Why Do These Games Exist Even?

And quite frankly, who cares? They give me life.

Photo retrieved from YouTube via Google Images

1. Dino Dearest

I love this game so much, and everyone should play it. That's really all I could say about it.

Except you all know I'll just continue on gushing about it anyway. Sam Suite's Dino Dearest is a short satirical visual novel/dating sim in which you put your best foot forward (or not), and try to woo—or completely disgust—four dinosaurs... and one shark.

I won't dare spoil the dialogue and events in this thing, but I will tell you the selling points of it. It's totally self-aware, extremely sassy, deliciously dark, and a regular smasher of the fourth wall to the point where it might as well stay smashed. It's humorously predictable, and also even more hilariously unpredictable in what can happen based on the choices you make. It'll make you want to pick the worst possible choices just to see how your dear dinos react—and get a great laugh out of them.

What I especially love about this game is how much it doesn't want you to succeed in courting any one of the characters. It wants you to know that you absolutely suck, and it revels in your laughable failures and deaths - despite giving you so many opportunities to try and fix your potential mistakes. But you won't really care, to be honest.

For how random the game is, you're nevertheless constantly active in that you'll practically have to make a choice after every piece of dialogue, giving you plenty of control over your outcome. I like that though, because you're given choices that are very relatable (in light of today's humour), which people would want to answer because of how entertaining and sarcastic they are. You're saying things you'd be likely to say, rather than your character going on auto-pilot like VNs tend to do.

The art style is pretty cute and cartoony; it's chalk-like, very much the aesthetic that comes to mind when you think "prehistoric." The soundtrack ranges from a harpsichord to you playing the drums at one of the dino's concerts—yes, you read that correctly.

Dino Dearest is free on Steam and itch.io for all computer platforms. Go download it, or I guarantee you'll be greeted by man-eating spaghetti at your bedside tonight.

2. Caging Me Softly

I honestly couldn't think of a better way to celebrate me uploading nearly 80 posts to this site than to talk about somebody's apparent Nicholas Cage fetish.

That person is Angequilla from Deviantart, and boy, do they know how to get a good laugh out of us visual novel readers. I can't decide if they're a brilliant troll, or were just bored out of their mind and decided to dedicate a week at most to putting this little number together.

First off, Caging Me Softly is obviously a pun on "Killing Me Softly" (great song, by the way). And second, you'll find out very quickly that you're not playing this so much to date Nicholas Cage as you are finding out what kind of ridiculous dialogue and imagery are coming up next. The song playing in the background is lovely, though; it's a music box version of Utada Hikaru's "First Love."

The entire thing, with skipping previously-seen text, should take you about two minutes to complete. If you need something to really wake you up this fine morning, Caging Me Softly is for you. I forgot where exactly I downloaded it from, but there's plenty of venues through which you can easily find it if you type in a Google search for free.

3. Burning Love

If you were to see a demon with a flaming head, would your first reaction be, "I want to date them"?

That's exactly the mindset of your character in this short visual novel by Michaela Laws and YandereDev. Upon entering the demon realm, you make it your goal to court the first burning ball of hotness you lay your eyes on—it won't be easy though! Demons aren't very easily impressed—or so your date claims.

But honestly, though, for such a ridiculous premise, I had a really fun time with this game. It definitely helps that the demon has a voice that could melt glaciers. I oftentimes found myself picking silly answers just to hear how my date would react.

I like how the whole experience has this self-awareness to it; the demon takes himself so seriously at certain points, but then his inner "tsundere" comes through, complete with sweating, blushing, and stuttering on every other word. There's also plenty of puns and witty comments your character makes—it's just hilarious.

If you're interested (which, let's be honest, you probably are), the VN's free for download on all computer platforms at itch.io.

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Why Do These Games Exist Even?
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