October is upon us once again and even though we’re all stuck inside there’s still plenty of spooky good fun to get into at home. I’ve been using the extra time to check out a few new games and since Halloween is right around the corner, I figured this was a great time to spotlight four spooky romance visual novels to get you in the mood for the spooky season!
Voltage Inc. games make up about 45% of my gaming backlog. The company was my first introduction to the world of otome games and over the years I have amassed quite a few stories from each of the many, many Otome Romance titles they produce. Because I have so many stories I tend to have a hard time deciding which routes to play… So, rather than making the agonizing decision on my own, I ran a Twitter poll and let you guys decide for me. Unfortunately, that backfired since the poll ended in a tie between Diary of a Step Sister and Love Brings You Home, so I still had to choose in the end and I went with the latter.
Love Brings You Home is one of the “newer” Otome Romance titles, having been released exclusively on the Love 365 app and not as one of the standalone apps (at least here in the west). Given all the fantasy romance games I’ve been playing lately, I was looking forward to diving into something with a slice-of-life vibe and Love Brings You Home was exactly what I was looking for; something grounded in reality (at least for an otome game). If I had to sum this game up in one word, it would be ‘wholesome’, no gimmicks just a wholesome romance…
- Genre: Slice of Life, Romance
- 5 Love interests
- Available: Google Play | App Store | Amazon App Store
- Cost: Main Story: 400 Coin Each ($3.99USD)
POV Story: 300 Coin Each ($2.99USD)
Special Story: 100-200 Coin Each ($.99-$1.99USD)
- Similar Games: Finally in Love Again, Kiss Me on Clover Hill, Serendipity Next Door
Otome games offer women (and men) a fantasy romance experience of their dreams, but sometimes they stretch the limits of “fantasy” and delve into some questionable territory. These games play around with your suspension of disbelief, dropping you head first into scenarios that most of us would find downright frustrating if they happened to us in real life. From lowkey abusive love interests and dubious consent, otome games are known to toe the line between what is acceptable and what isn’t.
There have been times while playing an otome game where I had to step outside myself and check my self respect at the door in order to achieve my happily ever after with my chosen love interest. Of course, that isn’t the case with all otome games, there are some perfectly lovely ones that don’t force players to wave a hand at less than savory story elements. However, there are still quite a few that’ll raise a few eyebrows… So, that got me thinking about some of the more ridiculous otome game storylines and premises. The ones that really made me go, WTF.
This is yet another late review (I’m slowly working my way through all my game requests), but I’ve been following GB Patch for awhile and I LOVE their games so I was going to get around to playing the demo for their upcoming slice-of-life visual novel, Our Life: Beginnings and Always, eventually. I’ve played a few of their games before and I can honestly say that each of their games is a one of a kind experience, with each new title showing off just how versatile GB Patch is as a studio. They never tell the same story twice, so you can always expect something different from their new releases.
However, Our Life: Beginnings and Always is by far their most ambitious project, spanning several years, following its characters from childhood to adulthood in what promises to be a heartwarming coming of age story. The game is currently on Kickstarter, but the campaign is set to end on November 10th, so definitely check that out! The demo covers the first two stages of the character’s lives (childhood and adolescence), but the full game will cover four different periods of life (childhood, adolescence, teenage, and adulthood). And since Our Life: Beginnings & Always is set in the same world as their earlier game XOXO Droplets expect to see cameos of a few of the boys from that game from time to time. I played through the early demo and I am already in love with this game and its concept!
- Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux & Android
- 1-2 hours of Gameplay
- Genre: Slice-of-Life, Romance, Comedy, Drama
I’m super late with this review, but I wanted to make sure I gave Wind Chimes Games’s demo for their debut visual novel, Reanimation Scheme, my full and undivided attention. I wanted to have this out before the end of the Kickstarter campaign, and I just managed to make it with a few hours to spare.
Reanimation Scheme is a supernatural fantasy romance visual novel, that is rooted in magic, mysticism, and necromancy. Yes, you read that right, necromancy… most of the supernatural games I’ve played tend to shy away from death magic, preferring to focus on the big three of the supernatural world; Vampires, Werewolves, and Witches. But, I’ve had my fill of the same old fantasy stories, so Reanimation Scheme is a welcome change of pace. With it’s spunky heroine, inventive premise, and gorgeous visuals, Reanimation Scheme is definitely worth checking out! Keep Reading to see my thoughts on the demo, which covers three chapters of the game.
- Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux
- 1-2 hours of Gameplay
- Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Supernatural, Mystery