Tag: Game Reviews

Melanin Friendly Games – ‘Date Warp’

Hey there Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, it’s Melanin Monday here on Blerdy Otome and that means I’m spotlighting another Melanin Friendly Game! For those of you just joining the party—every Monday I spotlight games that feature black and brown characters for anyone looking for titles with just a bit more representation. As a blerd and a gamer, I am always on the lookout for representation in my games. This is largely a personal project for me—there are almost no “diverse game” tags on major game sites—so, it can be pretty difficult find games with characters of color… unless you already know where to look.

Date Warp 1

This week, I’m spotlighting the sci-fi mystery romance visual novel, Date Warpfrom Hanako Game. This was one of the first English otome games I played when I started out on my journey into otome hell and even 10 years later, this game still stands up! Date Warp follows Janet a college student who left her dorm one night to go on a blind date with one of the most popular guys on campus—and never returned. Was she kidnapped? Murdered? Solve puzzles and piece together clues to uncover the truth… but, be warned the truth might not be as straightforward as you’d hoped…

Continue reading “Melanin Friendly Games – ‘Date Warp’”

NaNoRenO 2020 Review – ‘Dream Dilemma!’

This has turned into quite the undertaking and while I’m pretty sure I won’t get through every submission by the end of the month, I have enjoyed the games I’ve played so far. For those of you just joining the party—all month long I’ve been working my way through submissions for the annual one month game jam, NaNoRenO, which is usually held between March and April. There were over 100 submissions for NaNoRenO 2020 created by newbie devs and veterans alike, covering a wide range of genres so I highly recommend checking a few out if you have the chance.

Dream Dilemma 1

Next up on this tour of NaNoRenO games is the short fantasy visual novel, Dream Dilemma from AmesyFlo. This one’s a bit on the short side, taking roughly a half hour to get through, but it has a total of five endings that are each worth exploring. Dream Dilemma follows Jane, a seemingly ordinary girl who has been having strange dreams featuring a handsome boy. While his identity is a mystery she can’t help but feel like they’ve met somewhere before. Unbeknownst to her, there are greater powers at work and Jane and her dream boy are just the unwitting pawns in a life or death riddle game that could spell disaster for the pair should they fail…

Continue reading “NaNoRenO 2020 Review – ‘Dream Dilemma!’”

Melanin Friendly Games – ‘Mermaid Splash! Passion Festival’

Hey there Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, it’s Melanin Monday here on Blerdy Otome and that means I’m spotlighting another Melanin Friendly Game! For those of you just joining the party—every Monday I spotlight games that feature black and brown characters for anyone looking for titles with just a bit more representation. As a blerd and a gamer, I am always on the lookout for representation in my games. This is largely a personal project for me—there are almost no “diverse game” tags on major game sites—so, it can be pretty difficult find games with characters of color… unless you already know where to look.

Mermaid Splash 1

This week, I’m spotlighting the debut visual novel, Mermaid Splash! Passion Festival, from Sofdelux Studio—made up of NomnomNami, creator of Syrup and Ultimate Sweet and DarkChibiShadow, a comic creator who also makes visual novels on the side. Mermaid Splash! is a short yuri visual novel that follows CiCi, a mermaid who wants to participate in the upcoming Passion Festival. There’s only one hitch… she doesn’t really have anything that she’s passionate in—so it’s up to you to help her hone her skills and focus on a specific hobby for the festival. You have just one month tho help CiCi get her act together and maybe you’ll help her find love in the process!

Continue reading “Melanin Friendly Games – ‘Mermaid Splash! Passion Festival’”

NaNoRenO 2020 Review – ‘#influenced’

There is such a huge variety of titles among the annual NaNoRenO submissions, that you never truly know what is going to pique your interest. I’m just blindly picking games at random, giving priority to games that I find aesthetically pleasing—it’s shallow, I know, but when there are over 100 games to get through can you blame me for picking game with pretty art first?

So, this is how I found myself playing Pilot_Star’s kinetic novel, #influenced, which I suppose is fitting given it’s focus on the superficial world of internet influencers. With it’s chic character designs and bright coloring, #infuenced is definitely one of the better looking titles in this year’s lineup—but beneath it’s cute appearance is slow burn horror story that doubles as a surprisingly clever social commentary.

#influenced 1

The game follows Dolly Pearson, an up-and-coming influencer on the social media site Instapix. But, despite visiting all the cutest cafes and taking flawless selfies, she’s frustrated with her meager 5K follower count. Everything changes when she befriends Instapix star Vanessa, who has just made the move from New York to her town. Seeing this as her chance to make it big, Dolly asks her for a few tips and Vanessa is happy to lend her new bestie a helping hand… just so long as Dolly is willing to do whatever it takes…

While I don’t plan on spoiling the game, I feel obligated to note that, #influenced warrants a trigger warning for graphic descriptions of self-harm and suicide. 

Continue reading “NaNoRenO 2020 Review – ‘#influenced’”

NaNoRenO 2020 Review – Red-Handed Robin

I’m switching gears a bit from the last NaNoRenO 2020 title and I have to admit I was really looking forward to this release. Mystery, romance, adventure—HitOrMissy’s Red-Handed Robin has everything I love in my visual novels! This is the team’s second game release following Fetch Quest, their submission for NaNoRenO 2019 (which is still on my must play list).

This time around the team brings us a good ol’ fashion crime fiction adventure following Robin, a career thief and her loyal bodyguard, Jay as they attempt to flee the country on the brand new luxury train, the Whirlwind Express. With the spoils of her last heist close at hand, Robin is ready to make a clean break… that is until she runs into her childhood friend turned detective… What’s a gal to do? Can Robin lie her way to freedom or will her cover be blown by the handsome detective? Red-Handed Robin is a two part release, and as of right now only part one is available, so the game does end in a bit of a cliffhanger. But, there is still plenty to explore in this fun first installment.

Continue reading “NaNoRenO 2020 Review – Red-Handed Robin”

Melanin Friendly Games – ‘Arcade Spirits’

It’s Monday and with it comes another Melanin Friendly game! For those of you just joining the party—every Monday here on Blerdy Otome I spotlight games that feature black and brown characters for anyone looking for titles with a bit more representation. It started as something I did just for myself, since growing up as a nerdy Black kid in the south, I didn’t really get too many characters that looked like me in the games I played. Things are so much different now, and I want to celebrate each and every “Melanin Friendly” game I find!

Arcade Spirits Characters.jpg

Main Cast L to R: Ashley, Gavin, Naomi, Percy, Queenbee, and Teo

This week, I’m spotlighting Arcade Spirits, an 80’s themed romance visual novel developed by Fiction Factory Games. Set in an alternate timeline where the 1983 video game crash never happened, you play as a new hire at the Funplex game arcade. It’s your job to keep the peace in one of the most popular arcades in the city, while trying to figure out your next step in life. At Funplex, you’ll meet a whole host of unique characters and maybe even find a little romance along the way.

Continue reading “Melanin Friendly Games – ‘Arcade Spirits’”

Guilty Parade Demo Review – A Quirky Wartime Visual Novel

“One war. Two sides…” This perfectly encapsulates the premise of Nozori Games’s interactive visual novel. Guilty Parade.  Experience two sides of a military conflict, by stepping into the shoes of two very different protagonists on either side of the barricades. On one side is Nemo—an amnesiac young man who is taken in by the Commander of an unusual squadron of soldiers. Though he doesn’t remember much about his past, he is thrust headfirst into their cause as he and his new comrades attempt to investigate a mysterious crime. On the other side is Lien—a child of war, desperate to avenge the death of his mothers at the hand of the black apostates. There are always two sides to every conflict and Guilty Parade gives players a chance to experience both as you navigate the complexities of war through the eyes of two characters right there on the front lines.

Guilty Parade is definitely one of the more unusual demos I have played in quite some time. It features an eclectic cast of quirky characters that you’d expect to see in a comedic anime—not a post apocalyptic wartime visual novel, and yet strangely enough… it works. Guilty Parade‘s unique cast is by far it’s most distinguishing features, giving what normally would have been a grisly story a sense of levity. Though, despite it’s eccentricities, Guilty Parade is a wartime story, and it takes great pains to depict the pros and cons of military conflict.

