Ah, it’s gotten a bit dusty around here hasn’t it?
As I said a while back, we are slowly getting things back to regular order here. And while I do enjoy the ease of just updating the homepage with New Releases, the time has come to return to regularly highlighting the newest entries into the community. So, where do we start this week? How about with incest?!
Actually, I just got a little nauseated thinking about it so we’ll save that one until the end. So instead, let’s talk about something more up my alley: puzzles, viruses and intrigue! Australian developer InvertMouse have one of the more intriguing catalogs in visual novels right now: focusing strongly on puzzle mechanics and mysteries with titles like Bermuda and their Unhack series while delivering more traditional VNs like Cursed Sight and Without Within. Their latest work continues with the Unhack series, promising a stronger focus on narrative in the process. Here’s the synopsis:
The Motherworm has been destroyed, but there is no such thing as eternal peace. With the appearance of a masked AI known as Program X, cyberspace has been thrown back into chaos. The unhacker, with next gen AI Neonya by his side, will once again lead Smash Security into battle. He is troubled by just one thing—why do these new villains resemble friends who he thought were long dead?
Unhack 2 is available on Steam for $6.99.
This is one I found perusing the Lemmasoft forms and it the aura of other European titles I’ve stumbled across: especially Cave! Cave! Deus Videt and Along the Edge. It pleases me to see Europe continue to develop as a market for visual novels and I’m looking forward to seeing more works rise from that corner of the world. But today we look at Endo Creations’ first project: Blackout Time 0. The visuals alone look quite promising, but let’s dig deeper into the synopsis, shall we?
Blackout focuses on Takashi Koizumi, a 14 year old guy haunted by school bullies and neglected by his parents. Takashi has got a particularly rare ability; he can time travel by entering into the mind of other people from other time periods.
Takashi becomes aware of his ability only when informed by a woman sharing his power.
Blackout Time 0 is available on the Endo Creations website for free.
Sticking on the foreign front, I’m happy to present to everyone the first example I know about of a visual novel developed in the Middle East. To be specific Wojdan was developed in Saudi Arabia and it is completely in Arabic. There is, to the best of my knowledge, no demand for this to be translated outside of its country of origin. However, the art and concept look fantastic and I wish the development team the best as they flesh out this series. To the synopsis!
The story revolves around Jawad (11 years), his father Adel (34 years) and his sister Sara (15 years), and their quest to find a cure for the illness that threatens Jawad’s life. The search forces the family to travel from their little village to the big city seeking a doctor who can heal the little boy. However, as soon as they arrive, they discover that the doctor has disappeared in unusual circumstances.
A series of events that none of them has ever imagined begins to unfold before them, taking them in the adventure of their lives.
If you are a part of an Arabic speaking community, please do what you can to promote this game! Wojdan is available on Steam for $5.99.
Midboss has been very busy since the original release of Read Only Memories. Not only have they got a vocal cast including the likes of Austin Creed (WWE’s Xavier Woods) and Jim Sterling, but also have spent time expanding the basic game. Now boasting more content and plentiful extras, 2064: Read Only Memories is ready to retake the world by storm. Here’s the synopsis:
Your life as a struggling journalist is interrupted by the world’s first sapient machine, a ROM (Relationship and Organizational Manager) named Turing. Together, you and the quirky robot will encounter a colorful cast of locals and overcome challenges as you uncover the city’s secrets behind the overlapping futures of technology and humanity. 2064: Read Only Memories is a new cyberpunk adventure that will take you on a journey of puzzle-solving and exploring as you investigate the mysterious world and characters of Neo-San Francisco.
2064: Read Only Memories is available on Itch.Io for $19.99.
You know, usually I’d be snarky as Hell with a Otome game as clearly saccharine as Red String of Fate. However, I know what’s about to come next. So, I will leave you with your memories of the many other snarky jokes I have made at the cost of the romance genre. Let’s check out the synopsis:
Red String of Fate is available for free over on Itch.Io.
Hello darkness, my old friend…I’ve come to talk to you again…
Yeah, the only thing that can quell my snark over saccharine romance is saccharine anime ‘cuteness’…ugh. Japanese studio Frontwing have been toeing the waters of the West for some time now: starting with a partnership with Sekai Project on their Grisaia trilogy. This led to the group releasing the side content for that trilogy on their own and following it up with their next trilogy Corona Blossom. Corona Blossom Vol. 3 concludes this particular romp and I’m sure the fans are in for a wild rush to the finish line. Let’s check out the synopsis:
In the midst of a furious battle, the launch countdown begins. Time is running out for Keiji and his friends. Will the quest to help R-ne return home be successful? Find out in the thrilling and heartwarming conclusion to the Corona Blossom trilogy!
Corona Blossom Vol. 3 is available on Steam for $9.99.
It’s always good to see JAST USA releases something. JAST, which distributes Steins;Gate, is one of the quieter players on the visual novel scene now. However, they always surprise now and then by snagging an interesting license. Seinarukana 2 was originally released in Japan in 2007 and serves as the sequel for Aselia the Eternal. How well the time difference will translate to the Western audience is anyone’s guess. But we certainly wish JAST luck as they continue to expand their catalog. To the synopsis:
Thrown into another world, Setoki Nozomu must fight to bring his friends home, while at the same time struggling against the ancient god that sleeps inside him. So begins a journey that will shake the very foundation of the universe.
Seinarukana -The Spirit of Eternity Sword 2- is available on Steam and JAST’s website for $29.99.
Okay, we’ve made it to the end of the report. Let’s do this thing.
I would like to state that despite my joking around, I am also of the mindset that you can make a story about a controversial subject. However, a good writer/developer should always keep in mind what they’re stepping into that the audience isn’t always willing to follow them depending on the subject. This particular corner of gaming dances on that line a lot, but that usually comes from our Japanese elder cousins. For long-time readers, you know I have been very open about how much some of these titles make my skin crawl. Whether or not RazzArt learned anything from that end remains to be seen as they release Love Ribbon: a yuri title focused on the relationship between two sisters. Not adopted sisters. Not step sisters: two flesh and blood siblings that want to screw each other.
Here’s the synopsis:
The story follows Iris, a girl who learns that her younger sister is transferring to her school, and will be living with her for the rest of the semester. Even though she has never met her sister before, Iris is determined to make up for lost time by becoming friends, and more importantly, to show off her dependable nature as the older sister of the household.
Unfortunately for Iris, however, things don’t go as planned.
Zoey, Iris’s younger sister, is a tall young woman who isn’t afraid to ditch class and badmouth others. Zoey shows little respect for authority, especially when it comes to her “older sister’s” attempts to play nice. And if things couldn’t get any worse, a confusing sexual tension blooms between them…
If you’re interested you can get it on Steam or Itch.Io for whatever price RazzArt is offering.
And that’s going to do it for this week! JP3: OUT!