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: Can’t a Guy Visit a Friend?

Title: Can’t a Guy Visit a Friend?
Author: TheCaliMack
Format: Short Story
Published/Free: Free
Length: 2779 words
Status: Complete
Rating: T
Warnings: Mentions of Attempted Suicide (though not graphic at all)
Link: AO3 link  GayAuthors link
Summary: Miguel comes to visit his friend Tristan, but notices something is amiss when the man opens his door to him.

Intuition has never failed him before, but it never prepared him for what he’d see.

Review: Reviewing my own story seems sort of moot, but the comments and reviews I got from the websites all tell me that my work was quite the tear-jerker. It’s a cathartic piece that is a great blend of sweetness and angst, ending on a heart-warming note. Read and you’ll see what I mean.

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!

Rec: Romance Detective

Title: Romance Detective
Author: NomNomNami
Format: Visual Novel (PC, Mac and online version)
Published/Free: Free/Name your own price
Length: 1 hour (?)
Status: Complete
Rating: Everyone
Warnings: /
Link: https://nomnomnami.itch.io/romance-detective
Summary: A love story about a detective who solves crimes of passion alongside her partner, romance cop!
Review: the game is really sweet,I played it rather quickly but you can take your time to enjoy the story unfold! There’s quite a lot happening but I don’t think there’s more than one ending available. I played only once so I can’t tell for sure. This isn’t a ~serious~ story so if you want real life problems and dark backgrounds, try something else!

On a subjective standpoint, this isn’t my favorite visual novel, but it’s cute enough to pass some time.

I also want to point out that the game has been translated to japanese, korean, polish, and portuguese ! There’s also a sequel.

Rec: Spidersilk

Title: Spidersilk
Author: Pamela Kotila (Alakotila)
Format: Webcomic
Published/Free: Free. Two volumes available for purchase on Kickstarter
Length: 20 chapters and counting
Status: WIP
Rating: Teen
Warnings: Torture in flashbacks, combative violence, and sexual references
Link: https://tapastic.com/series/Spidersilk
Summary: Prentice, a former soldier struggling with events a year before the story’s start, is introduced to a city’s criminal system by new friends. Attacks during his training reveal threads to a large trap for their system.

Review: Spidersilk is Social Fantasy. While the primary relationship is a sweet romance between a warrior-mage and a golden-hearted thief, the story follows other relationships, most notably friendships and chosen family. Because of the interwoven story lines, I feel as if the comic’s title is as descriptive of the story’s structure as the network of criminals accepted by the city.

The large cast can be hard to follow, especially when background characters are referred to by name. Original character designs makes remembering the big players easier. It’s obvious their creator cares about showing their unique identities.

One aspect I really appreciate about the cast is the mix of masculinity and femininity in the characters. After jumping in from a reading break, remembering the gender of the secondary characters can be a challenge but it ultimately doesn’t matter. They treat each other differently based on skill, affiliation, and attraction rather than on gender.

The characters are beautiful. All of them. I suspect every reader develops a crush on at least one character. It’s not only their pretty faces, lean bodies, lush hair, and intricately-drawn clothing; many of the characters have lovely personalities. Excepting the occasional racist guard and mysterious strangers attacking the city’s system, the characters are accepting, supportive, and interesting.

I wouldn’t mind living in their world.

There’s both beauty and humor. The physical humor is actually what first hooked me. This summoned creature called Ambassador is a big contributor. He seems to change size to loom threateningly or to offer up hugs. He has to share the funny moments with a guard llama (my favorite), an owl, and even clothing as an impromptu weapon.

That this comic is culturally rich is quickly apparent. While Prentice (and the reader) is introduced to the city of Kalviva. The clash and blend of cultures from outside the city adds to the rich tapestry of the world.

Speaking of, I wish for a faster-moving plot. That’s because I’m more action-oriented and more interested in the main couple than any of their friends and allies. More patient readers might delight in the time spent exploring the side relationships.

What many of us fans have in common is that we wait like spiders, ready to pounce on each new page.

Rec: Whisper Grass (The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal)

Title: Whisper Grass
Author: E.K. Weaver
Format: Comic
Published/Free: Published
Length: 28 pages
Status: Complete
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Drug and alcohol use.
Link: https://ironcircus.com/shop/ebooks/66-whisper-grass-pdf-ebook.html
Summary: Available at last! This is the infamous “missing scene” between between Chapter 24 and Chapter 25 of The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal. In this 24-page romantic interlude, the boys smoke up, talk, joke around, and get busy. Or, to let E.K. herself explain it…

“Sometimes people ask me why most of the sex scenes in TJ and Amal fade to black, get cut short, or are off-camera entirely. The answer is showing those encounters wouldn’t have moved the plot forward, explored the characters’ personalities, or added any substance to the story. In short, those sex scenes were unnecessary.

