Hatoful Boyfriend Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Hatoful Boyfriend RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network The Best Otome Games on Steam in 2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/t9fau/the-best-otome-games-on-steam-in-2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/t9fau/the-best-otome-games-on-steam-in-2017 Wed, 30 Aug 2017 17:35:01 -0400 adelgirl

Otome games are Japanese dating simulations, usually made for young females. You are typically given many dating options and must pick the correct dialogue options in order to get the best option possible with that character. There are usually multiple endings for each character you romance, and these endings are affected by the choices you make as you play the game.

There are many types of these dating sims, to the point where almost no two are alike. Whether you want to be a disgraced princess who must break a curse or a human girl who needs to romance birds, there's an otome game out there for you.

But with so many of them to choose from in the Steam marketplace, it can be hard to find the best of the best. That's why we've curated this list of the five best otome games to be released this year on Steam. 

Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds

Price: $29.99
Rating: Mixed

Possible romance options

Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds is from an old otome game series. The first game in the series was originally created for PlayStation 2, but then later ported to PlayStation 3, PSP, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, and just released for PC earlier in August.

In this otome adventure, you play as a young girl who is looking for her father. You can romance 12 different samurais over the course of 80+ hours of gameplay.

Get Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds on Steam.

 

Amnesia™: Memories

Price: $29.99
Rating: Overwhelmingly Positive

Sample choice from the game

In Amnesia™: Memories, you play as girl who is admitted to the hospital after an accident. Due to the accident, she has amnesia and must gain her memories back as she tries to reconnect with her friends.

This game features five possible characters to romance -- and with multiple choices to make with each character, there are 20+ possible endings. As you play the game, you will unlock voiced images in the gallery where the characters will be able to say things that they were not able to say during the actual events of the game.

Get Amnesia™: Memories on Steam.

 

Cinderella Phenomenon

Price: Free to Play
Rating: Overwhelmingly Positive

The start screen.

Cinderella Phenomenon is a spin of the classic Cinderella story. Instead of starting off poor, the main character starts off rich but becomes poor after a witch places a curse on her. In order to break the curse, she must perform three good deeds. As the story progresses, you will come across other characters that have their own curses.

In order to get the most out of the game, the creator made a play order for the romances in the game. This order is Rod, Karma, Rumpel, Fritz, then Waltz. 

Get Cinderella Phenomenon on Steam.

 

Hatoful Boyfriend

Price: $9.99
Rating: Overwhelmingly Positive

A conversation with a bird.

The game Hatoful Boyfriend is strange in that while the main character is a human, all of the other characters are birds. You play as a human that goes to an otherwise all-birds school. Each bird has a human form that you see once when you are first introduced to the character, and from then on you only see their bird forms. (Though one character, Okosan, is an exception to this).

Get Hatoful Boyfriend on Steam.

 

Hunie Pop
Price: $9.99
Rating: Overwhelmingly Positive

The Hunie Pop header.

Unlike the other games on this list, Hunie Pop is an otome game as well as a puzzle game. When you go on a date with a character,you have to match traits in order to earn date points. Each character you can romance has a specific trait they like and don't like. If you match a character's liked traits, you will gain more points than the regular traits would give.

Small warning, this game is Mature, and can only be accessed by those that are 18+.

Get Hunie Pop on Steam.

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Have you played any good otome games on Steam? Got any others that you think deserve a spot on this list? Let us know down in the comments!

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5 Best Dating Sims To Get You Through Valentine's Day https://www.gameskinny.com/nuryy/5-best-dating-sims-to-get-you-through-valentines-day https://www.gameskinny.com/nuryy/5-best-dating-sims-to-get-you-through-valentines-day Tue, 14 Feb 2017 12:59:08 -0500 DannyPTP

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1. ACE Academy

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Developer: PixelFade Studio
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ACE Academy is a comedic, slice-of-life visual novel with sci-fi and romance elements. With hundreds of narrative choices available, you can experience the storyline and interact with characters in a much more personalized way.

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Set in the year 2049, you attend a school for Cenorobotics in Japan. No team will accept you for your "outdated" American gear, except for one. Now it's up to you to help that team win the tournament. But you'll also have to wrestle with some love interests along the way. 

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This game is rife with story. Like most entries in this genre, it includes a variety of branching paths. But there's so much depth here that all the different choices can give you an near-infinite experience.

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The detail in this game really is astonishing. It was developed in full 1080p graphics, and the artwork was created at a higher resolution to deliver sharper looking scenes. So it's as fun to look at as it is to play!

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Get ACE Academy on Steam.

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Have you played any of these dating sims? Will you be checking them out, or do you have other suggestions for single gamers who want some love? Comment below -- and have a Happy Valentine's Day! 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/s/z/rsz-hatoful-boyfriend-7db0d.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/s/z/rsz-hatoful-boyfriend-7db0d.png","type":"slide","id":"150035","description":"

2. Hatoful Boyfriend

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Developers: Mediatonic, Hato Moa, The Irregular Corporation
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Congratulations! You’ve been accepted as the only human student at the prestigious St. PigeoNation’s Institute -- a school for talented birds! Roam the halls and find love in between classes as a sophomore student at the world’s greatest pigeon high school. Finding happiness won’t be easy, but it’s not all academic -- there’s always time for a little romance in this delightful remake of Hato Moa’s popular visual novel/avian dating sim Hatoful Boyfriend

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It might be a game about dating birds, but there really is a lot to love here. 

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You'll need to level up your character by doing things like attending gym and art classes, staying on top of your Wisdom stat to pass classes, and more! There's a lot of replay value here, because each scenario takes a different path through this genre-bending narrative and reaches a unique end. 

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There will be unexpected twists and turns, so choose your date wisely. Can you survive and find true love? Or will you be fed to the birds?

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Get Hatoful Boyfriend on Steam.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/s/z/rsz-header-2ab58.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/s/z/rsz-header-2ab58.jpg","type":"slide","id":"150025","description":"

3. Backstage Pass

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Developer: Sakevisual
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Backstage Pass is a visual novel/sim about love, life, and working in the entertainment industry. You play as makeup artist Sian Goodin as she navigates the world of showbiz. And there are lots of decisions to be made.

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Work with upcoming talent, or established pros? Focus on your schoolwork, or use your industry connections to climb the ladder and land a job as a high-ranking producer? Date a famous actor, cultivate romance with a fresh-faced pop star, or strike out on your own? The choices are yours!

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There's a lot to love about this game. It features 15 unique endings (so a TON of replayability), a fully voiced English cast, and opening/ending scenes that are animated by Studio DEEN. You can also switch up your character's look with over 80 items -- definitely an endless supply of customization options.

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Dating sims featuring a female protagonist are becoming more prevalent in the genre, and it's nice to see this happening in an otherwise male protagonist dominated field.

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With a unique and exciting setting, a few RPG elements mixed in, as well as the many differing personalities of the characters, this a great addition to the genre. And it features a female protagonist -- a nice change from the usual fare in this niche. 

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Get Backstage Pass on Steam.

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4. No One But You

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Developer: Unwonted Studios
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[Note: This game is NSFW]

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No One But You is a visual novel/dating sim about Hideaki, a high school student who has just returned to his hometown. He re-discovers this town he knew from childhood -- meeting new friends and reuniting with those he had long forgotten. He resumes his high school life in the big city, quickly adapting to the change in pace, and thinking of the city as his home once more.