Game Details 

Continue reading “Guilty Parade Demo Review – A Quirky Wartime Visual Novel”

Melanin Friendly Games – ‘Errant Kingdom’

I’m re-purposing my Melanin Friendly Games Black History Month project as a weekly game spotlight segment where I hype up visual novels and games that feature Black and Brown characters in prominent roles. As a black woman gamer, representation in the media I love is important and I want to celebrate the games that make the extra effort to include a bit of color in their lineup.

And today’s Melanin Friendly Game pick is…

Errant Kingdom is a queer, high fantasy visual novel and the sophomore title from Lunaris Games, the developers behind the episodic supernatural fantasy, When the Night Comes. I loved their first game, for it’s immersive supernatural fantasy story and for the inclusion of so many well written Black and Brown characters, both in the main cast and the supporting cast! While they’re relatively new on the indie scene, they have made a name for themselves with their engaging stories and characters and their phenomenal social media presence.

Continue reading “Melanin Friendly Games – ‘Errant Kingdom’”

NaNoRenO 2020 Review – Dear Devere

This is such a different type of game from the ones I usually review on this site, I tend to focus on more interactive visual novels and otome games, and occasionally I dabble into the world of platformers and adventure games. So when Katy133 emailed me about her newest visual novel, Dear Devere, I will admit that I was at a bit of a loss, since it wasn’t my usual jam. I’d be more inclined to label Dear Devere as interactive fiction or a kinetic novel than a visual novel, since you don’t really influence the story by making choices or anything like that. Rather, the story unfolds through a series of letters written by two strangers.

Dear Devere

Set in 1935 Dear Devere follows Angela Bard—a quiet, solitary woman living in the Scottish isles. After a disagreement with a woman in her town, Angela decides to write a letter venting her frustrations, which she leaves under a rock at the edge of the nearby forest. She is of course surprised to discover that someone has replied to her letter—the mysterious Mr. Devere. Who is this Mr. Devere? And how is it that he’s come across Angela’s letters? The truth is something wholly unexpected and yet, worth finding out.

Continue reading “NaNoRenO 2020 Review – Dear Devere”

NaNoRenO 2020 Review – Demon Kiss

I’m committing myself to playing through these NaNoRenO 2020 game releases and next up is Demon Kissa short indie boys love visual novel from Foleso. This is my first experience with this dev, but the art looked nice so I figured I could give it a go. The game follows Felix Wright, an IT guy, who’d much rather stay at home and play his favorite MMORPG with his online friends. Fed up with his antisocial attitude, his bubbly bestie manages to convince him to be her plus one for a Halloween house party. But what should have been a night full of watered down booze and awkward socializing turns into a night of horror when a hunky demon lord gate crashes!

Demon Kiss 1.png


Continue reading “NaNoRenO 2020 Review – Demon Kiss”

NaNoRenO 2020 Review – Enamored Risks

The annual one month game jam, NaNoRenO 2020+ has come and gone bringing with it over 100 new game titles from a wide range of genres from veteran game devs and newbies alike. NaNoRenO is a treasure trove for indie gems and throughout the next month or so I’ll be reviewing quite a few of them. Since these games tend to be on the shorter side, rather than writing the usual long-form reviews, these will be mini reviews.

First up is Enamored Risks developed by Crystal Game Works, the team behind the josei romance visual novel, That Which Binds Us and the supernatural romance, Memories on the Shoreline. This is the third game I’ve played from the team, and I think they’ve finally hit their stride, Enamored Risks is a much more grounded title, than their earlier offerings (at least the ones I tried). The game follows Alex, a recently emancipated nursing student, struggling to find herself now that she is free from her overbearing parents. One day she overhears some classmates discussing a mysterious urban exploration social media account full of photos of ruined buildings, rooftop views, and rooms trapped in time, desperate add a bit of excitement to her life, Alex decides to a little exploring of her own. Along the way she meets three urban explorer who help her uncover sides of herself she never imagined existed.

Enamored Risk 1

Continue reading “NaNoRenO 2020 Review – Enamored Risks”

Up Until The End – Game Review

I got this request months ago and while I’d like to say that the reason it took so long to review this game was because I was busy with real life obligations that wouldn’t be entirely true. The truth is, at first glance Up Until the End just didn’t grab my attention—the premise was definitely unique, but the art really didn’t do it for me, so I pushed it further and further down my list. I am not proud to admit that I judged this game before even playing it, but I am human and while reviewers strive to be impartial, it’s not exactly an easy thing to do.

So, with the prospect of being stuck at home indefinitely due to COVID-19, I decided to revisit Letitia Lambrechts debut visual novel, Up Until the End and I will admit that I owe her an apology for waiting so long to play this game. It’s not perfect, but, I may have been too hasty in judging Up Until the End, it is a rather enjoyable and inventive story that is worth the playthrough!

This was supposed to be an ordinary day, in an ordinary life. But it isn’t.
You were in the town library, reading a good book when…You don’t really remember. You know you passed out. When you wake up, you are surrounded by flames !

Will you get out of danger? Will you create bonds with your companions? And maybe, will you find love on the way?

-Synopsis

Game Details

  • Available for Windows, Mac, Linux 
  • Price: Pay What You Want
  • 1 optional pursuable male character
  • 15 Unique Endings
  • Gameplay Length: 2-5 hours

Continue reading “Up Until The End – Game Review”

Melanin Friendly Games – ‘One Thousand and One Days’

Hey Hey! I took an unexpected break this past weekend, I took a blogging break to enjoy my new Switch and do some adulting. I wanna get back into the swing of things with another Melanin Friendly Game pick. This time around I’m covering a game that I’ve covered before, but I don’t see many people talking about, which is a shame because it’s really quite impressive.

For today’s pick I’m covering Asif G.’s episodic Arabian Nights inspired fantasy visual novel, One Thousand and One Days. The game borrows heavily from ancient Persian mythology and Islamic lore AND features an all ethnic cast that draw inspiration from Middle Eastern, North African, and Mongolian cultures. Like Nusantara, this game focuses on a culture and region you don’t see explored very often in games—sure you get otome games that borrow the aesthetic of Arabian cultures, but you don’t see any one taking the time to really go in depth. One Thousand and One Days, does that and more while also weaving an intriguing fantasy adventure that will keep you captivated through each new chapter.

Continue reading “Melanin Friendly Games – ‘One Thousand and One Days’”

Melanin Friendly Games – ‘PAIRS’

Thanks to my mom I’m a casual Trekkie, and I have fond memories of watching a handful of episodes with her during marathons when I was younger. I’ve even gone on to watch through the original series on Netflix and Next Generation whenever I can catch a marathon. There is just something about exploring new worlds and interacting with alien life and learning about their cultures that I find fascinating. And Star Trek was one of the first sci-fi series (that I know of) to embrace diversity in a time where seeing folks from different racial and ethnic backgrounds just wasn’t a thing. Nichelle Nichols’s portrayal of Uhura on the original series was and still is one of the most culturally significant Black roles ever! Fast-forward today and it’s not uncommon to see a few characters of color woven in to most mainstream series. Just look at Star Trek: Discovery, Sonequa Martin-Green stars as Michael Burnham, the first Black female lead in Star Trek series—which is absolutely monumental!

So, when I came across the 2017 NaNoRenO title, PAIRS—a sci-fi romance that not only embraces diversity, but also had not one but TWO Black female leads… I knew I had add it to my game library. PAIRS follows two unique couples—Carmelita and Ricardo, two heroes in training and James, Kitten Pink (Noiya), a human baker and an alien warrior princess— in the midst of an ongoing alien war between Earth and the invading Naian people.

