Recently I got acquainted with Otome Visual Novels, games I had never heard of before. Do you know what they are? Well, let me explain. Literally it means “girl games”, and although I’ve talked about visual novels before, these Otome games are very much real visual novels. See, you’re never too old to learn!
For those of you who, like me, are new to the genre I’ll explain. Know the term chick-lit, in books? Those books that you know aren’t exactly Literature with a capital L, but they are so much fun to read. The kind of books you read to feel good, to take with you to the pool or the beach. Generally books that promise a relaxing time and maybe some wistful thinking. You know the ones I mean, ladies:
Sam thought her heart might stop…her breathing certainly did. Standing before her was the best-looking man she’d ever seen. Not a hint of Genghis Khan anywhere to be seen. Dark blond hair, longer than the norm, framed a chiseled jaw and potentially perfectly symmetrical face. He had a day’s growth of beard, a little heavier than a five-o-clock shadow. His deep blue eyes sparkled and full lips smiled, revealing even, white teeth.
(text taken form “Bound by Blood” by Tracey Jane Jackson)
Get the picture? Well, in these Otome visual novels, there are several of these magnificent men to chose from as a romantic interest. And the game only requires you to make some choices during the storyline, which will eventually lead to your heroine finding romance in the arms of that magnificent species of mankind. And if you wish you can even play the game several times to see what happens in the story when you make other choices. There are usually enough save slots to make sure you can diversify at a certain point in the game.
The PS Vita has several of these Otome Visual Novels to offer, more and more games that originate in Japan, are coming West. Aksys Games for instance has released several in the West, like Code: Realize-Guardian of Rebirth and Norn9 Var Commons. But there are more games out there, some mix in elements of puzzles or add simulation elements to it. Released on the handheld devices they are not 18+ material, which as far as I’m concerned is a good thing. Sony and Nintendo wouldn’t allow that. So all is fairly innocent, though the games do have a rating of T. They all deliver gorgeous graphics, a manga style of drawing, and a good entertaining story. Much like reading a book! Have you ever read such an Otome Visual Novel?