Boys’ Love (yaoi) games feature men in relationships with other men -- created by and marketed to women.But the game genre has languished over the past decade.
Lots of players get turned onto these aspects from story and character-driven Bio Ware games like Dragon Age, and if you’re a fan of those, I have a few recommendations to help welcome you into the otome genre.
While all you need to be “good at” is reading and making choices -- don’t worry if you don’t normally play games -- there are some important things to know about how these games work.
Part of the problem is that most of the games aren’t just extremely niche, they’re erotic 18 products and as such difficult to market. Last year Manga Gamer, a publisher usually known for its 18-and-older fare aimed at men, announced that they've licensed and are translating two new titles in an attempt to appeal to underserved audiences, mainly women and queer men. , slated to release on Steam, and the other is unique 18 boys love game, No, Thank You!!!
While BL game DRAMAtical Murder flourished in popularity on Tumblr, licensing problems means nobody has taken advantage of the audience. In general, comics made by gay men for gay men have completely different aesthetics and conventions than Boys’ Love for women, as can be seen in Fantagraphic's fantastically informative collection Massive: Gay Erotic Manga and the Men Who Make It. attempts to balance both audiences’ tastes in an intriguing way. you play as amnesic Haru, who is an exclusive top to his partners, whereas traditionally in BL games you'd be playing as a bottom.
I say "targets" because all the men you end up in relationships with are billed as "straight" and Haru is an overly-energetic, horny puppy who admits he partakes in "sexual harassment" as a work pastime.
This can be off-putting to some friends, so I usually warn them ahead -- you can always first check out the game’s demo to see if it’s right for you.
Sloppy localization can often let dating sim fans down.
For example, Alice in Wonderland is a popular theme worldwide and the manga based on the otome game series regularly tops the New York Times Manga Best Sellers list.
The Niflheim is probably one of the best free-to-play mobile otome game examples that I can give.
The game has a bold art style with intense flourishes, and while you play as a Shadow Every-Girl, all your your potential partners range from bratty kings to zombies to ghosts.
You play as Chizuru, who disguises herself as a man to travel to the capital of Kyoto in search of her missing father.