Here’s something unnecessary.”

This scene was originally published as a very limited edition comic. It sold out extremely quickly, and people have been asking us how they can get a copy ever since. So, we’re finally offering a digital version!

Review: I don’t think I would characterize Whisper Grass as unnecessary. I’m sure I needed this. I’m sure everybody who loves TJ and Amal needs this.

Seriously, you CAN buy happiness, right now, today. Beacuse if teased Amal and unwrapped TJ aren’t happiness, I don’t know what is.

MON★STAR Studios

Title: MON★STAR Studios
Author: vampmilk
Format: Webcomic
Published/Free: Free
Length: Ongoing
Status: WIP
Rating: Teen
Warnings: Mentions of/implied sexual content
Link: https://tapastic.com/series/monstarstudios
Summary: In a modern city where humans and monsters live together peacefully, college dropout Ramone Garcia makes some strange and exciting friends when he becomes the first human employee at MON★STAR Studios, a monster-centric gay adult film studio.

Review: This comic will focus on themes of sexual positivity, open mindedness and the freedom to shamelessly enjoy one’s interests. The entire cast is made up of LGBTQ+ characters. It is made to be fun and lighthearted.

Rec: Ten Weird Things

Title: Ten Weird Things
Author: Matthew Haldeman-Time
Format: Short Story
Published/Free: Free
Length: 10,000 words
Status: Complete
Rating: Mature
Warnings: None
Link: http://www.matthewhaldemantime.com/1/tenweirdthings.html
Summary: Charles is vegisexual. Shana licks pizza. Eric’s new roommate David may be the most normal thing in his life.

Review: A fun, charming short story in a college setting. Matthew Haldeman-Time (author of the previously rec’d In This Land) is a professional writer and his website works on a subscription basis for his longer novels, but he has a number of short stories available as freebies, including this one. Just the thing for a light quick snack.

(Original Post)

Rec: Fence Sitter

Title: Fence Sitter
Author: Alex_deMorra (Ergo_Sum)
Format: Novel
Published/Free: Free
Length: 100k +
Status: WIP
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Child Abuse
Link: AO3
Summary: Micah Swaeler doesn’t fit in. Anywhere. His family hardly speaks to him, his friends come and go, and he can’t quite figure out how to love somebody. Or how to be loved.

Until he does. And when he does, he learns how much support he’s had all along.

Micah’s story is told in a series of short stories that take place from the time he is four until the time he is thirty-four. While the stories go back and forth through time, each one reveals something more about things that have happened to him, things that he’s done, things that he’s told himself. Each story explores identity through family, athletics, friendship, sexuality, of one man’s transition from being a victim to being a survivor.

Review: I started reading it when I looked up for new things to embrace into my subscription list- and stumbled upon one of the parts of the story (the story is divided into a series of short ‘chapters’ in the main character’s life). I decided to give it a chance before I skip over it. I chose to ignore the awfully low number of notes the story got, because I realised it made me miss on so many beautiful stories in the past. (Like, seriously, if you find a story that sounds interesting and has hardly any notes to it- click it before you regret it)

This story is so sincere and honest that you can’t help but fall in love with it. even though there is mention of abuse, and the main character is dealing with it- I found myself wanting to be stronger and shoulder up to whoever tried to harm little Micah. Micah is a wonderful narrator, he explains the world around him in a way that doesn’t need a lot of details in order to feel whole. Alex DeMora made a successful attempt at writing both from a child’s perspective and from an adult’s point of view without it being unnatural and weird to read, in fact, Micah remains in the reader’s head as both the child he was and the adult he is while all this time he is Micah as a soul and as a character. 

It’s true, it’s in your face, it makes your heart squeeze really tight, and it eventually finds its way into your heart. 

It was the first time in my life that instead of feeling frustrated with what happens in a story that deals with Drama, Abuse and Growing Up- I only felt that I simply wanted to read more and more (and more) of it. the little pains in my heart the comes with the what’s written in the story makes it all the more sweeter.

Oh, and as a side note- the smexy scenes of totally smexy.