Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #25

 

Hello all you wonderful Heroes and Travelers, it’s Thrifty Thursday and that means another Thrifty Gaming post, the weekly post series where I spotlight three games/visual novels for gamers on a budget. Whatever your financial situation, I’m here to bring you affordable games that won’t break the bank!! All of the games on this list are $10 or less (does not include limited time offers and sale items), so no more weepy wallets!

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This week’s post will include links to the games and a brief synopsis, but let me stress that these are not reviews, but recommendations… so your mileage may vary! Now that that’s out of the way lets get on to this week’s list!!

Continue reading “Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #25”

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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 

Continue reading “Big Hair and Even Bigger Cases: Ghosts of Miami – Game Review”

Love Ritual – English Otome Game Review

Last week, Xand Arts released their debut title, Love Ritual, a richly imaginative detective fantasy that blends together the team’s seductive characters and designs with an immersive investigative narrative. Love Ritual follows Riilai, a young Ritualist hired on as a consultant for a local police investigation tasked with uncovering the truth behind an illegal summoning ritual. The police currently have two suspects in custody, a Necromancer and a Druid, both of whom have retained counsel to help prove their innocents. The two delegates, a suave Necromancer named Kalaseth, and a naïve good-natured Druid named Shanrae will do anything to get their clients off the hook. But, the deeper Riilai delves into the case the less black and white things become, and with two handsome advocates working so closely Riilai has a rough road ahead.

Xand Arts markets Love Ritual as an adult otome, and it’s easy to see why, with its captivating mystery adventure narrative and seductive character designs, Love Ritual delivers a sophisticated gaming experience.

Game Details

  • Genre: Mystery, Adult Content, Romance, GxB
  • Available for PC (Windows, Mac, Linux) and Steam
  • 2 male love interests
  • Gameplay Length: ≈15 hours
  • Cost: $11.99
  • Similar Games: Mystic Destines: Serendipity of Aeons, Changeling

Continue reading “Love Ritual – English Otome Game Review”

Mystery, Suspense and Zombies?!- 7’Scarlet: Character & Route Thoughts (Part 2)

Originally this was a part of the main review, but the more I kept writing the more my thoughts on the characters kind of took on a life of their own. So, I’m trying something new and separating out my thoughts on the characters and their routes from the main review. I don’t know if I’ll do this again, but, I had some pretty strong feelings about some of the characters/routes and it just didn’t gel well with the rest of the review.

7 scarlet chara

If you want a general review of 7’scarlet check out my previous post, Mystery, Suspense and Zombies?! – 7’Scarlet Review (Part 1)If you’ve already given that a gander and you just want to know how I felt about the love interests and routes, you’re in the right place. A word of caution though, there are spoilers here, so if you haven’t finished the game perhaps you might want to hold off on reading this post until you do.

Continue reading “Mystery, Suspense and Zombies?!- 7’Scarlet: Character & Route Thoughts (Part 2)”

Mystery, Suspense and Zombies?!- 7’Scarlet Otome Game Review (Part 1)

7’scarlet is a mystery otome game and one of the most recent localizations to make its way Stateside. The game follows Ichiko Hanamaki, a college student whose brother disappeared a year prior to the start of the game while visiting the town of Okunezato. While investigating the town, Ichiko and her childhood friend Hino stumble upon a strange website detailing several mysteries surrounding the town and decide to participate in an online meetup hosted by a few of the site’s members. Once in Okunezato, Ichiko and Hino meet the rest of the Okunezato Supernatural Club and begin investigating the strange goings on in the town. But, when a series of mysterious deaths began to take place, the town’s dark past is slowly revealed.

7-scarlet

When I picked up 7’scarlet, I wasn’t expecting to stick with it as long as I did, let alone finish the damn thing. I fully intended on just playing one route and tucking the game safely back into my backlog. Sadly, the route I was most interested in playing is the second to last route in the game (I’m not including the True End or the Secret Route). Pro tip: A sure fire way to get me to play all the way through a game is to stick the megane routes at the end of the game. So, I powered through all the routes until I could finally romance the bespectacled hottie of my dreams and by that point I figured why not just go balls out and finish the game. Now that I have that coveted PSN 7’scarlet Completion trophy, I’m ready to give my thoughts on the game.

