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Video games that stem from or are shown in anime tend to be visual novels and simulations. While many do tend to lean toward the male demographic, there is a genre of video game for females called otome games!
Otome game literally means "girl game". Most otome games are story driven visual novels that involve a dating sim aspect, but there are other gaming aspects to them as well.
Unfortunately, there aren't nearly enough English otome games out there as there are Japanese otome games, so when you want to play one, where do you start? Check out our top 10 list of English otome games to get you started and chase away those otome game withdrawals!
10. Princess Debut
- Platform: Nintendo DS
- Released: June 2008
For those who are just getting into otome games, maybe you'd like to consider Princess Debut. The story begins with the protagonist dreaming of being whisked away by a prince when a princess suddenly bursts out of her closet. They decide to switch places, so you end up in the Flower Kingdom where you will have to attend the Ball of Saint Lyon. Now, you've got 30 days to learn how to dance and find a prince.
As an otome game, Princess Debut delivers all the features of standard otome games where you are able to pursue your prince as you please, but it doesn't make you play through several months or years to get to the ending like some other otome games. There isn't a main focus on any one aspect of the game. You have a few rhythm mini games, a few cut scenes, and the days go by fast so the game doesn't drag. There just isn't enough time for you to get bored. Overall, it's a great otome game for starters or those looking for something to kill time. You won't feel invested in it, but it also won't take up too much of your time collecting CGs.
- Platform: PC
- Released: October 2006
Yo-Jin-Bo is another great otome game for starters. This English otome game is available for everyone who owns a PC so almost anyone can play! It stars Sayori, a normal high school girl, who finds herself a century and a half in the past after she discovered a mysterious pendant on an archeological dig. She's not sure what's going on, but now, Sayori has become Hatsuhime, the princess of the Mochizuke clan, who is destined to die. With the help of 6 bodyguards, Sayori must try to change her terrible fate.
The plot of Yo-Jin-Bo is a familiar one that you may have seen in some anime, but you get the chance to be the main character! If you're a fan of Japanese pop culture, you'll love Yo-Jin-Bo for its references. Yo-Jin-Bo has a very light tone with some emphasis on humor so while the plot may not be as awe inspiring, you'll still find yourself having a lot of fun with this otome game before trading it in for something a bit more complex.
8. Atelier Anne: Alchemists of Sera Island
- Platform: Nintendo DS
- Released: October 2009
If you are looking for a casual otome game without too much emphasis on the dating sim aspect, Atelier Annie: Alchemists of Sera Island may be just the game you're looking for. In Atelier Annie: Alchemists of Sera Island, you play as Annie who's lazy and dreams of marrying wealthy. In an effort to save her butt, her grandfather whisks her away and dumps her on Sera Island where she must train in alchemy to help with the resort's construction.
Atelier Annie: Alchemists of Sera Island is an otome game for casual dating sim players who also enjoy RPG style gaming. You get to gather materials, battle monsters, and synthesize items. It's a fairly simple game, but that doesn't mean you'll ever find yourself getting bored. There's so much to do that you wish you had more time before the deadline! Despite being a relatively short otome game, there are still 7 endings to enjoy!
7. Story of Seasons (Formerly Harvest Moon)
- Platform: Game Boy, GBA, GBC, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Gamecube, Wii, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 64, PlayStation, PS2, PSP, Super Nintendo
- Released: August 1996 - March 2015
While the story of the Story of Seasons is simple, it is a highly addicting game to play. Most of the games focus on the rebuilding of a run down old farm. You've just moved in so you have new neighbors and some interesting village stories, but your main focus is to rebuild your home into a great farm once more! Along the way, you fall in love, build a family, and help make the town a great place to live in.
Story of Seasons is an adorable game with many fun aspects. If you don't like farming, raise livestock! Can't decide on a life partner, court them all and have your pick of the litter! Story of Seasons also tends to include many different mini games and festivals so the gameplay stays fresh and there's so much to enjoy. It's hard to get tired of Story of Seasons no matter how many different versions you play.
6. Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~
- Platform: PS Vita
- Released: October 2015
For all of you history buffs out there or those of you who have a thing for somewhat historical figures, Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~ may be the time of fanservice you need. Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~ follows the story of a young girl who has been called a monster all of her life because everything that touches her melts and deteriorates. She has lived in isolation for 2 years, but one day, a man rescues her from her solitude and soon, she finds herself in the middle of a political struggle and civil unrest.
Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~ is a wonderful English Otome game with a rich story. Story driven, English otome games are uncommon, but don't hesitate to check Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~ out! In this otome game, you will come across somewhat historical figures such as Van Helsing, Victor Frankenstein (who is accurately the scientist!), and Sherlock Holmes, though the names may differ due to copyrights. You'll find yourself in the center of many nefarious plots and mysteries, but which bishounen will help lead you the right way? Let's not forget that you melt everything you touch, so how will you get your happily ever after?
5. Amnesia: Memories
- Platform: PS Vita, PC
- Released: August 2015
One of the first of many story driven English otome games released this year, Amnesia: Memories holds its own as one of the top English otome games. Not surprising, the Amnesia otome games are one of the top otome games in Japan!
