Pride is right around the corner and as this year's pride across cities and countries prepares for a pride that supports (or should) Queer Black folks, in the midst pf Black Lives Matter protests across the world but in particular across all of the United States, Steam has launched their lists of queer games "Summer of Pride" presented by Midboss.
Perhaps I'm too much of a negative or cynical person but the Summer of Pride's list of queer games left me lukewarm to say the least. It reminded me of games that were praised for doing the bare minimum such as Catherine's trans waitress Erica, the creators of Catherine were praised for writing in a trans character, until they created an additional ending that is so transphobic it ruined a game that had such potential, that was so fun.
So, here's my list of 15 queer games that I think you should check out right now, whether to set the tone right for Pride and the celebration of queerness, or for any other day of the year where we are just as queer! This list features Gay, Lesbian, Bi, Pan as well as Trans and non-binary characters & their stories.
1. A Normal Lost Phone
"A Normal Lost Phone is a game about exploring the intimacy of an unknown person whose phone was found by the player."
Created by Accidental Queens and Seaven Studio, A Normal Lost Phone is a game that focuses on the exploration of queer identity, the relationship between people and safety/privacy. It is a game that I picked up because I wanted something short and "simple" and I was surprised at how moved I was. A Normal Lost Phone is available on: Steam, Nintendo Shop, iOS and Android. Price: Under 5$
2. Your Royal Gayness
Described as: "Your Royal Gayness is a story-driven fairytale parody game where you must navigate royal life as Prince Amir and rule your kingdom while your parents - the King and Queen - are traveling. Manage your Kingdom's resources, make challenging choices and come up with funny and absurd excuses to avoid marriage!" "The library is on fire, cats have overrun the city and a wolf is munching on grandmothers in the forest. On top of that, princesses are knocking on your door, hungry for marriage! Survive royal life as a gay prince in this ultimate fairytale parody game!"
Price: Under 20$
3. Life is Strange Franchise (LiS, LiS: Before the Storm and LiS 2)
Since the first Life is Strange game, LiS has been giving us queer stories that feature aspects of any and all relationships that are not always featured. I appreciated, especially in the two first stories of LiS, being given complicated, sometimes toxic, queer relationships between woman, through a story about coming of age, assault, depression, friendship and, well, superpowers. In LiS 2, the studio once against gives us the option of playing a queer character through the decisions we are allowed to make, or to choose not to make, this time, with a male character.
Price: Episodic, packages range around 21.99$
4. Later Daters
"You’re the newest resident at Ye OLDE retirement community, where you’ll meet a cast of sexy seniors who are all dying (not literally) to meet you. It’s a lot like summer camp, but with orthopedic shoes, bridge clubs, and more jell-o. It’s an adjustment as you settle in, but who knows: maybe these will turn out to be the best years of your life!"
"Later Daters is a wholesome dating sim about queer seniors. The game, from Toronto developer Bloom, is a romantic romp that sheds light on the lives and stories of queer and trans elders." And with some of the most racially and culturally diverse cast of characters I've ever seen!
Price: Under 10$
5. The Lion's Song: Episode 3, Derivation
"“The Lion’s Song: Episode 3 – Derivation” dives into the scientific world at the beginning of the 20th century – an era of great achievements, but also dark downfalls. On the eve of World War I mathematician Emma Recniczek enters the academic stage to solve a problem revolving around."
In the third episode of The Lion's Song, we play as a character who, as they face gender discrimination within mathematics and other inner struggles, also question their gender identity.
Price: Episodic, around 5$ per episode.
6. Get In The Car, Loser!
"A lesbian road trip RPG by the co-creator of Ladykiller in a Bind about fighting for love and justice in the face of indifference, inspired by choice-driven visual novels, and a battle system influenced by classic and modern JRPGs. WILL YOU STAND AND FIGHT IN THE FACE OF EVIL?"
Get In The Car, Loser! is not yet available. (Steam)
7. Dragon Age Franchise
The Dragon Age games have always featured a wide rage of options when it comes to the character your character can romance in the game. It first went from having a few options here and there, to the second game where every character can be a romantic option for yours, to Inquisitions, where characters have their own preferences, offering representation for Gay, Lesbian, Bi as well as trans folks through the character of Krem. (*cue my heart*)
Price: DA: 26.99$, DA 2: 29.99$, DA: I: 54.99
8. Dream Daddy
"Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator is a game where you play as a Dad and your goal is to meet and romance other hot Dads. You and your daughter have just moved into the sleepy seaside town of Maple Bay only to discover that everyone in your neighborhood is a single, dateable Dad! Will you go out with Teacher Dad? Goth Dad? Bad Dad? Or any of the other cool Dads in this game? With minigames, sidequests, and a variety of paths and endings, Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator is this year's most anticipated Dad-based game."
Dream Daddy is available on: Microsoft Windows and macOS
Price: Under 20$
9. Butterfly Soup
10. Hustle Cat
"You are Avery Grey, the newest employee at a popular cat cafe called A Cat's Paw. The coffee's good and the staff is friendly (and kinda cute!) but mysterious. One day, you find a strange book in the basement, with letters you can't quite read...You'll work hard at A Cat's Paw, but there's still time to get to know your new coworkers! Who's your favorite? The brusque, but devoted cook Mason? Or maybe Reese, the fashion-obsessed waiter who knows more than he says? And there's always your strange-eyed boss, the enigmatic Graves."
11 . Max Gentlemen Sexy Business!
"The premiere Victorian Business Tycoon & Dating Simulator. Your family business has been stolen from you! Forge sexy partnerships in the sheets while crushing rival companies in the streets to become England’s largest monopoly and reclaim your family honor."