Rec: Fallen Hero: Rebirth

Title: Fallen Hero: Rebirth
Author: Malin Rydén
Format: Online text-based Choose-Your-Own-Adventure game
Published/Free: Published
Length: 380,000
Status: Complete
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Possible mentions of past abuse, suicide, alcoholism
Link: https://www.choiceofgames.com/user-contributed/fallen-hero-rebirth/
Summary: Become the greatest telepathic villain Los Diablos has ever known! Once you were famous; soon you will be infamous. That is, unless your old friends in the Rangers stop you first. Juggle different identities and preserve your secrets as you build new alliances and try to forget the friendships you’ve left behind.

Review: In terms of interactive fiction, Fallen Hero: Rebirth may be the best one out there. The intricate and seamless writing introduces a world where superheroes are more than simple ‘do-gooders’ and where everything may not be as it seems. The characters you can romance are fully fleshed out and are truly living and breathing in the city that you may very well destroy…

Sesame But Different

Title: Sesame But Different
Author: Chia
Format: Webcomic
Published/Free: Free
Length: Currently on episode 11, ongoing with new episodes every Sunday.
Status: Ongoing
Rating: Everyone
Warnings: None
Linkhttps://sesamebutdifferent.tumblr.com/
Summary: Slice of life lesbian webcomic featuring Chia and Poppy – two girls named after seeds who also happen to be dating each other. They are same-same (or sesame), but different. 

Review: This is my own comic, so I’d rather not provide my own (generally self-deprecating) feelings about my work, but would love to hear feedback on how I can improve.

Rec: Circuits and Veins

Title: Circuits & Veins
Author: Jem Yoshioka (on Tapas)
Format: Webcomic
Published/Free: Free
Length: currently around 300+ pages i believe 
Status: WIP
Rating: Teen
Warnings: none
Link: https://tapas.io/series/Circuits-Veins
Summary: What do you do when the cutie who moves in next door to you is an android? In a world of automation, artificial intelligence and reliable public transport, two awkward dorks try to work out how to date each other.

Review: This comic is really, really good. It’s a refreshing lesbian romance story about a mixed girl living with chronic illness, recently out of a toxic relationship, and an Android who is learning to love herself and the world around her.

Rec: Last Night in Tokyo

Title: Last Night in Tokyo
Authors: Andrea律 and Kurara
Format: Kinetic visual novel
Published/Free: Name your own price/free
Length: one hour?
Status: complete
Rating: everyone
Warnings: abusive behavior ment
Link: https://andrearitsu.itch.io/last-night-in-tokyo
Summary: Tindra has spent a week in Tokyo with her friend, Emil. Sadly, she didn’t enjoy it as much as Emil hoped. Her last day is her chance to have the time of her life.

Review: It’s probably a good thing I didn’t read the summary given on the download page (which is different from the one above) because there’s not much more than that to it? I like the way it’s been written, but the game is very short and has hence not much of a plot. I feel like the whole game was just character exposition, so it kinda leaves you hanging. The “what do you mean it stops here I want more this is so mean” kind of hanging. Which is why I would play the second part if Tindra’s life was to be made into a game again. All in all, I’m slightly disappointed (probably the kinetic part plays into it, because I’m not used to that), but looking forwards to the team’s next works.

Rec: Black Sails

Title: Black Sails
Format: TV Show
Published/Free: It’s free with a Starz subscription (so not free technically)
Length: 4 Seasons (38 episodes total)
Status: Complete
Rating: Mature to Ultra mature 
Warnings: Rape (specifically in ep 3, and somewhat through s1. There is very little, if any, outside of that season after), major character death, a graphic keelhauling scene, blood, action violence.
Link: on Starz. also hulu (s1-3)
Summary: This is a prequel to Treasure Island and is set in Nassau during the golden age of piracy. It follows Captain Flint and characters involved with the crew or Nassau as Captain Flint chases after a shit ton of gold–and then turns to a power struggle on pirate freedom. 

Review: This is a very very good show. The first season is a little….clearly trying to attract the straight man audience but then it starts to get gay and the women get very powerful. There are many gay characters and (with the exception of one) they all survive! One of the strongest characters is a queer black woman who came from a slave start (before the show) and ended up so powerful (and spoilers: she doesn’t die). 

The characters are all nuanced and interesting and it is a very good show. The action scenes are tight and exciting. The relationships are so good (and a lot are gay which is what a lot of y’all reading this are looking for haha). The story is good and is not just focused on a hunt for gold. It talks of the problems with England and touches on “othering” (a lot having to do with the queer characters). It’s one big power struggle and it is amazing. There’s also a poly relationship if you’re into that. 

