novellyfundedHello and welcome to another (ever-so-slightly delayed) issue of Novelly Funded! Since this might be the first time you’ve encountered this column, let me explain what it’s all about. Visual novels are a genre of video games that have become increasingly popular over the last few years. Basically, a visual novel is a game that focuses heavily on story/text that is usually accompanied by still or moving images. Along with this, players are often given opportunities to affect the story – but not always. Novelly Funded is my attempt to showcase some of the coolest visual novels that have shown up on crowdfunding sites.

This month the focus is turned once again to visual novels featuring romance. For some, this is the core aspect (aka: dating sims). Other titles simply have romance as part of the overarching plot. Whatever your taste, you’ll likely love at least one of these upcoming games!

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The Guardian’s Spell

Developer: Winged Cloud

Development Status: In development

theguardiansspellpicAre you a cat person or dog person? In The Guardian’s Spell, high school student Haruka is the former. One day she adopts a cute little cat but things don’t turn out as expected. Her new pet is actually far more than she bargained for as it turns into a boy! Not only that, but this kitty boy uses his magic to cause a trio of popular guys in school to fall desperately in love with Haruka.

What’s a girl to do in this situation? It’s up to you! This otome game gives players the choice to pursue one of the four fellows (including the transformed cat?!). Of course, some might not want to found relationships on the basis of magical – rather than real – love. In that case Haruka can break their curse. After all, the man of her dreams should be able to love her without any magical interference.

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Kendo Crush!

Developer: PixelFade Studio

Development Status: In development – Demo

kendocrushpicThe main character of Kendo Crush! is just your average teenager who has moved to Japan to support his uncle along with his sister. Once in this new landscape, he unfortunately finds himself in quite the predicament in school. After being targeted by bullies, no one is particularly willing to accept him into their school club. Well, one club will take him on. Of course, this is Kendo Club.

Kendo Club is filled with a whole assortment of characters. These folks take in the protagonist as he begins this new sports-fueled life. As this is a dating sim the player is able to choose between romancing the various ladies of Kendo Crush! along the way. Player choice is integral to the game and will lead to one of multiple endings. Pursue studying and kendo above all else, seek pure romance, or something in between!

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Queen At Arms

Developer: Aqualuft Games

Development Status: Currently funding – Demo

queenatarmspicIs political intrigue more to your liking than “slice of life” visual novels? If so, Queen At Arms might be for you! This visual novel stars Marcus, someone who was rescued during a violent political coup. To mask their identity, they were raised as a boy. As such, upon Marcus’ eighteenth birthday it’s time to join the war effort. Only Marcus’ brother knows that his sister is behind the disguise.

As the player makes strategic choices they are affecting what happens next. Will batles be a success or failure? Will one of Marcus’ partners become romantically interested in them? It’s up to you to control the tide of war. One majorly interesting facet of the game is that gender identity plays a piece in the story and how characters interact with Marcus. After all, everyone immediately perceives them as male – and the majority of romantic interests are male as well! Queen At Arms is poised to conquer some pretty unique (and fantastic) territory in the visual novel world.

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Ruler by Default

Developer: Pistachi Studio

Development Status: In development – Demo

rulerbydefaultpicThe protagonist of Ruler by Default was busy living his everyday life until he inadvertently stumbles into a dimensional rift. This aberration thrusts him into a completely other world and time – one where the (un)lucky dude is crowned the successor of this fantasy world’s reigning evil overlord. With a tremendous new burden on his shoulders, players must help the protagonist prepare for this future position.

As such, you’ve got to keep on top of learning and practicing new activities to prepare for the role. Just don’t hit the books too hard so you can still have fun and experience a little romance. With any luck you might just end up achieving one of the more than twelve romantic endings. Be careful, as even an upcoming evil overlord is still capable of completely bumbling relationships.

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SOS SAGA

Developer: Jennie Golliday

Development Status: In development

sossagaSOS SAGA began as a webcomic series some fifteen years ago. The premise is that as Goddesses come of age they must create new worlds. One Goddess created her three as per convention but later felt betrayed by what she had created. In an act of rage, she lashed out against her creations with a host of plagues. As these plagues rage on years later, a Seraph is born. She will be the one to save the world if only she can understand the amazing abilities she wields.

Transforming a huge story into a visual novel might be difficult, but so far things are looking good! SOS SAGA will let you play as the Seraph from the comics. As such, she can might be led to find love with a host of eligible men. Of course, this otome game will have more to offer than just gushy love scenes. Here’s hoping the game rendition shall be as epic as the comic it was based off!

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Starlight Drifter

Developer: AJTilley

Development Status: In development – Demo

starlightdrifterpicLooking for an epic space opera in visual novel form? Starlight Drifter might be the one! This visual novel (with dating sim elements) makes you the captain of a spaceship. And by you, I do mean “you”, at least to some degree. Unlike most visual novels, you actually get to create an avatar (female or male) which shows up in game. From there you’re able to take on different missions and explore the galaxy alongside your crew.

Of course, with a cast full of humanoid and non-humanoid beings, there’s got to be some sparks flying. Initially, players can pursue to deepen their relationships with their crew as friends. If they wish, it’s possible (but not required) to pursue it further so things become romantic. This is another change from many visual novels wherein obtaining a romantic relationship is used as a victory state. In either case, you’ll be able to reach an end game event with each crew member aboard the ship if you like!

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So there you have a fairly exhaustive list of recent Kickstarter campaigns for visual novels featuring romance. Hopefully you saw at least one or two you liked! If not, there’s always more around the corner. It also might be worth checking out my previous romance-centric Novelly Funded column as it lists a different collection of titles. See you next time!

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[author image=”http://cliqist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/marcus.jpg” ]Marcus is a fellow with a love for video games, horror, and Japanese food. When he’s not writing about games for a multitude of sites, he’s usually still playing one. One day when he became fed up with the way sites would ignore niche titles he decided to start his own site by the name of Pixel Pacas. Writing about video games is something he hopes to continue doing for many years to come. Some of Marcus’s favorite games include Silent Hill 2, Killer7, and The Sims. [/author]

Marcus Estrada
Marcus is a fellow with a love for video games, horror, and Japanese food. When he’s not writing about games for a multitude of sites, he’s usually still playing one. Writing about video games is something he hopes to continue doing for many years to come.
Marcus Estrada

@BackerMarcus

Writer for @Cliqist - This is my new ''PROFESSIONAL'' account. Yay, crowdfunded video games!
Glad to see the BL visual novel Sentimental Trickster was funded. How about those #Kickstarter stretch goals? https://t.co/AEU8LaeD6M - 3 years ago
Marcus Estrada