that really makes my fangirl heart flutter… and there are so many meganes to love:

Sweet and shy megane that are quick to bush….A studious megane senpai to study with… A sharply dressed sophisticated megane with a playful smirk… Then there’s the stoic and cool megane who always keeps his head in stressful situations… and of course who could forget that sinister glasses glare…

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My love of megane has been tested in the past, but still I remain firm about my love of bespectacled men! But, I came to the startling realization that the last time I dedicated a post to megane characters was back in 2017! That just won’t do! So, I decided now was the time to write a list of my 10 favorite megane otome guys, because who doesn’t need some hot megane bishies in their lives?

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Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #32

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!
pennies gif.gif

 

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 #32”

Let’s Show Our Support for ALigneD!!

Hey hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, here we are with another Kickstarter support post! For those of you new, here, Let’s Show Our Support posts highlight current crowdfunding campaigns for indie games (usually VNs and OELVNs). I give you guys the basic rundown of the game and the perks of supporting the game’s campaign, as well as links to all the relevant game related pages and sites.

ALigneD is an adventure game with a heavy focus on VR, but with the narrative driven gameplay of a traditional otome game/visual novel. The premise of the game is a combination of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One and the anime Sword Art Online and a dash of Dramatical Murder. The game is being developed by Hong Kong based indie game developer Zoomob and is planned for a Winter 2019/Spring 2020 Steam release.

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Four Webcomics Full of Black Girl Magic!

It’s Melanin Monday and I can’t think of a better way to kick off the week then with a little Black Girl MAGIC! I am a huge fan of indie webcomics and I’m always on the lookout for new ones to dive into, whether they be LGBT friendly romances, sci-fi epics, or slice-of-life, I read them all. But what I love most about webcomics, is how diverse they are, not just in the types of stories they tell, but in the types of characters they feature. I’ve always noticed that indie works tend to feature more characters of color in prominent roles, and while mainstream media isn’t far behind in the diversity department there is just something organic about indie works. Mostly because the authors themselves are people of color, so there is an added level of relatability that only comes from someone telling their own story. While I admit to reading a lot of BL themed webcomics (like A LOT), I also gravitate towards comics that feature strong female characters and of course women of color.

We’re living in a post #BlackGirlMagic world and it is important to celebrate media that doesn’t just include women of color for the sake of “diversity”, but instead creates narratives that allow them to thrive! So I came up with a list of webcomics I found that are full of positive Black Girl energy!

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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!
pennies gif.gif

 

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 #31”

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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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

Spoiler Warning


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Is It Me Or Do Otome Games Have An Unhealthy Relationship With Brothers?

I love otome games, and I’ll sing their praises to anyone willing to sit still long enough, but even I can admit that they have their flaws. The portrayal of the MCs is one of the biggest complaints folks have about otome games, since most are little more than blank slate self insert characters. But, fans and critics alike have been beating that dead horse for years now and I’ve said my piece about otome heroines quite a few times in the past, so I wanted to talk about something different: brothers. 

I’ve been sitting on this for awhile now, but I never really knew how to go about talking about otome games and their complicated relationship with siblings, specifically brothers. Now, otome games aren’t the only medium to toe the incest line, especially when there are anime like Oreimo floating around… But, over the years I’ve noticed that there are quite a few otome games that either flat out focus on romancing siblings or slip it in as a “secret” ending and I haven’t really seen many people talking about it.

Continue reading “Is It Me Or Do Otome Games Have An Unhealthy Relationship With Brothers?”

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!


Continue reading “The Best Otome Games to Play in English”

Blog Updates… I’m not dead yet

Hey Hey Guys, I wanted to post something real quick about the lack of activity these past few days. I’m not on hiatus or anything, but it’s been pretty hectic on my end.

Last weekend I covered Otakon 2019 for MANGA.TOKYO, had a blast, but I’m outlining all those articles for them rn. On top of that I moved into my new place on Sunday and all of my stuff is either in boxes or MIA… so, I’ve been slowly getting everything sorted and it is a pain in the ass.

I spent the whole day at a baseball game for a company event at work… and I’m on my way to a speed dating event rn, but I wanted to touch base with you guys and let you know what’s up.

So, this season, I’m watching Fire Force, which I kinda like, despite my aversion to shounen anime. Hinawa is my new megane bae!

I’m continuing Carole & Tuesday, and the music in this series is amazing! If you’re not already watching it, you need to get on it ASAP!!

Game wise, I’m playing Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly and so far it isn’t my favorite otome game, but I like the mini game and Yamato and Monshiro are cute… so it’s not a total loss. I only really play PBB during my hour and a half bus ride to work in the morning and afternoon, so my progress varies…

I’m also playing the BL game, Chess of Blades, and I love it so far, mystery, intrigue, and a historical setting… it’s everything I crave in one place… But, I only play when I get home (if I have time) so it’s been a really slow go…

Well, that’s it for the updates and stuff… things should be back to normal starting on Monday…

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”

Wanna Chat With Other Otome Fans? Here Are Some Places You Should Check Out

This post is in response to a lot of things, but recently, I’ve been seeing a lot of otome fans lamenting that they don’t have people IRL that they can talk to about their hobbies. Which I can kind of relate to. I have friends that are into Japanese culture, anime, manga, comics, and other nerdy media, but none of them seem to be interested in otome games. Sure, I’ve convinced one or two to play a game on my laptop when we’ve hung out, but they don’t really play them on their own. And my bestie, bless her has sat by and listened to countless hours of my rampant fangirling about my newest otome crush.