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But as Hideaki spends time with different girls, the ghosts of his past begin to haunt him, pushing him deeper into a hole of despair the more time he spends with each girl. This interesting take on the dating sim forces you to grapple with Hideaki's demons in order to maintain a normal life and help ease your friends' concerns about you. 

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Can you keep sane while under pressure? Only one way to find out!

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Get No One But You on Steam.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/s/z/rsz-justdeserts-poster-a41e3.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/s/z/rsz-justdeserts-poster-a41e3.jpg","type":"slide","id":"149979","description":"

5. Just Deserts

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Developer: Vifth Floor
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Just Deserts is a sci-fi action dating sim where you play as a soldier who must protect a city from mysterious alien attack, while at the same time seeking to capture the heart of your dream girl(s)!

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The game features 5 unique heroines, each with their own personalities and interests. So your Valentines won't be carbon copies of each other. And having an alternate objective (like saving the city) makes for a refreshing change of pace in this sim, so it's got more of an action feel to it.

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Unlike the usual text-based affair with minimal background noise, you'll hear full English voice acting in this unique game. So your heroines will express themselves every step of the way as you do activities together and kick some alien ass in mini-battles. 

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The game features 7 different endings, depending on your status with each heroine. And each ending takes about 7 hours of play to unlock -- so there's a lot of replayability to be had with Just Deserts. Perfect for Valentine's!

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Get Just Deserts on Steam.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/s/z/rsz-khheart-5d40a.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/s/z/rsz-khheart-5d40a.png","type":"slide","id":"149977","description":"

With Valentine's Day Single Awareness Day upon us, even the internet isn't safe from all the lovey-dovey crap that makes us solo folks feel lonely. But fortunately, we gamers have all kinds of games that we can jump into for the whole day and leave the real world to the romantics.  

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Want to love (or be loved) without the need to go out and spend money on a card, chocolates, and roses? Well you've come to the right place! These excellent dating sims will keep you company and give you more Valentines than you could ask for. 

"}]]]>
10 Strangest but Compelling Games on the Vita https://www.gameskinny.com/n6l78/10-strangest-but-compelling-games-on-the-vita https://www.gameskinny.com/n6l78/10-strangest-but-compelling-games-on-the-vita Wed, 28 Dec 2016 08:00:01 -0500 SarahKel

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And there we have it -- 10 weird but wonderful games for the PS Vita. They may appear strange on the surface, but they also offer compelling, fun, and sometimes suprisingly deep gameplay under the strange exterior.

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What do you think of this list? Are there other strange Vita games out there that you think deserve a mention? Let me know in the comments!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/o/r/g/orgarhythm-0b12d.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/o/r/g/orgarhythm-0b12d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"144949","description":"
Orgarhythm
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This is a rhythm and strategy game where players tap their Vita in order to issue commands in battle -- quite literally great beats mixed with tactical action.

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Players roleplay as a god who commands their army, moving through the world on a predestined path. You must combine rhythm and quick thinking to take on whatever enemies come at you -- and they come quickly, which means they can land right on top of you and force split-second decisions and reactions. That makes for one crazy game!

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Enemies come in three colors, each with the ability to counteract the other. So you must move your troops, tap specific colors to a beat, and then tell your troops where to go. To battle bosses, you must utilize the best of your troops and quickly swap between close or ranged combat to be successful. Every action you take will be rated, and you only get to move forward when you've earned an "excellent" or better. 

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This is a combination of great tunes and quick thinking action that should get Vita owners scrambling for their consoles. You can buy Orgarhythm for $9.99 on the PS Store.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/o/c/t/octodad-f28bd.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/o/c/t/octodad-f28bd.jpg","type":"slide","id":"144947","description":"
Octodad: Dadliest Catch
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This is a game about a father who is actually an octopus in disguise. It is a hilarious romp through everyday human occurrences, such as going shopping. Octodad is a crazy marriage between an invertebrate and the sim genre -- one which GameSkinny thought was "downright hilarious."

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The controls in the game are almost as strange as the concept itself. An octopus is naturally a wobbly and aquatic creature, so Octodad must overcome his lack of vertebrae in order to maintain the ruse. So sometimes it’s funnier to fail at a task that you're trying to complete in a very uncontrolled and floppy manner.

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The game is divided into several levels, with a number of tasks required to progress in a level -- for example, collecting certain grocery items in a store.

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As the game continues, it becomes more about stealth and action and gets a little more serious, as Octodad continues to hide his true identity.

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All in all, this is a really strange and unique game to be played for fun. You can buy Octodad: Dadliest Catch for $14.99 on the PS Store.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/m/u/r/murasaki-baby-13f2c.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/m/u/r/murasaki-baby-13f2c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"144945","description":"
Murasaki Baby
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For something developed by Massimo Guarini (of Shadows of the Damned fame), this game was always going to be weird. It's about an abandoned baby who is searching for her mother and is very fearful. Players are tasked with guiding this baby through an eccentric world, holding her hand and protecting her from dangers.

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But more than that, it's a look into how children rationalize the world around them and work through their fears of being alone. 

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With a Tim Burton style artistic style, it is the player’s role to prevent the life balloon from popping. But when baby meets other people, sometimes the balloon needs to be popped. This is never explained, but simply experienced.

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The game works great on the Vita touch screen too. You swipe through to move the baby or complete puzzles -- and dexterity is very much required to undertake different tasks at the same time, such as moving baby whilst killing flying baby pins.

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A perfect choice for Vita that is strange but works well. You can buy Murasaki Baby for $14.99 on the PS Store.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/h/a/t/hatofulboyfriend-53a23.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/h/a/t/hatofulboyfriend-53a23.jpg","type":"slide","id":"144943","description":"
Hatoful Boyfriend
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This is a pigeon dating sim with a wonderfully weird post-apocalyptic tale. (Read our full review here.) Even if this game is bought for a laugh, players might find themselves surprised by its compelling narrative.

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You play as a second year student at St. PigeoNation’s Institute and progress through this visual novel-style game by clicking your way around. The catch here is that you're a human character....surrounded by pigeons who are intended to be your romantic interests. The usual stereotypical high school romance story is replaced by the deeply personal and strange stories gleaned from these pigeons.

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The game has a lot of replayability, as you have to play out eight different paths to reach alternate endings with all the dateable birds. These birds are photo-realistic and a quirky disguise that hides emotionally repressed characters.

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The game rises above its ridiculous concept and interweaves several stories that last -- begging you to play and keep playing. 

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You can buy Hatoful Boyfriend for $9.99 on the PS Store.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/g/e/t/get-off-lawn-6f8fd.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/g/e/t/get-off-lawn-6f8fd.jpg","type":"slide","id":"144942","description":"
Get Off My Lawn
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This game stars a grumpy old man who, armed with a shotgun, repels aliens that have landed in his yard.  Shoot first and ask questions later in this endless arcade style shooter, and keep the nefarious aliens off Murray’s perfectly manicured lawn.

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Clearly, first contact for the aliens did not go exactly as planned. Pulling the trigger has drawn Murray into full scale war with his alien visitors, and they will stop at nothing to destroy him. Armed with his musket and inconsolable rage, Murray must defend his home against all odds. Why are the aliens attacking only this one house? Nobody knows!

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Collect valuable alien orbs to upgrade your weaponry, and use power ups to gain the upper hand in the most desperate of times. The longer Murray holds the lawn, the stronger the aliens get. However, there is plenty of firepower waiting to be used in The Shed.

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Players must lock and load and get ready to tell aliens: "get off my lawn"!

