Hello! I’m here to spend your money again. But don’t you want to support independent Japanese developers? Sure you do.
If today’s review of The Citadel has got you in the mood for throwing your money at some developers of doujin games, then here’s five top picks for you to add to your collection.
Some of these are fairly new, some of these have been around for years. All are well worth your time — so let’s get started!
This title’s stablemate Recettear is much more famous — it’s essentially the doujin game that put doujin games on the map for most western players — but this title, its spiritual predecessor, is still well worth playing.
Taking on the role of Elise, who is searching for a way to return her sister Chante to human form after she was cursed to become a fairy, it’s up to you to hack and slash your way through a variety of areas, find treasures and occasionally stop for a spot of fishing. Enjoyable combat with a strong emphasis on pattern recognition makes this title a lot more challenging than its cutesy PS2-style aesthetic might suggest!
Starchaser: Priestess of the Night Sky
This unusual doujin game puzzler sees you navigating your way through a 3D labyrinth by manipulating gravity in order to get where you’re going. It’s a real brainbender with some charmingly simple but effective presentation, and becomes more and more compelling as you progress.
There’s also a surprising amount of variety within the core mechanics; each level introduces some new techniques to explore, making this a consistent pleasure to experience.
100% Orange Juice
This is one of those games that most people seem to end up with in their collection eventually, but if you haven’t yet picked it up, give it a shot! It’s an absolute blast whether you’re playing it with friends or against the AI — though naturally the former provides the most enjoyable competitive action.
100% Orange Juice is a doujin game that combines elements of board games like Mario Party with dice-based combat mechanics and a collectible card game. By playing cards and making use of special abilities, it’s up to you to secure victory by fair means or foul! Usually foul.
One of Astro Port’s most interesting and unusual shoot ’em ups, Zangeki Warp combines the Gradius-like elements of its spiritual precursor Satazius with a “warp” mechanic similar to that found in FuturLab’s excellent Velocity series.
Banging tunes, fantastic 16-bit style graphics and an unsettling biomechanical aesthetic that R-Type fans will be right at home with makes for a wonderful shoot ’em up with a fun twist.
Tasomachi: Behind the Twilight
We had some very nice things to say about this beautiful platformer a while back, but they’re worth repeating: this is a delightful game for those who enjoy exploration and precise 3D platforming rather than combat. And best of all, the developer has updated the game since our review to address some of the more common community criticisms of the game.
Unfolding in a beautifully rendered open world inspired by traditional Japanese and Chinese architecture, Tasomachi challenges you to track down hidden “Source of the Earth” collectibles by making creative use of your abilities to clamber all over the environment. It’s a pleasantly relaxing game, but don’t expect an easy ride — some of the athletic-style “sanctuary” stages will really test your platforming mettle!
What are some of your favourite doujin games for PC? Let us know in the comments — or pen us a letter for the Rice Digital Friday Letters Page if you have more to say!
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