June is around the corner and that means it’s Pride Month again! Hence, I wanted to publish a post on a bunch of games with queer topics that may I wrote about in the past or that I want to play for the first time or replay again this month. Pride Month as a whole is not only a celebration of queer people, their identities and everything that encompasses it, but it’s also a very political event given that it reminds us of the Stonewall Protests and that the world still isn’t very queer-friendly. It’s still not okay to be gay, sadly, and it frankly is incredibly frustrating a lot of times to see what is still going on in all sorts of countries in the world. If you don’t want to hear about politics and hate crime statistics and stuff, feel free to skip the following longer paragraphs and just move on to the list of games to check out found after the first video. Enjoy!
Quick yearly reminder: If you’re a bigot, fuck off.
While society as a whole in most countries has started to give queer and non-cis-gendered people “less of a hard time”, there are still all sorts of “bad things” happening in the world. There are a lot of people that are being discriminated against for who they are or for who they love. There are plenty of countries where it’s a felony to be queer and where you can even die for it. Even here in Germany, there are plenty of cases where people are getting attacked for their gender identity or their sexual orientation. In 2021, there have been about 870 cases of criminal offences directed at people for their sexual orientation, with about 164 of those being violent attacks (source). Furthermore, there have been about 340 cases of criminal offences directed at people for their gender identity, out of which 57 were violent (source). Those numbers can’t be added up though (source) as some cases are mentioned multiple times, resulting in about 1051 cases of hate crimes directed at people because of their sexual identity, gender and/or their sexual orientation out of which about 190 have been violent. And that’s a shame, not only because it happens in this day and age – but also because the actual numbers probably are much, much bigger. I know plenty of people that haven’t been able to come out (me included) “officially” because their families or their environment wouldn’t accept it or because it’s not safe to do so. My sister came out to my parents and it didn’t end too well – and while they are now in touch from time to time, the situation is still incredibly strained and difficult. And well, homophobic or transphobic parents aren’t even the biggest issue here as our “home country” is still persecuting queer people to this day, heavily, especially because of religious beliefs and values over there, which is absurd.
Long story short, the CSD and Pride Month aren’t just there for queer awareness but also because it’s still an important topic to talk about. There are plenty of marginalized people that need to fight, to this day, to be seen as equal and to have the same rights as other people. Trans rights are human rights.
Milky Way Prince – The Vampire Star
Milky Way Prince – The Vampire Star (Steam | Review) is an intense autobiographical visual novel about an abusive relationship, idealization, and intimacy. In this game, you live through a summer of dysfunctional love and utilize a unique mechanic where you choose what senses you utilize when you’re with your boyfriend. The branching storylines, the twists and sudden turns, and the whole experience left me somewhat speechless back when I first played it and despite it being a very personal story by one of the developers, I was touched by how well Milky Way Prince allowed me to take part in the experience and by how relatable it was for someone like me who went through their one fair share of toxic relationships. On that note, I was recently informed that this game is coming to consoles on June 6th, meaning that you’ll be able to experience it yourself on your Nintendo Switch, Xbox and PlayStation from then onwards, as well, if you prefer that over the PC version. At the same time, there is also a demo available on Steam if you’re interested in trying it out yourself before that.
Tacoma (Steam | Review) is a sci-fi narrative adventure from the creators of Gone Home, set aboard a high-tech space station in the year 2088! Aboard the station, you explore every detail of how the station’s crew lived and worked, finding clues that add up to a gripping story of trust, fear, and resolve in the face of disaster. This game developed by Fullbright really hooked me back in last year’s June when I played it for the first time. The way you can go back in forth on specific recordings to pick up different pieces of information from all sorts of angles really felt unique and somewhat innovative for its storytelling. At the same time, you only really see the characters in the form of colourful silhouettes but they just feel so real and fleshed out and I couldn’t help but get attached to them even if it’s “just a game”. I definitely will go for another playthrough of this game this upcoming month and if you haven’t tried it out yourself, I highly recommend checking it out for yourself once you get the chance! You won’t regret it! (Also, on that note, the trailer is SO GOOD!)
Lake (Steam | Review) is a walking sim where you deliver the mail to a bunch of different people. Set in 1986, you step into the role of Meredith Weiss as you take a break from your career in the big city to come back home and enjoy the lake view in Providence Oaks, Oregon. This game was a lot of fun when I last played it back in September and even though delivering mail doesn’t sound like the most interesting game concept, it’s the characters I met and the friends I made along the way that truly shaped the experience for me, allowing me to bond, live, laugh and love (groan). Honestly, it’s an incredibly relaxed experience about the struggle between career choices and one’s personal life. How do you spend your evenings? Who do you associate with? What will you do when you’re asked for a little favour? Do you rest up or do you go through all of the work even though you’re on a break? And well, the queer romance option is incredibly cute and I still love it.
Best Friend Forever
Best Friend Forever (Steam | Review) is a visual novel/dating sim where you take care of your dog in Rainbow Bay. You meet other dog owners and get to know their quirky yet charming sides, go on dates with them and eventually, you’ll end up together with someone. At the same time, however, you will also take care of your titular best friend, a little dog that you adopt and take care of. Meet a little pupper, get to know that little furball, take them on dates (with other dog owners and their dogs), and eventually, you’ll end up together with someone and their dogs and your dog can be friends forever. Honestly, it’s great. There are plenty of routes to take, lots of hotties to date, and the aspect of taking care of your dog is frankly amazing and so darn adorable. If you’re not into dogs, don’t worry. Neither am I! I’m a cat person through and through… and if you pretend that all the dogs in this game are cats, you’ll have a great time. Highly recommend this!
At last, I’ll probably play through a lot of these games on Twitch again and maybe I’ll also review a few new titles or new additions to my backlog with specific themes on here, too. If you wanna stop by and experience some great games with me and others together, feel free to drop a follow over here on my Twitch channel. Usually, I don’t plug my Twitch channel like this in blog posts but I’ve been having a good time there recently and figured it’d be worth doing it once in a while. Some games I plan on streaming include Tacoma, Lake, Ikenfell and the Life Is Strange games, so look forward to that!