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You can pick up Get Off My Lawn for free on the PS Store.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/e/a/r/earth-defence-force-8ea76.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/e/a/r/earth-defence-force-8ea76.jpg","type":"slide","id":"144940","description":"
Earth Defence Force 2: Invaders From Outer Space
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This game allows player to battle as many giant insects as they want! It’s pretty much a B-movie turned into an infectious and weird game.

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The voice acting is unashamedly cheesy and an assault on the eardrums, with voice actors being as hokey as possible. The commanders declare their constant shock and horror at the increasingly absurd horde of kaiju and mecha. The soldiers scream in terror as they are mauled and eaten. There are also lots of intentionally trope-ish phrases, such as "we have no choice but to destroy it". 

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This is a mindless shoot ‘em up at its absolute purest, with emphasis on the non-diplomatic option at every given opportunity. Whether you're playing alone or with friends, you won't be able to help but laugh at the absolute absurdity of it all.

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You can buy Earth Defence Force 2: Invaders From Outer Space for $19.99 on the PS Store.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/k/doki-doki-efd29.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/k/doki-doki-efd29.png","type":"slide","id":"144939","description":"
Doki Doki Universe
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Doki-Doki Universe is an adventure game designed around taking a really in-depth personality quiz. If this isn’t strange enough, players play as a lovable robot who has to visit alien planets filled with even stranger characters.

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Players take on the role of QT3, a robot who has waited 30 years for his master to return. One day he meets Jeff the alien, who teaches him about humanity. The game appears to be extremely childlike, but hidden underneath there is a lot of depth.

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You can question the locals to learn more about them, or respond to them as they ask for things like money. In between your actions, there are a number of quizzes with strange questions that range from "which movie would you rather see" to "what do you think this cat is thinking in this picture". Players can also decorate their home planet, or even change their character's appearance.

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You can even collect noble steeds and ride into battle as a lumberjack on top of a pile of poop!

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It's a fun, if unusual, game for your Vita. You can buy Doki Doki Universe for $14.99 on the PS Store.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/d/i/v/divekick-3db8a.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/d/i/v/divekick-3db8a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"144937","description":"
Divekick
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Divekick pays homage to the fighting game community, and there is a lot of strange behavior in this game. There are tons of inside jokes, such as a character with a large head. There are also crossover characters from Nidhogg, which makes this the best and strangest fighting game for the Vita.

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It’s a two-button fighting game, where the player can either jump or kick. It is that simple. As such, it is competitive and easy to pick up too. There are a few more advanced characters that offer a little more gameplay, making a full roster of 13 characters.

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Plus, we can teach you special moves in Divekick. Score. 

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Though its unusual for a console, this game allows two players to simultaneously control characters, with each player controlling two actions and then fighting on one screen on the Vita.

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For players that  a fun, introduction to fighting games, this one is an interesting choice. You can buy Divekick for $4.99 on the PS Store.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/d/a/n/danganronpa-d88dc.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/d/a/n/danganronpa-d88dc.jpg","type":"slide","id":"144935","description":"
Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
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The game is full of characters with personality and individual quirks. One only has to have a few conversations with Hifumi Yamada to realize that his love of 2D girls is a bit much!

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If a person was in an enclosed environment with 15 strangers, who could be trusted? And would it change the player’s view if murder was encouraged within the group? The game’s goofy appearance juxtaposes with a play experience that's about deceit, betrayal, and despair.

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You play as a high school student who goes on a school trip to a tropical island -- a trip that turns into a deadly fight for survival. A talking stuffed bear describes the trip as a killing school trip, pitting students against each other so they must fight to leave the island. 

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Overall, this makes the game into a murder mystery, where players gather evidence to uncover the murderer...but with a dark malevolent twist.

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You can buy Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc for $39.99 on the PS Store.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/n/conception-1cfcc.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/n/conception-1cfcc.jpg","type":"slide","id":"144933","description":"
Conception 2: Children of the Seven Stars
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The plot of this game sounds like a cheesy pick-up line -- the game’s protagonist must create star children with female students in order to fight monsters and save the world. Given that childbirth is a long process, they have sped up the process using a Matryoshka doll. Ignore the science and just enjoy the JRPG wackiness instead.

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The game is technically a dungeon crawler, where players require extra help to defeat monsters....so they procreate using magical energy and softcore psychic pornography. From these rituals, cute RPG characters are born.

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The agreement for ladies to meet, become friends, and serve the protagonist is a little strange, but it does allow players to speed up combat and unlock features.

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You can buy Conception 2: Children of the Seven Stars for $29.99 on the PS Store.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/v/i/t/vita-header-0718a.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/v/i/t/vita-header-0718a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"144919","description":"

Video games are a fantastic medium that doesn’t shy away from letting players experience new things -- and they're equally unafraid of getting weird occasionally on a variety of platforms.

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In particular, the PS Vita has quite a few different styles of game, and offers titles which may be considered strange -- but are equally addictive and compelling. Whilst the PS Vita library might be lacking in quantity, it can provide something a bit more unique than just generic soldiers.

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Here are 10 strange, but compelling games for the PS Vita that are worth playing.

"}]]]>
4 of the Best Otome Games (Dating Sims and Visual Novels for Women) on Steam https://www.gameskinny.com/4oqh6/4-of-the-best-otome-games-dating-sims-and-visual-novels-for-women-on-steam https://www.gameskinny.com/4oqh6/4-of-the-best-otome-games-dating-sims-and-visual-novels-for-women-on-steam Tue, 26 Jul 2016 08:39:34 -0400 Stephanie Tang

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That's it!
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There are a bunch of other games available on Steam (the above included; it's from Hustle Cat, where you play as the newest employee at the popular cat cafe A Cat's Paw) that just didn't manage to make it onto this list... though they probably deserve to be. (I can't play everything!)

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What else do you think should get a mention? Let us know!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/a/e/0/ae0f5eab023c11eac41cf4d7cecfe523088cc4211920x1080-17ffb.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/a/e/0/ae0f5eab023c11eac41cf4d7cecfe523088cc4211920x1080-17ffb.jpg","type":"slide","id":"128041","description":"

Hatoful Boyfriend

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And it's not just the pigeons. Nothing is really what it appears to be, and the tone of the game can turn from hilarity to horror on a dime. Screw your expectations, you aren't just going to laugh at this game... especially not when you reset and decide to "fulfill the promise" to discover what the real experience really is.

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The dating sim section really only feels like an extended prologue at this point, to introduce you to all these characters that you slowly become attached to -- and then it proceeds to tear apart everything you have ever loved.

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If you didn't expect effective storytelling, you'll find it anyway. And then you'll probably never look at a pigeon again without crying under a table.

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You can find it on Steam here

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/b/d/9/bd9f6e77ff633d4c15dde3deafa0899ff0cf4e001920x1080-636b9.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/b/d/9/bd9f6e77ff633d4c15dde3deafa0899ff0cf4e001920x1080-636b9.jpg","type":"slide","id":"128040","description":"

Hatoful Boyfriend

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Did you wonder whether or not this would make the cut? HAVE NO FEAR!

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Half parody, half shockingly in-depth story, your character is the only human student at the prestigious St. PigeoNation’s Institute for talented birds. As a sophomore, you go to class and you find romance among the birds at the greatest pigeon high school.

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Simple, crazy, and stupid, right?

