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…
- Genre: Horror, Suspense, Thriller
- Available for PC (Widows, Mac, Linux)
- Gameplay Lengh: 2-3 hours
- Cost: Free
- 3 Endings
Continue reading “The Doll Shop Review – A Slow Atmospheric Horror”
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.”
Continue reading “#TheAnimangaFestival: So You Wanna Play Otome Games? – Five Otome Game Recommendations for Total Newbies”
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 Otome. So, 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!
Continue reading “Romance to Die For: Five Romance VNs to Get You in the Mood for Halloween”
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…
Continue reading “Back to School: 10 School Romance Otome Games”
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!
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.
Continue reading “OWLS “Lovers” Blog Tour – A Natural Otome Romance: Enomoto and Ichika in ‘Collar x Malice’”
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 #34”
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!
Continue reading “20 Years of Romance: My Top 10 Favorite Voltage Inc Games”
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.
Continue reading “Five Totally Out There Dating Sims You Have to See to Believe”
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!!
Continue reading “Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #33”
For someone that shies away from incomplete series, I’ve been really getting into episodic visual novels. Rather than blazing through a game in one sitting, the plot unfolds over a series of chapters/episodes and because there is usually a bit of a wait between new releases, this gap in new content gives you a chance to really dig down and fully explore the different story elements and scenarios in the interim. It’s a much more comprehensive gaming experience than I’m used to, but one that definitely allows for a much more immersive experience overall.
Recently I had the chance to give Asif G.’s Arabian Nights inspired fantasy visual novel, One Thousand and One Days a try and I was blown away by what I played so far. The game borrows heavily from ancient Persian mythology and Islamic lore AND features an all POC cast that draw inspiration from Middle Eastern, North African, and Mongolian cultures. On top of that, the game is LGBTQ+ friendly, with love interests with differing gender identities and sexual orientation. There are even poly romance options in addition to the standard one on one romances choices.
- Genre: Supernatural, Fantasy, Romance
- Available for PC (Widows, Mac, Linux)
- 4 Chapters (ongoing)
- Gameplay Lengh: 30 mins – 1 hour per chapter
- Cost: Free
- 4 Love Interests (Male and Female); Poly Romance Options
Continue reading “One Thousand and One Days Game Review – An Enchanting Fantasy VN”