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But, aside from that, I don’t really have any IRL otome friends. In fact, I’ve met all of my really good otome buddies online, but with that said most of my online friends are more into anime than they are otome games (though, I have managed to convert a few). So, it got me thinking, where exactly do all the cool otome fans hang out? I mean, we are living in a “social media” age, so there are plenty of ways to connect with people that have similar interests as you. But, it can be a bit intimidating when you first start out, especially since most communities are fairly well established. So, I thought it would be helpful to compile a list of places I lurk check out when I want to chat it up with my fellow otome fans online…

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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

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

5 Otome Games I Just Can’t Seem To Finish

I’m a collector of sorts… Okay, I’m more of a hoarder… I tend to buy games faster than I can play them, so the vast majority of them wind up sitting in my backlog for months if not years collecting dust. I’m not exactly proud of this, but I suppose I can never truly complain that I don’t have any games to play… However, there are some games in my backlog that will most likely never see the light of day again, because I just can’t bring myself to play them again.

There are just some games I can’t finish. I’ve been playing otome games for a long time now, so I more or less know which games I’ll like and which ones I won’t. But, there are times when I come across a game that I just can’t seem to see through to the end. Weeks… Months… Years of failed attempts and forgotten save files… Every so often I’ll load up my old save files and try to give these neglected games another go, but all my attempts end the same way; with the games back in the box and safely tucked back into the ol’ backlog. I’m ashamed to admit that there are actually some really popular games on this list too….


Continue reading “5 Otome Games I Just Can’t Seem To Finish”

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!

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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!!

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


Continue reading “Silver:Line – Demo Review”

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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Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #28

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 #28”

My Only Sunshine Review – A Romance VN That’s Out Of This World!

I absolutely love NaNoRenO because it gives up and coming developers the opportunity to make their debut in the game development world and bring their own unique ideas to life. These are usually smaller projects put together by a much smaller team, however, I’ve played quite a few NaNoRenO games in the past that are on par (if not better than) some bigger name commercial releases. You never quite know what you’re going to get with a NaNorenO title, but you can always be sure it will be a one of a kind experience.

So, when Yoshibb reached out to me about their NaNoRenO 2019 entry, My Only Sunshine I was more than happy to give the game a look since the premise was quite unlike anything I have ever seen before: A romance fantasy visual novel involving humanoid versions of the planets. I was intrigued. I’ve played otome games where you date representatives of astrological signs, gods and goddess, but never planets.

Once every millennium, Sun holds a huge gathering of the planetary spirits. While Sun has found herself down in the dumps recently — including a relationship with Terra (Earth) that is on the rocks and what she now considers a largely mundane, solitary existence — she hopes that the get together will brighten things up. However, after Terra ruins her event with his reckless behavior, Sun decides it’s time to play the field and chooses a new planetary partner.

-Synopsis

Game Details

Continue reading “My Only Sunshine Review – A Romance VN That’s Out Of This World!”

Let’s Show Our Support for Silver:Line!!

Hey hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, here we are with another Kickstarter support post! For those of you new, here, Let’s Show Our Support posts highlight current crowdfunding campaigns for indie games (usually VNs and OELVNs). I give you guys the basic rundown of the game and the perks of supporting the game’s campaign, as well as links to all the relevant game related pages and sites.

This time around, I’m covering an upcoming fantasy romance visual novel, Silver:Line! I played through the demo this weekend and I am hooked!! It has such an interesting premise and the art is gorgeous and don’t get me started on the characters!! Code V Productions is really giving it their all with Silver:Line and if the demo is any indication, you won’t want to miss out on supporting this amazing upcoming title now!

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Fangirl Moment: Wistful Summer (Webcomic)

TGIF!! This has been a long time coming, but I’m finally bringing back Fangirl Friday!! I’ve been slowly getting back into my blogging stride and I’m going to be honest, these are my favorite posts to write since I’m really just fangirling about random stuff I’ve come across be they movies, webcomics, anime, books, dramas… I even wrote one about Barack Obama. So, this is one segment I’m excited to bring back from the dead! Since this is the first post in a while, I wanted to make this one really special, so I decided to go with something that combines two of my loves: Boys Love and Webcomics… Don’t believe me? See for yourself, most of my previous Fangirl Moment posts are either BL related, Webcomics, or BL Webcomics… I have my vices and BL is at the top of the list most days.

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So, for this week’s post I wanted to cover MunZi’s ongoing BL webcomic Wistful Summer. It’s a drama filled comic about a guy who spent most of his life crushing on his best friend, but just when he starts to get over his crush a handsome stranger appears. Things only get more complicated when the best friend divorces his wife and starts hinting that maybe he’s been harboring some unrequited feelings of his own… O_O

First. First lie, first kiss, first love. When Henry and Sam first met that summer long ago, Henry learned the power of first love. But…time goes on, people part, summer ends and so too did their blink of a relationship. All but a distant memory now, when Henry and Sam gradually become close again, Henry finds himself feeling those fiery emotions for the first time since that wistful summer.

-Synopsis

The comic was first published online in 2018 by Kakao, a Korean webcomic site, but you can read the comic in English over on Tapas. This is a paid release, but you can read the first couple of chapters for free. In order to read the non-free chapters you’ll need to use Ink, which is just Tapas’s internal currency. Tapas also has weekly free episode rotations, so if you plan accordingly, you can read the whole thing for free. I am not that patient, so I broke down and bought enough Ink to binge the available chapters… and it was worth every damn penny! 

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D.N. Angel is the Reason I have Commitment Issues with Ongoing Series

So, it was recently brought to my attention that Yukiru Sugisaki would start reviving her long running fantasy romance manga series D.N. Angel this year. This is the first mention of anything new from the series since the author went on hiatus 8 YEARS AGO! Yes, you read that right, it has been 8 years since the release of volume 15 back in 2011 and what’s worse, this isn’t even the first time the series has been on hiatus and I’m pretty damn sure it won’t be the last… so, forgive me if I’m not shouting from the rooftops at the announcement that the series is finally back from the dead.