Game Details

  • Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Romance, GxB
  • Available for PS Vita and Steam
  • 6 pursuable love interests (5 main, 1 secret)
  • 25 unique endings
  • Gameplay Length: ≈30 hours
  • Cost: $39.99
  • Similar Games: Code Realize, Psychadelica series

Continue reading “Mystery, Suspense and Zombies?!- 7’Scarlet Otome Game Review (Part 1)”

Dot Kareshi – We’re 8bit Lovers ~ The Legendary Maiden~ Otome Game Review

Dot Kareshi – We’re 8bit Lovers! – The Legendary Maiden (ドットカレシ-We’re 8bit Lovers- でんせつのおとめ~) is a 2013 PC fantasy otome game from Rejet, and the first game in the Dot Kareshi series. There are two follow up games, Dot Kareshi -We’re 8bit Lovers!- II Tenkuu no Kiss and Dot Kareshi – We’re 8bit Lovers!- III ~Yami no Hanayome~. While the game doesn’t have an official English language release, fan translation team Golden Spirit released an English patch for the PC version of the game back in 2015.

This is a fairly short game with a pretty simple premise: a high school girl is magically transported into the world of her favorite RPG, Ultimate Quest. But, because she just grinded her way through the game, the members of her in-game party hold some serious grudges against her. So, now that she’s stuck in their world they hold her accountable for her actions and demand that she help them complete a character specific quest as retribution… Each of the potential love interests are based on common RPG character classes; the Hero, the Wizard, the Priest, and the Thief, and each have their own distinct personalities… and that’s pretty much the gist of it…

Game Details

  • Available for Windows, Mac, Linux 
  • 4 pursuable characters (male)
  • 12 unique endings
  • Gameplay Length: 2-10 hours

Continue reading “Dot Kareshi – We’re 8bit Lovers ~ The Legendary Maiden~ Otome Game Review”

Have You Eaten Today? – Ayakashi Gohan – Otome Game Review

Ayakashi Gohan (あやかしごはん) is a 2014 supernatural fantasy otome game from Honeybee, with an updated Vita port of the game, Ayakashi Gohan ~Oomori~ being released a year later. While the game doesn’t have an official English language release, fan translation team Hanataba Translations released an English patch for the PC version of the game back in 2017.

Ayakashi Gohan follows a young girl, Rin Akane, as she adjusts to life in Momoji Village, a place where ayakashi and humans live peacefully with one another. Over the course of the game, Rin interacts with the various human and ayakashi residents of the town helping to bridge the gap between both races. It’s a lighthearted game about eating good food and romancing hot ayakashi… or so I thought…

Game Details

  • Available for Windows, Mac, Linux 
  • 6 pursuable characters (male)
  • 18 unique endings
  • Gameplay Length: 30+ hours

Continue reading “Have You Eaten Today? – Ayakashi Gohan – Otome Game Review”

[Bite-Sized Review] Kitty Love – Way to look for love

Kitty Love-Way to Look for Love is the latest otome game from DIGIMERCE, and among the first wave of otome games released for the Nintendo Switch. The game follows Honoka, a young shop clerk who is magically transformed into a cat. In order to break her curse, Honoka must lock lips with one of five eligible bachelors. There’s her sweetheart of a boss, Takuma Suguri; her childhood friend, Kohei Natsume; the stoic patrol cop, Shogo Fujimoto; the friendly neighborhood host, Kyosuke Kawahara; and finally the mysterious flower arrangement artist, Narumi Saijo. The love interests, were pretty by the book, checking off all of the usual otome tropes and cliches, but, they are still enjoyable enough. There isn’t a set play order, however, I highly recommend playing Narumi Saijo’s route last, lest you want game ruining spoilers, granted the “big reveal” was kind of obvious from the beginning.

Continue reading “[Bite-Sized Review] Kitty Love – Way to look for love”

[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”

[First Thoughts] Rose in the Embers

“Our love may be forbidden…

But you are all I want. And with a kiss, the walls that stand between you two crumble to dust… 

Yours is a love story so shocking it will shake society to its core…

After the transition from the standalone apps to the Love 365 portal app, I kind of fell out of the Voltage Inc. game for awhile. Since the change quite a few new apps have been released, but among the first new apps was the historical fantasy Rose in the Embers  (Romaji Taishō Roman, Unmei no Hito). This is the third historical romance game from Voltage Inc. following on the heels of Sakura Amidst Chaos and Era of Samurai: Code of Love, which were set Sengoku and Bakumatsu Eras, respectively. However, for Rose, Voltage bumped up their timeline a bit, setting the game during the Taisho Era (1912 – 1926).

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I’m not really a history buff, but from what I gather the time period continued the Meiji Era’s push towards modernization and more western ideals, modeled after the Victorian era. So there’s this unique blend of Japanese fashion and ideals meshed with the more “modern” Western ideals, which makes for a visually interesting story. So, I was pretty optimistic when I loaded up the prologue in the Love 365 app…

App Details

  • Genre: Historical Romance, Fantasy
  • 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: Sakura Amidst Chaos, Kissed By the Baddest Bidder, and Era of Samurai: Code of Love

Continue reading “[First Thoughts] Rose in the Embers”