Mystic Messenger is pretty good. It’s for mobile
I liked Sweet Fuse too which is for psp and I played //TODO: today (pc) some days ago and the game wasn’t complete but I loved it, you can pick your gender too.
Mystic Messenger is pretty good. It’s for mobile
So… I played England Exchange (EE) over the last few days.
The game was honestly a mixed bag for me, but I already expected this based on my impressions of the demo.
Things that I liked: You can play both a male and a female character. There are 8 love interests in total (= 4 men and women) from which four are exclusively straight. This means that 4 characters (= 2 men and women) are available to pursue in a same-sex relationship. Each character has their own romance CG (a sweet, intimate scene between MC and their lover). The character art is cute and there is even some body diversity.
Out of 8 characters, 7 have more than one ending. Endings vary from good to bad. There’s even an achievement for getting the worst one.
The writing appears solid and fun compared to the more vapid things I’ve seen out there. Expect some surprises. The love interests are not always what they appear to be at first sight. And no, this does not refer to an unexpected yandere route. In fact, hurray, this game is blissfully free of any kind of captivity or insta death scene. While there is drama galore in some routes, others offer that much-needed, fluffy goodness.
Things I liked less:
1.) Unfortunately, your gender selection does not seem to change much about your POV (e.g. study major, abilities, dialogue). While the rival storylines certainly makes a difference, I found the male MC’s job route pretty uninteresting in comparison to that of the female MC. The character moments just didn’t feel as well integrated into the job situation. In my eyes, Aasi and Angelo also provided a much more interesting foil to the MC than Brendan and Ashley. Then again, I didn’t care much for the latter two, so this definitely factors into my opinion.
A game that did it better: Roommates did something similar with the possibility to choose between a female and a male MC. However, regardless of player choice, both characters exist in the game universe because of their separate identities, including different characterizations and personal goals. Even though I’m not a great fan of Roommates as a whole (mainly because: frustrating stats system and romance requirements, romances not really to my taste), I much preferred this approach.
2.) I felt like I had no control over basically anything except the romance part. Why include job and school at all if they are nothing more than convenient places to flirt or chat someone up? I think this wouldn’t be so bad if there weren’t literally days going by without anything to do. Additionally, there is one choice mid-game regarding a planned activity (e.g. reading, exploring the city, improving your appearance) that doesn’t seem to make any difference whatsoever. This is the part where I almost miss having a stat-raising mechanic that at least grants me the illusion of activity. This problem is only exacerbated by the unfortunate impression that, in game titled England Exchange, there’s not a lot of England to be found here (?).
A game that did it better: C14 Dating is set in Belgium and you play as an American MC on an archaeology field trip. This is one of the few dating sims in which I felt fully immersed in its setting because it wasn’t just a throwaway thought. Stat-raising activities, character moments/dialogues, and mini games feel all well integrated into the plot. Also, yay for cultural differences and language barriers.
3.) While the writing appeared mostly solid, even intriguing in places, the game just leaves you high and dry before it can really become interesting. This is, of course, highly subjective, just like pretty much everything I’ve written so far. Still, it grates on me because I see tons of potential in the characters and their conflicts (despite the fact that I usually end up not caring about 60% of available romance routes). For me, the most fulfilling romance was probably Angelo’s which is mainly due to the impression that their relationship as co-workers helped to flesh out his interactions with the female MC. There is no route that I found completely boring but, aside from the usual suspects, Ashley’s appealed the least to me. (She just wasn’t my type, I guess.)
A game that did it better: Magical Diary: Horse Hall for the way it developed its character’s conflicts and brought them to a satisfying conclusion. Nameless for some of the heavy stuff it introduces, even though I must concede that EE deals way more responsibly with its own occasional glimpses of darkness. (Which is exactly the reason why I am so mad that they aren’t explored further.)
One final note: I don’t mean to discourage anyone from buying this game. If you enjoy the demo, you will probably enjoy the rest. And this developer definitely deserves the support. As I said, it’s a mixed bag for me, but overall it still left a positive impression.
