Tag: LGBTQ

Melanin Monday: Lovestruck

Hey there Blerdy Tribe, 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.

This week I’m doing things a little differently, instead of spotlighting one game I’m going to cover the story app, Lovestruck. Now, I will readily admit that I wasn’t the biggest fan of Voltage’s decision to move all of their original English language content from the pay-per-route model to the freemium format. But, it is what it is and there’s no point in crying over spilled milk. What I want to talk about instead is how from day one representation has been a big part of why I love Lovestruck and the Voltage Inc. original English language titles.

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Behind the Games – Interview with the ValiDate Team

Hey Hey Blerdy Tribe, it’s been awhile since I did a Behind the Games post—but I figured it was high time I revived this oft forgotten series. For those of you just joining the party, Behind the Games is a segment where I interview the folks ‘behind the games’ I review. Giving you guys a chance to get to know the developers that spend so much time carefully crafting the games you enjoy.

Last time, I spoke with Chu-3, the founder of the indie game studio, RoseVeRte Games—the developer of the Eroolia and Cafe 0 series. This time around, I had the chance to chat with the team behind the upcoming LGBT+ positive romance visual novel, ValiDate: Struggling Singles in Your Area.

Validate Struggling Singles in Your Area

ValiDate is a romantic visual novel about 12 adults in Jersey City navigating new relationships and the harsh realities that come alongside them.

Plot Synopsis

Anywhere can be the city of love if you’re willing to try hard enough, and some of these folks from Jercy City are desperate. ValiDate presents a smorgasbord of relationships to bear witness to— but the dating scene is difficult even when you aren’t marginalized in six different ways, so happiness continues to fly just out of reach for these unlucky lovers.

The team working on ValiDate consists entirely of people of color and they each bring their own experiences and unique voice to the project. What makes this game so exciting for me is that, like the development team, the main cast of ValiDate is very diverse featuring characters from a wide range of backgrounds, sexual orientation, and gender identity. And with 12 playable characters and over 30 routes, this game promises to shake up the indie gaming scene when it is released Q1 2021. In the meantime, four of the members of the ValiDate team—Dani, Alexis, Lisa, Percy, and Kevin—let me pick their brain about the upcoming project! So, let’s turn things over to them…

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[Pride Month 2020] Even More LGBTQ Positive Visual Novels

Hey Hey Blerdy Tribe, it’s LGBT Pride Month, the annual celebration dedicated to the richly diverse LGBT+ community!! Now more than ever, representation matters, especially in the wake of the recent string of injustices carried out here in the United States and abroad.

These past few years I celebrated Pride Month with lists of 10 LGBTQ positive visual novels–2018’s List and 2019’s List–and  I highly recommend giving those a read, there are some seriously great titles there that definitely warrant a look. Because it’s June once again, I have compiled another list with even more LGBTQ+ positive Visual Novels!

I tried my best to choose games that presented members of the LGBTQ+ community in a positive light, focusing less on sexual orientation or gender identity and more on telling meaningful stories that focus on the human experience. As in previous years, I have include links to each of the games, a synopsis of the story, and a short summary of the types of representation you’ll find in the game. So, without further ado, here are Even More LGBTQ Positive Visual Novels that you should totally check out this Pride Month!

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Last Day of Spring – Game Review

Last Day of Spring is the sequel to npckc’s LGBTQ positive visual novel, One Night, Hot Springs—which 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 game focuses on Haru’s experiences during the trip and the affect they have on her—One Night, Hot Springs delves into many of the anxieties Haru has over not being treated as the woman she is and while it does have its fair share of heavy moments, the game is ultimately very positive.

Last Day of Spring Review 8

During the trip, Haru meets Manami’s friend Erika and while they have a shaky start, there are opportunities for the two to spend more time together and eventually become friends. Last Day of Spring, picks up a few months after the first game and follows Erika, who at this point has become really good friends with Haru. At the start of the game Erika learns from Manami that it’s Haru’s birthday and decides they should do something to celebrate. So she sets out to plan a special spa day for her, Haru, and Manami.

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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.

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

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

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

Game Details

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

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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?”

[Pride Month 2019] 10 More LGBTQ Positive Visual Novels

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs,  LGBT Pride Monththe annual celebration dedicated to the richly diverse LGBT community!! Last year I celebrated with a list of 10 LGBTQ positive visual novels, I highly recommend giving that list a read, there are some seriously great titles there that definitely warrant a look. Because it’s June once again, I wanted to compile another list with even more LGBTQ positive VNs!

Representation matters, so I did my best to come up with a list of games that gave a positive look at members of the LGBTQ community, whether that meant shedding light on an often overlooked group of people or offering a positive portrayal of members of the LGBTQ community. Like last year, I will include links to each of the games and I’ll even spotlight which aspects of the LGBTQ community is referenced. As always, this is not an end all list, there are plenty of great games out there, so if you have some suggestions definitely feel free to drop them down in the comments section!

So, without further ado, here are 10 More LGBTQ Positive Visual Novels that you should totally check out this Pride Month!


