As a content creator I’m often approached by developers and publishers who want me to cover their game or product on my various social media platforms. They’ll send me a game with the understanding that I’ll play it and cover it as Blerdy Otome. Most of the time, these are publishers or developers that are familiar with me and my content, so they are approaching me because they feel that I am a good fit to promote their game or product.
Occasionally, I’ll get a publisher that has clearly not done their homework who will send me a game that is very much outside of my wheelhouse. Just last month I had a publisher reach out to me about promoting their porn game, and while I do play a lot of 18+ visual novels, something like PornStar Harem is just not something I’d cover on this site (or anywhere else for that matter). I’ll try just about anything once, but even I have my limits, because at the end of the day, Blerdy Otome is a space for uplifting creators and media that spotlight diversity and for me to talk about my interests.
My Burning Heart is a story set in a 1001 Nights world.
Our protagonist, Adnan, gets sold as a slave and, instead of being sent to work in the fields, as he expected, he ends up in a Sultan’s harem… Although they try to trick him with good words and promises of being well fed and no physical punishments, he decides to comply with the Sultan’s orders… but only while he plans his escape from the palace.
As a Black gamer I tend to shy away from games that depict slavery, for obvious reasons—it makes me uncomfortable. Especially when slavery is depicted in romance themed games, since there is a degree of power imbalance that undermines any perceived notion of consent, because lets be real for a second—slaves cannot defy the whims of their masters, and as such are subject to whatever treatment their masters see fit. I take particular offense to games that tend to sexualize the relationship between a master and a slave, because by definition these relationships are inherently non consensual, since slaves don’t have the agency to reject the advances of their masters.
So, I find myself in a bit of a dilemma with Ertal Games’s Arabian nights themed visual novel, My Burning Heart—its very premise is built on the dubious consent of a slave/master relationship—the protagonist, Adnan, is brought to the palace of the sultan to be his new harem slave. Despite the benevolence of his master, Adnan plots to escape his comfortable life in the palace, but in order to do so he will need to give himself over to the Sultan. *internal scream*
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…
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!
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!!
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 Changeling, so 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!
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 Darknessa 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…
Join us in this little adventure following Alex through his first days at St. Michaels, an exclusive all-male boarding school during the British Edwardian era.
He will meet new friends, will face an unexpected danger and, who knows? Perhaps he will even find true love. It’s up to you whether Alex leaves St. Michaels with a happy ending or with a broken heart… or still worse.
Ertal Games’ debut title, offers a nice change of pace from some of the other BL/yaoi games on the market. Set in 1910 at an elite all-boys boarding school in Britain, A Hand in the Darkness follows Alex White as he attempts to acclimate himself to the rigid environment of St. Michaels, while also coming to terms with his budding feelings for one of his three male roommates. Amidst the confusion, Alex is also the target of a string of accidents that escalate as the school year goes on.