At last, I finally discovered RockRobin and I cannot believe that it is free. Probably one of my favorite female MCs. Interesting, layered, and difficult. Writing is some of the best I’ve seen in an otome game. Plus, it has one route that pretty much pushes all my buttons (and some I didn’t even know that I existed!). Also, lots of fun features and, finally, a game soundtrack I can truly appreciate.
Since I’m already writing this: I started playing some dating sim apps. (Another consequence of still being unable to play Mass Effect: Andromeda. )
- The Arcana. Not yet released in full. Beautiful art/presentation. Cannot say much about the writing yet, but I’m definitely intrigued.
- Choices. Mainly romance titles, but also some mystery and action. Writing, from what I’ve seen, is snappy and enjoyable if you don’t mind the occasional corny cliché and being railroaded. I started with the Freshman series and one of this title’s greatest advantages is that, even without deluxe content (can be bought with in-game currency), you can achieve a satisfying ending. Doesn’t seem to be the case for some other titles, e.g. Endless Summer.
- City of Love: Paris. So pretty! Too bad the mystery is predictably boring despite the game’s (supposedly) original premise. Lots of railroading, bland MC, lacking impactful choices. And you can’t romance the two most entertaining characters, your best friend or the sassy villain.
- I’ve never been a fan of Voltage games, but I’ve decided to try out their rebooted Speakeasy Tonight game. From what I’ve seen, the MC seems promising. Once more routes become available (meaning: those I’m actually half-way interested in), I will definitely check this game out. Downside: I pretty much hate everything about the Lovestruck app. What an ugly, inconvenient thing to force on your customers.
I loved the Freshman after book 1, book 1 kept pushing the boys at me when I just wanted to be with Kaitlyn, even after I had spent the whole book telling James and Chris to get lost and only showing interest in Kaitlyn the character seemed conflicted. Thankfully that stops and book 2 and beyond I have very much loved Endless Summer was awesome and so was Braidwood Manor, they were the only ones so far that didn’t make my character by default interested in guys at all.
Actually you can get with Kat at the end of what they currently released, it was infuriating that it took FOREVER to get to that point despite having the option early on to tell the villain you’re in love with her Honestly I would really like this game if I could have got with Kat earlier, it was heartbreaking to have to go through the “pick her boyfriend” BS
@feurio :Loved the England Exchange review! I agree with all your points, huzzah, I feel no need to rant about it now.
But still, seriously, Dannys romance is so rushed, the hell.
One difference I saw in the commentary after choosing an activity in that game is during Danny romance if your character is active, they have a comment about exercising while going up the hill to sight-see. Doesn’t change the scene at all otherwise though.
YOU FOUND ROCK ROBIN- AH IT IS LIFE!!!
Current games I am waiting on for updates-
Beauty and the War
Reverie Ebon Light
TODO-Today (this hasn’t been mentioned too much, but its bloody epic guys)
@Lizzy : Ahahaha, think I ranted with you about Chris and heterosexuality being forced on you in the first season of the Freshman. It’s progressively gotten better, but the game itself still annoys me.
I hate that we have no logical in game reason to do a non-paid-for action. Ugh. JUST LET ME BUY A FULL GAME THEN, CURSES.
Star Days Sim Date is out! http://pacthesisgames.com/games/sim-dates/star-days-sim-date.html
You can finish a romance path in like 10 minutes.
…um, yeah. Art okay, I like the shifting between different styles of locations and stuff, the characters seem a little better designed, but I still got best end with Quoto by being a pisces, throwing four fish at him, taking him on one date, and just talking to him until exhausted for like 5 consecutive days.
AMY WHAT HAPPENED.
