Sweet Pool – BL Game Review

Sweet Pool is the third Nitro+Chiral title and by far one of the more surreal titles from their lineup, which really isn’t saying much seeing as this is the same company that gave us Saya no Uta (under their Nitroplus branch) and Togainu no Chi. There is a degree of grotesque body horror in this game that is both unsettling and beautiful, Sweet Pool is Invasion of the Bodysnatchers if it where set in the omegaverse and it is just as twisted as you’re imagining. The game follows Youji Sakiyama a second year high school student after his last stint in the hospital. Youji’s hopes for a normal life are dashed when he is slowly drawn into a nightmare from which there is no escape. Strange symptoms and grotesque hallucinations begin to plague his body and mind, and the only people that may have answers are two classmates who are also harboring dark secrets of their own.

So color me surprised when JAST USA announced that they’d be kicking off their new BL brand, JAST BLUE with English localizations of titles from Nitro+Chiral’s lineup. First up on the docket is 2008’s sweet pool right on time for the series’s 10th anniversary.

Game Details

  • Available for Windows, Mac, Linux 
  • 3 pursuable characters (male)
  • 6 unique endings
  • Gameplay Length: ≈30 hours
  • Cost: $20.00 (censored Steam version), $25.00 (uncensored digital)
  • Similar Games: Togainu no Chi and Chaos Child

*There is one NSFW image at the very end of the review, but, it’s one of the more tame CGs in the game. *

Continue reading “Sweet Pool – BL Game Review”

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Chromatose Beta Demo Review

Demos are a work in progress, meant to give you a taste of what to expect from the final release of a game. They’re incomplete works, but, if they do their job right, they’re more than enough to drum up interest in an upcoming game… Over the years, I’ve played my fair share of demos, some with fully realized assets, and others with just the barebones of what the developers hope to have in a fully realized version of their project. Now, usually, I’m fairly lenient on demos, because they aren’t full games, so I don’t hold them to the same level of scrutiny, but, every so often I stumble across a demo that completely blows everything else out of the water and that demo is Akabaka’s beta demo for their upcoming 2D visual novel/RPG Chromatose

The game follows Leroy, an EMT that awakens in a strange nightmarish world after taking a fall that should have ended in his death. The dreamworld is populated by a group of amnesiacs who are also trapped within their own unique nightmare worlds due to some flaw or error they committed in the real world. You have 12 hours to help the inhabitants reclaim their memories and escape their nightmares or else you’ll be trapped there forever. However, each world is guarded by strange creatures that will stop at nothing to stop you from reaching your goal.

Game Details

  • Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • 2+ hours of Gameplay
  • RPG Gameplay: Turn-based Card Battle System
  • Genre: Mystery, RPG, Visual Novel, Fantasy, Supernatural
  • Similar Games: Angels of DeathZero Escape, Persona series, Sweet Fuse, Danganronpa, Catherine

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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”

[First Thoughts] Camp Buddy – 18+ BL Visual Novel

Despite the recent influx of indie BL visual novels and games, there are still very few developers dedicated to bringing BL gaming to western audiences. MangaGamer and more recently JAST BLUE have taken it upon themselves to localize more “mainstream” BL games, but before that there was Black Monkey ProIf you’ve been following me for awhile, you know that I have a love-hate relationship with the now defunct BL media distributor. They released two full 18+ BL games, Sleepover (2014) and Bacchikoi (2014; Bacchikoi Expansion Pack 2015), and a standalone kinetic novel, Offscreen Scandal (2012).  And while I fully admit to loving BL media in all its (at times problematic) glory, I could not for the life of me enjoy BMP’s games. Despite their gorgeous art design and beautifully choreographed sexual content, the stories and plotlines were thin, barely enough to warrant spending 50 bucks on what amounted to glorified CG sets.

So, when BMP disbanded in 2015, I was not exactly shedding any tears, of course that wasn’t the last we’d heard of the company now branded under the new name, Herculionwith their upcoming title, Full Service still in development. And it was brought to my attention that one of the team’s former members (Mikkoukun) was also working on producing their own independent title, Camp Buddy, made possible by the collective support of over a thousand patrons on Patreon.

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Camp Buddy follows the exploits of the ever optimistic protagonist, Keitaro Nagame as he and his childhood best friend explore the summer scout themed adventure camp aptly named, Camp Buddy. There he meets a colorful cast of characters, from eccentric scoutmasters to fellow scout mates, Keitaro is bound to make some great new friends and maybe even find love along the way. But, when the camp falls on hard times, it’s up to Keitaro to unite the campers and restore the camp’s reputation. Currently there are four pursuable love interests, with the potential for more in future updates of the game, though patrons have access to new content before the public.

*Since this is an 18+ game there will be some NSFW images though they are towards the end and censored… *

Game Details

  • Available for Windows, Mac, Linux 
  • 4 pursuable characters (male)
  • 18 unique endings
  • Gameplay Length: 60+ hours (15 hrs per route)
  • Partial Voice Acting

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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

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[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.

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My Magical Demon Lover – BL Game Review

Spicy Ecchi Content + A Yaoi Fantasy Story + A Dash of Comedy = My Magical Demon Lover, a ‘mature players’ dating sim that puts the wannabe wizard Tristan with his choice of three hot demons. 

Earlier this year, Y Press Games released their fantasy BL visual novel, My Magical Demon Lover about an up and coming wizard that has to fuck one of three super mega foxy hot demons in order to gain “phenomenal cosmic powers”.

Fuck a demon → Become a wizard

That’s pretty much all you need to know going into My Magical Demon Lover. The game starts with Tristan fapping off in his bedroom, when he is suddenly summoned by his grandfather, a super powerful wizard. Thinking his dreams of becoming a wizard are about to come true, Tristan, flies off to meet his grandpa only discover he’s preparing to set off on a sexual romp in the Pleasure Realm. With no heirs to take up his role as village protector, Percival pushes all of his responsibilities onto Tristan, but, before he can do that, he must choose a demon mentor to help him with his task. Each demon will grant Tristan magical powers, but at a price… it’s sex. Tristan trades sex favors for magic powers…

Game Details

  • Available for Windows, Mac, Linux | Steam
  • 3 pursuable characters (male)
  • 10 unique endings
  • Cost: $9.99
  • Gameplay Length: 4 hours

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A Hand in the Darkness – BL Game Review

Join us in this little adventure following Alex through his first days at St. Michaels, an exclusive all-male boarding school during the British Edwardian era.


He will meet new friends, will face an unexpected danger and, who knows? Perhaps he will even find true love. It’s up to you whether Alex leaves St. Michaels with a happy ending or with a broken heart… or still worse.

Ertal Games’ debut title, offers a nice change of pace from some of the other BL/yaoi games on the market. Set in 1910 at an elite all-boys boarding school in Britain, A Hand in the Darkness follows Alex White as he attempts to acclimate himself to the rigid environment of St. Michaels, while also coming to terms with his budding feelings for one of his three male roommates. Amidst the confusion, Alex is also the target of a string of accidents that escalate as the school year goes on.

Game Details

  • Available for Windows, Mac, Linux | Steam
  • 3 pursuable characters (male)
  • 9 unique endings
  • Languages: English and Spanish
  • Cost: $9.99
  • Gameplay Length: 10 hours

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[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)

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[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”