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This page is dedicated to otome games. It's my favourite genre of computer game, but unfortunately they aren't very popular outside of Japan. That's why I've decided to talk about them here so that more people can learn about them and maybe even play them.
Click here to see a masterlist of almost every single otome I've played and my thoughts on it.(Hosted on my blog instead of here)
But what even is an otome game, anyway?
"Otome" actually means "maiden" in Japanese. And maiden is really just another word for "girl". And girls are who these games are aimed at. Basically, otome games are mostly just visual novels where you get to date boys. Some aren't visual novels, but the majority are. So they're dating simulators, really. Most of them also have a story, so it's not all romance. Whilst they seem to be quite popular over in Japan, only a few of them get localised in English, and those ones are usually the ones with the least amounts of romance in.
Most people, myself included, like to play them so that they can self-insert themselves into it so that the romance feels real, but some people claim to just play it for the plot. You can really just treat them like regular visual novels if you want to, but I just treat them as a separate genre. I've never really played any normal visual novels, to be honest.
Most otome games will follow the same format. You play as the story's main female character, and about 99% of the time you're allowed to change her name. Then you start off in what is known as the "common route" where the story begins and you meet all of the possible love interests. Here you make choices that determines what character's route you're going to end up on, but some games just let you choose a route straight away without doing any hard work trying to win them over. When something special happens, the screen might give you a "CG" (a special piece of artwork depicting whatever's going on in the story) instead of just regular sprites standing still behind a background. If you make bad choices you might get a really depressing ending where the romance fails or everybody dies, but if you make good choices, the ending will probably be really romantic and not sad at all. I also forgot to mention that most of these games have full voice acting for all characters except the main character, although some newer ones decided to give the MC a voice.
A lot of the love interests fall into one of many tropes. There's plenty of yanderes, tsunderes, kuuderes, childhood friends and loads of others that I can't be bothered to list here. In a game you might have around four or five boys to date, and they usually have to make each one a different type so that everybody will be able to find at least one that they like.
You can get otome games on literally every console. From the PC to mobile to the PS Vita, they're everywhere. People typically start by playing free-to-play titles on their phones then move onto paid games from Steam or on the Vita. I started off playing on my iPhone 5C, but I was really unhappy with the stuff that was on offer so I moved onto the PSP and then eventually the Vita. The PC and iOS/Android have the most English titles, but the Vita has a lot of exclusive titles that got translated into English that haven't quite made it onto Steam yet. If you have a Nintendo Switch, soon that'll be getting a lot of otome but not too many are going to be in English yet.
My first ever otome game was called "Shall We Date: Blood in Roses", but I deleted it after an hour because I didn't like the microtransactions. The first ever game I played with romance in was this rubbish Gameloft game on my old BlackBerry called "Fashion Icon" that probably nobody cares about because it wasn't that good (but I used to enjoy it). The only reason I really remember it is because it's still installed on my BB all these years later.
I think the Vita is the best console for otome, because it's small and I can take it literally anywhere with me. Actually, I bought it just for the romance. As of March 2019, I haven't actually played any other genre of game on it yet except the Welcome Park, which doesn't really count. They literally stopped making them the day I wrote this, so the prices are probably gonna go up a lot. If you don't like small screens there's always the Vita TV, but those are turning into collectible items so they're also expensive. The memory cards are also pricey, but if you forget about all of that it's just a wonderful console.
This is part of my otome collection. I have a few digital games, and some that I've probably bought after this photo was taken, too.
That's enough of me talking. If you want some game recommendations, click here and I'd gladly give them to you, otherwise I can direct you to some otome related sites you might be interested in:
The Otome Game Subreddit English Otome Games.net