Some context… 

D.N. Angel follows Daisuke Niwa a 13 year old boy who is descended from a long line of phantom thieves. Daisuke is kinda shy and pretty average, despite having been put through a rigorous training regimen by his mother and grandfather. Other than that life is pretty normal! On his 14th birthday he finally plucks up the courage to confess to the girl of his dreams, Risa Harada, but homegirl turns him down hard! Full of teen angst and fueld by his broken heart, Daisuke goes home to mope a bit, thats when he gets hit with magical puberty. His body transforms into that of the handsome phantom thief Dark Mousy (my first anime crush). Daisuke freaks the fuck out, thankfully his mom is around to explain that the transformation is completely normal, having affected all of the Niwa men for generations. The change she explains is triggered by the host’s romantic feelings of love, and will keep happening until Daisuke finds someone who can love him and Dark. The rest of the story focuses on Daisuke’s attempts to balance his normal life with that of his secret phantom thief alter ego. To make matters worse, Dark has his own consciousness within Daisuke which often gets him into trouble as they both struggle to coexist. Then Daisuke goes and falls in love with Risa’s twin sister, Riku who absolutely hates Dark after he stole her first kiss… yeah, and I thought I had problems…

Continue reading “D.N. Angel is the Reason I have Commitment Issues with Ongoing Series”

OWLS June “Vulnerable” Blog Tour – Inspiring Hope and Strength in Others: Making a Case for the Vulnerability of Otome Heroines 

Hey Hey Owlets!! As many of you guys know I’m a member of the blogging group OWLS (Otaku Warriors for Liberty and Self-Respect). We’re a group of bloggers and vloggers that hope to spread a message of acceptance and understanding through thoughtful community activism! We use our love of pop-culture and other media to discuss a wide range of topics. 

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Last month during our Happiness Blog Tour we looked at the things in our lives that bring us joy, from our hobbies to families and friend, and everything in between. This month we’re redefining our weaknesses in the  June Vulnerable Blog Tour!

In the month of June, we will be discussing what it means to be vulnerable. To some individuals, being vulnerable could be seen as a sign of weakness, but in fact, vulnerability is actually a sign of strength. In this month’s posts, we will explore what it means to be vulnerable and how certain characters in pop culture glamorize vulnerability. When do we show our vulnerability? How do we express vulnerability? Why should we show vulnerability? These are questions that we will be discussing in our posts featuring characters that show vulnerability and/or sensitivity and what we can learn from them or even our own personal stories. 

June 2019 Vulnerable Blog Tour Prompt

I thought long and hard about what I’d write about for this month’s tour. Since this is an otome games blog, I figured I’d go with something related to that rather than the usual anime and manga topics I usually pick. Otome heroines get a pretty bad rap since they are typically seen as self insert characters with little to no agency within the context of their respective games. But, there has been a shift in recent years towards more self sufficient heroine characters, especially in English otome games where protagonists tend to have a more well defined personalities and motivations. Though, generally speaking heroines are still arguably the weakest characters despite having the most important role in otome games. So, I wanted to look at the roles otome heroines play in otome game narratives through the lens of the heroine, Ichika Hoshino in the otome game Collar x Malice.  

Continue reading “OWLS June “Vulnerable” Blog Tour – Inspiring Hope and Strength in Others: Making a Case for the Vulnerability of Otome Heroines “

Missed Messages Review – How Will You Spend Your Time?

I’m no stranger to Angela He’s unique brand of games, having played I Woke Up Next to You Again and He Beat Her previously. Unlike most of the games I cover here, Angela’s games focus on more thought provoking themes and subjects, that attempt to replicate some aspect of human nature. Her games are less about the outcome and more about the experience, dropping us head first into narratives that challenge not just our realities, but our perceptions of others. Each of her games is an experience.

Earlier this month Angela He released a brand new title, Missed Messages and she is in full form with this new game. Equally haunting and thought provoking, Missed Messages doesn’t just tell a story, it takes you on a journey. There are four distinct endings with each playthrough taking between 15 – 30 minutes. Point and click through environments for clues while also making meaningful in-game choices that help advance the plot. Warning this game contains mentions of suicide and self-harm, which may be triggering for some players.

“goth gf’s iPhone” airdrops you a photo.

Accept or decline?

A romance / horror story about life, death, and memes.

How will you spend time?

– Synopsis (Game Site)

Game Details

  • Genre: Psychological, slice-of-life
  • Available for PC (Widows, Mac, Linux) |Steam
  • Gameplay Lengh:15 – 30 minutes per playthrough
  • Cost: Free

Continue reading “Missed Messages Review – How Will You Spend Your Time?”

Let’s Show Our Support for Sci-Fi BL VN – Synthetic Lover!!

Hey hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, here we are with another Kickstarter support post! For those of you new, here, Let’s Show Our Support posts highlight current crowdfunding campaigns for indie games (usually VNs and OELVNs). I give you guys the basic rundown of the game and the perks of supporting the game’s campaign, as well as links to all the relevant game related pages and sites.

This time around, I’m covering an upcoming Sci-Fi 18+ BL visual novel Synthetic Lover! BL games are starting to crop up left and right, but it’s been awhile since I’ve seen a sci-fi boys love title in the works. It’s been a few years since Starfighter and Break Chance Memento, so it’s about time we get another sci-fi boys love game!

