Welcome to Otome, visual dating games made with women in mind.
They enjoy a healthy fandom, but many acclaimed titles remain in their native Japanese—frustrating, because romance and relationship games are more popular than ever.
And while their games seem cute, don’t let that fool you: the endings are bittersweet.
In Nameless you play as a woman who likes to collect ball-joint dolls, and who recently lost the grandfather she grew up alone with.
Generally you meet several characters, and will have to choose one to court.
In Japan, dating sim characters are referred to as “capturable” -- whether that means you capture their hearts or their bodies depends on the game.
While it was initially influenced by Japanese BL games, it covers more Western sensibilities. is currently available on PC only from Manga Gamer directly (though I’m told it can work on Mac via a Windows virtual machine). Korean company Cheritz has been releasing their Japanese-style dating sim games into English for a couple of years now, and recently got those games onto Steam through Greenlight.
Their latest, Nameless, is quite beautiful and differs from their last entry, Dandelion, in that it does not contain stats and instead is a straight up visual novel.
“The hardest thing was probably the fact that you have to get both of the guys’ faces on screen at the same time,” she says.
“Generally, eroge for men are drawn in POV style, and you do what you can to keep the man’s face out of the shot, but BL is the complete opposite.” “Most of my research was focused on figuring out how far I could push a more explicit approach to sex and still appeal to other women,” she adds.
One night, her dolls suddenly come to life as a group of fully-sized hot men.
It sounds ridiculous, and she reacts to the situation as pretty much anyone would.
You play as Chizuru, who disguises herself as a man to travel to the capital of Kyoto in search of her missing father.