Visual novel games increasing in popularity

Visual novel games, also known as otome games (otome translating literally to maiden game), have recently become increasingly popular.

The games are mainly, if not always, set in the goal to get the main character, the player, to date one of the characters in the game. Though this is not always the case with every game, it is almost always the same goal; to get close to, befriend and eventually succeed in having a relationship with the player’s preferred character, but this task is not always as easy as it seems.

In games such as “Mystic Messenger” by Cheritz, one needs to interact in a certain amount of gameplay in order to build a relationship between the main character and game character. In this sort of otome game, it is important to check in every hour or so to assure you haven’t missed any checkpoints in the game that could cause your character to get a “bad ending.”

In other visual novel games such as the Ikémen Series by Cybird, though, the player is not required to play every day as one would while playing “Mystic Messenger.” Every once in awhile during gameplay, one will be interrupted by a “love challenge” or a “royal challenge” depending on the game.

These “love challenges” are little obstacles that one has to get through before continuing to read the rest of the story. Most of the time, these challenges will be a simple task like buying an item from the game’s store with the coins one has collected throughout the story. Other times, the challenge may take a bit more time.

In the game mentioned before, the Ikémen Series, one might have to raise their “grace level,” “love level” or “marriage points.” In this case, one would have to proceed to take “princess lessons” or “lessons,” and this is where one would use one’s game stamina to play a sort of “battle” against another player in amount of beauty and grace points that one gains throughout the story and gameplay alike.

If one’s beauty and grace points exceed another player’s points, the player then receives an extra amount of either grace or beauty points. A winning in these battles also almost always includes a short, encouraging message from the character one is pursuing in the regular gameplay.

Be aware that these types of challenges may require the player to take them again and again for several days or so to gain a certain amount of grace or beauty points in order to pass the challenge and start reading the main story again. There will be many times where one will have to participate in these battles or challenges throughout the story. Though, once the player gets ahold on how the challenges work, one is sure to get through them in a breeze.

As mentioned before, otome translates to maiden, which means these games tend to lean more toward a female audience, though there are a few of these games where the main character is drawn and regarded as a male, such as in “Cradle Of Thorns,” “Vampire Darling,” “Dear My Mononoke Sacrifice” and “Shall We Date?: Lost Island.”

The story part of the visual novel may vary depending on the company that made the game and the theme of the story. The games made by lesser known companies tend to have the story in broken English, and the game seems to have a lot more problems such as sudden glitching, pictures or background not loading, certain functions not working, etc. For this reason, it is suggested to play the visual novel games that have been made either by Cheritz, Cybird Co, Voltage Inc, NTT Solmare, Arithmetic, Abracadabra Inc, Genius LLC, OKKO, Ice Queen Media, Underdogs Inc, NIFTY corporation or  D3PUBLISHER. There are many more reliable otome game companies, but these are some of the most well known.

Game prices are always something one has to worry about when wanting to try out a new game. Luckily, most otome games are free. In-game purchases aren’t impossible to escape. Though it will take more time than one would like to reach the end of the story, it’s not impossible to make it to the end of the game without spending a cent. Just by spending some dedicated time to the game, as others would to other, traditional games, one can get passed the game in no time.

No one ever said a game was easy, especially in the beginning. Games take time to master and get used to. It’s the same way with otome games.

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