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A Beginners Guide to Otome Games: Part 3 – Common Character Archetypes

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, its been a while since the last ‘A Beginners Guide to Otome Games’ post. I’ve been slowly working on bringing this blog back where it was before I took a break, so expect more of my post segments to start cropping back up… eventually. Since its been so long since the last post, I figured this is as good a time as any to explain what these posts are…

A Beginners Guide to Otome Games post series is a crash course on all things otome games, but in a way that’s easy to understand for newbies and folks unfamiliar with the genre. When I started playing otome games I pretty much just spent most of my time figuring things out as I went along and even then I had a lot of questions. So, I wanted to create a series of posts that answers some of the basic otome question to kind of give you guys a feel for different aspects of otome games. This series is for you guys, so at the end of each A Beginners Guide post I’ll have a poll where you, the reader, can vote on the next topic I cover! Last post, you guys voted and I listened, so for Part 3, I’m going to cover  Common Character Archetypes!

*Also, if there is something in this post that you think should be expanded or needs more clarification, please let me know and I will update this post accordingly!


Continue reading “A Beginners Guide to Otome Games: Part 3 – Common Character Archetypes”

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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Steam Prison Review – A Deep and Immersive Steampunk Romance

Steam Prison is the newest otome game localization from MangaGamer, following their release of Poni-Patchet’s OZMAFIA in 2016 and the R18 otome, Fashioning Little Miss Lonesome. There is always a lot of hype surrounding new otome localizations, but, Steam Prison was the first big otome release of 2019, not associated with Idea Factory. Steam Prison, was originally released in 2016 by HuneX for PC as both an all-ages 17+ release (the MangaGamer release of the 17+ version). A Vita port was released in 2017, that added an extra route for the MC’s partner, Finn.

In the game you play as an 18 year old police officer named, Cyrus Tistella, living in the raised utopian city known as the Heights. Everything is coming up roses for our heroine, with a new promotion and her upcoming marriage into the high ranking Evans family. Things take a turn for the worst, when Cyrus is accused of murdering her parents. Unable to prove her innocence, Cyrus is banished to the Depths a place where the most brutal criminals are sent to atone for their crimes. But, when she arrives, Cyrus finds that the Depths is not the primitive wasteland she once believed it to be, she soon learns that all is not as it seems as the things she once held to be true start to fall apart.

Steam Prison Murder

Game Details

  • Genre: Steampunk, Fantasy, Romance
  • Available for PC (Widows, Mac, Linux) |Steam
  • Gameplay Lengh: 5-7 hours first play through/ 25-30 hours Total
  • Cost: $39.99
  • 5 male romance options
    • Suggested Play Order: Eltcreed → Ulrik → Adage → Ines → Yune → Grand Ending
  • Similar Games: Code Realize, Cinderella Phenomenon, and Confines of the Crown

Spoiler Warning


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Dangerous Fellows Review – Nothing Says Romance Like A Zombie Apocalypse

It’s no secret that I’m not a huge fan of free to play otome games, but the premise of an otome game set amidst a zombie apocalypse was so bizarre I found myself putting aside my biases about freemium mobile games. Dangerous Fellows is a 2018 mobile otome game published by Korean game developer Lucy Dream. Dangerous Fellows is the first Lucy Dream title that has been made available in English, their second title, Mystic Code was released in May 2019.

A sudden outbreak of an unknown virus has destroyed the entire world.
Most of the people has turned into horrendous, blood-seeking zombies……….

As I was trying to escape from a deadly attack by the zombie,
I was miraculously saved by some strangers-five attractive fellows.

They’ve been concealing themselves safely in a school building with other survivors.

……But, is this place really safe for us?

Can we all survive from this bizarre catastrophe?

Find out the shocking ending of a romance thriller
that you’ve never experienced before!

Synopsis (Game Site)

Game Details

  • Genre: Supernatural, Horror, Romance
  • Available for Android and IOS
  • 25 Chapters and 7 Endings
    • 5 character endings, 1 normal, and 1 alternate ending
  • 5 Male Love interests
    • Suggested Play Order: Normal Ending ⇒ Ethan ⇒ Harry ⇒ Zion ⇒ Eugene ⇒ Lawrence ⇒ Alternate Ending
  • Free (optional micro-transactions)

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Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #27

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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Behind the Games: RoseVeRte Games

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, I’m back with another Behind the Games post!

For those of you just joining the party, Behind the Games is a segment where I interview the folks ‘behind the games’ I review. The series is meant to act as a complement to the reviews, giving you guys a chance to get to know the developers that spend so much time carefully crafting the games you enjoy. For each interview I send the Devs five questions (and one random bonus question), to kind of flesh out who they are, while also getting a bit of insight into their inspirations for their games. It’s completely voluntary and meant to be a fun way to get you guys acquainted with content creators.

Last time around I spoke with Ertal from the BL games developer, Ertal Gamesso if you missed that, I definitely recommend checking that post out too! This time around, I had the chance to chat with Chu-3, the person behind the otome game developer, RoseVeRte Games!

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RoseVeRte Games started out as a small circle of independent developers and has since become a one person operation helmed by Chu-3. The team got their start back in 2010 with the otome game Duplicity and has since grown to to produce a number of wonderful game titles. RoseVeRte specializes in romance themed visual novels, that are known for their imaginative settings and unique characters. Their most recent Eroolia series has achieved great success, and currently consists of three games: How to Take Off Your Mask (2015), How To Fool A Liar King (2017), and How To Sing Open Your Heart (2019). But, enough from me, let’s turn things over to Chu-3…

 


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Otome Games I Wish Had an Anime Adaptation

On the heels of the Collar X Malice Unlimited fandisk announcement, Idea Factory and Otomate revealed through their twitter account that Collar X Malice is also getting an anime adaptation in the near future. This is not the first otome game to get an anime adaptation, with Hakuoki, Amnesia Memories, OZMAFIA, and Code Realize to name a few all getting the anime treatment.

