Despite their cult status, over the last decade there has been a significant surge of independent visual novels developed outside of the borders of Japan.
Experimental/radical game developers like Anna Anthropy and Stephen Lavelle have turned their hand to visual novel creation, and fans of the medium can now make the their own games with free tools like Ren’Py or Lavelle’s Flickgame.
The best VNs achieve a level of intimacy that only video games manage — despite borrowing the depth of novels with the visual style of comics and television.
Gaymer X is a gaming convention that takes place every year in San Jose, CA.
Gaymer X is a “queer space”; a convention where panels center on queer themes, but all are invited and welcomed.
As a proud media sponsor of Gaymer X, Unicorn Booty covers gaming issues of all VN for short) and while the medium has never taken off in the West, there is a plethora these games that either found commercial release abroad or have been fan-translated.
If you’re curious, there are a few hundred English-language visual novels available on Steam and many hundreds more through less legitimate channels.
There are two genres of VN that focus on sexual relationships between guys – yaoi and bara.
The former is intended for a heterosexual audience of women and the latter for a gay male audience.
games (those focusing on lesbian experiences) generally receive more attention than yaoi and especially bara games — so it’s time to give yaoi and bara games their due!
(Of course, if you want to see a follow-up to this article focusing on yuri games, hit us up in the comments!
) So without further ado, here are five visual novels with explicitly gay characters and scenes that are worth your time: Cara Ellison describes Coming Out on Top as “the Citizen Kane of ripped, naked big-dicked dudes in love” (a quote proudly displayed on developer Obscurasoft’s home page and rightly so).