Continue reading “Melanin Friendly Games – ‘PAIRS’”

Melanin Friendly Games – ‘Magical Warrior Diamond Heart’

One of my first experiences with Japanese culture and anime came from watching Sailor Moon after school. Though the American dub of the series was HEAVILY edited, I was enamored with the series and tuned in every day to see Serena (yes, I know Usagi) and the rest of the Sailor Scouts kicking ass and protecting their city from evil… and Tuxedo Mask, he was like my first anime crush! I can STILL remember singing the opening theme at the top of my lungs much to the annoyance of my mom and brothers, but watching Sailor Moon sparked a love affair with anime and the magical girl genre that has lasted years…

I love me some Sailor Moon, but there weren’t exactly any Black sailor scouts (except for Pluto… I’m gonna go ahead and claim her for the culture), not that that stopped me from wanting to be a sailor scout. But, looking back, I would have loved to have seen someone that looked like me fighting along side the rest of the sailor scouts. So when I came across Xeregha Lopez’s magical girl yuri/otome visual novel, Magical Warrior Diamond Heart it set my little magical girl heart all a flutter!!

Continue reading “Melanin Friendly Games – ‘Magical Warrior Diamond Heart’”

Melanin Friendly Games – ‘A Troll’s Fairy Tale’

Hey Hey!! Day 2 of my “mostly” month long shoutout to melanin friendly games!! It’s Black History Month, so for the remainder of the month, I want to write mini reviews spotlighting games that feature Black and Brown characters in prominent roles! As a Black woman and gamer, I am always on the lookout for games that feature characters that look like me and even more so, stories from creators of color. Because there is just something beautiful about creators of color telling their own stories!

And today’s Melanin Friendly Game pick has both! 

Y’all may know S-morishita for her delightful webcomic series Catch Me! Fight Me! Love Me!, but did you know she also released a game too?! S-morishita is a triple threat- Artist, Writer, and Game Developer! Back in 2013, she released the fantasy romance visual novel, A Troll’s Fairy Tale, for the one month Game Jam, NaNoRenO. The game follows a 24 year old troll, named Acacia, who despite not being a beautiful dainty princess, wants to have her own fairytale romance just like the ones she’s heard about in stories. But, can a troll really have her own happily ever after? Join Acacia on her quest for the perfect fairytale romance and find out!

Continue reading “Melanin Friendly Games – ‘A Troll’s Fairy Tale’”

Melanin Friendly Games – ‘Nusantara: Legend of the Winged Ones’

It’s Black History Month, and while I’m a week late to the party, I wanted to do something special to celebrate and what better way to do that than to flood your timelines and readers with Melanin Friendly games?! Diversity in games has certainly gotten better over the years, and as a Black woman and a gamer, I really appreciate seeing more and more developers including narratives that focus on characters that look like me. I’ve written about representation in games before, focusing mostly on indie games and visual novels, since they tend to have more inclusive casts of characters and narratives. I wrote a post last year spotlighting a list of visual novels and otome games that featured Black and Brown characters in prominent roles and I want to kind of expand on that. Every day I’ll write mini reviews of games that I’ve found that have characters of color at the forefront.

First up is the fantasy romance visual novel, Nusantara – Legend of the Winged Ones from indie developer, Sweet Chiel. The game follows Tamara, a young woman who is transported from the present day into the past—a world of myths and legends. Embark on a journey into the unknown, as you are thrust into the ongoing conflict between the Sakma, a race of winged people and their enemies, the ruthless Komodo.

Continue reading “Melanin Friendly Games – ‘Nusantara: Legend of the Winged Ones’”

[First Thoughts] Seiyuu Danshi – BL Game Review

I think a disclaimer is in order with this game, since I’ve only really finished one route in Seiyuu Danshi, so this isn’t a “full game review” in the traditional sense. However, I kind of feel like I got a pretty good sense of the game as a whole after my first playthrough and I’d like to share my “experience”.

A large part of the gameplay is dedicated to the stats raising, but with elements of a life simulator thrown in, giving players full control of the game’s protagonist, Haato as he navigates his career as a voice actor and his relationships—both platonic and romantic—with the game’s colorful and expansive cast of characters.

When I initially played the demo for Meyaoi Games’s boys love stats raiser Seiyuu Danshi back in 2016, I was excited for all the interesting features, stats raising included. It was a fresh idea at the time and at least in the limited time frame of the demo, the stats raising wasn’t too overbearing and felt much more casual than I expected going in. So, when the final version of the game was released I was eager to see the fruits of the developers’ labors and I’m not gonna lie, Seiyuu Danshi is a pretty impressive game.

Game Details

  • Available for Windows, Mac, Linux 
  • Price: $32.99 USD
  • 5 pursuable male characters (and 2 Secret Characters)
  • Gameplay Length: 60+ hours
  • Partial Voice Acting

Continue reading “[First Thoughts] Seiyuu Danshi – BL Game Review”

Bite-Sized Review – Nightshade

Where to Get the Game: Steam

A little while ago I went on a recovery mission into my backlog and I “rescued” a few titles from the depths. One of those titles was Nightshade. When this game was originally released I didn’t have the money to purchase it, so a friend of mine from an otome group I’m in gifted it to me on Steam. Even then, I didn’t immediately play the game, and I have to wonder that if I had played it back then when the entire otome games community was hyped as hell for this game, maybe, just maybe my opinion might have been different. But, I didn’t and I’m gonna be upfront with you guys, I did not enjoy this game and the only reason I even finished the game was out of a moral obligation to the friend who bought it for me the game.

I went in expecting Nightshade to be this epic historical fantasy on par with the much beloved otome darling Hakuoki, but what I got was a bland and largely forgettable gaming experience. Everything was just so meh, it just didn’t WOW me the way I thought it would. The premise was okay, the characters were okay, and the story itself was just… you guessed it, okay. It just didn’t stand out at all. Everything was just so predictable and unoriginal, HELL if you’re looking for a better game with shinobi, I highly recommend the mobile game Destiny Ninja it has its moments, but at least it’s FUN. Nightshade just played it too safe.

Continue reading “Bite-Sized Review – Nightshade”

Love Brings You Home – Arata Yuki Main Story Review

With all the flashier titles in their catalog, Love Calls You Home is one of their underrated gems. It doesn’t come with all the gimmicks and angst of some of their more popular Otome Romance titles, so it’s pretty easy to overlook this unassuming slice-of-life romance. An overworked young woman finds herself in close quarters with a handsome and supportive guy, and while the circumstances for their cohabitation differ by route, the romance between the MC and her chosen love interest remains largely grounded in reality. The only “gimmick” is that a majority of the guys are secretly famous or have lucrative careers. I kind of got the impression that this was what Voltage was going for with their older title, Serendipity Next Door, which has a similar premise.

Currently, four out of the five love interests are available—Taiyo, Arata, Liam, and Hazuki. Because, I’m biased towards kuudere and tsundere, I picked Arata’s route as my first conquest of the game.

Also, because folks (myself included) are fussy about spoilers. Here’s your one and only spoiler warning. This review will have minor spoilers for Arata’s route and Love Brings You Home.

Continue reading “Love Brings You Home – Arata Yuki Main Story Review”

I Finally Finished My First Route in Code Realize ~ Guardians of Rebirth~

I’ve been playing Code Realize ~ Guardians of Rebirth ~ off and on for the past five or so years and despite the overwhelming love for the game I could just never seem to make much headway with it. So in 2019 I made a bit of an unofficial resolution to finish at least one route before the end of the year and at long last I was able to complete my playthrough of Impey’s route! Took me five long years, but I can finally say I’ve at the very least played Code Realize and I’m not gonna lie, I have some mixed feelings about it. This won’t be so much a review as some thoughts I’ve had about the game over the years—and after five years I’ve amassed quite a few.

84 Years.gif

Code Realize was one of the first major otome game releases to make its way stateside. Developed by Otomate for the PS Vita in 2014, Code Realize is a steampunk fantasy, featuring a cast of characters based on famous literary and historical figures. The game follows Cardia—a young woman whose body produces a deadly poison that melts anything she touches—spends her days in an abandoned mansion to protect others from her affliction. Labeled as a monster by the locals, Cardia resigns herself to a life of loneliness until Royal Guards break into the mansion and attempt to capture her. She is saved by infamous gentleman thief Arsène Lupin, who promises to help her find her father, the only person who might be able to remove the poison coursing through her veins.

