Despite my fondness for bishounen (“pretty boys”), I’ve never played any otome games. Simply put, they seemed too corny to me. But with so many peoplerecently spazzing over Mystic Messenger, I gave in and sampled one.
If you’re wondering what otome games are, they’re basically a dating sim game. They’re visual novel games typically targeted towards females, in which players are introduced to a whole cast of dateable men. Players pursue different storylines, depending on who they want to end up with. Normally, players have to “woo” their potential lover by choosing the correct responses and actions in scenarios, and receiving points for being successful. Players have to build up a certain amount of points by the conclusion of the game to have a happy ending with their chosen lover.
I browsed through a couple generic otome games in the App Store. I saw one involving ninjas and another involving vampires. Once again, too corny for me. There were others that I skipped over because the characters weren’t attractive enough… hey, I’m pretty picky when it comes to fictional boys!
But I eventually settled on Lust in Terror Manor.
It shined more than the others because a murder mystery served as a backdrop for the otome game. You wake up with no memory in a manor with several other guests. Similar to Clue, you’re forced into a game in which people are slowly being killed. The only way to win and leave the manor safely is to correctly guess the murderer.
Don’t worry, you don’t really have to choose who the murderer is- that will all be played out in the storyline itself. It’s already stressful enough trying to romance your perfect guy without the added stress of trying to survive and finding out who the bad guy is.
I’m a sucker for that “initially emotionally distant boy who is secretly a big softie” trope in games, anime and manga. So naturally, I chose Hayato Natsukawa.
And thus began my pursuit of my future husbando.
As with every free mobile game, Lust in Terror Manor needed some way to reap in money. You can only read five chapters free every day- you’d need to purchase “tickets” to progress more in the same day. Luckily, I have a short attention span for mobile games, so five chapters a day was the perfect pace for me. Admittedly, I was too embarrassed to be caught playing an otome game, so I only played when I was alone.
Every once in a while, you are given the choice to unlock a bonus chapter where you get some one-on-one time with your lover. Sometimes he may get a little “adventurous.” But it never goes far enough to actually become smut, and the screen will black out before you can ever get a peek of anything. The furthest you’ll see is your lover shirtless.
However, keep in mind that if you still want to giggle over these bonus chapters, you’ll have to shell out some money.
The storyline wasn’t too terrible, although some of the translations were a little off. Hayato did grow on me, despite some scenarios making me roll my eyes and gag. And it didn’t seem too hard to build up enough Affection points to get my happy ending.
Honestly, I lost interest in the game halfway through, especially when Fire Emblem Heroes launched.
It took me weeks to get back into the game, for the sake of seeing it through to the end. I don’t have the patience to try out the other routes. I’m not saying Lust in Terror Manor was terrible. I did enjoy “spending time” with Hayato. And the murder mystery backdrop did make it more enjoyable. But I truly believe that otome games simply aren’t for me.
But maybe I’m wrong. Perhaps I only need to find the right one for me. I just don’t want to spend time shifting through several ones before finding the right one.
So what otome game do you suggest I try? Let me know in the comments below!