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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

As those who know me will know well, I am a big fan of otome visual novel games. The word ‘otome’ refers to a narrative-based video game that is marketed towards women. However, anyone of any gender or label can play them.

While playing otome games can be a bit of an investment (some costing over 60 dollars CAD), there are many free otome games on platforms such as Steam. Some that I often recommend to those who are new to the genre are Cinderella Phenomenon and Seduce Me the Otome. Both of these are excellent for those wishing to try out the genre – and as they are free, you also have nothing to lose.

However, you can also play otome games on both Apple and Android phones. Some of my favourite free games on these platforms are Mystic Messenger and Ikemen Vampire. Unfortunately, both of these titles feature in-app purchases but you are not required to buy anything to progress through the game – it just makes things like getting additional routes easier.

All of these games are excellent to start with in order to get an idea of what the otome genre is like. From here, you should then be able to determine whether or not you like this genre. If you find that you like it and want an even more in-depth otome experience, I would encourage buying an otome game that can be played on a handheld device – such as a Nintendo Switch or PS Vita. Some of the games I have played recently on the Switch are Olympia Soiree and Code Realize: Guardian of Rebirth.

If you don’t have a handheld device, there are also many amazing games available on Steam. Two of these include titles made by the same creators of Mystic Messenger: Dandelion -Wishes brought to you- and Nameless ~The one thing you must recall. All of these games are amazing and those who enjoy the genre will likely enjoy them. The titles on the Switch are more expensive than those on PC, but you do get the added convenience of being able to play the games anywhere.

I do have one warning for those looking to venture into the genre – many of these games have trigger warnings that should be noted. Due to this, I recommend doing some preliminary research before playing/purchasing any of them. Some of the games are quite lighthearted, but many have themes that could be triggering or uncomfortable. As with any game, make sure you know at least the basic premise before playing.

I encourage everyone to try an otome game. If you are an avid reader in general, you will find these games very fun to spend your free time on. Soon you’ll be like me – getting attached to these fictional characters and having to play each of their routes multiple times to obtain all of the good and bad endings.

Bronte Behling

Wilfrid Laurier '23

A second year Cultural Studies and Film Studies double major student at Wilfrid Laurier University, Bronte has had a passion for creative writing since middle school where she took an online summer course about J.R.R Tolkien's the Silmarillion. A cat lover, Star Wars fan and podcast enthusiast she aims to gain more writing experience through this publication in order to pursue her post-degree goal of becoming a journalist.
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