Game Details

  • Genre: Fantasy, Mystery, Action, Romance
  • Available for PS Vita | Nintendo Switch (Feb 2020)
  • Full Voiced
  • Gameplay Lengh: 30-35 hours
  • Cost: $39.99
  • 5 male romance options
  • Similar Games: Steam Prison, London Detective Mysteria

Spoiler Warning

Continue reading “I Finally Finished My First Route in Code Realize ~ Guardians of Rebirth~”

Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk Otome Review

I just finished my first playthrough of Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk and I’d like to get my initial thoughts about the game down before I get any deeper into the story, because my God was this game intense. I played Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly awhile ago and I didn’t really like it all that much, so I went into Ashen Hawk expecting it to be much the same as its predecessor… thankfully I was wrong! Ashen Hawk is a marked improvement over Black Butterfly in almost every way and one has to wonder what the hell happened between the production of the first game and this one to cause such a huge difference in quality… Technically Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk isn’t a sequel to Black Butterfly, though it is set in the same world as the first game, but with a completely different story and characters.

Conspiracy.gif

Now I say that, but there were QUITE A FEW Easter Eggs and callbacks to PBB in Ashen Hawk, that you’ll only truly get if you’ve played through the first game, but it’s not a requirement to enjoy the game. That said, EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED!! I know I literally just said you don’t have to play Black Butterfly before playing Ashen Hawk, but boy does playing the first game pay off in a big way in this one!! It’s no secret that I didn’t particularly care for Black Butterfly, but damnit if Ashen Hawk didn’t make slugging through the mess of the first game worth it. But, what I love most is that the connection between the two games isn’t overly in your face, the reveals work well within the context of their respective stories while also expanding on the preexisting lore of both games.

Game Details

Spoiler Warning

Since folks are really hung up on spoiler warnings, this post will contain some minor spoilers for the game, so if you haven’t played either Ashen Hawk or Black Butterfly, maybe hold off on reading this review.

Continue reading “Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk Otome Review”

Memories on the Shoreline Game Review

I was first introduced to indie developer Mikomi Kisomi through her urban fantasy visual novel, That Which Binds Us. Its been a little over a year since that release and Mikomi Games, now re-branded as Crystal Game Works just released their newest title, Memories on the Shoreline—a supernatural romance. I’m a sucker for supernatural fantasy, and the prospect of dating a hot merman was just too good to pass up, so when Mikomi sent me a review copy of the game… I made time to play it.

Melody wanted a break from her stressful med classes— so when spring break came around, she dragged her best friend Shion with her to the beach. However, things don’t go quite so smoothly when they meet Brennan, a local fisherman, and Crylis… a mermaid?!

Official Summary

Game Details

  • Available for Windows, Mac, Linux | Steam
  • 2 pursuable characters (male)
  • 5 Endings
  • Languages: English
  • Cost: $5.99
  • Gameplay Length: 5 hours
Memories on the Shoreline 1.png

First day of vacation, and you’ve already secured a hot tour guide… good on you!

The premise is simple, Melody and her best friend Shion are spending their spring break in sunny Florida, in hopes of getting some much needed down time before falling back into the academic grind. While there Melody meets a handsome fisherman named Brennan, who hints that all is not as it seems in the quiet beach-side town. Later that night, Melody discovers that sirens exist, when she encounters a runaway merman, Crylis. What should have been a normal relaxing vacation is soon made much more exciting with two handsome men vying for Melody’s affections.

Continue reading “Memories on the Shoreline Game Review”

[First Thoughts] Love Brings You Home

Voltage Inc. games make up about 45% of my gaming backlog. The company was my first introduction to the world of otome games and over the years I have amassed quite a few stories from each of the many, many Otome Romance titles they produce. Because I have so many stories I tend to have a hard time deciding which routes to play… So, rather than making the agonizing decision on my own, I ran a Twitter poll and let you guys decide for me. Unfortunately, that backfired since the poll ended in a tie between Diary of a Step Sister and Love Brings You Home, so I still had to choose in the end and I went with the latter.

Love Brings You Home is one of the “newer” Otome Romance titles, having been released exclusively on the Love 365 app and not as one of the standalone apps (at least here in the west). Given all the fantasy romance games I’ve been playing lately, I was looking forward to diving into something with a slice-of-life vibe and Love Brings You Home was exactly what I was looking for; something grounded in reality (at least for an otome game). If I had to sum this game up in one word, it would be ‘wholesome’, no gimmicks just a wholesome romance…

App Details

  • Genre: Slice of Life, Romance
  • 5 Love interests
  • Available: Google Play | App Store | Amazon App Store
  • Cost: Main Story: 400 Coin Each ($3.99USD)
    POV Story: 
    300 Coin Each ($2.99USD)
    Special Story: 
    100-200 Coin Each ($.99-$1.99USD)
  • Similar Games: Finally in Love Again, Kiss Me on Clover Hill, Serendipity Next Door

Continue reading “[First Thoughts] Love Brings You Home”

Reanimation Scheme Demo Review – Summon Up Some Romance

I’m super late with this review, but I wanted to make sure I gave Wind Chimes Games’s demo for their debut visual novel, Reanimation Scheme, my full and undivided attention. I wanted to have this out before the end of the Kickstarter campaign, and I just managed to make it with a few hours to spare.

Reanimation Scheme is a supernatural fantasy romance visual novel, that is rooted in magic, mysticism, and necromancy. Yes, you read that right, necromancy… most of the supernatural games I’ve played tend to shy away from death magic, preferring to focus on the big three of the supernatural world; Vampires, Werewolves, and Witches. But, I’ve had my fill of the same old fantasy stories, so Reanimation Scheme is a welcome change of pace. With it’s spunky heroine, inventive premise, and gorgeous visuals, Reanimation Scheme is definitely worth checking out! Keep Reading to see my thoughts on the demo, which covers three chapters of the game.

Demo Details

Continue reading “Reanimation Scheme Demo Review – Summon Up Some Romance”

Chess of Blades BL Game Review – Danger Lurks Around Every Corner

Indie developer Argent Games is known for their inventive BL visual novels. Where most games from the genre focus on getting their characters into the bedroom, Dovah and Gamma, the dynamic duo behind Argent Games, tend to focus on creating games with stories and characters that subvert the usual cliche Boys Love tropes. I’ve been following their works for quite some time, but I will admit that despite having their games recommended to me quite a few times, Chess of Blades is the first of their games I’ve had the chance to play.

Chess of Blades is the studio’s second title and follows Rivian Varrison, the son of a high ranking military strategist, who is attending a celebration at the King’s residence. While there he must navigate the complexities of the aristocracy and the political intrigue of court life. But, the King’s court is full of dangers, and soon Rivian finds himself being drawn into the tangled web of secrets that could prove fatal for not just him but everyone he holds dear. With enemies all around, Rivian will have to be careful, lest he meet a grisly end…

Game Details

  • Available for Windows, Mac, Linux | Steam | Google Play
  • 4 pursuable characters (male)
  • 9 Endings
  • Full English Voice Acting
  • Languages: English
  • Cost: $24.99
  • Gameplay Length: 12+ hours

Continue reading “Chess of Blades BL Game Review – Danger Lurks Around Every Corner”

Doki Doki Literature Club Game Review – Horror With a Dash of Moe

There is no way to talk about Doki Doki Literature Club without spoiling it, so if you haven’t already played this game, go do so before reading this review. Trust me, you want to go into this game blind. 

Right, so I’ve seen Team Salvato’s Doki Doki Literature Club floating around, but I wrote it off as one of those cutesy anime styled harem romances and let it fade into the dark recesses of my backlog. I probably would have continued on blissfully unaware about the horrors of this game, had it not been for a friend mentioning it to me in passing:

Screenshot_20191021-063111_Messages.jpg

Calling Doki Doki Literature Club ‘crazy’ is the understatement of the century

Game Details

Continue reading “Doki Doki Literature Club Game Review – Horror With a Dash of Moe”

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

Continue reading “Lake of Voices Game Review – Who Will You Leave Behind?”

