Last week, the memes that I posted on Twitter for my own amusement met a certain success and I received a non-zero number of replies from people who appeared perplexed by the amount of BL game titles they did not know about.
Some of these more obscure titles are actually well-known in their country of origin, some are just old and thus less likely to be discovered, let alone played by younger or newer BL fans. Many are no longer available anywhere, whether in physical or digital form.
This article is a compilation of the various “BL game highlights” I posted in the subsequent days on Twitter as an attempt to educate the BL game fans who seek to know more about these lesser-known titles and, if possible, where to find and play them.
False Alkanet by Nitro+CHiRAL
A game released in 2010 under the short-lived brand “Chiral Mobile” with the collaboration of Nitro+CHiRAL and Digiturbo. This game was released on Japanese mobile before Android and iOS and smartphones as a whole became widespread.
Synopsis taken from the blog Nitro+Chiral Paths:
False Alkanet’s story takes place in the Taisho period, during the political crisis that would lead to the end of Japan’s oligarchy and the rise of the democratic parties. After all the political turmoil, the Takatori family is finally recovering it’s lost peace. Takatori’s successor is aspiring Pianist Yuto, whose piano skills keep evolving along with his plans to study abroad. Everything looks favorable, but things are about to get clouded…
I wonder if they deemed mobile games not profitable or perhaps more trouble than they were worth. That was before Android, iOS and smartphones are a whole were not yet widespread, which bears the question: would a N+C mobile game today be popular and profitable to them… and would it be a good thing, really?
Lucky Dog 1 by Tennenouji
If you ever tried to look for BL games to play beyond Nitro+CHiRAL, there is a very high chance you stumbled at least once upon the 2009 game Lucky Dog 1.
Far from obscure in Japan, LD1 was voted the best BL game of all times on Chil-Chil and was popular enough receive a manga adaption, several spinoffs and complete reboot in 2018 in the form of Lucky Dog1+bad egg.
The story takes place in America, 1930. You play as Giancarlo, a prisoner from the Italian mafia group “CR:5” whose famed good luck earned him the title of “Lucky Dog”. When 4 mafia leaders get transferred to his facility, his boss hands him the task of breaking them out. Should he succeeds, he will be rewarded with a high spot in the hierarchy.
In 2018, English publisher Mangagamer announced the official localization of Lucky Dog 1 with the collaboration of Terracanon876, a blogger who has been translating the game for years with the approval of Tennenouji. While there has been no public news since 2019, the translation editor Mary Borsellino assured that the project is slow, but still very much alive.
Yami no Romance and other fangames by Akane
Akane is a creator who made Yami no Matsuei and Death Note fangames between 2001 and 2010 using the RPG Maker engine. These games are among the first, and perhaps the very first English BL fangames in existence.
- Yami no Romance: a Yami no Matsuei fangame where you play as the series protagonist Tsuzuki and go to an amusement park with other characters. Your goal is to get a romantic ending with them.
- Love Impact: Another YnM fangame. You play Tsuzuki once again and you must spend a day in Hisoka’s house.
- D.nd: Poisoned: Roger assigns the two children Near and Melo together on a project. Ensue things Roger did not foresee.
- L’s Difficult Successors: You play as L you must convince Melo and Neat to get intimate with each other.
- D.Nd: Infection: Set after L’s death, you play as Melo and, well, not much is known about the plot as the game never went beyond the available demo.
Hunks Workshop! by Future Games
The protagonist is living a life of self-indulgence and debauchery until he receives one day a call from his uncle. His request: that you work as a manager in one of his shops, “BODY&SOUL” that rents handymen. He has one month to convince his uncle to keep him or else he will get fired.
A game from 2004 of the more “manly” variety that was nonetheless promoted in B’s log, a magazine about women-targeted games. It was translated in English by TLwiki. You can check its still-up official website, where to purchase the game and get the English patch in the links below.
The 2016 game Super Health Club bears many similarities with Hunks Workshop! down to the theme and character designs. Take this as you will.
Prince Maker series by Alfagames
A trilogy of free Chinese raising simulators inspired by the famous Princess Maker series. You are tasked with raising a young boy into various jobs, assign him tasks and lessons, socialize with different people and go on dangerous missions where he will have to fight monsters.
Depending on your choice, the boy can grow into a fine young man and romance one of the 3 female and 2 male love interests.
The second entry, Prince Maker – Braveness, is the best-known one in the West as it was translated in 2012 with the approval of the creators. You can still download the game from the translator’s website.
I’m don’t know how many of these highlights I will write. I guess I’ll keep posting them as long as I feel inspired and motivated. Anyway, I hope you found them useful and I always appreciate the comments about people who played these games.