Otome games that don’t leave you reading a novel
Otome games are great, but many of the titles getting localized are visual novels. While reading is also pretty amazing, sometimes you don’t want to spend your time reading thousands of words on route to romancing a digital dude. Sometimes, you want a little more stimulation while searching for the (virtual) one.
Fortunately for you, there are plenty of otome games out there that aren’t visual novels. There are more active experiences that allow you to enjoy other activities while bonding with beautiful boys. We’ve gathered together a list of some that are relatively easy to procure and enjoy.
Atelier Escha & Logy
2014, PlayStation 3 (Gust), 2016, Vita (Gust)
The Atelier series has always offered the option to forge relationships, with character-specific endings as a result. However, the Vita version of Atelier Escha & Logy is especially great for otome fans. People who pick the Escha route can watch as she slowly falls in love with Logy, all while collecting ingredients, fighting enemies, and crafting items.
2009, DS (Matrix Software)
Avalon Code is an action RPG set as the world is about to end. Players use a book to record everything of value, so it can be recreated in the new world. Along the way, a heroine can bond with Anwar, Duran, Heath, Rex, and Valdo, five characters that have their own questlines. You’ll get special interactions with them, if you allow them into your hearts. Also, the fire and lightning elementals, Rempo and Ur, can be romanced after their shackles are removed.
Persona 3 Portable
2010, PlayStation Portable (Atlus)
With Persona 3 Portable, Atlus explored the idea of the butterfly effect. What happens if Minato, the hero, was actually a heroine named Minako? While the basic story remained the same, it opened up new social links. The conversations she has with Akihiko, Theodore, Ken, Ryoji, and Shinjiro can turn romantic. Though, I really recommend you fall for Shinji; it alters one of the plotlines from Persona 3.
Rune Factory 4
2013, 3DS (Neverland)
I was torn about whether or not Rune Factory 4 should fall under the simulation or JRPG heading, but there’s so much adventuring that it really belongs here. It’s an action RPG with farming elements, with some town management tossed in. After all, your heroine is considered a princess. As you rescue certain characters and befriend townsfolk, you’ll get the opportunity to start dating them. If all goes well and you get a better bed for your castle, you can even marry one of them!
Star Ocean: Second Evolution
1998, PlayStation (Tri-Ace), 2009, PlayStation Portable (TOSE)
The second Star Ocean game was one of the first JRPGs to offer romance options for a female heroine. If you choose to play as Rena and participate in Private Actions in towns, keep certain characters in your party for some boss fights, and avoid unscrupulous behavior like pickpocketing when a possible loved one is around, you might get a special ending with one of the guys. Rena can get romantic with Claude, Dias, Ashton, Ernest, and Noel.
Fire Emblem Awakening / Fire Emblem Fates
2013, 3DS (Intelligent Systems) / 2016, 3DS (Intelligent Systems)
The loving feelings are strong with the 3DS Fire Emblem games. In both entries, players can make a female avatar and send her off to romance any male party member in the game. This is accomplished by making sure the duo are always together when fighting in the field, which makes quite a bit of sense! There will be a romantic declaration once the relationship reaches the S-rank, and you’ll even get to meet and recruit the pair’s son. In Fire Emblem Fates, you’ll even share a house and be able to see special dialogue after getting hitched.
Summon Night 5
2015, PlayStation Portable (Felistella)
The Summon Night series and its spin-offs allow players to have their avatar bond with characters, occasionally with romantic results. If someone plays as Arca, then they’ll have the opportunity to have late night talks with party members. Staying loyal to one person with these chats will allow you to earn five hearts of affection with them, resulting in a special Lovers ending. Do your best, because fooling around will only get you a Friends end!
Story of Seasons
2015, 3DS (Marvelous AQL)
The Bokujou Monogatari series is a go-to for finding love in your daily (virtual) life. With Story of Seasons, you get a farm to run and six men to romance. Put in enough time and effort every day, connecting with the people around you and giving them gifts, and you’ll make memories together. Prove you’re a great provider by updating your homestead, and you can get married and start a family.
2008, DS (Cave)
Princess Debut is weird. It’s a music game with mild visual novel elements from a developer best known for shoot’em ups. You’re a girl filling in for a princess, preparing for a major ball. You need to hone your skills and find one of six princes to act as your partner. Those who are light on their feet and kind to the boys might find a happy end with a virtual boyfriend.
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