The Doll Shop Review – A Slow Atmospheric Horror

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

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

Game Details

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

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

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

For someone that shies away from incomplete series, I’ve been really getting into episodic visual novels. Rather than blazing through a game in one sitting, the plot unfolds over a series of chapters/episodes and because there is usually a bit of a wait between new releases, this gap in new content gives you a chance to really dig down and fully explore the different story elements and scenarios in the interim. It’s a much more comprehensive gaming experience than I’m used to, but one that definitely allows for a much more immersive experience overall.

Recently I had the chance to give Asif G.’s Arabian Nights inspired fantasy visual novel, One Thousand and One Days a try and I was blown away by what I played so far. The game borrows heavily from ancient Persian mythology and Islamic lore AND features an all POC cast that draw inspiration from Middle Eastern, North African, and Mongolian cultures. On top of that, the game is LGBTQ+ friendly, with love interests with differing gender identities and sexual orientation. There are even poly romance options in addition to the standard one on one romances choices.

Game Details

  • Genre: Supernatural, Fantasy, Romance
  • Available for PC (Widows, Mac, Linux) 
  • 4 Chapters (ongoing)
  • Gameplay Lengh: 30 mins – 1 hour per chapter
  • Cost: Free
  • 4 Love Interests (Male and Female); Poly Romance Options

Continue reading “One Thousand and One Days Game Review – An Enchanting Fantasy VN”

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

Continue reading “The Seven Districts of Sin: The Tail Makes The Fox Episode 1 Review”

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.

Psychedelica BB 1.jpg

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


Continue reading “Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly Otome Review – All Aboard the Feels Train”

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?


Continue reading “Enchanted in the Moonlight Review – Spirited Away by Ayakashi Hotties”

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!

2017-08-09-132833.jpg

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?”

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”

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!”

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?”

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


Continue reading “Steam Prison Review – A Deep and Immersive Steampunk Romance”

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)

Continue reading “Dangerous Fellows Review – Nothing Says Romance Like A Zombie Apocalypse”

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

Continue reading “When the Night Comes Review – A Devilishly Addictive Supernatural Mystery”

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!

IMG_6780.PNG

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.

Continue reading “A World With(out) You – Saku Fukazawa Main Story Review”

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


Continue reading “Changeling Review – An Imaginative Supernatural Romance VN”

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?!

Takahisa Togo Bio.jpg

Continue reading “Rose in the Embers – Takahisa Togo Main Story Review”

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

Continue reading “As We Know It Review – A Diverse Post-Apocalyptic Visual Novel”

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”

Sexy Mermen, Political Intrigue, and Magic – Ultramarine: A Seapunk Adventure – Game Review

Originally developed by Seven Submarines in 2018 for the annual game jam NaNoRenO, Ultramarine: A Seapunk Adventure is a short fantasy visual novel that takes us on a journey into the deep. Gabrielle Freedman embarks on a journey into the sea to find Nauticus, Crown Prince of Atlas in hopes of securing his aid in an ongoing political struggle on the surface. Unbeknownst to her, Nauticus has his hands full with an ongoing civil war over control of the throne. Exiled alongside his royal guard, Zeppelin, Nauticus is desperate to reclaim his throne and reluctantly agrees to a tenuous alliance with Gabrielle. Together the trio devise a plan that could be mutually beneficial to both their causes, but, it involves confronting an evil sea witch. With everything on the line Gabrielle, Nauticus, and Zeppelin gear up for fight that will determine the fate of their very different worlds.

Game Details

  • Genre: Adventure, Romance
  • Available for PC (Widows, Mac, Linux)
  • 7 Endings
  • Gameplay Lengh: ≈45 mins – 1 hr
  • Cost: Free
  • Partial Voice Acting
  • RPG Style Battle System
  • Similar Games: The Blind Griffin, A Foretold Affair 

Continue reading “Sexy Mermen, Political Intrigue, and Magic – Ultramarine: A Seapunk Adventure – Game Review”

Big Hair and Even Bigger Cases: Ghosts of Miami – Game Review

Pillow Fight adds a truly outrageous detective visual novel to their portfolio, big hair and even bigger cases will keep you captivated in Ghosts of Miami. I covered the demo back in the early stages of production and now that the full game is out, I just had to sit down and give this title a spin and it did not disappoint! Follow Chelo, an up and coming private investigator as she explores the beaches and back alleys of sunny Miami. Her stomping grounds, Dade County, is ground zero for the drug cartels and scores of undocumented immigrants all looking for a place to call home. With so much activity, it’s easy for a few lost souls to slip through the cracks… and when they do, you can count on Chelo to find the ghosts of Miami.

Game Details

  • Genre: Mystery, Adventure, Detective, Romance
  • Available for PC (Widows, Mac, Linux) and Steam
  • 5 love interests (2 female, 1 non-binary, and 2 male)
  • Gameplay Lengh: ≈30 hours
  • Cost: $14.99
  • Similar Games: Ace Attorney, Love Ritual, and The Blind Griffin 

Continue reading “Big Hair and Even Bigger Cases: Ghosts of Miami – Game Review”

Love Ritual – English Otome Game Review

Last week, Xand Arts released their debut title, Love Ritual, a richly imaginative detective fantasy that blends together the team’s seductive characters and designs with an immersive investigative narrative. Love Ritual follows Riilai, a young Ritualist hired on as a consultant for a local police investigation tasked with uncovering the truth behind an illegal summoning ritual. The police currently have two suspects in custody, a Necromancer and a Druid, both of whom have retained counsel to help prove their innocents. The two delegates, a suave Necromancer named Kalaseth, and a naïve good-natured Druid named Shanrae will do anything to get their clients off the hook. But, the deeper Riilai delves into the case the less black and white things become, and with two handsome advocates working so closely Riilai has a rough road ahead.

Xand Arts markets Love Ritual as an adult otome, and it’s easy to see why, with its captivating mystery adventure narrative and seductive character designs, Love Ritual delivers a sophisticated gaming experience.

Game Details

  • Genre: Mystery, Adult Content, Romance, GxB
  • Available for PC (Windows, Mac, Linux) and Steam
  • 2 male love interests
  • Gameplay Length: ≈15 hours
  • Cost: $11.99
  • Similar Games: Mystic Destines: Serendipity of Aeons, Changeling

Continue reading “Love Ritual – English Otome Game Review”

Mystery, Suspense and Zombies?!- 7’Scarlet: Character & Route Thoughts (Part 2)

Originally this was a part of the main review, but the more I kept writing the more my thoughts on the characters kind of took on a life of their own. So, I’m trying something new and separating out my thoughts on the characters and their routes from the main review. I don’t know if I’ll do this again, but, I had some pretty strong feelings about some of the characters/routes and it just didn’t gel well with the rest of the review.

7 scarlet chara

If you want a general review of 7’scarlet check out my previous post, Mystery, Suspense and Zombies?! – 7’Scarlet Review (Part 1)If you’ve already given that a gander and you just want to know how I felt about the love interests and routes, you’re in the right place. A word of caution though, there are spoilers here, so if you haven’t finished the game perhaps you might want to hold off on reading this post until you do.

Continue reading “Mystery, Suspense and Zombies?!- 7’Scarlet: Character & Route Thoughts (Part 2)”

Mystery, Suspense and Zombies?!- 7’Scarlet Otome Game Review (Part 1)

7’scarlet is a mystery otome game and one of the most recent localizations to make its way Stateside. The game follows Ichiko Hanamaki, a college student whose brother disappeared a year prior to the start of the game while visiting the town of Okunezato. While investigating the town, Ichiko and her childhood friend Hino stumble upon a strange website detailing several mysteries surrounding the town and decide to participate in an online meetup hosted by a few of the site’s members. Once in Okunezato, Ichiko and Hino meet the rest of the Okunezato Supernatural Club and begin investigating the strange goings on in the town. But, when a series of mysterious deaths began to take place, the town’s dark past is slowly revealed.

