Originally developed by Seven Submarines in 2018 for the annual game jam NaNoRenO, Ultramarine: A Seapunk Adventure is a short fantasy visual novel that takes us on a journey into the deep. Gabrielle Freedman embarks on a journey into the sea to find Nauticus, Crown Prince of Atlas in hopes of securing his aid in an ongoing political struggle on the surface. Unbeknownst to her, Nauticus has his hands full with an ongoing civil war over control of the throne. Exiled alongside his royal guard, Zeppelin, Nauticus is desperate to reclaim his throne and reluctantly agrees to a tenuous alliance with Gabrielle. Together the trio devise a plan that could be mutually beneficial to both their causes, but, it involves confronting an evil sea witch. With everything on the line Gabrielle, Nauticus, and Zeppelin gear up for fight that will determine the fate of their very different worlds.
Genre: Adventure, Romance
Available for PC (Widows, Mac, Linux)
Gameplay Lengh: ≈45 mins – 1 hr
Partial Voice Acting
RPG Style Battle System
Similar Games: The Blind Griffin, A Foretold Affair
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.
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
Similar Games: Ace Attorney, Love Ritual, and The Blind Griffin
Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, last year comic artist Aero Zero reached out to me about their poly positive fantasy bara comic, MEN+MONSTERS and I absolutely loved the gorgeous, vibrant art and unique premise. Well, Aero Zero hit me up again about another one of their Bara comics, Knights of Alanoc, a prequel to their action-adventure bara comic ACE OF BEASTS. I really enjoyed my first excursion into the MEN+MONSTERS/ACE OF BEASTS world, and I was excited to get my hand on this delightful standalone.
Title: KNIGHTS OF ALANOC Volume 1 Author / Artist: Aero Zero Publisher: MEN PLUS MONSTERS Genre: Bara / Fantasy / Mature / Graphic Novel Released: 2018 (online), JAN 2019 (print) Length: 60 pages
Summary:A ruthless lieutenant gives up on pursuing love… until a swordsman from a faraway land enters his life! Slow-burn romance SFW prequel to ACE OF BEASTS, with a NSFW epilogue.
Anyone that is familiar with Aero Zero’s works will recognize both Osric and Xerxes as main characters in their other long running series, ACE OF BEASTS. While this is a prequel series, you don’t need to have read BEASTS to understand what’s going on in KNIGHTS. However, this comic does provide some neat background on Osric and Xerxes and the origins of their relationship.
KNIGHTS OF ALANOC follows the exploits of Osric, a jaded lieutenant fresh off a recent break-up and Xerxes, a wandering swordsman who wants to train to become a knight. Though the pair are initially at odds, they soon strike up a friendship that quickly turns romantic. A slow-burn romance between two burly knights, unfolds against a beautiful fantasy backdrop. While this is a much more laid back Bara offering, the slow-burn romance and expressive characters make for a rather enjoyable read.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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 Pro. If 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, Herculion, with 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.
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… *
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…