For those of you not familiar with Collar X Malice, it’s a mystery, suspense, thriller otome game originally developed by Idea Factory under their Otomate brand in 2016 for PS Vita. The game was later localized by Aksys Games in 2017 for an English language release. The game follows Ichika Hoshino a young police officer in Shinjuku, Tokyo after she becomes the unwitting victim of a mysterious terrorist organization that have been terrorizing the city with several large scale attacks. Ichika is captured by the organization and fitted with a collar set to dispense poison into her neck unless she uncovers the truth behind the attacks. With her life on the line and the fate of the city hanging in the balance, Ichika is approached by five mysterious strangers who offer to help her get to the bottom of the crimes and hopefully save the people of Shinjuku and herself in the process.

The premise alone has everything you need for a great story; action, suspense, mystery, romance… I can’t wait to see what the anime has in store for us (and I sincerely hope they do the story justice). But, that got me thinking, what other otome games would I like to see get an anime adaptation? I mean, really, everyone assumes that otome games are just a lot of romance and that’s it. But, the truth is, otome games have some of the best stories that cover a wide range of subjects and genres that would make for amazing anime series. So, I wracked my brain a bit and came up with a list of otome games I think really deserve to have an anime adaptation.


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Prophecies, Teen Angst, and Robots… Oh My – Revisions Anime Review

I am not a huge mecha fan, in fact, I can honestly say there are two maybe three mecha series that have managed to hold my interest for longer than a few episodes. So, I wasn’t chomping at the bit for Winter 2019’s revisions, the brain child of veteran director Goro Taniguchi. Of course, this wasn’t Taniguchi’s first foray into the mecha genre, he’s been associated with a number of critically acclaimed mecha series since the early 90’s and it’s safe to say that he brings his years of experience with him into this sci-fi epic.

Revisions.jpgrevisions has a lot going on in its rather short, 12 episode run, equal parts human drama and sci-fi adventure, the series draws from a lot of preexisting anime tropes, while also bringing with it a few unique ideas. The series follows high schooler, Daisuke Doujima, a guy who is convinced that he is god’s greatest gift to mankind. After being rescued from an attempted kidnapping as a child, he was told by his rescuer that he was destined to save the world. With these words in his heart, Daisuke spent the better part of his life preparing to do just that, his years of “training” pay off when he, his friends, and the entire city of Shibuya are mysteriously transported from present day (2017) to the year 2388. The future is a veritable wasteland, populated by beings known as Revisions who use monstrous mecha abominations to terrorize the inhabitants of Shibuya, their only hope is the secretive organization AHRV and their agent, Milo, a mysterious young woman from the future who shares a strong resemblance to someone from Daisuke’s past. She arms Daisuke and his friends with their own mecha, String Puppets, the only things capable of taking down the Revisions and protecting the people of Shibuya. Now, Daisuke and his friends must defeat the Revisions if they have any hope of returning to the past, or they’ll risk staying in the future forever.


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Behind the Games: Ertal Games

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, I’m back with another Behind the Games post!

For those of you just joining the party, Behind the Games is a segment where I interview the folks ‘behind the games’ I review. The series is meant to act as a complement to the reviews, giving you guys a chance to get to know the developers that spend so much time carefully crafting the games you enjoy. For each interview I send the Devs five questions (and one random bonus question), to kind of flesh out who they are, while also getting a bit of insight into their inspirations for their games. It’s completely voluntary and meant to be a fun way to get you guys acquainted with content creators.

Last time around I spoke with Esh and Sprocket, the creators of the supernatural romance visual novel Changelingso if you missed that, I definitely recommend checking that post out too! This time around, I had the chance to chat with Ertal, the from the BL game developer Ertal Games!

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Ertal Games is a one person indie developer that specializes in bringing unique Boys Love games to an English speaking audience. I covered their first game, A Hand in the Darkness a little while ago and I was enamored with detailed storytelling and inventive characters. They have since followed it up with the steampunk fantasy, Chasing the Stars which was released earlier this year. Ertal Games has a whole host of great stories to tell and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for this amazing BL developer!

But, enough from me, let’s turn things over to Ertal…


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When the Night Comes Review – A Devilishly Addictive Supernatural Mystery

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.

Game Details

  • 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

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Behind the Games: Steamberry Studios

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, I’m back with another Behind the Games post!

For those of you just joining the party, Behind the Games is a segment where I interview the folks ‘behind the games’ I review. The series is meant to act as a complement to the reviews, giving you guys a chance to get to know the developers that spend so much time carefully crafting the games you enjoy. For each interview I send the Devs five questions (and one random bonus question), to kind of flesh out who they are, while also getting a bit of insight into their inspirations for their games. It’s completely voluntary and meant to be a fun way to get you guys acquainted with content creators.

Last time around I spoke with Jaime Scribbles, the creator of the post apocalyptic visual novel As We Know Itso if you missed that, I definitely recommend checking that post out too! This time around, I had the chance to chat with Esh and Sprocket, the dynamic duo behind Steamberry Studios!

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Steamberry Studios is the name of  a brand new indie game developer, founded by two very special individuals, Esh and Sprocket. I have had the opportunity to get to know these two pretty well over the past couple of years and I am absolutely in love with their debut visual novel, Changeling. If you’re in the mood for a supernatural romance game, I highly recommend giving Changeling a try, you won’t be disappointed. This is only the beginning for this dynamic duo and given the success of Changeling I am excited to see where these two end up in the future! But, enough of my yammering, let’s turn things over to Esh and Sprocket…


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A World With(out) You – Saku Fukazawa Main Story Review

So, Voltage Inc aka Otome Romance (or whatever they’re calling themselves this week) released a brand new title on their Love 365 portal app, a supernatural fantasy slice of life game titled, A World With(out) You. In the game you play a young woman whose boyfriend dies unexpectedly leaving you to face the world without him, but, your love is so strong that he comes back as a ghost to help you find happiness without him… *cue the Korean pop ballads* Cus this sounds like something straight out of a Korean drama.