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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

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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 

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[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”

[Pride Month 2018] 10 LGBTQ Positive Visual Novels

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, I’m back… well, kinda. It’s June and that means it’s LGBT Pride Monththe annual celebration dedicated to the richly diverse LGBT community. As an ally of the LGBTQ community I wanted to do something to celebrate here on Blerdy Otome, so I compiled a list of ten LGBTQ Positive Visual Novels I think you guys should check out. I tried to compile a list of games that I thought were representative of the LGBTQ community, so expect a wide range of titles with diverse characters and subject matter.

I want to emphasize that I went for games that represented the LGBTQ community in a positive light, so I shied away from titles that seemed to hypersexualize LGBTQ relationships, so don’t expect any overtly sexual BL or Yuri games on this list! As with any list, your mileage may vary, so if you don’t agree with my choices, you are more than welcome to suggest other games down in the comments section. So, without further ado, let’s get this party started, here’s my list of 10 LGBTQ Positive Visual Novels, you should definitely check out this Pride Month!

*Also be sure to check out Pride Month 2019’s list for even more LGBTQ friendly VNs!

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Let’s Show Our Support for The Masquerade Killer!!

Hey hey guys not even my busted laptop could keep me from telling you guys about the kickstarter campaign for Ebullience Games’s upcoming murder mystery English otome game, Masquerade Killer! This isn’t Ebullience’s first foray into the world of otome games, but there newest title promises to add a bit of spice the genre, besides who doesn’t like a good mystery?

 

I’ve been following the production of this game for awhile, and I am super excited for it, so I’ll be doing my best to boost it throughout the campaign. This looks like it’s going to be a fantastic game, but if you still need a bit of convincing, I’m going to do a rundown of all the great features the team has in store for you guys in the full version of the game. The kickstarter campaign for Masquerade Killer will run until August 9th, 2017! 

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[OWLS Blog Tour] It Just Is: Relationships Don’t Always Need Labels

Hey hey all you Heroes and Travelers out there today I’m bringing you all another super special awesome OWLS post!! If this is your first time here at Nice Job Breaking It Hero, you were probably linked here by the lovely Arria’s blog tour post… and I welcome you with open arms!!

Back in December I mentioned that I’d joined OWLS: Otaku Warriors of Liberty and Self-Respect, a group of bloggers and vloggers that hope to spread a message of acceptance and understanding through thoughtful community activism!

owl

So, in order to spread our message of self acceptance and tolerance, we’ve decided to hold Monthly Blog Tours! During Blog Tours, we each write individual theme posts on our blogs that promote our group’s values, with a bit of an otaku twist. June’s Blog Tour topic is Team!

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Ghosts of Miami- Demo Review

Check out the full game review: Big Hair and Even Bigger Cases: Ghosts of Miami – Game Review

Big hair, questionable fashion, and a mystery, all accompanied by a wicked synth beat! Take a trip back in time to the 1980’s with Pillow Fight’s upcoming commercial visual novel Ghosts of Miami! Follow Chelo Martinez a private investigator that specializes in finding missing persons. Follow leads, chat with witnesses, crack the case, and break a few hearts in this totally radical mystery VN. The game is set for a Summer 2017 release date and will be available for Windows, Linux, and Mac, but there are plans for a mobile release as well. Ghosts of Miami is currently on Steam Greenlit, so cast your vote if you want to see a Steam release!

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Let’s Show Our Support for Who We Are Now- A Queer Post- Apocalyptic VN

Edit (4/14): The Kickstarter for this game was successful at meeting its funding goal. The final funding amount was $7,798 from 394 backers! The game now has a tentative release date of 2018!  

Hey hey guys I’m kicking off the week with yet another awesome Kickstarter campaign!! I meant to have this post up last week, but it just didn’t happen, but with just 11 Days left in the campaign I just had to get this post out to you all ASAP! This time around I’ll be covering the Kickstarter campaign for the upcoming queer post apocalyptic visual novel, Who We Are Now!

who we are now.png

Not only is this a LGBTQ positive game, but it also features a diverse cast of characters that will appeal to players of all genders, sexual orientation, color, and creed. These are the types of titles that we need on the market, and I will do my best to boost this game!!

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Let’s Show Our Support for Your Royal Gayness – The Ultimate Fairytale Parody Game

Edit (4/6): The Kickstarter for this game was successful at meeting its funding goal. The final funding amount was $7,040 with 364 backers! The game now has a tentative release date of Late 2017!  

Hey hey guys I’m back with yet another Kickstarter campaign, that I stumbled upon last week, and while this isn’t just a visual novel in the traditional sense, the unique LGBTQ themed story definitely reflects the ideals and values of the developers! I’m talking about the upcoming PC LGBTQ themed visual novel/resource management game Your Royal Gayness from Lizard Hazard Games!

I’m not going to lie, the title is really what first caught my attention, and I’m glad it did, this looks like it’s going to be a fun game. And as I’ve said before, I’m excited to see another LGBTQ game in development, we need more unique titles like this on the market!

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