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If you stick with it, you couldn't be more wrong. Though it starts out looking like a few hours worth of silly romancing (with pigeons!), you slowly begin to realize that something about the world around you is very, very off.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/f/a/e/fae6061d1becda99d3dfa0172174f2dc50d3ffbc1920x1080-cccbf.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/f/a/e/fae6061d1becda99d3dfa0172174f2dc50d3ffbc1920x1080-cccbf.jpg","type":"slide","id":"127970","description":"

HuniePop

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This isn't to say that HuniePop is all standard fare and cringe-worthy dialogue. (Well it is, but it's done so well you'll actually probably like it!)

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Fully voice-acted, this game gears its dialogue decently whether you've decided to play as a guy or a girl (although its admittedly better if you play through as a guy -- yuri mode was an add-on tier to the original concept). And it's all pretty well-done too, boasting a strong cast of female voice actresses (extra impressive since a large number of them were in answer to an open casting call through Kickstarter). 

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With a strangely compelling combination of casual match 3 gameplay and hardcore information management (there is lot to know about each of these girls!), the stereotypical ladyfriend options in HuniePop are grounded by the game's extremely self-aware sense of humor. The dialogue is written and presented in such a slyly tongue-in-cheek way, you can enjoy the gameplay, the girls, and the "plot" while still laughing good-naturedly at yourself and your bumbling character all the way through. 

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This is a good-natured, fun, and incredibly westernized parody of the entire genre, and it's surprising how enjoyable it can actually be.

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(Plus, who can say no to match 3 games? Even Totalbiscuit learned to like it.)

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/3/4/0/340f727959b23f39b0f5156aa6f100ca13675d191920x1080-175be.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/3/4/0/340f727959b23f39b0f5156aa6f100ca13675d191920x1080-175be.jpg","type":"slide","id":"127968","description":"

HuniePop

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You wouldn't think to expect a great deal of quality from a weird eclectic genre mix that's "a gameplay first approach that’s part dating sim, part puzzle game, with light RPG elements, a visual novel style of presentation, an abrasive western writing style and plenty of “plot”."

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And yet, it still manages to squeak onto this list for pure LOL-worthy play. This is one of those dating sims that doesn't particularly care whether or not your character is male or female - it happily caters the same way to both, by throwing as many pretty girls in your path as possible. 

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Originally a Kickstarter darling (one that actually managed to pan out properly), HuniePop opens with a simple premise - you are awful at picking up women, and Kyu the invisible love fairy is determined to make you the greatest gift to womenkind the world has ever seen. 

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And boy, once you get into it, an entire world of shameless pickup lines and unlockable sexy outfits is yours to discover. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/7/9/7/797fe9970974021a7ec57ee8412626cb8d7b916c1920x1080-11a76.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/7/9/7/797fe9970974021a7ec57ee8412626cb8d7b916c1920x1080-11a76.jpg","type":"slide","id":"128033","description":"

Nameless ~The one thing you must recall~

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Nameless follows a more straight-forward visual novel style compared to Cheritz's other game Dandelion (which includes a stat system that can be a little awkward to get a hang of right away), but still bucks the blank slate heroine trend of most VNs by offering a character that is at once likable and someone you can relate to, with dialogue options and decision-making choices that you would really probably make. 

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This isn't to say that Nameless is free of all the dark twistiness that is almost a staple at this point of visual novels. Nothing quite tugs the feels like horrible psychological trauma sometimes, and Nameless knows how to dish in spades. Be aware that this is paced a lot slower (as is most Korean story-telling in my experience) than the usual western or Japanese counterparts. 

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You can check it out on Steam here. And while it is definitely playable as a standalone title, you will probably appreciate the number of references thrown in if you play Dandelion first. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/2/3/1/231a83ef493b6be63d200bc2343c6e29efe7ed991920x1080-10c95.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/2/3/1/231a83ef493b6be63d200bc2343c6e29efe7ed991920x1080-10c95.jpg","type":"slide","id":"128015","description":"

Nameless ~The one thing you must recall~

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This entry hails from Korean company Cheritz, whose dating sim style games have been appearing in English for several years now -- and as of last year, have managed to get two of their more popular offerings onto Steam through Greenlight.

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The story in Nameless starts off as simply as the others - you play a woman who recently lost her grandfather, with whom she has grown up alone. An avid collector of ball-joint dolls, one night they suddenly come to life -- a group of incredibly good-looking, life-sized men. 

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Crazy, right? She thinks so too. Good writing and a relatable protagonist makes this story shine.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/b/0/3/b0330ff1cdb322e0bf2188891abe29b53428c1521920x1080-60c57.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/b/0/3/b0330ff1cdb322e0bf2188891abe29b53428c1521920x1080-60c57.jpg","type":"slide","id":"128007","description":"

Amnesia: Memories

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It's lucky that Orion is chock-full of personality, because your character is unfortunately something of an empty box of a Bella Swan. Story-wise, it's a side effect of getting her memories and her personality knocked right out of her, but she's incredibly passive in many of her interactions with all the pretty boys... sometimes a little too much so, especially considering how many dark turns this story can take.

\n

This game makes no bones about the fact that it packages up a crazy, controlling, and stalkerish boyfriend into the most perfect romance ever - but heck, as we've learned with Twilight, that's just A-OK with North American audiences these days.

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That doesn't make the story any less compelling or interesting to learn about fully by playing through all the different possibilities and endings. It's also what attracts other players aside from its usual target market of women wanting to romance good-looking men who see a strange, occasionally twisted story, and want to learn more about it.

\n

And you never know what can happen - trust this guy and he may kill you. Or lock you in a cage. Because he loves you. 

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(Remember, it's a story. Not your story.)

\n

The game is fully voice-acted and its production levels are through the roof with gorgeous art and hours of replayability. It also incorporates a set of mini-games (who doesn't want to play rock-paper-scissors with their true love?) and a little more gameplay than is the usual wont in the visual novel experience. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/f/e/3/fe3539e358334ae24539e0a3a22140e444abda461920x1080-66afb.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/f/e/3/fe3539e358334ae24539e0a3a22140e444abda461920x1080-66afb.jpg","type":"slide","id":"127969","description":"

Amnesia: Memories

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This entry is actually the 4th game in the extremely popular AMNESIA otome series, but it's also the only one that's managed to make it to a PC port. Considering its fan following in Japan and an enthusiastic Western audience that has begged for a stateside release for years, it's no surprise this game shot to the top of the list. 

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You play as a college student whose consciousness is inexplicably and accidentally merged with a spirit named Orion while he was traveling between worlds - and in doing so, all your memories, your personality, and entire sense of self is lost. 

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Orion is your constant invisible companion, staying by your side until you can recover your memories and adapt to the strange world you no longer remember. Oh, and you're also surrounded by a gorgeous yet somewhat problematic bevy of men who happen to be crazy in love with you. Who to pursue, who to win?

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You can check it out on Steam here

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It's taken awhile for dating sims and visual novels to really gain ground in the mainstream western gaming market. Previously the loving work of dedicated fansubbers and translators, North America is finally started to get the games localization it deserves, thanks to the efforts of companies like Idea Factory International.  

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After all, it's hard to deny that the process is time-consuming at best, since it means translating a novel-sized amount of dialogue (sometimes more depending on the number of branched storylines and endings)... and all of that has to happen after a company casts the eye of judgment on the market it's selling to.

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Some of the games that made it huge in Japan (e.g. AMNESIA and Diabolik Lovers) have had to take second stage to game series like Hakuoki (which has enjoyed several years of popularity and game appearances on various Western consoles, handhelds, and mobile devices). 

