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Lots of players get turned onto these aspects from story and character-driven Bio Ware games like Dragon Age, and if you’re a fan of those, I have a few recommendations to help welcome you into the otome genre.While all you need to be “good at” is reading and making choices -- don’t worry if you don’t normally play games -- there are some important things to know about how these games work.Sloppy localization can often let dating sim fans down.For example, Alice in Wonderland is a popular theme worldwide and the manga based on the otome game series regularly tops the New York Times Manga Best Sellers list.While it was initially influenced by Japanese BL games, it covers more Western sensibilities. is currently available on PC only from Manga Gamer directly (though I’m told it can work on Mac via a Windows virtual machine). Korean company Cheritz has been releasing their Japanese-style dating sim games into English for a couple of years now, and recently got those games onto Steam through Greenlight.Their latest, Nameless, is quite beautiful and differs from their last entry, Dandelion, in that it does not contain stats and instead is a straight up visual novel.
In Japan, dating sim characters are referred to as “capturable” -- whether that means you capture their hearts or their bodies depends on the game.And while their games seem cute, don’t let that fool you: the endings are bittersweet.In Nameless you play as a woman who likes to collect ball-joint dolls, and who recently lost the grandfather she grew up alone with.Haru can be pretty pushy and consent can seem hazy at times, but all the relationship routes in the game play out in a compelling manner and Haru's prodding of boundaries leads to intriguing character insights. is not just a constant sex romp -- it's got a pretty extensive private detective and mafia story leading the actors along, and not always to the happiest conclusions.
For Women’s History Month, Manga Gamer interviewed women game creators and localizers, and one of them was No, Thank You!!! Most of her experience is of drawing women, and NTY was her first venture into the BL genre.“I consulted with other women about whether I could get away with a more masculine approach instead of a sparkly-clean, romanticized one.” If No, Thank You!!!