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!
Continue reading “Heroine For Hire Game Review – Veris’ Route”
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 PAIRS—which 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)!
Continue reading “Ocean Pearls: Kissed by the Sea Demo Review – Do You Wanna Marry a Merman~”
In recent years, I have found myself more drawn to indie otome games than traditional Japanese otome games and that has a lot to do with the seeming disconnect I’ve felt with the stories. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my otome games—I’m absolutely looking forward to the upcoming English releases of Cafe Enchante and Piofiore: Fated Memories—but as a whole I’m not seeing too much variety in the types of otome games that make their way to the West (ie. story heavy action-y otome games). I get it localizing companies are pushing what they think will sell best on the English market, and I can’t fault them for choosing games that are most likely to have more “mass appeal”, but there is a distinct lack in lighthearted comedic otome game localizations, that I find to be quite sad.
In comparison, the indie scene doesn’t have the same restrictions, so there’s often much more variety in the types of games that are released. So if you’re looking for a more relaxed otome gaming experience, you can’t go wrong setting your sights on some of the indie games available—like Love Spell: Written in the Stars, the debut romance game from female led indie studio Great Gretsuki. Follow the game’s heroine, Luna, as she embarks on a magical journey, full of love, laughter, and just bit of adventure!
- Genre: Fantasy | Comedy | Romance
- Available for PC (Windows & Mac) | Steam
- Gameplay Length: 10-20 hours
- Cost: $18.99
- 5 male romance options
Continue reading “Love Spell: Written in the Stars Game Review – Love at the Flick of a Pen”
Like many of you, I dived head first into Mystic Messenger hell back in 2016—between the quirky characters and real time chatrooms—the game’s unique gameplay style quickly stole the hearts (and sleep) of everyone in the otome community. And even now four years later, Mystic Messenger is still going strong, spawning new events and stories—but, did you know that Cheritz’s wildly popular mobile game had an official webtoon?! Invitation of the Mystic Message is the official webtoon adaptation of the dating sim, Written by GIMAN with Art by meriG.
Hana is usually a glass-half-full sort of person, but lately, nothing seems to be going her way. After yet another fruitless day of job hunting, she finds herself pouring out all her frustrations to a stranger in the street. The kind stranger disappears before they get a chance to exchange names or numbers, however, leaving behind a phone with nothing but a single messenger app. “Can you read this message…?” As soon as Hana logs on, username “Unknown” tells her they know the person she is looking for. Although a little suspicious, she is intrigued. Who was the stranger that lent her a shoulder to cry on? Who is this “Unknown” she is chatting with? To find the answers to her questions, she must first accept a mysterious invitation. Time to get reacquainted with Jumin, 707, Zen, Yoosung, Jaehee and the rest of Mystic Messenger!
Currently the Prologue and the first 2 chapters are available for free over on Tappytoon with the next three chapters going live on 7/11/2020! And what self respecting otome fan would I be if I didn’t immediately read the available chapters?! This won’t be an official review, since there are only 3 chapters available right now, but I did want to share my thoughts on the comic.
Continue reading “From Chatrooms to Panels – Mystic Messenger Webtoon First Impressions”
In Blood is the newest visual novel from indie game developer Jaime Scribbles Games, the creative team behind Pinewood Island and As We Know It. Follow Eleadora, a young woman who finds herself drawn into a world of supernatural horrors, when she unwittingly makes a bargain with an ancient god. In Blood brings together elements of Gothic romance and Lovecraftian horror to create a darker and edgier narrative experience reminiscent of games like Demonheart and Cinders, which are notable for their mature storytelling and characters.
So, I had high expectations going into this demo and now that the Kickstarter campaign is live, I figured this was a good time to share my thoughts about the game and the premise. At first glance, In Blood put me in the mind of a CW supernatural drama series, a la Vampire Diaries—a dark and edgy supernatural romance with attractive 20 somethings…and surprise surprise, I am a sucker for these types of stories!
Continue reading “In Blood – Demo Review”