7-scarlet

When I picked up 7’scarlet, I wasn’t expecting to stick with it as long as I did, let alone finish the damn thing. I fully intended on just playing one route and tucking the game safely back into my backlog. Sadly, the route I was most interested in playing is the second to last route in the game (I’m not including the True End or the Secret Route). Pro tip: A sure fire way to get me to play all the way through a game is to stick the megane routes at the end of the game. So, I powered through all the routes until I could finally romance the bespectacled hottie of my dreams and by that point I figured why not just go balls out and finish the game. Now that I have that coveted PSN 7’scarlet Completion trophy, I’m ready to give my thoughts on the game.

Game Details

  • Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Romance, GxB
  • Available for PS Vita and Steam
  • 6 pursuable love interests (5 main, 1 secret)
  • 25 unique endings
  • Gameplay Length: ≈30 hours
  • Cost: $39.99
  • Similar Games: Code Realize, Psychadelica series

Continue reading “Mystery, Suspense and Zombies?!- 7’Scarlet Otome Game Review (Part 1)”

Sweet Pool – BL Game Review

Sweet Pool is the third Nitro+Chiral title and by far one of the more surreal titles from their lineup, which really isn’t saying much seeing as this is the same company that gave us Saya no Uta (under their Nitroplus branch) and Togainu no Chi. There is a degree of grotesque body horror in this game that is both unsettling and beautiful, Sweet Pool is Invasion of the Bodysnatchers if it where set in the omegaverse and it is just as twisted as you’re imagining. The game follows Youji Sakiyama a second year high school student after his last stint in the hospital. Youji’s hopes for a normal life are dashed when he is slowly drawn into a nightmare from which there is no escape. Strange symptoms and grotesque hallucinations begin to plague his body and mind, and the only people that may have answers are two classmates who are also harboring dark secrets of their own.

So color me surprised when JAST USA announced that they’d be kicking off their new BL brand, JAST BLUE with English localizations of titles from Nitro+Chiral’s lineup. First up on the docket is 2008’s sweet pool right on time for the series’s 10th anniversary.

Game Details

  • Available for Windows, Mac, Linux 
  • 3 pursuable characters (male)
  • 6 unique endings
  • Gameplay Length: ≈30 hours
  • Cost: $20.00 (censored Steam version), $25.00 (uncensored digital)
  • Similar Games: Togainu no Chi and Chaos Child

*There is one NSFW image at the very end of the review, but, it’s one of the more tame CGs in the game. *

Continue reading “Sweet Pool – BL Game Review”

Chromatose Beta Demo Review

Demos are a work in progress, meant to give you a taste of what to expect from the final release of a game. They’re incomplete works, but, if they do their job right, they’re more than enough to drum up interest in an upcoming game… Over the years, I’ve played my fair share of demos, some with fully realized assets, and others with just the barebones of what the developers hope to have in a fully realized version of their project. Now, usually, I’m fairly lenient on demos, because they aren’t full games, so I don’t hold them to the same level of scrutiny, but, every so often I stumble across a demo that completely blows everything else out of the water and that demo is Akabaka’s beta demo for their upcoming 2D visual novel/RPG Chromatose

The game follows Leroy, an EMT that awakens in a strange nightmarish world after taking a fall that should have ended in his death. The dreamworld is populated by a group of amnesiacs who are also trapped within their own unique nightmare worlds due to some flaw or error they committed in the real world. You have 12 hours to help the inhabitants reclaim their memories and escape their nightmares or else you’ll be trapped there forever. However, each world is guarded by strange creatures that will stop at nothing to stop you from reaching your goal.

Game Details

  • Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • 2+ hours of Gameplay
  • RPG Gameplay: Turn-based Card Battle System
  • Genre: Mystery, RPG, Visual Novel, Fantasy, Supernatural
  • Similar Games: Angels of DeathZero Escape, Persona series, Sweet Fuse, Danganronpa, Catherine

Continue reading “Chromatose Beta Demo Review”

Dot Kareshi – We’re 8bit Lovers ~ The Legendary Maiden~ Otome Game Review

Dot Kareshi – We’re 8bit Lovers! – The Legendary Maiden (ドットカレシ-We’re 8bit Lovers- でんせつのおとめ~) is a 2013 PC fantasy otome game from Rejet, and the first game in the Dot Kareshi series. There are two follow up games, Dot Kareshi -We’re 8bit Lovers!- II Tenkuu no Kiss and Dot Kareshi – We’re 8bit Lovers!- III ~Yami no Hanayome~. While the game doesn’t have an official English language release, fan translation team Golden Spirit released an English patch for the PC version of the game back in 2015.

This is a fairly short game with a pretty simple premise: a high school girl is magically transported into the world of her favorite RPG, Ultimate Quest. But, because she just grinded her way through the game, the members of her in-game party hold some serious grudges against her. So, now that she’s stuck in their world they hold her accountable for her actions and demand that she help them complete a character specific quest as retribution… Each of the potential love interests are based on common RPG character classes; the Hero, the Wizard, the Priest, and the Thief, and each have their own distinct personalities… and that’s pretty much the gist of it…

Game Details

  • Available for Windows, Mac, Linux 
  • 4 pursuable characters (male)
  • 12 unique endings
  • Gameplay Length: 2-10 hours

Continue reading “Dot Kareshi – We’re 8bit Lovers ~ The Legendary Maiden~ Otome Game Review”

Have You Eaten Today? – Ayakashi Gohan – Otome Game Review

Ayakashi Gohan (あやかしごはん) is a 2014 supernatural fantasy otome game from Honeybee, with an updated Vita port of the game, Ayakashi Gohan ~Oomori~ being released a year later. While the game doesn’t have an official English language release, fan translation team Hanataba Translations released an English patch for the PC version of the game back in 2017.

Ayakashi Gohan follows a young girl, Rin Akane, as she adjusts to life in Momoji Village, a place where ayakashi and humans live peacefully with one another. Over the course of the game, Rin interacts with the various human and ayakashi residents of the town helping to bridge the gap between both races. It’s a lighthearted game about eating good food and romancing hot ayakashi… or so I thought…

Game Details

  • Available for Windows, Mac, Linux 
  • 6 pursuable characters (male)
  • 18 unique endings
  • Gameplay Length: 30+ hours

Continue reading “Have You Eaten Today? – Ayakashi Gohan – Otome Game Review”

[Bite-Sized Review] Kitty Love – Way to look for love

Kitty Love-Way to Look for Love is the latest otome game from DIGIMERCE, and among the first wave of otome games released for the Nintendo Switch. The game follows Honoka, a young shop clerk who is magically transformed into a cat. In order to break her curse, Honoka must lock lips with one of five eligible bachelors. There’s her sweetheart of a boss, Takuma Suguri; her childhood friend, Kohei Natsume; the stoic patrol cop, Shogo Fujimoto; the friendly neighborhood host, Kyosuke Kawahara; and finally the mysterious flower arrangement artist, Narumi Saijo. The love interests, were pretty by the book, checking off all of the usual otome tropes and cliches, but, they are still enjoyable enough. There isn’t a set play order, however, I highly recommend playing Narumi Saijo’s route last, lest you want game ruining spoilers, granted the “big reveal” was kind of obvious from the beginning.

Continue reading “[Bite-Sized Review] Kitty Love – Way to look for love”

My Magical Demon Lover – BL Game Review

Spicy Ecchi Content + A Yaoi Fantasy Story + A Dash of Comedy = My Magical Demon Lover, a ‘mature players’ dating sim that puts the wannabe wizard Tristan with his choice of three hot demons. 

Earlier this year, Y Press Games released their fantasy BL visual novel, My Magical Demon Lover about an up and coming wizard that has to fuck one of three super mega foxy hot demons in order to gain “phenomenal cosmic powers”.

