The Arcana: Inclusive Fantasy Dating Sim With a Side of Murder

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The market is tough for those making mobile games—poor App Store formatting, a deluge of burner apps that have little-to-no functionality, and increasingly predatory free-to-play mechanics have made it difficult to find the games that are worth your time. On the other hand, it means that when you do stumble onto a hidden gem, it feels all the more like a treasure.

Enter The Arcana, a free-to-play dating sim set in a fantasy land of magic and tarot. In addition to kissing some eligible suitors (currently three, with three more planned if the game does well), the player will solve a whodunnit mired in courtly intrigue. While it’s difficult to judge an ongoing narrative (new chapters are added roughly ever six weeks), what’s available is both charming and intriguing. Did you like Red Embrace or Hustle Cat? This is probably for you.

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[Link] The People’s Hero (Some People Not Included): The exclusion of queer viewers in LUPIN THE 3rd PART 5

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When I reviewed the premiere for LUPIN THE 3rd PART 5, I said I was disappointed to see that the franchise looked like it was sinking back into the slurry of mediocrity that characterized the late ‘90s and 2000s, interested only in updating the aesthetic sheen without tackling any of the franchise’s extremely outdated ideas (the movies, meanwhile, took all of the grimdark edge and none of the feminist themes from The Woman Called Fujiko Mine). Episode 2 seems to confirm those fears, making a joke out of marginalized fans rather than trying to sincerely include them.

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Doki Doki Literature Club Stumbles Between Deconstruction and Exploitation

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Doki Doki Literature Club, the latest indie game to light up the internet, attempts to combine elements of exploitation and psychological horror with surprisingly grounded depictions of teens grappling with mental illness. Despite what I suspect are the best intentions, this combination proves to be far more damning than any one factor would be on its own.

[warning: full game spoilers for Doki Doki Literature Club, discussion of suicide and self-harm.]

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fafnir con

Hey y’all, I’ll be at Otakon this weekend; if you’re gonna be there, feel free to say hi!

In the meantime, just so y’all have content, I’m recapping the new season of Rick & Morty for The Mary Sue. Hopefully that’ll tide y’all over until Monday. Take care!

[LINK] From Eroica with Love is the 1970s gay thief caper you never knew you needed

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The year is 1976. Dashing and romantic art thief Dorian Red Gloria, codename Eroica, rescues the young supergenius psychic Caesar Gabriel (who is desperately in love with him, of course) from NATO. He’s pursued by the dogged agent Major Klaus Heinz von dem Eberbach to the frozen edges of the earth, where the newfound rivals find themselves stranded and at a stalemate. Forced to bunker down together while waiting for rescue, Dorian realizes that he has far better chemistry with the prickly Major than his unspeakably bland love interest. And thus 40 years of unresolved sexual tension begins in earnest.

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