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But even niche is winning out as these games really start to rake in the user reviews from fans who just can't get enough. And while Steam has gotten more than its fair share of awful-quality dating sims and visual novels (many of which are available for free), here are some of the best of the best!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/t/u/m/tumblr-nozzn8zkrs1tgme9fo1-1280-dcad1.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/t/u/m/tumblr-nozzn8zkrs1tgme9fo1-1280-dcad1.png","type":"slide","id":"128012","description":"

The visual novel and dating sim market for women is somewhat unique in comparison to its "for men" counterparts. Similar to the allure of BioWare games like Dragon Age versus Square Enix's Final Fantasy, the draw is first on being able to explore a rich and compelling storyline -- and also to be able to control which way that storyline leads.

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The majority of these types of games don't actually require you to be 'good' at playing other games -- save for a few mini-games here and there, you generally only need to have a decent command of the English language and the ability to make up your mind.

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Most otome game plots start out rather formulaic, cheesy, and generic, especially since it requires you to be introduced to a number of eligible 'catchables' as soon as possible. It's only when you decide to stick with it and keep exploring new characters, new interactions, and new storylines that the beauty of storytelling really begins to shine. 

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(Note for clarification: The above image is for Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~ which is getting a western localization, but it doesn't look like it's going to be on Steam.)

"}]]]>
Hatoful Boyfriend's Official Shop Just Opened! https://www.gameskinny.com/wwk6z/hatoful-boyfriends-official-shop-just-opened https://www.gameskinny.com/wwk6z/hatoful-boyfriends-official-shop-just-opened Wed, 06 Jul 2016 05:44:15 -0400 HaruOfTime

Hatoful Boyfriend now has an official shop run by ESCToy, where you can buy merchandise from the quirky bird dating simulator. The store offers a variety of merch, such as pigeon plushies, pins, and key chains. More merchandise, like socks, is on the way.

The store offers a lot of the merchandise that was available for backers of the Hatoful Boyfriend Official Plush Kickstarter. Those who backed the project could get rewards, such as early plushies and keychains of their favorite characters. The project was launched on November 3, 2016, and ended on December 6, 2015, raising over 145k for the project.

If you missed your chance to back the project, you can now buy pigeon plushies and more straight from the official store. 

Hatoful Boyfriend is an otome game about dating pigeons, and is developed by Hato Moa. The remake of the game was published by Devolver Digital, and can be purchased from the Steam store.

You can check out the Hato Shop for official Hatoful Boyfriend merchandise.

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The 10 craziest games to ever come out of Japan (NSFW) https://www.gameskinny.com/pejj1/the-10-craziest-games-to-ever-come-out-of-japan-nsfw https://www.gameskinny.com/pejj1/the-10-craziest-games-to-ever-come-out-of-japan-nsfw Mon, 06 Jul 2015 12:54:30 -0400 Rob Thubron

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1. The Cho Aniki Series

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The majority of the Cho Aniki games have never been released outside of Japan, and if you watch the above video (again, slightly NSFW) you'll see why. It's unlikely that the rest of the world could wrap their minds around what are easily the most bizarre, surreal, and definitely the most homoerotic video games ever produced.

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To give you an example of the series' weirdness: if you jump to the end boss battle in the above video, you'll notice it's a naked, balding, can-can dancing cyborg. His penis (I think) also appears to be some kind of Reed Richards version of himself. If you watch to the very end, you'll notice both the post-death countdown and game over screen manage to be both hilarious and harrowing at the same time.

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Games in the series boast names such as Super Big Brother: Legend of the Holy Protein, and the incredibly confusing Love Super Big Brother: Violence Jump Rope Chapter. Their plots revolve around such strangeness as body-concious, 'rioded-up Emperors; one game in particular focuses on a goblet of protein, which is almost definitely semen, attaining God-like powers.

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In Japan, these games are examples of baka-ge, a type of kuso-ge. 'Baka-ge' literally means 'idiot game' while 'kuso-ge' literally means 'shitty game' or 'shit game'. So they're shitty games for idiots... you don't get that kind of demographic targeting in the west. 

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The games really are so bad, and weird, that it makes them appealing to players. Quite how well they would do in the West is unclear, but for sheer comedy value and surrealism, nothing can match the Cho Aniki series. 

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2. Japan World Cup 3

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At first glance you may think Japan World Cup 3 looks a normal horse racing game, but, being Japan, it's far from it. If you check out the (rather sweary and NSFW) video above, you'll discover one of the most insane, and funniest, video games ever made. 

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The only reason Japan World Cup doesn't make it to the number one spot is that calling this a 'game' is a bit of stretch. It may be marketed as one, but really it's just a DVD with a series of animated races on it. The idea is that each player bets on the outcome before every event, meaning it's not much fun for anybody who's already watched it. 

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Regardless of this, it's still absolutely fantastic, and worthy of repeated viewings - even when you're not 'playing' it.

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3. LSD: Dream Emulator

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LSD: Dream Emulator or Lovely Sweet Dream was a Japan-only PlayStation One release that was supposed to simulate a deep REM cycle dream state. The game is actually based on a dream journal kept for over 10 years by a member of the development team. Playing the game, it's fair to assume this person may have some unresolved personal issues, or they take a lot of psychoactive drugs, maybe both.

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Playing involves entering dreams that usually last about 10 minutes, after which you’ll wake up. There's no dialogue whatsoever, and each dream involves you exploring areas which are randomized every time you start - there's literally no aim to this game. Well, other than not having a brain embolism at the sheer terror you'll experience from watching dead bodies swinging from the rafters, seeing evil eyes glaring at you from the walls, or meeting the Shadow Man and the Abyss Demon. 

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4. Toilet Kids

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When a game begins with a small boy going to the toilet in the middle of the night, you start to get a feeling it may have that unique, one-of-a-kind Japanese feel to it. When a jet of water knocks said kid into the toilet, initiating a vertically-scrolling, poo-themed shooter, you realise your suspicions are confirmed - this is about as Japanese as it gets.

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In what must be the greatest game ever made for fecalpheliacs, Toilet Kids is the 'two girls, one cup' of the video game world. Pretty much everything is full-on poop imagery; from the enemies that shoot it at you, to the landscapes that are shaped like it. 

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If all that wasn't Japanese enough, there are also penis-shaped enemies that try to kill you with urine, artillery-style toilets that fire crap in the air, pigs with human asses, and plenty of urinals. 

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Toilet Kids: filthy, scatological, and incredibly weird.

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5. Eastern Mind: The Lost Souls of Tong-Nou

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This 1995 point-and-click adventure had one of those plots that gets used all too often in gaming: Your character has lost his soul, so he borrows the soul of a friend for 49 hours and sets off to the island of Tong-Nou to recover his own. Also, the island is a giant green glowing head floating in space, modeled after the lead designer of the game.

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You can enter this head through any orifice (luckily they never used the designer's whole body), which leads you to a series of mazes. These offer up the most illogical logic puzzles ever seen in gaming. There's also a monster that eats his own legs, a beast with three minds who becomes depressed and kills himself within seconds of meeting you, as well as various other creatures that look like they've just stepped out of a serial killer's imagination.

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6. The Houchi Play

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It's a sad fact that quite a few Japanese games move beyond 'mildly creepy' and venture into '10 years on the sex offender register' territory. The Houchi Play is far, far from the worst 'questionable' Japanese game ever made, but it's still amazing to think that at one point it was available on Xbox Live.

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The mechanics of this sexual assault trainer is basically the school-yard game of Statues, although with a rather sinister twist. You control 56-year-old Taro Heibon, "a timid buddy who wants to reveal the true self and feel the heavenly bliss." Basically, the kind of defence that never goes down well with judges.  