Much like the anime, you are a girl who cannot even remember her own name. At the start of the game, you decide which door you want to enter: the spade, the clover, the heart, or the diamond. You wake up in a strange place after being involved in a potentially fatal accident. Since then, you have been able to see a supernatural creature named Orion who is determined to help get back your memories, but hiding the fact that you can't remember is tough and it makes it worse when your boyfriend gets suspicious!
Unlike some other otome games, in Amnesia: Memories, you converse a more with the other characters, especially with the boy that you like. While you do technically get to choose your route, it is much harder to get the right ending with that many chances to converse with others. With that aside, you get to learn how your relationships were before your accident and how your amnesia changes everything. You get to learn about the boy's' sides and find out what went wrong on both ends of a relationship. Each route will open your eyes about the boy you are dating and change the fate of your relationship! An added bonus, you'll love the beautiful graphics and CGs this English otome game has to offer!
4. Sweet Fuse: At Your Side
- Platform: PS Vita, PSP
- Released: August 2013
Don't let the artwork fool you, Sweet Fuse: At Your Side is a definite must play for otome game lovers. It follows the story of Saki, a girl who was just going to the opening of her uncle's video game themed amusement park. At the opening ceremony, a villain dressed in a distasteful pig costume takes the staff and Saki's uncle hostage, demanding that 7 people stay in the park to complete the games or else the entire amusement park will blow up with the hostages as victims! Together, you must work with these 6 males to save the lives of the staff and your uncle.
Sweet Fuse: At Your Side is a splendid English Otome game with an elaborate plot, fun game play, and many sweet moments. The protagonist, Saki is one sassy girl with a lot of personality. She's always there to slap sense into those boys and you have to love her temper. Although your choices of males are a bit odd (some are old with kids!), each character has his own background story that will touch your heart.
The story itself changes quite drastically with each playthrough as you choose different guys and find out the many secrets behind the villain. As far as otome games go, Sweet Fuse: At Your Side is perhaps one of the most exciting!
3. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona3
- Platform: PSP, PS2
- Released: August 2006
If you're looking for an English otome game with plenty of plot, action, and thrill, then you may want to take a look at Persona 3. In Persona 3, you have the choice to play as a female or male who decides to join the Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad (SEES) where you will be investigating the Dark Hour. During the Dark Hour, you enter Tartarus where you must fight Shadows who feed off of the minds of humans.
Be warned, you don't want to play Persona 3 unless you have a lot of time on your hands. The gameplay is pretty simple: you use personas to fight shadows, but you need to take the time to synthesize powerful personas and build relationships with your friends to create social links and strengthen your personas. There's so much to do that you'll get lost in the game for days or even weeks. You can't even deny how thrilling the plot is; everything in this game works together to make the perfect otome game. If you don't like RPGs, fighting games, or amazing plots, then this otome game just isn't right for you.
2. Norn9: Var Commons
- Platform: PS Vita
- Released: November 2015
As a game that was just released, you might be hesitant since there aren't as many gaming reviews, but Norn9 is an otome game like no other. We follow young Sorata into the Meiji periods where he meets 3 young girls and 8 young men who ride aboard the Norn ship on a mission, however soon they learn there may be a traitor on board so defenses are up and its time to keep an eye on one another to find the traitor!
This English otome game, allows you to pick between 3 different characters with their own unique personalities. Based on the girl you pick, you then get to choose between 3 different boys. While the start of Norn9 is the same no matter who you pick, as soon as you have picked your path, the story changes quite drastically. The story itself is very exciting, despite being on a direct route, but each character has their own struggles which can make your heart wrench. You'll soon find yourself completely enthralled, wanting to play through each route to see how the story unfolds. Will you discover the traitor? Will you find love?
- Platform: Nintendo 3DS, PS3, PSP
- Released: February 2012 - May 2013
There's no english otome game as popular or well known, as Hakuoki. Hakuoki follows the story of a young girl, Chizuru who is searching for her missing father. On the night she arrives in Kyoto, she is almost attacked by men, but the Shinsengumi intervene. After saving her life, the Shinsengumi take Chizuru into custody only to find out that they are both looking for the same person. Now, Chizuru is under the protection of the Shinsengumi as they work towards bettering Japan and finding Dr. Yukimura.
Hakuoki is an otome game that has been around for some time and has had many releases, but the four games released in English are all variations of the same games, whether it's Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom, Hakuoki: Memories of the Shinsengumi, or Hakuoki: Stories of the Shinsengumi, however that just means anyone can play Hakuoki! There are so many mysterious involved in Hakuoki and the political struggle is quite dire, but you will soon find yourself invested in its intricate plots and beautiful imagery. The members of the Shinsengumi are no slouches either. Which samurai will win your heart with his blade? Which samurai will you end up saving from himself?
Although there aren't that many English otome games on the market today, you can't deny that the otome games that are available are fun to play and have great plotlines. Whether you want to fangirl over guys, play an RPG, or just want something to kill time, otome games will satisfy your needs perfectly.
If you don't happen to have any gaming consoles, don't fret. There's a wide array of English otome games available on your smartphone! Stories may vary and the gameplay may be simple, but with the price, convenience, and availability, you'll keep entertained for a long time. Just don't forget your phone charger!
Now, let us know your favorite otome games. Do you have any that you can suggest?