Saku Fukazawa Bio.jpg

But, I was intrigued, a romance game where the love interest is already dead at the start of the game can either go one of two ways: Either he stays dead and the MC finds love with someone else OR the power of love brings dude back to life, at least that’s how it works in Korean dramas.

Love Choice: A Cliffnotes Crash Course 

Unlike their usual paid format, A World With(out) You is one of their Love Choice stories, so you can read the entire story for free. But, you need hearts, which can be purchased through microtransactions, to unlock premium choices and endings, also there is a 5 hour delay between chapters, which is annoying as fuck. I’m not a big fan of the move to Love Choice stories, because I’m not a fan of freemium games. But, during the initial release of Love Choice routes, Voltage gets rid of the 5 hour wait time and you can unlock new chapters immediately. Which is the main reason I even picked up the game in the first place, until 5/27 Saku Fukazawa’s Main Story is available without the 5 hour delay!! Yay!

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Love Choice premium choices

So I’ve played through a few chapters of his route and I have some thoughts that’d like to get out… Usually I edit my reviews, but, this time I kind of like how my notes sound so other than some minor edits for structure, here are my unfiltered thoughts on A World With(out) You and Saku Fukuzawa’s route so far… I’m going to take my time with this one because, hearts cost money and I did the math, it would cost me like $20 bucks to finish it in one go and I’m not about that life.

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5 Otome Games Like London Detective Mysteria

I ran a poll over on Twitter asking for help choosing a game for a post and SURPRISE, this is it! You guys got to choose between two game titles, Bad Apple Wars and London Detective Mysteria and 60% of you guys picked the latter. Thanks to everyone who participated!!

Last week I wrote a list of 5 Otome Games Like Hakuoki and this week I’m bringing you guys a list of 5 games like London Detective Mysteria. For those of you unfamiliar with the game, London Detective Mysteria is a Victorian-era otome game developed by Karin Entertainment and the first localized otome game title from XSeed. Originally published as Eikoku Tantei Mysteria: The CrownLondon Detective Mysteria follows Lady Emily Whiteley, heir to House Whiteley, upon her debut into high society, she receives a letter from the Queen of England inviting her to attend a famous detective finishing school, Harrington Academy. Explore London and investigate a series of mysteries, while interacting with characters inspired by famous historical and fictional figures, like, famed detective Sherlock Holmes, infamous serial killer Jack the Ripper, master thief Jean Lupin and more…

So, if you’ve finished London Detective Mysteria and are looking for something to satisfy your inner super sleuth, I have five games just for you. Each of these games captures a little bit of the magic of London Detective Mysteria whether you’re solving cases or romancing hot ikemen versions of historical figures, these titles are a must play.

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Changeling Review – An Imaginative Supernatural Romance VN

Newbie developer Steamberry Studios delivers a magical adventure in their debut supernatural fantasy visual novel, Changeling. The game follows Nora, a high school senior who finds herself drawn into the world of the paranormal after moving back to her childhood hometown of Pine Hollow. A community of Cryptics (supernatural beings) operates in the shadows of Pine Hollow, each with their own secrets… After experiencing a number of strange occurrences, Nora discovers that she is also a Cryptic and the revelation sends her world into a tailspin. But, unlike her friends and fellow member of the Supernatural Club, her supernatural origins might be darker than anyone could have anticipated. With danger around every corner, Nora must rely on one of six guys, to uncover the secrets of her past while also helping them deal with their own supernatural issues.

I’ve been following Changeling‘s production for a very long time now, from the kickstarter campaign to tumblr dev updates to the beta testing and I’ve talked with the devs at length about the game on a number of occasions. So, I suppose you could say I am really invested in this game.

Game Details


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Rose in the Embers – Takahisa Togo Main Story Review

It’s been awhile since I last played a Voltage game, before the switch from the standalone apps to the Love 365 portal app. One of the first games introduced in the new Love 365 app was Rose in Embers a Cinderella-esque historical romance set in the Taisho Era. I checked out the prologue a long time ago, but never got around to playing any of the routes until now. At the time of its release only two guys had been released: Kyosuke Takatsukasa and Takahisa Togo. Since I usually don’t care much for the suave alpha male types, I went with Takahisa as my first choice pick. I mean come on a man in uniform, what’s not to love?!

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Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #26

Hello all you wonderful Heroes and Travelers, 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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Behind the Games: Jaime Scribbles

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, I’m back with another Behind the Games post!

For those of you just joining the party,  Behind the Games is a segment where I interview the folks ‘behind the games’ I review. The series is meant to act as a complement to the reviews, giving you guys a chance to get to know the developers that spend so much time carefully crafting the games you enjoy. For each interview I send the Devs five questions (and one random bonus question), to kind of flesh out who they are, while also getting a bit of insight into their inspirations for their games. It’s completely voluntary and meant to be a fun way to get you guys acquainted with content creators.

Last time around I spoke with Dovah and Gamma from Argent Games, the dynamic twosome behind Argent Gamesso if you missed that, I definitely recommend checking that post out too! This time around, I had the chance to chat with Jaime Scribbles of Jaime Scribbles Games!

