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
Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and NPCs, out there it’s Monday, and that means another Melanin Monday post!! I know its been awhile since my last Melanin Monday post (I’ve been slacking off), but, for those of you just joining the party, here’s a little refresher. Melanin Monday is a bi-weekly post series that I started for Black History Month, where I talk about Black and Brown skinned characters in anime, manga, video games, etc., but you guys loved it so much I decided to continue it! This week, I’m looking at diversity in otome games!
Otome games promise a player driven gaming experience, giving players the opportunity to romance a diverse group of characters. But, really how diverse are otome games? Sure they feature characters from a wide range of character archetypes, but when it comes to their appearance, they all seem to fall into the same generic bishounen category. What’s more, mainstream otome games tend to have a distinct lack of racial diversity among their romance options. Western otome games have been more successful at integrating more diverse romance options in their games, with characters from a wide range of backgrounds and ethnicity, but, Japanese otome games are much more restrictive in the types of romance options they offer. But, given that otome games are created with a Japanese audience in mind, this is not wholly unexpected.
However, with an increasing number of Western gamers playing otome games, this lack of diversity could alienate individuals looking for games featuring characters that share similar characteristics to themselves. In recent years, Western otome games and Original English Language Visual Novels (OELVNs) have stepped up to provide a solution by offering games with more diverse romance options that are more reflective of their target audiences. As a woman of color, I appreciate the efforts of Western developers to incorporate diverse characters into their narratives, because it creates an opportunity for representation that may have otherwise not existed.
Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, I recently discovered this really great demo and I just had to share my thoughts about it! Unlike most of the games I cover here on Nice Job Breaking It, Hero this one isn’t a romance per se, I know, le gasp. This time around I’m covering a visual novel that’s more akin to investigative adventure games, like Ace Attorney and Professor Layton but with the grittiness you’d find in the film noir of the 40’s and 50’s. When the Shutter Stops is an upcoming mystery detective game and the debut title of the up and coming indie developer Remort Studios. The game follows Priscilla “Pri” Vate a former child detective who finds herself being dragged back into the city’s gritty underbelly when the serial killer she put away years ago suddenly has his conviction overturned.
The game is currently on Kickstarter and I strongly suggest throwing your support their way while they work to reach their $10,000 USD funding goal. When the Shutter Stops is a mid-length commercial release, with the final asking price of just $25.00, but, if you support the game during the KS campaign you can snag a copy for just $20.00. This is an alpha demo so there are a few assets that aren’t fully realized yet, but, it does cover a good bit of the expected gameplay, including the investigative and interrogation portions of the game.
Hey hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, I’m back with another crowd funding campaign!! There’s a Kickstarter campaign for an upcoming mystery detective visual novel, When the Shutter Stops that I think you guys should definitely check out! There are less than a month left in the campaign and they need a little help hitting their goal! The campaign ends on October 23rd, 2018!
For those of you new, here, Let’s Show Our Support posts highlight current crowdfunding campaigns for indie games (usually VNs and OELVNs). I give you guys the basic rundown of the game and the perks of supporting the game’s campaign, as well as links to all the relevant game related pages and sites.
I am a sucker for detective and investigative adventure games, and When the Shutter Stops definitely puts me in the mind of adventure games like Cing’s Hotel Dusk series and Capcom’s Ace Attorney franchise. And then the Kickstarter page even compares the game to the classic noir film The Maltese Falcon and one of my all time favorite films Chinatown, so let’s just say I am more than a little hyped to see this project become a reality!
Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes in the sci-fi fantasy visual novel, Pairs. Originally submitted for NaNoRenO 2017, Pairs follows the romantic ups and downs of two couples in the midst of an ongoing alien war between Earth and the invading Naian people. However, this game is unique in that it allows players to experience both perspectives of each of the two main pairings. Like most NaNoRenO games, the team had a month to complete the game, so Pairs is a little on the short side.
A visual novel about walking a mile in another man’s shoes. On Earth. During an alien invasion.
An alien with sketchy morals craves a human’s heart. A young man schemes to get his parents back from death. A mutant tries to figure out where her heart lies with her childhood friend. An illusionist struggles with his motivations for becoming a hero.
Four stories. Four people. A chance to understand them all.