Fuck a demon → Become a wizard

That’s pretty much all you need to know going into My Magical Demon Lover. The game starts with Tristan fapping off in his bedroom, when he is suddenly summoned by his grandfather, a super powerful wizard. Thinking his dreams of becoming a wizard are about to come true, Tristan, flies off to meet his grandpa only discover he’s preparing to set off on a sexual romp in the Pleasure Realm. With no heirs to take up his role as village protector, Percival pushes all of his responsibilities onto Tristan, but, before he can do that, he must choose a demon mentor to help him with his task. Each demon will grant Tristan magical powers, but at a price… it’s sex. Tristan trades sex favors for magic powers…

Game Details

  • Available for Windows, Mac, Linux | Steam
  • 3 pursuable characters (male)
  • 10 unique endings
  • Cost: $9.99
  • Gameplay Length: 4 hours

Continue reading “My Magical Demon Lover – BL Game Review”

A Hand in the Darkness – BL Game Review

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.

Game Details

  • Available for Windows, Mac, Linux | Steam
  • 3 pursuable characters (male)
  • 9 unique endings
  • Languages: English and Spanish
  • Cost: $9.99
  • Gameplay Length: 10 hours

Continue reading “A Hand in the Darkness – BL Game Review”

[First Thoughts] The Arcana

Delve deep into the heart of intrigue, and uncover a murder mystery that still hangs over the city like a shroud.

Be careful what secrets you reveal and what choices you make… yours is not the only fate that hangs in the balance. Magic, romance and mystery await. Who will you choose to love and who will you choose to condemn? How will your story unravel?

The story follows an unnamed magician’s apprentice (you decide their gender/gender pronouns; he/she/they), with a gift for fortune telling. When your master, Asra, a renowned magician leaves on an unexpected trip, you are left to look after his shop. But, before he leaves, you with his prized Tarot deck. Not long after, you are visited by two mysterious strangers: the beautiful Countess, Nadia and the disgraced physician Julian. Each stranger has a request that will change the course of your life forever.

 

Inspired by the Major Arcana Tarot Cards, Nix Hydra’s fantasy romance The Arcana delivers equal parts mystery and intrigue in this wickedly addictive and visually stunning mobile visual novel. I’m usually pretty wary of mobile games, especially freemium visual novels, given the staccatoed pacing of their ticket based narratives and rather formulaic premises. However, The Arcana is anything but by the book, with it’s lively visuals and captivating premise, this game will have you on the edge of your seat as you delve deeper into this richly woven murder mystery… and if you play your cards right, a bit of romance too.

App Details

  • Genre: Fantasy, Romance
  • 3 Love interests
  • Available: Google Play | App Store
  • Cost: Free (optional micro-transactions)

Continue reading “[First Thoughts] The Arcana”

[First Thoughts] Rose in the Embers

“Our love may be forbidden…

But you are all I want. And with a kiss, the walls that stand between you two crumble to dust… 

Yours is a love story so shocking it will shake society to its core…

After the transition from the standalone apps to the Love 365 portal app, I kind of fell out of the Voltage Inc. game for awhile. Since the change quite a few new apps have been released, but among the first new apps was the historical fantasy Rose in the Embers  (Romaji Taishō Roman, Unmei no Hito). This is the third historical romance game from Voltage Inc. following on the heels of Sakura Amidst Chaos and Era of Samurai: Code of Love, which were set Sengoku and Bakumatsu Eras, respectively. However, for Rose, Voltage bumped up their timeline a bit, setting the game during the Taisho Era (1912 – 1926).

Rose 2.PNG

I’m not really a history buff, but from what I gather the time period continued the Meiji Era’s push towards modernization and more western ideals, modeled after the Victorian era. So there’s this unique blend of Japanese fashion and ideals meshed with the more “modern” Western ideals, which makes for a visually interesting story. So, I was pretty optimistic when I loaded up the prologue in the Love 365 app…

App Details

  • Genre: Historical Romance, Fantasy
  • 5 Love interests
  • Available: Google Play | App Store | Amazon App Store
  • Cost: Main Story: 400 Coin Each ($3.99USD)
    POV Story:
    300 Coin Each ($2.99USD)
    Special Story:
    100-200 Coin Each ($.99-$1.99USD)
  • Similar Games: Sakura Amidst Chaos, Kissed By the Baddest Bidder, and Era of Samurai: Code of Love

Continue reading “[First Thoughts] Rose in the Embers”

A Descent into Horror – The Letter – Full Game Review

The Letter is a 2017 horror visual novel from Filipino developers Yangyang Mobile (their most recent project is a rom-com VN, Love Esquire). In the vein of the Japanese horror film, Ju-On (The Grudge internationally), the game focuses on a group of people who unwittingly find themselves the victim of a vengeful ghost when one of them discovers a cursed chain letter in the attic of an old mansion. What follows is a descent into madness and terror as the ghost unleashes her wrath on the game’s ensemble cast of characters.

Ermengarde.jpg

Prime real estate right there…

Game Details

  • Over 30 pathways to purse
  • 7 chapters (one for each character)
  • Cost: $19.99
  • Romance and Friendship Options
  • Over 700,000 words across all routes
  • Seven playable characters
  • Full English Voice Acting

Continue reading “A Descent into Horror – The Letter – Full Game Review”

Witches Need Love Too – First Kiss at a ~Spooky~ Soiree Review

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, it’s the spookiest time of year and I’ve been gearing up for a month-long celebration of all things spooky. Throughout the month of October, I’ll be bringing you guys tons of great Halloween-themed game reviews, lists, and other posts to get you guys in the mood for Halloween!

Today, I’m covering a super cute Halloween-themed yuri visual novel, First Kiss at a Spooky Soiree, from indie developer Nami. The game was originally created over the course of just one month for the annual game jam, Yuri Jam 2016. Like most game jam titles, First Kiss at a Spooky Soiree is rather short with playthroughs taking anywhere between 10 and 15 minutes, so you could probably finish the entire game in under an hour if you’re a fast reader or if you don’t die from the cuteness over load. The game takes place within the same universe as Nami’s Yuri Jam 2015 entry, Syrup and the Ultimate Sweet and features a new cast of characters.

In First Kiss at a Spooky Soiree, you play as Marzipan, a witch that specializes in light magic as she attempts to find someone willing to share a kiss with her. So, she and her BFF, a catgirl named Jam hit up a nearby party in hopes of helping Marzipan lock lips with some mysterious stranger.

Game Details

  • Available for Windows, Mac, Linux
  • 5 pursuable characters (female)
  • 7 unique endings
  • Free to Play
  • Gameplay Length: 30-50 minutes

Continue reading “Witches Need Love Too – First Kiss at a ~Spooky~ Soiree Review”

Murder, Mystery, and Meddlesome Mind – When the Shutter Stops Alpha Demo Review

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, I recently discovered this really great demo and I just had to share my thoughts about it! Unlike most of the games I cover here on Nice Job Breaking It, Hero this one isn’t a romance per se, I know, le gasp. This time around I’m covering a visual novel that’s more akin to investigative adventure games, like Ace Attorney and Professor Layton but with the grittiness you’d find in the film noir of the 40’s and 50’s. When the Shutter Stops is an upcoming mystery detective game and the debut title of the up and coming indie developer Remort Studios. The game follows Priscilla “Pri” Vate a former child detective who finds herself being dragged back into the city’s gritty underbelly when the serial killer she put away years ago suddenly has his conviction overturned.

The game is currently on Kickstarter and I strongly suggest throwing your support their way while they work to reach their $10,000 USD funding goal. When the Shutter Stops is a mid-length commercial release, with the final asking price of just $25.00, but, if you support the game during the KS campaign you can snag a copy for just $20.00. This is an alpha demo so there are a few assets that aren’t fully realized yet, but, it does cover a good bit of the expected gameplay, including the investigative and interrogation portions of the game.

Demo Basics

  • Available for Windows, Linux, Mac
  • 4 Paths, 3 Endings per Route
  • Commercial (Demo is FREE)
  • Demo Length: 30-50 minutes 

Continue reading “Murder, Mystery, and Meddlesome Mind – When the Shutter Stops Alpha Demo Review”

Romance Woes Amidst an Alien Invasions – PAIRS Review

Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes in the sci-fi fantasy visual novel, Pairs. Originally submitted for NaNoRenO 2017, Pairs follows the romantic ups and downs of two couples in the midst of an ongoing alien war between Earth and the invading Naian people. However, this game is unique in that it allows players to experience both perspectives of each of the two main pairings.  Like most NaNoRenO games, the team had a month to complete the game, so Pairs is a little on the short side.

