The Best of 2022

Best of 2022: Caroline’s Choice

As the year 2022 ends, I am looking back on the amazing Otome games of 2022. These may not all be on our Best Otome Switch games list. But these are nontheless worth picking up for Christmas or just to treat yourself.

Two years ago, I started playing Otome games, and I can’t get enough of them. This year I got to review lots of Otome games, and I have to say, it was a good year for this genre. Enjoy my top 5 list of 2022’s Otome games.

5. Amnesia: Memories

Remember your past with Amnesia: Memories

Starting us off at number five is Amnesia: Memories. This game was a bit of a surprise to me when it came out. I had not done previous research on it, nor did I see any announcements. But when playing it I was pleasantly surprised by it. The game may not be as thrilling as some other games on this list, but it holds its own. It had good stories that are more about realistic issues, and there were shocking moments in the game. This would be the perfect game to get into Otome games. It is easy to follow, and the plots are not difficult to understand. It is a must-play if you love Otome games, in my opinion.

Amnesia: Memories begins with the heroine waking up in her own consciousness. A spirit is there, telling her she has amnesia and that he is trapped inside her soul. This spirit is named Orion. Orion informs her that he is the reason she has lost her memories because he pushed himself into her mind. With Orion’s help, the heroine will start her search to regain her memories. You can choose which world you want to return to start your search.

Find more of my thoughts on Amnesia: Memories in my review.

4. Piofiore: Episodio 1926

The thrilling mafia game

This game was a tough one for me to rank because the game was good, but the games higher on the list were just a bit better for me. I loved that the game had stories and plots and were not just fan disks where they are only trying to figure out their relationships. Some routes had me on the edge of my seat, and the romance was also dialed up, which I am always a fan of. And to my surprise, some of the more unlikable characters in the first game actually got some better character development.

Out of all the games coming out this year, Piofiore: Episodio 1926 was the one I most anticipated. I counted the weeks (Yes, I know, it is a bit sad). And in terms of design and music, Piofiore is by far my favourite.

Piofiore: Episodio 1926 picks up a year after the first game ended (in 1926, as the title says). We get to see how all the characters are doing with Liliana Adornato after their Happy Ending routes. You will be thrown back into the fray of Burlone in Italië, where three powerful mafia families fight to rule over the town. In this sequel, we find out more about Lilliana’s past and what links her fate to Burlone.

Read my review of the second Piofiore game: Piofiore 1926, here!

3. Birushana: Rising Flower of Genpei

A mixture between Mulan and Yona of the Dawn

Birushana is a really beautiful historic Otome game. As I suggest, a lot of history about the Heiji rebellion and later the Genpei war is used in this Otome game. Using the same events and names throughout. This added a new perspective to the game for me.
Playing every route gives different perspectives on the Genpei war, showing that there often is not one right side in a war.

Playing this game, the story reminded me a little of a combination of Mulan and the anime Akatsuki no Yona (Yona of the dawn). Birushana really shows the comradery between Shanao and her companions. A unique Otome game, and if you love a bit of history it is definitely worth playing.

The story of Birushana: Rising Flower of Genpei follows Shanao, who is living deep within the mountains of Kurama. Shanao is the youngest surviving male heir of the Genji name. The reason Shanao is to remain hidden, out of sight, is because of the Heiji Rebellion fifteen years prior. The Heike and Genji clan had been at odds, and at the end of the rebellion, the Heike clan were victorious. Even though Shanao is trying to live a life of peace, Shanao harbours a secret: the secret of not actually being a man.

Torn between warring factions and a desire for a peaceful life, can Shanao forge her own path – and find someone worthy of her journey in this visual novel? Find out how this visual novel is reviewed here.

2. Variable Barricade

The game with the strongest-minded heroine.

Variable Barricade takes the number two spot on this list. This was the first Otome game I played this year, when I was in lockdown with COVID. So, I had lots of time on my hands to really dive in. If I had to describe this game with one word, it would be Fun. The game had a lot of humour and funny Chibi images, which sometimes had me laughing. I was very involved in the game and sometimes felt what the characters felt. Which is a good sign for me.

The story follows Hibari Tojo. Hibari is the sole heir to the Tojo family fortune. Her grandfather, who is the current head of the family, has decided Hibari has to find a husband. Her grandfather selects four suiters that who will be living with Hibari in their luxurious vacation home.

The men try hard to persuade her and win her heart, but Hibari is not having it and is dedicated to not falling in love. Especially after discovering that each of the men has skeletons in their closet.

Here you can read my thoughts on the skeletons in the mens closets.

1. Lover Pretend

A modern love story: Lover Pretend

Taking the number one spot for Best 2022 Otome games is the recently released Lover Pretend. This game had it all for me, stunning graphics, handsome and swoon-worthy characters and a lovely modern romance story. When I started playing, I noticed the routes were a little shorter than in some other Otome games. But the storylines and characters more than made up for this. It kept me spellbound, I even forgot to write review notes at some points because I was so into it. So, if you still hesitate to buy this game, don’t. It is worth picking up in my eyes.

The main character of this story is Chiyuki Ueda. Like her late mother, she is a college student who dreams of pursuing a screenwriter career. Her other dream is to find out who her father is. Her late grandmother reveals it is probably a coworker from the show ‘Pretend to Love’ that they both worked on. But there is one problem. Chiyuki has no experience with romance because she has lived alone for a while and has had no romantic relationships.
Through a stroke of luck, Chiyuki’s writing teacher presents her with an amazing opportunity. Being his screenwriter assistant on a new movie that is directed by the same director as Pretend to Love. Here she can get a foot in the door as a screenwriter, find out who her dad might be and maybe even get some romance experience. When she starts working on the movie, things start to take a surprising turn…

Read the review for Lover Pretend here!

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