Cute Demon Crashers is a short 18+ sex positive visual novel from English game developers Sugar Script. The game was originally developed back in 2015 for the annual game jam, NaNoRenO, however due to time constraints Sugar Script was only able to complete two character routes (Mirari and Akki) by the time limit. But, the initial release was such a success that fans raised funds to assist Sugar Script with completing the game. Cute Demon Crashers features four romance interests (3 male, 1 female) and while the game does deal with sexual situations, players can choose to filter the “naughty bits” through censored gameplay. In addition to the filter, players can also choose to turn down any and all sexual situations without their choices having any effect on the progression of the story. The main purpose of the game is to promote a safe and open space for players to explore sex without feeling pressured.
Mikomi Games’s That Which Binds Usasks a very simple question: What if the bonds of fate could be severed? What if you could cut off ties with family, friends, a jealous lover? Would you take it? For Evalise, a young woman trapped in a toxic relationship the choice is simple, cut off ties with her no good boyfriend and start over again. So, when a strange (and handsome) bail bondsman offers to erase the memories of her recently incarcerated boyfriend, Evalise reluctantly accepts his offer. With her newfound freedom, Evalise attempts to pick up the pieces of her life and finally start over again, and maybe find love along the way.
All she wanted was to get a bail bond for her troublesome boyfriend. That’s when she met Idris, a very special kind of bondsman. With a flick of a knife, he asked Evalise one confusing question- what if we could make him forget you?
Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, I’m getting back into the swing of things by going back and working through all of the game review requests I received while I was on hiatus. First up is a rather surreal and surprisingly deep short psychological thriller visual novel from Angela He (Zephyo). This is a game unlike anything I have ever played before, with it’s dream-like visuals and stream of consciousness like storytelling, Angela He paints a rather startling picture of the psychological toll addiction and depression can have on one’s life, through the lens of a toxic more-than-one-night stand relationship.
“You’d told me,
Hey, this is a one-time thing, and I said yeah, of course –
Yet here we are.”
..who, exactly, am I waking up next to?
A romance about a more-than-one-night stand;
A psychological thriller about toxic addiction.
Indie VN developers, Vagrant Muffin already have two games under their belt, Fool’s Helper and Lucky Days, but, I’ve only played the former, and for what it’s worth it’s a pretty fun game. So, when I saw that they’d just released the demo for their mystery romance visual novel, Red Wolf Hiding, I made a bit of time in my schedule to give it a playthrough.
After a yearlong undercover mission, Janet Dover (name changeable) is now assigned to Gerald Reeve’s team. Headquarters believes there’s a traitor in the ranks, leaking information to a dangerous enemy known as the “Wolf”.
Her job is to find the traitor, but what else will she learn along the way?
I can honestly say this promises to be a quite the undertaking, with six romanceable characters each with three distinct endings, and a mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat… this game hits all my gaming qualifications!
I was originally going to post this as part of my Melanin Mondaysegment, but, WordPress decided that my original post was a bit too radical and saw fit to DELETE EVERYTHING I WROTE! But, thankfully despite that I was able to salvage most of it with the help of WP’s nifty ‘History’ feature, so, it wasn’t a total loss…
I want to first clarify that this is not a review, but a critique of Cyanide Tea’s decision to create a game that featured characters of color, specifically Black and brown skinned characters, as slaves in a game that allows the player to romance said slaves. Let me say that again, THIS IS NOT A REVIEW OF Taarradhin! I will write a proper review some time in the near future, but this post, is most certainly not a review, so if you are expecting a review, come back later. For everyone else, the opinions reflected in this post are my own, so, if you are uncomfortable with discussions of race or slavery, you might want to check out one of my other game reviews or discussion pieces…
Before I start this rant, I want to give you guys a bit of background about Taarradhin.
Taarradhin is a Pay-What-You-Want original English language visual novel (OELVN) from Cyanide Tea (Lorelei and Auro-Cyanide). The game was created for NaNoReNo 2014 and features two potential love interests (GxG and GxB) with five endings. It’s a rather short game taking between 30 mins to an hour to complete.
A seven-year drought plagues the entire region surrounding the country of Nishtif, leading people to wonder if their goddess Scheknt has abandoned them. In contrast, young noblewoman Neqtia has lived a comfortable life insulated from hardship and suffering. One of the poorer surrounding countries, Djedi, sends their usual tribute of natural resources and livestock to Nishtif in exchange for the larger country’s aid and protection. Rumors that two attractive slaves are among the cargo intrigue Neqtia. What lies in store for her after the slaves are brought to live at her family estate…?