Tag: indie game

Mizuchi Game Review – Slow Burn Yuri Romance

I have said on more than one occasion that I’m not really much of a yuri fan, and yet Aikasa Collective, still saw fit to send me a review copy of their debut visual novel—and I’m glad they did! Mizuchi 白蛇心傳 is an emotionally compelling story loosely based on the Chinese folk tale, Legend of the White Snake. Unlike most games that seem to rush towards their romantic resolution, Mizuchi takes its time building up the relationships between its female leads, and it is this slow burn approach that I find most appealing, as it allows for more natural story.

But, what is perhaps most intriguing about this game is how it weaves together the stories of three very different women while also delivering a rather thoughtful criticism of restrictive social norms of the time. I’m not going to lie, Mizuchi is a dense story that doesn’t lend itself to quick playthroughs… this is a game that is meant to be savored.

Game Details

  • Genre: Fantasy | Romance | Yuri
  • Available for PC (Windows & Mac) | Steam
  • Gameplay Length: 10-20 hours
  • Cost: $14.99
  • 2 female romance options

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The Spanish Privateer Demo Review

Tis the season of new demos and I am excited to see so many great visual novels in development! The indie scene has always offered a wealth of unique stories that appeal to a wide range of gamers. There is always something new to discover, so if you’re not playing indie games—you are missing out!

One of the titles that should be on your radar is the Sin Sister’s pirate themed indie otome game, The Spanish Privateer. Follow 18 year old runaway, Isabel Carlota de Castilla as she joins a privateer ship to escape a unwanted marriage to a man three times her age.. It’s a high seas adventure, full of action, new discoveries, and of course romance. 

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Heroine For Hire Game Review – Veris’ Route

I can’t get enough of Black run indie game development studio, Jellyfish Parade—I have been following the team since their release of PAIRS and I have not looked back. I recently covered the demo for the team’s upcoming fantasy romance game, Ocean Pearls: Kissed by the Sea (which spoiler alert, I loved) and now I’m back covering the studio’s first commercial release, Heroine for Hire—a high fantasy romance—and let me tell you, it is definitely worth checking out!!

The game follows Lyre Harmoniel, a young woman who can’t seem to hold down a steady job. After losing eight jobs in the span of just 2 months, Lyre is starting to get desperate—is it too much to ask for a gig that is both fulfilling and pays well?! Just when she thinks the perfect job doesn’t exist, Lyre sees a promising job listing and she thinks maybe, just maybe her luck has finally turned around…

Heroine for Hire is still in development, with only one of the two love interests available at the time of this writing—the second love interest’s route will be released as DLC at a later date. But, don’t let that discourage you from giving H4H a try, there is more than enough content to keep you entertained!

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Ocean Pearls: Kissed by the Sea Demo Review – Do You Wanna Marry a Merman~

For many in the “mainstream” gaming community, visual novels are often seen as not “real” games—to many, an interactive story-based game can sound like a snooze fest. But, the truth is, visual novels are some of the most diverse games out there, covering a wide range of stories and genres… that quite frankly surpass anything I’ve seen from most mainstream games. Whether it’s a sci-fi adventure set in a distant galaxy, a slice of life romance, or an epic historical drama—visual novels are open to a wealth of story telling opportunities! They even lend themselves to giving creators from all walks of life a platform to tell their own unique stories with characters that are representative of themselves and the larger gaming community. 

As a Black woman and a gamer, I find that I turn to indie visual novels whenever I am hankering for more diverse gaming options and always, visual novels deliver. Over the years I have discovered quite a few gems and I’ve even had the opportunity to chat with a few developers of color, like Jellyfish Parade founder, Jessinia.  I am no stranger to her games, having fallen head over heels for her sci-fi romance game PAIRSwhich follows two couples as they navigate the ups and downs of their relationship against the backdrop of an ongoing war between Earth and an invading alien race. But, what drew me to the game was the fact that both of its female leads have distinctly Black features (something that was WHOLLY intentional), while not being defined by the color of their skin—something that isn’t as common as it should be in media. So, when I saw that Jellyfish Parade was working on a new (longer) romance game featuring a Black female lead and a diverse set of love interests… let’s just say I was closely following the project! 

Ocean Pearls: Kissed by the Sea is an upcoming fantasy romance visual novel that follows Nova, a young woman who finds her life turned upside down when she is unwittingly betrothed to one of several eligible ocean royals.  I managed to get a sneak peak at the demo and y’all, I am in love with these mermen~ (and the game too)! 

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Spring Leaves No Flowers – Game Review

Spring Leaves No Flowers is the third game in the LGBTQ positive One Night, Hot Spring visual novel series developed by npckc. The first game followed Haru, a 19-year old transgender Japanese woman as she goes on an overnight trip to a local hot spring for her oldest friend Manami’s 20th birthday. The second game focused on Erika, one of Haru’s friends as she attempts to plan a spa day for the girls, but she finds that accommodating all of her friends is a little difficult.

Spring Leaves No Flowers Review Minami

This third game, Spring Leaves No Flowers brings Haru’s friend Manami to the forefront as she comes to an understanding about herself as she thinks about what friendship and romance mean to her. Spring Leaves No Flowers picks up a few months after the events of Last Day of Spring with Manami coming home after a night out with her boyfriend Tatsuya, and her friends, Haru and Erika. While chatting with Tatsuya later that night he asks Manami why she never told him her two best friends were dating. Confused, she denies his claim, but the next day she notices that both Haru and Erika are acting strangely… maybe there really is something going on between her two best friends afterall…

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