A visual novel about walking a mile in another man’s shoes. On Earth. During an alien invasion.

An alien with sketchy morals craves a human’s heart.
A young man schemes to get his parents back from death.
A mutant tries to figure out where her heart lies with her childhood friend.
An illusionist struggles with his motivations for becoming a hero. 

Four stories. Four people. A chance to understand them all.

-Synopsis

Game Basics


Continue reading “Romance Woes Amidst an Alien Invasions – PAIRS Review”

Magic, Mystery, and Romance – Reimei no Gakuen Alpha Demo Review

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, I am slowly working my way through a rather long list of games and demo, but there was one demo that caught my eye recently. Reimei no Gakuen is the debut title from fledgling indie developer and artist Raikon Kitsune, with her team at Raikon Kitsune Arts,  Rai is hoping to make a splash with her upcoming modern fantasy otome game. The game takes place in a world where magic and the everyday exist side by side, with a chosen few individuals possessing special abilities known as “Shin”. However, despite possessing these heightened abilities Shin wielders are plagued by misfortune, so a special school Aurora Academy collects these individuals in hopes of teaching them how to hone their skills and counteract their cruel fate.

Recently, I sat down and gave the demo for Reimei no Gakuen, a try and while it is only an alpha demo, I was impressed with the overall quality of the storytelling and the richly diverse cast. Granted I am not a huge fan of games that take place in a high school like setting, however, I found that the well fleshed out lore and mythos of the game and the unique cast more than made up for an reservations I may have had about Reimei no Gakuen going in.

Demo Basics

  • Available for Windows, Linux, Mac
  • 6 Potential Love Interests (7 routes and 14 endings; 2 endings per route)
  • Commercial (Demo is FREE)
  • Demo Length: 2 hours 

Continue reading “Magic, Mystery, and Romance – Reimei no Gakuen Alpha Demo Review”

A Sex Positive Fling with a Demon – Cute Demon Crashers Review

Cute Demon Crashers is a short 18+ sex positive visual novel from English game developers Sugar Script. The game was originally developed back in 2015 for the annual game jam, NaNoRenO, however due to time constraints Sugar Script was only able to complete two character routes (Mirari and Akki) by the time limit. But, the initial release was such a success that fans raised funds to assist Sugar Script with completing the game. Cute Demon Crashers features four romance interests (3 male, 1 female) and while the game does deal with sexual situations, players can choose to filter the “naughty bits” through censored gameplay. In addition to the filter, players can also choose to turn down any and all sexual situations without their choices having any effect on the progression of the story. The main purpose of the game is to promote a safe and open space for players to explore sex without feeling pressured.

Cute Demon Crashers 6.png

If four sex demons offered their services to you, how would you react?

Game Basics

  • Available for Windows, Linux, and Mac
  • 4 Potential love interest (11 Endings)
  • Censored and Uncensored 
  • Partial Voice Acting
  • Cost: FREE

*There will be one NSFW image in this review and it is censored, but you know, warnings…*

Continue reading “A Sex Positive Fling with a Demon – Cute Demon Crashers Review”

That Which Binds Us Review

Mikomi Games’s That Which Binds Us asks a very simple question: What if the bonds of fate could be severed? What if you could cut off ties with family, friends, a jealous lover? Would you take it? For Evalise, a young woman trapped in a toxic relationship the choice is simple, cut off ties with her no good boyfriend and start over again. So, when a strange (and handsome) bail bondsman offers to erase the memories of her recently incarcerated boyfriend, Evalise reluctantly accepts his offer. With her newfound freedom, Evalise attempts to pick up the pieces of her life and finally start over again, and maybe find love along the way.

All she wanted was to get a bail bond for her troublesome boyfriend. That’s when she met Idris, a very special kind of bondsman. With a flick of a knife, he asked Evalise one confusing question- what if we could make him forget you?

-Synopsis 

Game Basics

Continue reading “That Which Binds Us Review”

All’s Fair in Love and War!- Prank Masters Review

Let the prank wars begin, in Lockvia Studios’s debut title, Prank Mastersfollow Juliet Hayes, a self proclaimed prank master, who isn’t above pulling a few practical jokes. But, when her parents move to a new town, Juliet finds that the jokes on her for once when she meets three formidable pranksters that stir up some unexpected feelings. Perhaps there’s more to life than pulling pranks?

Her parents are famous writers and big fans of Shakespeare. Hoping for a daughter filled with beauty and grace, they name her Juliet. 

Instead, their daughter grew up to be the opposite. She’s a girl who cares about doing things her own way: the prank master way.

When her parents bring her to a new town in search of inspiration for their careers, Juliet is enrolled in a new school.

A few unexpected situations make her first day of school one to remember. Now, after having not pulled a prank in a while, she is quickly back to her old self.

Though this time it’s not just going to be all about pranks. Juliet might be running into a few unexpected feelings as well….

-Synopsis (Game Site)

After playing the demo back in 2014, and I fell in love with the premise and the characters, so, I immediately opened my wallet and pre-ordered the game. But, as the years went by I began to lose hope that I’d ever get to play the game, and then BAM, I get a notification on itch.io that the full game had been released and the rest is history!

Game Basics

  • Available for Windows, Linux, and Mac; Steam
  • 3 Potential love interests (4 Endings Each; Total 12 Endings)
  • 30 hours of Gameplay
  • Cost: $17.99 USD

Continue reading “All’s Fair in Love and War!- Prank Masters Review”

Wishes in Pen: Chrysanthemums in August Demo Review

Afterthought Studios the folks behind the supernatural romance, Purfectly Ever After and the fantasy visual novel, When Our Journey Ends have decided to put their hat into the otome ring with the announcement of their new otome focused subsidiary, LunaniereThe first title in their new otome line is a supernatural fantasy currently on Kickstarter (they’ve already exceed their goal), Wishes in Pen: Chrysanthemums in August. An ambitious undertaking to say the least, Lunaniere has teamed up with game production company Sekai Project to bring their vision to life.

Recently, I sat down and gave the demo for Wishes in Pen: Chrysanthemums in August, a try and while I am impressed with the execution, I couldn’t help but feel like, Lunaniere is playing it safe with their debut title. Wishes in Pen is a fantasy historical romance otome in which a 20-something young woman is magically transported back in time to 1860’s Japan at the end of the Tokogawa Shogunate, following our heroine as she navigates her way through political and social unrest as the legendary Boshin War unfolds. This isn’t a new concept, not by a long shot, historical Japan has been the subject of many otome games, from mobile games like Voltage Inc.’s Sakura Amidst the Chaos and NTT Solmare’s Sengoku Darling, not to mention Two-Five’s Yo Jin Bo and Idea Factory’s Hakuoki franchise. Historical romance otome games are a dime a dozen and guaranteed some success, especially given the popularity of the Hakuoki series in the West.

Demo Basics

  • Available for Windows, Linux, Mac, and Android
  • Five Potential Love Interests
  • Demo Length: 30 mins- 1 hour (Prologue)

Continue reading “Wishes in Pen: Chrysanthemums in August Demo Review”

Anime, Gaming & Stuffs

from weebs to weebs

Dreamy Otaku

I'm just your local anime enthusiast. I occasionally like to review anime and manga. I hope you enjoy my content!

Amanda.Actually

The Prince of Unpopular Opinions

Sushirainbow

Manga, Anime, Book reviews, and overall thoughts.

Shio-tan BLogs

BL Reviews, Reflections, & Hot Takes

BlerdyOtaku

Bringing the hood adjacent and socially inept together one animanga at a time

D&A Anime Blog

It's a part of you...

cathyrambles

Manga, Comics & Books

Mag plays otomes

Reviews de otomes en español y muchas, muchas lágrimas