There is a significant rape scene right at the beginning of season 1. It is a gang rape scene so please exercise care if you need it. The good news is–it gets better. Rape is not a main point in anything after that, outside of a few throwaway mentions (and i remember a throwaway line about bestiality in the same vein). 

Basically: pirates! gay! cool! action! 

Rec: Tunnel Vision

Title: Tunnel Vision
Author: NomNomNami
Format: Visual Novel
Published/Free: free/name your own price
Length: 20min
Status: Complete
Rating: Everyone
Warnings: death mention
Link:  https://nomnomnami.itch.io/tunnel-vision
Summary: Two girls go on a cave expedition searching for ghosts. As they get separated, a ghost appears.

Review: Cute short story! The two main characters form an interesting pair. An alternative font for dyslexic people is available, just like translations into Korean and Portuguese.

Rec: First Kiss at a Spooky Soirée

Title: First Kiss at a Spooky Soirée
Author: NomNomNami
Format: Visual novel
Published/Free: free/name your own price
Length: 25min~
Status: Complete
Rating: Teen
Warnings: some strong language and screen shakes
Link: https://nomnomnami.itch.io/first-kiss-at-a-spooky-soiree
Summary:You play Marzipan, a light witch who’s gone her whole life without kissing anyone–UNTIL TONIGHT!

Review: Marzipan tastes great and that’s reason enough to play… no? The art is super cute and I loved the different endings. Even characters I didn’t really like at first got to me. Kinda sad we can’t date ourselves because Marzipan is a sugarbomb. Or a pumpkin latte. If you like Halloween and girls, that’s the game for you. Got translated into Korean and German, and there’s an option to change the font for dyslexic players.

Rec: Girl Crush

Title: Girl Crush
Author: Bix Lewd
Format: visual novel (Windows/Mac/browser)
Published/Free: Free
Length: 20-30min?
Status: Complete
Rating: Mature
Warnings: explicit sex, including spanking
Link: https://girlcrush.itch.io/girl-crush
Summary: You are a female university student who becomes friends with Quinn, a straight-laced overachiever. As you visit Quinn’s dorm room each day to study together your friendship evolves into a steamy romance

Review: This is the kind of game you’ll go back to, even after playing it all, because the sweetness of it will make your day brighter. It’s slightly repetitive, short and doesn’t offer that much art, but its defaults are also its strengths: you don’t have to think much after a long day, it always ends well and you get to cheer on those  two cuties! The art is really good and the writing totally gets you into it. As nice as candy!

Rec: Blossoms Bloom Brightest

Title: Blossoms Bloom Brightest
Author: Reine Works
Format: Visual Novel (Windows/Mac)
Published/Free: Free/Name your own price
Length: 2-3 hours
Status: Complete
Rating: Teen
Warnings: murder, abuse
Link: https://reineworks.itch.io/blossoms-bloom-brightest
Summary: Three strangers are thrust into an unexpected situation together—they awaken only to find themselves on a spaceship called the Blossom.A mysterious journey lies ahead of them; what misadventures will they experience over the next two weeks?

Review: The best aspect of this game is probably the universe. Sadly, most of it isn’t explored since the game is very short. I also felt like the romance was a bit forced at the beginning, but my curiosity kept me playing nonetheless. What bothered me the most in the game was the way jealousy was portrayed. I felt like the author validated (in my eyes already quite extreme) jealousy as a normal, inevitable expression of love and it made me feel uncomfortable. I know this is not an unusual trope in monogamy oriented works, so that might be just fine with you. The designs are neat and the characters are interesting, funny and attaching. Various endings are available (still trying to get one of them, so more warnings might apply). Additional bonuses and a guide can be bought for a few bucks. The game itself is going to be published in October 2017 as a remake under the name ‘Galaxy Girls’, which will be more mature, so if you thrive for more than fluff, maybe wait until then.

Rec: Once on a windswept night

Title: Once on a windswept night
Author: Ebi-hime
Format: Visual Novel (Windows/Mac)
Published/Free: Free
Length: 40k
Status: Complete
Rating: Teen
Warnings: dissociation, death
Link: https://ebihime.itch.io/windswept
Summary: A lost traveller almost gives up hope until they stumble upon a mysterious church.

Review: It’s not a very complicated game, since it’s pretty short, and there aren’t many different graphics. But the designs are cute, the music is perfect and the story is so worth it. Surprising, funny, sweet, full of suspense, original, sometimes tragic. I’ve seen some people complain about the fact that the traveller (who is the player) is being referred to as ‘they’ quite a long time. If being referred to as ‘they’ breaks your immersion, then I guess this is not for you. If you like mysteries or use they for yourself, this might be on the contrary exactly what you’re looking for! The universe of the game is really interesting and well-built in my opinion. The characters might be a bit stereotypical, but it’s nothing too exaggerated. In any case, this game will stay a long time on my mind, and for positive reasons!