Following the trend of last year, 2021 was quite prolific in BL game releases despite a slow start, with DRAMAtical Murder’s localization as a notable example.
In this article I list the 10 notable releases of 2021, with what’s to come in 2022. Let’s go!
Hexed Pet series by ChaniMK
Genre: comedy, slice-of-life
Price: $0 (Free)
Available on: itch.io
Hexed Pet is a series of 6 short games (around 1 hour each) about Micah, a kind man who finds out he’s actually a witch and through various shenanigans, has to take care of and help men who were transformed into animals and cursed into thinking and behaving like one.
Each game features a different love interest and “animal”, with the first installment being Hexed Pet: Hamster. ChaniMK has since made another BL game called “Forgive my Sins, Father” and started yet another game called My Nemesis and Hero. All in the same year…!
DRAMAtical Murder’s Official Localization by JAST USA
Back in April, JAST USA released the much-awaited official English release of DRAMAtical Murder by Japanese company Nitro+Chiral.
DMMd tells the story of Aoba, a young man whose wish for a simple life turns out to be incompatible with the strange people who cross his path and the looming influence of a megacorporation who threatens those he loves. You can read my (spoiler-free) review of it here.
If you wish to buy DMMd, I suggest you grab it directly from the JAST USA website, as the Steam version is heavily censored and requires you to buy an uncensored patch in the JAST store anyway.
Heart is Muscle by Heiden
Genre: Medieval, RPG
Price: $2 USD
Available on: itch.io
Heart is Muscle is a visual novel / RPG hybrid that puts you in the shoes of Borislav, a muscled man from a town called “Swoleville” competing with several other citizens (including one swole grandma) for the position of the Mayor.
You may be familiar with Heiden’s previous titles Dr. Frank’s Build-A-Boyfriend and Kill the Prince?!. Originally intended for Yaoijam 2020, its release was pushed to 2021 for more polishing and more content.
Sentimental Trickster by Lovenuts
More than 4 years after its Kickstarter and after various struggles, and with the help of Y Press Games, Polish creator Justyna, also known as “Lovenuts”, “Yaoi a Gogo” and “Lazuli”, finally released Sentimental Trickster.
Sentimental Trickster makes you follow Haru, a young man with a quirky personality and heavy secrets who moves into the city and joins a house full of beautiful men, who have their own shares of burden that you may discover should you play their route.
Vampire Slave by Y Press Games
Adapted from the BL novel of the same name, Vampire Slave is a 4-part kinetic novel (VN with no choice) about Dusty, the young leader of a vampire hunting organization and Talos, the oldest vampire alive
Vampire Slave has the distinction of being Y Press Games’ only BL title that is not rated 18+.
Monstrous Lovers by ManEater Games
A love letter to vintage horror movies, Monstrous Lovers takes place in a world where “monsters” live alongside humans. The protagonist, Christopher Wells, is a human government employee who decides to move to a city with the highest monster population in the country.
5 years after its IndieGoGo campaign, Mexican-based ManEater Games’ Monstrous Lovers was finally released back in June. The game contains Spanish voice acting and a free 18+ patch that adds optional adult scenes into the game.
Dead Man’s Rest by Gallium Games
Set in 1879, Arizona, Dead Man’s Rest is a tale of vengeance, love and murder mystery in which Lee “Blackjack” McCarthy is the prime suspect for a murder he didn’t commit, and needs to collaborate with the local townsfolk to clear his name and achieve his goal.
Gallium Games is Argent Game’s side brand where they collaborate with other creators. In this case, Dead Man’s Rest was written by Theo Southgate. Note that the game is currently in early access and is missing some visuals.
Sinsations by Frigid Delight Studios
Kosuke Arai died and was sent to hell, where he was later chosen as the Deadly Sin of Lust by Lucifer himself and tasked with a difficult task: seduce the other 6 Deadly Sins living in Vegas within 2 months or he will meet a tragic end.
Sinsations has the distinction of being fully-fully voiced, as-in every single line in the game, including Kosuke’s thoughts and narration are voiced, which make for an interesting experience.
Freezer Pops by Male Doll
Through unfortunate circumstances, Brazilian student Alexander has to find a quick way to make money so he can pay rent. His solution: selling freezer pops on busy beaches! They sell well enough, but he now has to face competitors including an old lady who owns a freezing pop empire. Oh, and he meets cute guys along the way.
This game does not seem to contain any kind of stat-raising or time management despite the description, but I might be wrong.
Synthetic Lover by Irlana
In the year 2066, mankind has developed “biots”, artificial forms of life who serve humans and fill various roles in society. An incident leads one such biot, called Unit-532, to develop human feelings which he sees as a hindrance to his job and everyday life. Wishing to return to normal, he tries to find the man and the device who turned his life upside down.
Synthetic Lover is fully voiced. The Steam version is not available yet but will be in a few days.
Coming soon: Slow Damage by Nitro+Chiral, localized by JAST USA
Some of you had been waiting for this game since its first announcement back in 2016. Slow Damage’s Japanese version was finally released back in February and it’s clocking 65 hours of play according to VNDB…!
Sadly, while the game is 100% translated in English (by Verdelish) and edited, the official English version couldn’t make it in 2021 as it still needs more polish. I am honestly not surprised, and would have found it strange to get both DMMd and Slow Damage localization in the same year so I’m actually quite happy to wait a few more months for it.
Coming Soon: Tokyo Onmyouji by Tyrant, localized by Moonchime
Another game whose localization couldn’t make it in 2021 is Tyrant’s Tokyo Onmyouji, for the same reason as Slow Damage: the English build needs polish.
The full release is still right around the corner however: Moonchime’s last statement sets the release date to February 2022, only a month away.
Fangame: Is Lupin Still Flirting? by Alexis Royce
Price: $0 USD (free)
Available on: itch.io
English-made BL fangames, while usually very short (30 min on average) are rarity, so I was pleasantly surprised when I found out about Alexis Royce’s Lupin III fangame, featuring vibrant traditional ink(?) sprites and illustrations.
Note that while you can sample the game with your browser on the above link, the full game is only available through download. Either way, it’s free! If you liked it, you may also be interested in the creator’s other queer-themed game “The Case of the Serialized Killer“.
GALGE SERIES: Mermaid Tales and other Genshin Impact fangames by Narurinya
Rating: 15+ or 18+
Price: $5-10 USD
Available on: itch.io
This year was apparently very prolific for artist Naruninya, who made at the time of writing a whopping 7 fangame this year alone, most of which featuring Zhongli x Venti pairing. The creator does warn in each page that these stories (ranging from 30 minutes to more than an hour) are quite self-indulgent and some quite kinky.
These games are not for PC per see, but iOS though each game page gives you instruction on how to play them with an iOS emulator.
Congrats on reading that far! The year 2021 saw many game releases, including some games I had been following for years but still didn’t have time to play or review. Sadly, I do not guarantee I will make that many more reviews in 2022, for I am busy making a BL game of my own which will be announced soon!