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Jaime is the brains behind the indie game studio, Jaime Scribbles Games! She’s a single mom who made her debut in 2017 with a horror romance visual novel, Pinewood Island. Two years later, she’s showing no signs off slowing down, with two games under her belt and one in development Jaime is a force to be reckoned with in the indie scene. But, what really sets her games apart from the rest is her dedication to creating titles with diverse love interests and deep narrative heavy stories. But, without further ado, let’s turn things over to Jaime…


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5 Otome Games Like Hakuoki

The Hakuoki franchise is one of the most successful otome game series, spanning several main series games, spin-offs, a 2010 Studio Deen anime series, manga, and two films. Hakuoki Demon of the Fleeting Blossoms was one of my first introductions to the world of “mainstream” otome games, and with Idea Factory cranking out a new game every few years there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. The most recent English localizations being Kyoto Winds and Edo Blossoms. 

If you’ve been living under a rock these past few years, Hakuoki is the name of a historical romance otome game series that takes place in the Bakumatsu Era ( final years of the Edo period when the Tokugawa shogunate ended) and follows the members of the special police force known as the Shinsengumi. Since I absolutely suck at history, I’ll just leave a link to the Shinsengumi wiki, here. Like you’d expect from an otome game, you get to romance the members of the Shinsengumi while helping them defend the shogunate. There’s more historical details, but, the long and short of it is you get to romance hot swordsmen.

The Hakuoki franchise remains one of my favorite otome game series, I mean come on good looking swordsmen, battles, historical references!! But, after finishing Edo Blossoms there was this void left that I absolutely needed to fill, so I compiled a list of five otome games like Hakuoki. Each of these games either A) focuses on the Shinsengumi or B) is set in the Bakumatsu Period. So, for those of you wishing for more time with Hijikata, Saito, Okita, and the rest of the Shinsengumi crew, look no further, I’ve done all the hard work for you!!

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OWLS May “Happiness” Blog Tour: Finding Happiness in the Little Things

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, it’s May and with it comes another OWLS Blog Tour! Last month during our Masculinity Blog Tour we looked at the meaning of the term while also celebrating the amazing accomplishments of women. This month we’re looking at the other end of the spectrum with our May Happiness Blog Tour! If you haven’t already be sure to check out Karandi’s and Jack’s posts from earlier this monthon their blogs!

Happiness is subjective. We all have different definitions of what happiness means to us and we also feel happiness in varying degrees. This month we will be exploring several questions describing our happiness in our fandoms, communities, and hobbies. Why do we find enjoyment watching anime or reading manga? Why did we decide to join the anime or pop culture communities?  Why do we blog about our hobbies or cosplay as our favorite characters? This topic is all about the passions we have for our interests and why they are important to us.

May 2019 Happiness Blog Tour Prompt

I was unsure of how I was going to tackle this month’s blog tour topic, like the prompt states, ‘happiness’ is a subjective concept that takes on different meanings for each person. For some, happiness is being surrounded by friends and family, while for others happiness is the solitude of a quiet nook with warm blankets and a good book. But, what does happiness mean to me? If you ask me one day it’s successfully completing a crochet project or getting a new blazer. Other days, happiness is being able to pay my rent on time or just having a seat on a train.

So, rather than doing my usual OWLS post, I wanted to talk about three moments of happiness I’ve experienced this year.

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As We Know It Review – A Diverse Post-Apocalyptic Visual Novel

Jaime Scribbles Games just released their newest game, a dystopian life-sim visual novel As We Know It. Set in the distant future, where the world has been plagued by climate shifts that have turned the surface into a veritable wasteland, people have taken refuge in underground sanctuaries. One such subterranean town, Camden offers a safe haven for a those select few lucky enough to secure an invitation to the exclusive oasis. You (default name Ashlynn Phillips) and your mother are given the opportunity to escape the surface for the safety and security of Camden. The mayor, Rick Davidson and the people of the city welcome you with open arms, and the abundance of resources are a welcome change from scarcity of the surface. But, all is not as it seems in Camden, as seeds of descent spread the social order of the city starts to deteriorate and you must decide where your allegiances lie. Do you stand with the Mayor and protect your new home or do you rebel? The choice is yours.

Game Details

  • Genre: Life simulator, Romance, Drama
  • Available for PC (Widows, Mac, Linux) and Steam
  • 30 Endings (4 romance routes, 3 potential friendships)
  • Gameplay Lengh: 3-5 hours per playthrough
  • Cost: $19.99 USD
  • Life-Sim Gameplay
  • Customizable MC
  • Similar Games: Aloners, Who We Are Now

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[Melanin Monday] Why Blackface in Cosplay is NOT Okay

With con season in full swing in most places, anime fans across the country are gearing up for weekends full of otaku fellowship. But, for many one of the highlights of any con are the cosplayers, who dedicate months, sometimes years into carefully crafting their costumes and props in order to pay homage to the media and characters they love.

Cosplay 

noun

A portmanteau of the words ‘costume play’, is the practice of dressing up as a character from a movie, book, or video game, especially characters from Japanese media.

Amateurs and professionals alike flock to these otaku meccas in hopes of showing off their hard work, strutting their stuff among the throngs of anime fans eager to share in their love of Japanese culture. Cosplay is a way for fans to express their creativity while also showing their appreciation for the media they love. Some cosplayers strive for accuracy, with carefully constructed costumes that perfectly capture the original source material, while others let their imaginations fly with unique alternative takes on popular characters.


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Blog Update: It’s Time for a Change!

