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 is a romantic visual novel about 12 adults in Jersey City navigating new relationships and the harsh realities that come alongside them.
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…
Hey Hey Blerdy Tribe, it’s LGBTPride 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 Novelsthat you should totally check out this Pride Month!
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.
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.
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.
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 Daysa 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.
Blerdy Otome is an otome games and visual novel review site that runs on Black Girl Magic and Dreams. While I mostly focus on romance themed games, I’ve been known to cover a wide range of nerdy and otaku themed topics.
So, step right up and prepare your heart! Let’s talk about otome games!!