I originally planned to keep my NaNoRenO 2020 reviews contained to the month of May, but what the hell, I’m having a lot of fun with this—so I’ll keep cranking these bad boys out till I’m satisfied! Next up is the dark comedy fantasy visual novel, Divilethion developed by Nemlei. This is their second NaNoRenO submission, the first being, Jack-in-a-Castle, and like their first title, Divilethion has the same smart writing and a macabre comedic tone that will have you in stitches!
You play as Lynn, one of the high priests serving the benevolent and illustrious god, Divilethion, the protector of your village. But, Divilethion’s protection comes at a price, a trifle really—the occasional human sacrifice—no big deal. Lynn has more important things to worry about, like his strained relationship with his younger brother Marrow. But, when you’re the high priest to a high maintenance (and jealous) god like Divilethion, sometimes sacrifices have to be made…
Full steam ahead with another NaNoRenO 2020 game, this time around I’m looking at Love Rewind: A Magical Time Travel Romance, a fantasy romance visual novel developed as a collaboration between three game developers—Omelette, Foleso, and Illusia. It’s not uncommon to see devs collaborating on a single game for NaNoRenO and there are a handful of collaborative efforts among this year’s submissions. I covered Foleso’s solo NaNoRenO 2020 submission, Demon Kiss, though the other two devs are relatively unknown to me, but after playing Love Rewind I’m definitely going to have to check out some of their other works soon.
After an accident 10 years ago, Yuki fled civilization to live out the rest of his days as a hermit in the woods. One day, his solitude is broken when he finds a dying cat outside his cabin. Unwilling to let the poor creature die, he takes the cat home in hopes of nursing it back to health. To his surprise, the cat is actually a guardian spirit named Aurelia, and she is duty bound to grant Yuki his deepest desire as gratitude for saving her life. With her powers Aurelia gives Yuki a chance to correct the mistakes of his past…
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.
Next up on this tour of NaNoRenO games is the short fantasy visual novel, Dream Dilemmafrom 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…
It was only a matter of time before I unearthed another boys love title from among the NaNoRenO 2020 submissions. I’ve said this before, but it deserves repeating—boys love games tend to fall into one of two categories—comedy or angsty drama. There are a few exceptions, but for the most part if you take any given boys love title you can pretty much place it neatly into one of those two categories.
Sayumi101’s boys love visual novel, Flour Hour falls squarely into the latter category—even the synopsis describes it as a “light-hearted (probably unnecessarily drama-heavy) BL”. And I’m not going to lie, Flour Hour reads like an angsty, drama heavy 90’s boys love manga, touching on just about every cliche in the book and yet I couldn’t help but get invested in story and characters Sayumi and their team created.
The game follows Yuki, a reserved baker who has taken over his ailing grandmother’s flower shop and turned it into a moderately successful bakery. Things are going well for him until a Lawyer informs him that he owes a considerable amount of money and that if he can’t pay, he will have to turn over the property. But, with the shop’s meager earnings, he isn’t sure he will be able to come up with the money in time… to add insult to injury, his ex suddenly bulldozes his way back into his life stirring up feelings Yuki thought he had long since buried.
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.
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.
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.
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