Many of you already know this story, but if you’re new here I figured this was as good a time as any to tell it again. I started Nice Job Breaking It, Hero back when I was in my last year of grad school. I was working on a Capstone Research project about unintended injury rates among middle school aged adolescents in four South American countries, and I was getting burned out on all the literature reviews and methodology drafting and all the other riveting aspects of academic writing. So, on a whim I opened up WordPress with the intention of starting a blog, mind you, I’d tried starting a blog before (over on Blogger), but I never could manage to keep up with it. So, I figured this would be about the same. I’d write for a week or two and then my blog would fall to the wayside forgotten and abandoned in some dark corner of the internet. I wasn’t thinking long term, I just needed something to take my mind off the stuffy research paper I was working on, and I figured writing about anything other than broken bones and accidental falls was a welcome change.

So, on August 11, 2015 I wrote my very first post, all 92 words of it… my statement to the big wide internet. An introduction, short sweet and to the point, but it was mine. I’m not gonna lie, those first couple of posts were rough. I’ve read through them a few times and there are so many things I want to go back and change, but, I won’t, those posts as cringeworthy as they seem are a memorial of sorts to the me of the past. It’s kind of nice to look back on those older posts and remember just how much fun I had writing them. I didn’t have a lot of followers and my view counts rarely ever hit double digits, but, I still took pride in what I wrote. I still do.

It’s been four years since I started this blog and it’s still mind boggling to me how far Nice Job Breaking It, Hero has come since then. I’ve grown as a writer, as reviewer, and as a person and this site has grown along with me. Through all the ups and downs, the hiatuses, big life events, this has been one of the biggest mainstays. Despite taking a lot of time off from it in these later years, I truly love blogging. I love sharing my thoughts on things that I love and engaging with everyone in the WordPress community. I’ve made some great friends and fellow allies over the years and I wouldn’t trade any of it for all the world. But, I will admit that Nice Job Breaking It, Hero has outgrown the basic free domain and it’s name.

Yes, after giving it a lot of thought, I’ve decided to make some changes. The first being upgrading the site from the Basic WordPress plan to one of the Paid plans. I’ve seen a lot of bloggers take the plunge and I figure it’s been a long time coming, so I might as well jump on the bandwagon. But, with it comes the second and by far the most important change (at least in my opinion)… I’m changing the name of the blog from Nice Job Breaking It, Hero to Blerdy Otome, the domain will also be changing as well, but, I’ll update that when I take the plunge the new address is blerdyotome.com! This isn’t something I’m doing on a whim, I’ve been thinking about it for a very long time. When I was first considering a name for my blog I was really into TV Tropes, so of course I pilfered one of my favorite tropes for the title of my blog, because I suck at titles. But, more than that, the trope ‘Nice Job Breaking It, Hero’ kind of fit where I was in my life at the time.

The hero has accomplished their goal; they’ve killed the Big Bad, or defeated them forever, or at least scored a major blow against the antagonist. They’ve done what they set out to do…

…but not so fast! It turns out that by the very act of success, they’ve unwittingly made things worse.

TV Tropes

I was still kind of getting my bearings with this whole adulting thing and more times than not I wound up making more mistakes than I’d care to admit. And, it still kind of fits, since I’m still just kind of making things up as I go along, sometimes I make it and sometimes I break it, so that even with the name changing, this blog will still kind of embody the spirit of the old Nice Job Breaking It, Hero name.

So, the new name… Blerdy Otome

I think the new name perfectly defines who I am, I’m a Black nerd and I’m a woman… pretty simple. My focus will still be on otome games and visual novels, like it has been in the past, but, I want to expand my horizons a bit to encompass a wider range of Japanese culture topics and nerdy exploits. So expect more diverse topics in the near future.

thank you

Thank you for sticking it out with me this long. I know I have been a little hectic and erratic lately, but your kind words and comments and things have really meant a lot to me. This blog would not be what it is without you guys and I can’t thank you enough. I’m always trying to improve myself and this sight so if you have any suggestions or want to talk or anything, feel free to reach out to me, I’m def down for it. I’m also going to make a conscious effort to be more active on my social media channels and in commenting on others blogs and things, so expect to see a lot of comments from me coming at you real soon. Like A LOT. Thanks for being super special awesome and I’m excited to share this new phase of my journey with you all. Thank you!!

*I’ll be making the change tomorrow, May 4th, 2019 (EST)!!*

Carole & Tuesday a Music Anime with Soul – Episodes 1-3 Review

These past few seasons have me falling in love with music anime, and with Piano no Mori finally done, I’ve been looking for another series to fill the void and along came Spring 2019’s Carole & Tuesday. Created through a collaboration between critically acclaimed anime studio Bones and Japanese record label, Flying Dog, for their 20th and 10th Anniversaries, respectively, Carole & Tuesday utilizes their combined resources to create something truly amazing. Not to mention, acclaimed director Shinichiro Watanabe is also serving as the series’s supervising director, so you know this series sure to be a hit. 

Carole and Tuesday

Plot

Set in the near distant future where mankind is now living on Mars and most media is produced by AI and people have become little more than passive consumers. Carole & Tuesday offers a heartwarming story of two girls from very different walks of life, connected by their love of music.

Carole, a young girl living in the thriving metropolis of Alba City, scratching out a living as she bounces from one part-time job to the next while trying to make some coin as a street musician.

Tuesday is a wealthy girl from the provincial town of Herschel City, she dreams of becoming a musician like her idol Cyndi Lauper. So she packs up her guitar and runs away to the city in hopes of making it big.

A chance meeting brings these two very different girls together, each finding something special in the other and decide to embark on a musical journey that will change their lives forever!

Two girls from very different backgrounds meet in the most unexpected way. Together, they embark on a musical journey that will change their lives forever!

Continue reading “Carole & Tuesday a Music Anime with Soul – Episodes 1-3 Review”

One Night, Hot Spring – Game Review

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. 

One Night Hot Spring 4.jpg

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.

Game Basics

  • 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”

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