The MoeGamer Awards are a series of “alternative” awards I’ve devised in collaboration with the community to celebrate the sorts of things that never get celebrated in end-of-year roundups! Find out more here — and feel free to leave a suggestion on that post if you have any good ideas!
It’s nearly the end of a decade, and you know what that means: looking back over the last ten years to arbitrarily decide what was “best” from that equally arbitrary length of time.
I was just going to do a “games of the decade” sort of affair, but I realised while putting my provisional lists together that I had enough visual novels to do them in their own dedicated, separate list. So the “Ten Years, Ten Games” award will be following next week, and for now let’s talk visual novels!
For each year of (English language) release, I’m picking a visual novel that I found personally significant. This doesn’t mean that it was necessarily the “best” that year had to offer — whatever that means — but it was important to me. So let’s delve in… and note that at the time of writing, there are holiday sales going on all over the Internet, so you can pick up many of these for pretty cheap right now!
And the winners are…
Continue reading The MoeGamer 2019 Awards: Ten Years, Ten VNs
Time for a Community tag post! This one looked like a particularly fun one, and after the lovely Irina from I Drink and Watch Anime specifically requested me to do one about games, who was I to refuse?
The original tag came from The Awkward Book Blogger and was based around, as you might expect, books — but it has since expanded to encompass anime and now, thanks to my contribution, games as well.
So let’s jump right in. After the jump. Jumpy jumpy jump.
Continue reading The One-Liner Challenge
For many of you reading this, the words “erotic puzzle game-cum-dating sim with art by Sayori” will doubtless be enough to convince you that Tropical Liquor is worth a shot.
For those less familiar with Sayori’s work — or those who simply prefer to think very carefully about every £7.19 purchase they consider making — today is all about taking a look at this unusual game, and why it’s worth your time.
Before we go any further, let’s get two things out of the way. Firstly, no, it’s not a HuniePop clone. And second, yes, it does have 18+ content, available via a free official patch from publisher Denpasoft. With all that out of the way, let’s go on vacation!
Continue reading Puzzler Essentials: Tropical Liquor
The MoeGamer Awards are a series of made-up prizes that give me an excuse to celebrate games, concepts and communities I’ve particularly appreciated over the course of 2017. Find out more and suggest some categories here!
Today’s award comes to us from the delightfully named “Garbage Weeb” via Twitter, also known as the host of At the Ebicentre and co-creator of Oppai Bros, both on YouTube. Check out these channels for an interesting mix of livestream discussion and commentary on the former and gameplay of niche and fanservicey games on the latter. Thanks!
There were actually a whole lot of different works I enjoyed this year that this award could have gone to. It was definitely a close-run thing, but I had to make a decision in the end!
And the winner is…
Continue reading The MoeGamer Awards: Most Relevant Opening Song
With this month’s Cover Game being one of the most influential, well-regarded visual novels of all time, it seems only right and proper to take a look at the history of the medium as a whole.
To date, there have been three main “eras” of visual novels that can be clearly distinguished through a combination of their visual style, thematic content, gameplay elements (if any) and breadth of appeal. Of course, things aren’t quite as neat and simple as that might suggest, with some modern works deliberately channeling older styles, or some older works being ahead of their time, but it’s a working hypothesis to start from.
And, since visual novels form an extremely important part of both Japanese gaming and Japanese popular media in general, it’s worth tracing the route things have taken to get to where we are today.
Continue reading The Three Ages of Visual Novels
As the Nekopara series has progressed, it’s clear that Sayori and the rest of the team at Nekoworks have become more comfortable and confident with these characters.
With each new installment, the series steps further away from the admittedly appealing initial novelty value of the main cast being catgirls, and further into stronger characterisation, including deeper exploration of the girls’ personalities, backgrounds and attitudes towards one another.
Nekopara vol. 3, the latest installment to be released at the time of writing (though a vol. 4 has already been confirmed), is the strongest episode to date, featuring some truly touching scenes, wonderful characterisation and, if you’re playing the 18+ version, it has to be said, some of the absolute hottest H-scenes in the series.
Continue reading Nekopara: Staying True to Yourself
Honesty is the best policy, as the idiom has it. And the further you delve into the Nekopara series, the more it becomes clear that this enjoyable series of visual novels is designed with this philosophy at their core.
Several of the Minaduki catgirls describe themselves as inherently honest (albeit whimsical) creatures, preferring to rely on their natural instincts and desires rather than indulging the distinctly human tendency to say one thing and mean another… though it comes more easily to some than others.
The rather deadpan Vanilla, who is explored in detail in the first volume of the series in particular, finds it very easy both to be honest — to an abrasive fault at times — and to encourage her peers to be honest with themselves.
Others such as Azuki and Coconut have a tougher time, however, and it’s this latter pair’s struggles with this concept that forms the backdrop to Nekopara vol. 2.
Continue reading Nekopara: Honesty is the Best Policy