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Though he's been happily married for 30 years, Taro's secret desire is to be verbally abused by women dressed in cosplay outfits. A phase all men his age go through. I guess.

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Taro can even knock back a bottle of booze to increase his courage and movement speed, so he can reach the 'women' (who all suspiciously look like young girls) before they catch him creeping up on them. If he does get close enough, I presume they just call him the filthy pervert that he is. Although, unknown to them, that's exactly what he wants! UGH!

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7. Fly Mr. Science Great Expedition of the Earth! Challenge the Mysterious and Strange Creatures

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Possibly the best video game title ever; Fly Mr. Science Great Expedition of the Earth! Challenge the Mysterious And Strange Creatures is essentially the game's English translation, and it's probably the least bizarre thing about it.

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The game is, incredibly, based on an educational Japanese children's television show. It features two young astronauts who are taught about various “mysterious and strange creatures" by their teacher. The fact he has no skin and looks like he just stepped off the bridge of the Event Horizon doesn't faze these children in the slightest. It would scare the shit out of most people.

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8. I'm Sorry

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This Pac-Man clone was released in 1985, an era when the Japanese Prime Minister at the time, Kakuei Tanaka, was knee-deep in multiple bribery scandals. It seems someone thought the best way to satirize the corrupt PM was to stick him in a video game. The 'sorry' part of the title comes from the Japanese word for Prime Minister, 'Sori'. So far, so slightly weird, but it gets stranger.

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In the game, as Tanaka runs around the maze collecting bricks, he's confronted by some of the biggest icons the '80s had to offer: Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Carl Lewis make appearances. There is even one enemy who changes into S&M attire and begins flogging a half-naked Tanaka, should he be caught.

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9. JESUS: Dreadful Bio-Monster

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Continuing the tradition of fantastic Japanese game titles, we have JESUS: Dreadful Bio-Monster. This game doesn't have anything to do with Jesus Christ being turned into some kind of terminator/zombie, as that kind of thing is bound raise Christian ire. Nor is the word 'Jesus' used as a profanity, as in "JESUS!!! Dreadful Bio-Monster (is coming straight for us)." This particular Jesus actually refers to a space station, although it is named after Christ. 

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Set in the year 2061, the plot of this text-adventure/survival horror involves the nations of Earth sending a ship to investigate Halley's Comet, as some form of life has been detected inside its gas. Turns out it's a mysterious demonic alien - naturally.

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10. Hatoful Boyfriend

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Virtual dating simulators are nothing new in Japan, neither is adding a worrying, sexual predator element to proceedings. What was new with Hatoful Boyfriend was the fact that instead of playing a young girl trying to find the perfect, non-tentacled man, the protagonist here tries to find love among her avian acquaintances at the school she attends - where she happens to be the only human student.

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Hatoful Boyfriend is probably the most successful game on this list outside of Japan, despite the constantly posed, "sooooo....is this bestiality?" question. It's actually a pretty good game, and it did start out as an April Fool's joke, so it doesn't take itself too seriously. Play it, and you many never look at birds in the same way - just don't try to date any, you freak.

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There are a lot of things we should thank Japan for giving us; Manga, Godzilla, and JRPGs to name but a few. But for every great invention it's bestowed upon us, there have also been consequences.They may have gave us Akira, but it's thanks to manga that the rest of the world discovered what 'tentacle porn' was; the old Godzilla movies are kitsch classics that can be watched over and over again, but they're also the reason we saw Matthew Broderick bumbling about in the sacrilegious 1998 remake.

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And while the Japanese games industry may have produced the Final Fantasy franchise and the ludicrously brilliant Chrono Trigger, it's also responsible for some of the weirdest, and occasionally most sinister, games in the medium's history.

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It seems the Japanese developers and publishers of these strange games can put pretty much whatever they want into their titles. They don't often make sense, and sometimes they seem to be crossing legal boundaries, but mostly they come across like some kind of fever-and-drug induced nightmare: weird, mildly terrifying, but very memorable - and definitely something you want to tell your friends about.

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Japan: For all the incredibly bizarre things you've given us over the years, we say "Arigato." Never stop the weirdness.

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5 weird games that will make you wonder..."what were they thinking?" https://www.gameskinny.com/svley/5-weird-games-that-will-make-you-wonderwhat-were-they-thinking https://www.gameskinny.com/svley/5-weird-games-that-will-make-you-wonderwhat-were-they-thinking Wed, 24 Jun 2015 02:30:01 -0400 SwordandSorcery

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Just because the game is weird does not mean it is not worth playing, however.

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Often the strangest games are the most thought provoking...or at least the most amusing. The concept for a game may seem odd, but try not to let that keep you from trying different games. Sometimes weirdness is a good thing.

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What is the weirdest game you have ever played? Feel free to let us know!

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Octodad

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Octodad has a pretty weird concept, but the hilarity that ensues just trying to control the character you play pretty much overwhelms that. This game was developed by a group of students at DePaul University, that are now known as Young Horses.

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You are an octopus posing as the father and loving husband to a human family. Obviously the humans finding out that you are an octopus would be a terrible, terrible thing, so much of the game is dedicated to diminishing the suspicions of your wife and taking care of your children. However, you are also trying to avoid a Japanese chef who is just about the only one who saw through your clever disguise and desires to expose your secret and turn you into sushi.

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In some ways, the game evokes thoughts of spies and undercover agents. Though, we have no idea why the octopus is posing as a human father. Octopi are pretty clever. I hope they are not planning on being our new evil overlords.

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I Am Bread

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Developed by Bossa Studios (the studio that made Surgeon Simulator), you are put in the role of a piece of bread that wants to become toast. The controls are difficult but that is a purposeful design choice and part of being a piece of bread. You navigate the house you are in, trying to get to the nearby toaster by flopping, and climbing away from hazards that might make you less edible.

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You occupy the house of an older man who steadily becomes more aware that there is a sentient piece of bread wrecking his home in its quest for toasted perfection. He attempts to tell the therapists who are treating him about this, but they believe he has gone senile and is imagining things.

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In the end it is pretty funny to be a piece of bread that, despite having a mind of its own, only desires to be toast. Why toast? Admittedly, if the bread desired to be anything more the game would probably be far stranger than it already is. The concept certainly makes me question if there are sentient socks in my house…seeing as they are always going missing.

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Hatoful Boyfriend

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Hatoful Boyfriend is a dating sim developed by Mediatonic and Hato Moa, and published by Devolver Digital…but not a typical dating sim. All the characters in the game (except for you) are birds…intelligent birds that have grown in size. You are the only human (female) going to the St. PigeoNation’s Academy for birds. And things just get stranger from there. It becomes clear that there are not too many humans around, and if there are, politically inclined birds are debating what exactly to do with you. And apparently birds are completely capable of wielding guns and cleavers.

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The sheer weirdness of birds with human intelligence that you can (and, to progress, must) become romantically involved with is hard to describe. Though the game’s individual stories range from creepy to adorable, it is really hard to shake the fact that you are dating birds. The stories from each playthrough (if you pursue a different bird) weave together into one narrative, though, a narrative that makes the game even more curious and at least somewhat worthwhile. Just be careful. You could end up as a preserved head in a jar.

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Goat Simulator

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One would not think that a goat simulator would be fun at all, and that being a goat would be a dull existence. This is not so in Goat Simulator. The game is open world and there really is no plotline, but the things you can do to occupy your time range from sacrificing humans to become a demonic goat to using a jetpack and trashing peoples’ stuff. Coffee Stain Studios, the developers of this game, also left in a number of hilarious glitches that make the game unrealistic but highly amusing to watch.

