The English Otome Game Guide for Beginners Part Four: Recommendations – Mobile
Hello and welcome back to our ongoing quest to
make sure everyone likes the things I do explore the world of English otome games. Today we launch into one of the most fertile fields of modern English otome gaming: mobile games. I have an iPhone myself, but as far as I know, all the games I recommend are also available on google play. Generally for phone games you are going to get straight visual novels: pretty art with occasional choices inside the story. Instead of the visual novels you usually see on the PC, mobile otome games usually have ‘routes’ where you spend the entire story witnessing the romance between the mc and your chosen character. The choices you make change small amounts of the story, but mostly decide what ending you get. There isn’t as much choice, customization or branching stories in these kind of games, so the quality of the story and the art are generally the two most important factors.
Once again, before we jump into the recommendations, a few disclaimers. First, opinions (no matter how awesome mine are) are always subjective, so like with anything take mine with a grain of salt. Most of these games will come with a free demo, so you can try the game before purchasing, and if you are unsure, I recommend taking them out for a spin. Second, I haven’t played every game out there, I probably haven’t even heard of them all. There are definitely going to be awesome games I miss. (If you think I’m missing a great game, tell us in the comments!)
One of the first Japanese companies to really move into the English market, Voltage has a lot of games now released in English. The gameplay of all the games is very similar, so if you try any route in any game, you will get a feel for what a Voltage game is like. The stories and art vary across games, and some may be more to your taste than others. Some routes/games hint at erotic content, but they are generally not very specific and in my opinion are appropriate for teens and older. Main story routes cost $4, but there are many epilogues, sequels, spin offs and short stories that you can also purchase. Also fair warning, MC’s in voltage art pretty much have no eyes. It’s kind of creepy, but you get used to it. The following are my favorite Voltage games, with my current favorite route/character.
10 Days with My Devil
The basic premise of 10 Days with My Devil is that you (the MC) were scheduled to die, but something happens, so the group of Devils (more like Grim Reapers than fiends who like fire, souls and live in hell,) agree to give you ten days to live so you can wrap up your final piece of business. There’s some interesting mythology, a great cast of characters and the timeline and premise lead to some dramatic, tense and even heartbreaking in parts stories.
Overall, I really liked the stories in this game, but my love for one of the characters is so overwhelming, the game gets an automatic five out of five Monkey Flowers.
Favorite Character/Route: #TeamShikiForever
My Forged Wedding
In My Forged Wedding (the first voltage game I played) you (the MC) move into the big city looking for a job and a place to live. Instead….well you end up being someone’s (fake) wife. With an interesting cast of characters, some good moments of humor and a sweet relationship between the boys, it’s a fun game.
What can I say? I’m a sucker for both the marriage of convenience/forced cohabitation plots and this game adorably has both. I don’t always like/relate to the mc, but you never forget your first. Four out of Five Monkey Flowers.
Favorite Character/Route: Unlike the other games, I don’t have a clear favorite in My Forged Wedding. But if I had to pick, I’d probably go with the first character I really liked when playing it: Saeki, the teasing scriptwriter.
Our Two Bedroom Story
In Our Two Bedroom Story, your (MC) new stepfather encourages you to live in one of his houses, only it turns out you won’t be living alone, one of your coworkers is already living there. Balance being forced to live with a new coworker and being moved to a top magazine, the heroine is an intrepid reporter and the only girl on the magazine staff.
The MC can be downright sassy/spunky in this game and she’s both good and passionate about her career. The game isn’t perfect and I found a couple of the routes more boring than the others, overall a good game. Four out of five Monkey Flowers.
Favorite Character/Route: Yeah, yeah, I have a type. Adorable, cat loving and silent Kaoru ftw.
Metro PD: Close to You
In Metro PD, you (MC) are a detective recently transferred the infamous 2nd unit of elite detectives (and ‘weirdos’). You are assigned to work with a new partner on an important case, but can you balance your new job and maybe a budding relationship? This game has a fascinating cast of characters, an active heroine and often quite hilarious banter.
The MC is a competent detective who eats a lot, gets teased by the boys and teases them right back, and can judo throw like nobodies business. The case mysteries are decent-to-good, the cast chemistry is great and some of the routes are fabulous. Five out of five Monkey Flowers.
Favorite Character/Route: Slightly edging out *his* boss Nobara, comes Kirisawa for first place. I’m sure he’d be blushing if he knew. (And then sad when he realized though I ❤ him, I’m #stillteamShikiforever!!!!)
Scarlet Fate: Fragments of the Past
The only game I really recommend from the Shall We Date series (in part because they just translated it, it is from the big otome game company Otomate,) Scarlet Fate is the tale of a a Priestess/Princess with a cursed duty/destiny as she fights shadows and monsters to stop the end of the world. It’s a fantasy game with gods (in the Japanese sense), battles and more than a little tragedy. It starts out quite slow and then ramps up. The stories themselves are a little sad for my taste, but the art, the atmosphere and the story are all very good. Each route costs $7 but are significantly longer than their Voltage counterparts.
Like I said a little more angsty than I enjoy, Scarlet Fate’s biggest downside is that it was designed as a different sort of game and later adapted to be a phone game. This means a very long common route that repeats at the beginning of every route and choices that don’t impact your current route at all (I imagine in the original game they changed whose route you ended up on.) The game also has no sound (no music or voice acting,) which I think was present in the original. Still, it’s a very high quality game and if you are a fan of Otome games, you should consider supporting it so Otomate knows there’s a market. Four out of Five Monkey Flowers.
If you have ever been a fan of Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer or Regency Romance, the game Regency Love is for you. You get to master different skills as you go about the fictional regency town talking to the locals and hopefully pursuing a bachelor or two (or even a lordly cat.)
The most fun part (besides the good writing and fun atmosphere,) is a variety of witty and well written dialogue choices that eventually shape your personality. Currently there are only two romances available, but the creators are planning on (slowly) updating the game with much more content. In my opinion it’s well worth the $4.99. (Currently Regency Love is not available on Andriod.)
Regency Love, made by three friends, was a truly delightful surprise when I discovered it. Five out of Five Monkey Flowers.
Although they are not in any way shape or form truly otome games, those who enjoy visual novels and mobile games for their story and choice based gaming might also like text games or interactive fiction. Choice of Games has a lot of games available, and most of them give you the option of playing both genders (and romancing both genders.) Romance tends to be more of a side part of the story rather than the focus, but the stories are generally interesting with lots of different types of world building and very different and replayable experiences.
Way Walkers University is both the text game that, in my opinion, comes closest to being an otome (and girl friendly) game and is overall the best story. You play as a 14 year old magic student in a rich fantasy world, who leaves home to go to a magic university.
Magic in this world is unique and the story (to be completed next year in part three) is full of interesting characters, choices and mysteries. In part two you can start a romance and those are well done also.
That’s it for the app-enabled version of this series. Stayed tuned for the last part of the recommendations – handheld.
Until next time,
Don’t hesitate to use your smelling salts if you feel an oncoming swoon ,