Find Love or Die Trying–Bachelor in Peril-dise

Ever wished you were on one of those dating shows? You'd have beautiful women tripping over themselves to win your affection, get to know them over romantic dates in a tropical paradise, and in the end, ride off into the sunset with your one true love. Sounds like a dream, right? But what if there … Continue reading Find Love or Die Trying–Bachelor in Peril-dise

Visual Novel Romance: On Agency

One of the most common complaints I see about galge (romance visual novels with male protagonists and female love interests) protagonists is that they're too passive. Maybe the guy is dense, or wishy-washy, or just overall milquetoast. In any case, he sits back and waits for things to happen. If he can be spurred to … Continue reading Visual Novel Romance: On Agency

Review: The Mysteries of Ranko Togawa: Murder on the Marine Express

Fresh off the high from the spectacular Great Ace Attorney Chronicles, I've been in the mood for more mystery. So the recent release of The Mysteries of Ranko Togawa: Murder on the Marine Express, a short murder mystery visual novel from 1564 Studio, caught my eye. The title brings to mind Agatha Christie's Murder on … Continue reading Review: The Mysteries of Ranko Togawa: Murder on the Marine Express

First Look: One Spirit Demo

Voyvod Arts, the team behind the planned original English language visual novel One Spirit reached out and asked if I'd take a look at their recently released demo. One Spirit is set in an alternate history where the Cold War never ended in the fictional Western satellite nation of Sysica. It's an intriguing setting--not one … Continue reading First Look: One Spirit Demo

Review: Gloom and Doom – Welcome to the 90s

For me, Clerks is the quintessential 90s slacker movie. Dante gets called in to work the convenience store on his day off, and he and his buddy Randall do everything from yak about pop culture to screw with customers to play rooftop hockey. But underlying the references and quippy dialogue is Dante’s mantra: “I was … Continue reading Review: Gloom and Doom – Welcome to the 90s

Quick Hits: On Plotless(?) Visual Novels

If you hang out in some of the online visual novel communities, for example reddit or vndb, you’ll hear people sometimes describe visual novels as “plotless.” Usually, this is taken in a negative context and applied to visual novels that focus on characters and relationships as opposed to action, combat, competition, or mystery. This is … Continue reading Quick Hits: On Plotless(?) Visual Novels

Quick Hits: Rhythm Doctor—One Button Fun

While the spectacular failure of Balan Wonderworld might have made “one button game” a taboo phrase in the eyes of many gamers, the idea isn’t inherently bad. Going for simplicity in the controls theoretically gives a game the opportunity to take a freewheeling approach to everything else. And since most games don't go this route, … Continue reading Quick Hits: Rhythm Doctor—One Button Fun