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The likelihood that a game simulating the life of a goat would be so funny for little spurts of play is what makes this weird…that, and the goat’s long, sticky tongue. What goat do you know can attach itself to a hanglider by its tongue and get flung about by the movement, or drag humans to their untimely demise with it?  Not many, I’m sure.

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Composition 83

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This short, 5-10 minute game by nuprahtor places you in a seemingly apocalyptic world. Little explanation is given as to why certain things are the way they are throughout the game, but the slow movement, gray landscape and frozen humans, as well as the sound make for a particularly unnerving experience. The end is rather abrupt and, ultimately it left me rather disturbed, if not full of questions.

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Why has the world gone into such a state of decay? Why are these humans trapped reliving their final moments again and again? Why are the controls so difficult to use? What kind of person would be able to dream up such a warped, horrifying world?  I do not think I am going to get any answers to these questions, however.

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There are some really, really weird games out there.

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Sometimes they are so weird that we have to take a step back and wonder what on earth the developers were thinking when they came up with the concept for the game.

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These 5 games are prime examples of this kind of strangeness:

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9 Strangest Simulator Games You Need to Know About https://www.gameskinny.com/qrfc6/9-strangest-simulator-games-you-need-to-know-about https://www.gameskinny.com/qrfc6/9-strangest-simulator-games-you-need-to-know-about Wed, 22 Apr 2015 05:48:40 -0400 Dani Gosha

If you've ever found yourself asking "how much weirder can games get?" Obviously you have never played a simulation game. Simulator games are games meant to simulate aspects of either real or fictional reality. They walk the line of pure insanity and the absurd but somehow we can't get enough of flying goats, harvesting farms, cleaning streets and poor attempts at baking cakes.

However, not all simulator games are weird.. but when they are weird, they're weird. Keep reading to get the skinny on 9 of the strangest simulators people are actually playing. 

1. Goat Simulator

Developer: Coffee Stain Studios and Double Eleven

Platform: Xbox 360, Xbox One, iOS, Linux, Microsoft Windows, OS X and Android

Where to get it: Steam

It wouldn't be a strangest simulator list without including the highly popular Goat Simulator. If you ever wondered what it was like to be a rampant goat who can pull off some mad aerial moves, cause havoc and get points for it, well this game answers that question. Really, it is as silly as it sounds but somehow it is ridiculously fun.

2. I Am Bread

Developer: Bossa Studios

Platform: Microsoft Windows, OS X

Where to get it: Steam 

The title explains it all. You're bread or at least play as a piece bread that is trying to become toast, literally. Your mission: get to the toaster. Unfortunately, it isn't as easy as it sounds and it is as strange as it is hard. Many a gamer has rage quit because of this game but, I guess that's the price to pay in order to toast yourself. I am Bread comes from the same minds that brought us the infamous Surgeon Simulator.

3. Surgeon Simulator

Developer: Bossa Studios

Platform: Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, iOS, Playstation 4, Android

Where to get it: Steam

Before there was I Am Bread there was Surgeon Simulator; a virtual game of Operation but with more blood and not so easy maneuvering. If you have ever dreamed of becoming a world-class surgeon, this certainly isn't the game to give you the training for it. Still, this game manages to make a serious situation into something weirdly laughable as you fumble around with complicated controls and end up doing more harm than good. 

4. Drowning Simulator

Developer: CLM BBDO

Platforms: Browser

Where to get it: Sortie En Mer

The correct title is Sortie En Mer but gamers' know it as the Drowning Simulator. Out of all the simulators out there, this is by far the most real and terrifying simulators out there. While other simulators have 3D graphics, this game is completely in real time, making the drowning that more terrifying. While it is a strange game, it's purpose is even stranger: Drowning Simulator is nothing more than an interactive ad promoting Guy Cotten yachtwear. That's marketing, I guess.

5. Robot Vacuum Simulator

Developer: Stolidus Simulations

Platform: Microsoft Windows, Mac

Where to get it: Stolidus Simulations

The life of the Roomba isn't as luxurious as it seems, a lot of hard work goes into it and you get to experience that in this simulator. The game gives an incredible insight of the world of a robot vacuum while relaxing jazz music plays for your pleasure. 

6. Hatoful Boyfriend

Developer: Mediatonic

Platform: Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, Playstation 4, Playstation Vista

Where to get it: Steam 

Hatoful Boyfriend can simply be summed up as a human girl trying to court birds in high school. It really doesn't get any weirder than that. In fact it is probably the strangest game on the list but, it wouldn't be a cult-classic Japanese game if it wasn't weird. If you're interested in the strange and hilarious world of inter-species dating simulators, you should check this game out. 

7. Soda Drinker Pro

Developer: Will Brierly, Snowrunner Games

Platform: Microsoft Windows, Mac

Where to get it: Soda Drinker Pro

We've seen simulators revolving around beverages before but that usually entails making them i.e. Ampu-Tea and Coffee Simulator. However, Soda Drinker Pro is all about drinking, you guessed it, soda. While drinking is a very normal thing, it is weird that a game about a "first person soda" was ever made let alone became popular.

8. Toilet Tycoon

Developer: Anvil

Platform: Microsoft Windows

Where to get it: Toilet Tycoon

While this game is certainly weird and a little gross, it is simulating actual aspects of product management. The game is all about strategy and management with a mission to have the best toilets in the town! If you have a tough enough stomach and a competitive streak, I'd recommend picking this one up. 

 9. Rock Simulator

Developer: Strange Panther Games

Platform: PC

Where to get it: Game Jolt

If you never managed to reach your dream of becoming an archeologist, Rock Simulator is the next best thing.. well, kind of. If you think playing as a Roomba is exciting, then playing as a rock is going to be the highlight of your life. The world is your oyster as you sit on the edge of a golf course or mountain. #RockLife

So, are you still wondering how much weirder games can get? We are. Share some of your strange simulator favorites that didn't make the list!

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Humble Bundle For Lovers https://www.gameskinny.com/gk4bk/humble-bundle-for-lovers https://www.gameskinny.com/gk4bk/humble-bundle-for-lovers Sun, 15 Feb 2015 14:58:34 -0500 Lampstradamus

Humble Bundle is just in time for Valentine's Day with a new weekly bundle.

This time around Humble Bundle is bringing in seven different kinds of dating sims and visual novel style games and as usual when it comes to Humble Bundle, everything you get is based on a pay-what-you want basis.

Customers who pay any amount get Long Live the Queen, Analogue: A Hate Story, and Go! Go! Nippon! ~ My First Trip to Japan~.

Customers who pay more than the average(which at current time of writing is $6.01) get access to WORLD END ECONOMiCA episode.01, Hate Plus, and Roomates- Deluxe Edition.

Customers who pay $8 or more get Hatoful Boyfriend.

As a bonus, anyone paying $35 gets access to a Hatoful Boyfriend Lovers Pillowcase. 

All of the games are worth $94 dollars in total, but customers can pay however much they please. All games are available in the form of Steam Keys, so you can gift that special someone some Pigeon Love.