I dunno why, but instead of “Mona” my mind kept reading “Mia” in that first picture …
So I’ve been playing the various stories in the Lovestruck app lately, including this one and actually this is my least favorite so far. I wasn’t going to play before because it was only male RO’s and no story is good enough to endure that
Overall I do like the fact that the stories have more in the way of romance then say Choices, and now each story now has a female option (yay!) Gangsters in Love was my favorite although I’m also really loving Astoria: Fate’s Kiss so far
Now that it has been posted publically, I am free to say that for anyone who might have been interested in purchasing Planet Stronghold: Colonial Defense from Winter Wolves Games, but was put off by the art…well, we are doing a manga version of it.
For those who purchased it already, the additional art will come as a free update, and a person will be able to choose between whichever style they like.
More information can be seen here. And considering how much stuff I do with Winter Wolves, I might be ahead to make a separate Winter Wolves thread.
For anyone who is curious, the manga version of Planet Stronghold: Colonial Defense is now available on Steam. You can choose between the two art styles…though you do have to enable it from the Beta branch at the moment.
If anyone needs instructions for it, I can put them up there. For the curious, it is a card game, but with a visual novel mode. You can play as male or female, and each has 4 romances; 4 heterosexual ones, and 4 same sex romances.
Has anyone mentioned Aloners yet?
I think it’s really cool. Please give it a go~
Also, there’s The Arcana. Available on both PC and mobile/tablet ect. The game isn’t complete yet and will cost money eventually but it’s pretty neat. Plus, you can set your prefered pronounces
For the people who want to date Tiramisu: http://loserhaven.com/otome/otoge.php
…Green Eyed Monster is a pretty good game/VN if you ask me (even if it’s not quite an otome, but well, I anyway rarely find some that I like and 90% of those I like I found because of this topic and I guess that’s the best I can give back? )
…but it’s possible that I’m biased, considering that magical girl animes and mangas were a huge part of my childhood/early teenage years, but yeah, it’s free, give it a try.
Anyone checked out Demonheart yet? Seen some advertising for it, but no commentary so far.
It is supposed to have 5 chapters, but only the first 2 are out now. They are sort of doing an episodic model. I usually wait until all the parts are out before playing it.
RockRobin is pretty cool too.
I played Freak-Quency a long time ago and liked it. Imagine how surprised I am when I know the artist was my best friend’s junior in hs and that there’s harem ending where you could get everyone. she and her team are developing another game Amplitude.
I wan’t to play Nusantara but somehow the game can’t run on my laptop
this game almost turn me into a cannibal
I like Aloners, A Troll’s Fairytale, and The Lady’s Choice which have been mentioned here. I liked Cinderella’s Phenomenon art very much, but I don’t like that I have to answer all the question on a route right to get good ending, making me feel the choices don’t really matter. Same with X-note, but I haven’t finished this one due to shock after getting Yuon’s bad end (and he’s not the one I originally pursue in that playthrough…)
Ikusei Nikki cute art, cute story (with some dark routes…)
Lads in Distress I played the Nanoreno’s version and liked it. Accidentaly played the most interesting route first hint: it was Mer’s.
AIRIS is pretty interesting (didn’t see the plot twist coming!) 3 ROs, 1 male, 1 female, 1 nb.
I forgot to mention Doppelganger I say this is a horror rpg with romantic sidequest.
Hatoful Boyfriend almost made me fail a particularly difficult course and I didn’t regret it a bit. Anghel will always be my best bird
On itchio they have two versions, the newer is supposed to have less bugs (which are a pain in the ass, so if you end up able playing it, use the save function very often), maybe that one could work on your laptop? (I honestly have no idea which version I played…just that it crashed very often.)
How could I forget about Hatoful Boyfriend? Iwamine-sensei’s the best
Noooo! Not that birdie!
I’ll try it, hopefully it would run on my laptop
@Morphine I specifically choose Anghel as best bird because we can kill Iwamine in his route
There’s a male protagonist choice, yey! Not having one is usually the number one reason why I do not play more visual novel type games.
Still added to my list I’ll check it out once I have a bit of time.