Tag Archives: visual novel

Coffee Talk: It’s A Brewtiful Day

One of the great things about modern gaming is the sheer diversity of experiences you can have from one moment to the next.

If you’re in the mood for hacking and slashing through hordes of enemies as the cute girl personification of a video games console, gaming has you covered. If you fancy taking photos of spooky scary ghosts in a creepy old mansion, well, there’s a game for that, too — several, in fact.

But what about if you just fancy chilling out in a nice quiet coffee shop, enjoying the company of a few good friends and leaving all the troubles of the world outside for an hour or two? Sure, you could pop down your local Costa if you can face leaving the house… or you could settle in for an evening with Coffee Talk, a thoroughly pleasant story-centric game from Indonesian developer Toge Productions.

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LAMUNATION!: Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves

This article is one chapter of a multi-part Cover Game feature!
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Central to LAMUNATION!, whichever narrative route you choose to explore, is the setting of the Cherry Crown Diner.

A diner inspired by 1950s Americana, the Cherry Crown serves as something of a social hub for the main cast — and, in pretty much all of the paths through the game, ends up becoming a successful landmark and tourist attraction in the unusual corporate-run city of Saint Aria.

There are a lot of interesting things about the Cherry Crown Diner — not least of which are the charismatic, chaotic twin sisters Iris and Rayla, who run it in their parents’ seemingly perpetual absence. That seems like as good a place as any to continue our exploration of this delightfully delirious visual novel!

Some NSFW stuff ahead!

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LAMUNATION!: Welcome to Youkoso Saint Aria

This article is one chapter of a multi-part Cover Game feature!
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LAMUNATION! is an absolute fever dream of a visual novel. It’s one of the most gleefully, joyfully chaotic narrative experiences I’ve ever sat through.

One thing I found particularly interesting about it was the fact that depending on the order in which you explore the three main narrative routes, you either start with material that is relatively easy to digest… or just throw yourself right in to the insanity.

The choices I made, as it happens, resulted in a gradual escalation of chaos — so that’s how we’ll take a look at things over the course of the next few articles.

Some NSFW content ahead.

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The MoeGamer 2019 Awards: Best Character Arc

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!

We’re all about narrative-centric games here, as you know, with many a visual novel and plot-heavy RPG having been explored in great detail to date!

Regular commenter ASD wants to know which characters had a particularly interesting, satisfying or otherwise noteworthy arc from the games and visual novels I’ve played and covered in the last year. Who went on a personal journey and discovered things about themselves as a person over the course of the game’s complete runtime?

Quite a few, as it happens, but one in particular stands out in my mind when I think back over the year gone by.

And the winner is…

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The Secrets We Keep: A Modern Love Story

I’ll level with you, dear reader: as a heterosexual man, I’ve never really made checking out boys’ love (BL) media a particular priority — though I must also admit that I’ve been curious for quite a while to see what it’s like.

My past experiences with otome games aimed at heterosexual women have been universally positive, after all (play Sweet Fuse, it’s amazing!) so there’s absolutely no reason why I shouldn’t be able to enjoy a BL title, too. As I’ve discovered since leaving the mainstream side of gaming behind, keeping an open mind and stepping outside of what you might typically think of as your “comfort zone” pretty much always pays off with some memorable experiences.

And thus, when independent developer Studio Senpai reached out and asked me to take a look at their work-in-progress visual novel The Secrets We Keep, I thought this would be a good opportunity to take my first steps into a brave new world. Also, the concept of the novel sounded highly intriguing, too, so that definitely helped! So let’s explore together.

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LOVE³ -Love Cube-: Can’t Escape From Crossing Fates

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if, for once, everything went your way? I know I have.

Doubtless many of you reading this have, at some point in your lives, wondered “what’s the point?” and contemplated giving up altogether. “I work my ass off,” the train of thought inevitably goes, “and I never get any recognition for it. Why bother?”

Well, unfortunately I can’t help with your own personal circumstances — my hands are plenty full with my own, believe me — but I can both prescribe and recommend a healthy dose of the new kinetic novel from Nekopara developer Neko Work (under their new Neko Work H label), because Love Cube is one of the most potent pieces of wish fulfilment fiction I think I’ve ever enjoyed.

Some sexually explicit NSFW images and themes ahead.

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The Expression: Amrilato – Konversacio kun SukeraSparo

This article is one chapter of a multi-part Cover Game feature!
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One of my favourite aspects of being Someone Who Writes About Games is that you occasionally have the opportunity to sit down with the people who created these experiences and pick their brains… or at least exchange some questions with them via email and interpreter!

For me, there’s always been a certain amount of mystique surrounding both game development and the art of bringing a commercial product to market. I’ve felt this way for as long as I can remember — even to this day. It’s an aspect of what is, I guess, childish innocence that I’m keen to never let go of; video games, visual novels and creative works are exciting, and the people who create them are magicians, and I don’t ever want to forget that.

With all that in mind, I was delighted when MangaGamer, localiser and publisher of The Expression: Amrilato’s Western release, agreed to let me have a chat with the developer SukeraSparo and find out a bit more about where this unusual, fascinating title came from.

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