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Dating Sim Hatoful Boyfriend to Release on PS4, Vita in 2015 https://www.gameskinny.com/9qvbi/dating-sim-hatoful-boyfriend-to-release-on-ps4-vita-in-2015 https://www.gameskinny.com/9qvbi/dating-sim-hatoful-boyfriend-to-release-on-ps4-vita-in-2015 Sun, 30 Nov 2014 14:01:27 -0500 Sara Ventura

The pigeon dating sim, Hatoful Boyfriend, will release on PS4 and PS Vita platforms sometime during the second quarter of next year. The original Japanese version came out in July 2011 as a flash visual novel. This September, it was released in English on Steam  by Devolver Digital, the same company responsible for Hotline Miami, Broforce, and Serious Sam.

The full title of the game is: Hatoful Boyfriend: A School of Hope and White Wings. The player acts as the only human girl attending the prestigious St. PigeoNation's Institute. While attending the school, the high school sophomore protagonist can date and interact with pigeons and other birds. The game isn't entirely focused on love, though. Choose the wrong pigeon to woo and you might find yourself dead.

Hatoful Boyfriend has an "overwhelmingly positive" rating on Steam based on 810 user reviews.

The sequel, which is set during the wintertime, is called Hatoful Boyfriend HolidayStar, and it's available online for $3.66. Whether or not the game will be on Steam or PlayStation in the future is unknown.

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Hatoful Boyfriend Review: Exactly What You Think It Is, Yet So Much More. https://www.gameskinny.com/zwmjr/hatoful-boyfriend-review-exactly-what-you-think-it-is-yet-so-much-more https://www.gameskinny.com/zwmjr/hatoful-boyfriend-review-exactly-what-you-think-it-is-yet-so-much-more Tue, 09 Sep 2014 06:47:04 -0400 Brian Crimmins

Some of you have already heard of Hatoful BoyfriendFirst released back in 2011, everybody knows it as “the pigeon dating sim.”

Beyond that simple description, there is both so much more to this game and nothing more to it. Confused? You should be. Hatoful Boyfriend is a clear representation of the internet culture that birthed it: seemingly random and inane, it obeys no logic but its own.

Yet at the same time, it’s not consciously trying to provoke a reaction out of you. It still gets a reaction, but nevertheless, Hatoful Boyfriend just accepts what it does as perfectly normal. In a culture as suspicious and as cynical as ours, it’s refreshing to see a game so genuine about what it is.

The basic (weird) premise:

It is perplexing. For some unknown reason, humans no longer populate the Earth, and intelligent avians have taken their place. As one of the only remaining humans (indeed, you are the only human character in the narrative), it is your job to attend St. Pigeonation’s, a prestigious school for birds of all species. And then, you date them all.

If you are looking for Hatoful Boyfriend to deliver something outside this set-up, you will be sorely disappointed. The characters, for instance, never become more than the words used to describe them. Okosan obsesses over pudding; Sakuya believes he is better than everybody else; Shuu is a creepy doctor; this is all we ever learn about these birds.

Likewise, the plot is barely existent. True, there are events in this story, but no real relation between them. Scenes end too early for such relations to develop, resulting in a patchwork of barely related incidents lined sequentially. Even the graphics are barebones, each pigeon having one expression plastered above a perfectly generic background. It is as though Hatoful Boyfriend forcefully smothers any possibility of developing into something more.

It is precisely that quality that makes Hatoful Boyfriend so endearing. If the game did try to justify any of these ridiculous premises, it would quickly lose its charm. Better that it never engages them. Better that it fully embraces every ounce of insanity as though it’s perfectly normal; as though there’s nothing here to explain. It feels great to see a game so heartfelt about its premise, with barely a hint of irony to be found. It’s that much easier to laugh along with the game as it finds new ways to stretch its definitions of normal.

Then again, its constant one-upmanship is also part of what makes the game so consistently enjoyable. Just when you think the narrative has settled into something resembling normality, it introduces some other weird element to keep you on your toes. (I’m not going to spoil them. It’s better to go in fresh.) This provides great motivation to play through the game repeatedly, and, knowing what it offers, the payoff is more than worth the effort. Who knew that a game could take “dating pigeons” so far?

What to watch out for...

This isn’t to say the game is perfect, however. Once you move past the surreal premise, it becomes clear how much the game relies on its surreal characters. On this front, the game wavers slightly. Hatoful Boyfriend sports a wide cast of characters, and if my previous descriptions are anything to go by, many of them are twelve varieties of deranged. Even the human protagonist has enough loopy moments to completely decenter the narrative. These types of characters bring out the game’s better qualities.

By contrast, there are a scant few characters in the game who feel too seriously portrayed for something like this. They contribute little humor value and drag the game down with their presence. Kazuaki is perhaps the worst. His initial premise is weak (he’s constantly falling asleep), and the payoff for dating him is remarkably weak.

Yet even worse than Hatoful Boyfriend’s serious characters are its self-aware moments. These are generally moments when the game either goes so over the top that nobody could acknowledge this as even remotely normal; or when the game bluntly points out that it made a stupid joke. Both strategies impart a sense of irony and self-awareness that make it very difficult to laugh at the game’s efforts. This isn’t to say that the previous laughter was spiteful or mocking; everything was in good fun before.

But then, Hatoful Boyfriend feels cold and manufactured. The game is trying too hard specifically because it’s trying at all, thus contradicting that partially unaware charm that before made the game so great.

This is to say nothing of the repeated jokes that simply don’t work, like the constant “hunter-gatherer” non-sequiturs, or the My Little Pony-esque “anybirdie” lexicon the game spews out. Both these jokes and the shoulder-nudging moments might diminish the game’s quality in some people’s eyes. Personally, I thought the game maintained a decent balance, yet I can understand if other people exercise more caution.

BBL: Where it all falls apart.

So far, the fault I have mentioned have only been minor blemishes that, while certainly bad, don’t significantly harm the game’s quality. Unfortunately, a fault like that exists in the game, and it even has a name: Bad Boys Love. (That it begins with the word “bad” should be a general indication of its quality.) Bad Boys Love (BBL for short) is an alternate storyline unlocked by completing a certain amount of endings. Yet for something the game frames as the cherry atop the sundae, BBL has no understanding of what makes Hatoful Boyfriend work. In fact, it feels like a completely unrelated game altogether.

Instead of a wacky plot populated with one-dimensional stock figures, BBL offers a recognizable mystery novel plot filled with relatively sane characters. In fact, this story’s protagonist is not the off-kilter human we’ve come to love so far, but her straight-laced companion, Ryouta. How am I to have fun with a story like this? All the charm has been forcibly sucked out, and in its place is a vanilla mystery story. Granted, not all the charm has disappeared. Some of the humor is still there, but only in very small portions. It’s enough to remind you of what you’re missing by playing BBL.

Nor can we enjoy BBL’s narrative on its own serious merits. True, the story is technically competent. It hits all the basic notes that a story like this should hit. But we must remember that this is still a world populated entirely with avian characters. How a person can genuinely emotionally engage with a story like this is beyond me. Perhaps if we were dealing with anthropomorphic birds or vaguely human characters, the premise could work. But with birds we’ve been trained to view as ridiculous, it simply refuses to work. It is almost like BBL wants to be a different story altogether, yet the vague imprints of Hatoful Boyfriend continually hold it back.

Of course, BBL shouldn’t entirely spoil you on Hatoful Boyfriend. This epilogue story doesn’t entirely negate the game’s other merits. What could possibly negate a world exactly like our own, but with bird gangsters and divine pudding? Even amid a culture that thrives on constantly out-weirding itself, Hatoful Boyfriend stands out not only because it out-weirds everything else, but also because it’s not even aware that it’s participating in this arms race. If you can ignore the horrible epilogue, this game is certainly worth a look.

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