I’m here to make a confession today: I love otome games.
Fine, if you read this site I’ll admit you’ve probably already figured that out by my series “Let’s Get it On,” but I’m mentioning this specifically because it’s super nerdy. Plus, although I sneer at my friend’s romance novels, I really have no room to talk here in my glass house. [Ed.: anyone who says they don’t live in a pink-tinted glass house of smut is lying or deluded, or perhaps just lives a sad, sad life (unless you’re asexual, you’re perfect and we heart you too)—official G-vesc position on romance ♥]
Otome games are also sometimes called dating sims and generally fall into the visual novel category. Visual novels tend to be extremely story-driven with the outcomes determined by the choices you make along a branching story route. Dating sims often have you scheduling your character’s time in order to raise specific stats by doing certain activities. While all three terms are often used interchangeably (by me at least), my definitions overlap more like rectangles and squares: all the otome games I’ve played are visual novels, but not all are dating sims.
As a quick peek at Wikipedia shows us, otome games are literally “girl games.” They’re aimed at a female audience and are evidently a fairly new genre. They’re most popular in Japan, but from what my personal anec-data show me, the genre is quickly gaining a bit of traction in the U.S. as well, and is especially popular with indie creators. I could go on with the stats, both real and imagined, but seriously just go read that article. It’s short and actually pretty interesting. Continue reading
Have you had one of those days, you know, where everything is all gloomy and annoying? Sometimes we all get a little down in the grumps, but never fear: I have a cure! Combining three things that make *most* everyone happy: Cute + Gaming + Free. Sounds awesome, right?!
Cool, now that you have been successfully tricked into another Flash Gaming Segment (bahahaha, just accept they are awesome), I would like to introduce you to Squee Gaming.
Wake Up Calls, http://www.ferryhalim.com/orisinal/g3/wake.htm
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a tiny mouse? Riding on a leaf? While throwing nuts at cocoons? WHICH EXPLODE INTO BUTTERFLIES? If you answered yes to any of these questions, this is the game for you. From the soothing score to the beautiful simplicity in the imagery this is one relaxing game, as well as an addictive one. Continue reading
How many times do I need to talk about how underrated flash games are, y’all? For this spooky edition of flash game recommendations, I want to mention a few creeptastic flash games.
The Outbreak, http://www.survivetheoutbreak.com/
Do you remember those Choose Your Own Adventure books? Those were awesome, right?! Well, The Outbreak is just like them. Except your choices change the outcome of a movie instead of a book, and you don’t have to flip pages! Spoiler: zombies are gross. Continue reading
As I’ve said before, flash games are often underappreciated, but more people should be enjoying them! They are a fantastic free source of entertainment (minus that bill you pay for the interwebs, of course, unless you’re stealing it from your neighbors, you jerk). Take some time to play a few of these gems. All of these are intentionally artsy-fartsy thought-provoking games, because I like that type of junk.
A Mother in Festerwood, http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/560920
Although the world habits dangers of violence and gore,
A young child’s task
is mostly to play and to explore.
This is the opening proverb to the game. In this world you play a mommy trying to keep your asshole kid alive. The world around the perimeter to your home is filled with monsters and treaures. You need to wrangle the little jerk and keep him from trying to escape into the woods until he is old enough to survive on his own, and trust me—that brat will try and run away any chance he gets. As you, the mother, can’t leave your property (for some reason as an adult you can’t pass dotted lines and are helpless if your baby runs out too early and isn’t smart enough to come back), you may be faced with an early death. But if you mother him and keep him long enough to survive on his own for a while… Continue reading
It’s simple…. you crash land, you are an alien, you meet a girl. Next, her brother feeds you an apple and you meet the family. Based on their kindness and, I’m guessing, how delish that apple was, you decide to protect the family from enemy fire. WARNING: this game does end on a bit of a depressing note, and the score is sad-sounding.
The music is beautiful and the graphics gorgeous for a flash game. You wander around helping people, which is harder than you might expect. I was really impressed with this game. Pay attention; the game is littered with side comments such as writing on the walls stating “this world is a lie.”
Silent Conversation, http://armorgames.com/play/4287/silent-conversation
Jumping, reading, this game features the work of authors such as T.S. Eliot, H.P. Lovecraft, e.e. cummings and many more. It’s challenging and powerful. Continue reading
Flash games are, in my opinion, overlooked far too often. Many gamers forget they exist. Handhelds and consoles rule the gaming landscape, and these browser-based gems are often left unplayed in their wake. Here are a few thought-provoking flash games that tell interesting stories in creative ways.
This game was created to raise awareness about depression and its crippling effects. Beautiful graphics allow you to jump through tree tops, enticing birds to fly. Upon reaching the top, you bounce from leaves and petals in a euphoric state, and as you play you begin to feel better. It’s quite fun to jump from leaf to daisy to leaf. But then, you are sucked back into a dark cavern. Each time you’re drawn into the cave, it becomes harder and harder to escape back to the trees, petals, and birds. Continue reading
My good friend Bethany Bryan recently publicly encouraged me to “quit being an utter butthead and finish playing Half-Life 2 already.” Her peer pressure was effective!
(Take that as a warning to prepare for a barrage of Half-Life 2 posts toward the end of this month as I finish up the game, everybody.)
As I begin HL2, it’s only fair that I return the favor and tell Bethany why she should enrich her existence by playing Resident Evil 4. Continue reading
Half-Life 2 is so super awesome, it makes my face melt. So, when I finished playing it recently (and Episodes 1 and 2), I promptly went back and played through the whole thing again just because I wanted to relive the entire experience.
But I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. You played through it ages ago and are already aware that Half-Life 2 is the best. But, just between us, you know who doesn’t? My friend Jennifer Culp. SHHHHH! Just be cool. Don’t let on that we’re talking about her. Continue reading