The Nintendo Switch has tons games for virtually anyone and that includes Otome games. Otome, which literally means maiden, has come to encompass a wide variety of dating sims, life sims, and visual novels, largely geared towards women (although many galge games for men are identical save for the gender of the protagonist and their potential love interests.) There are hundreds of these type of games available on the Switch, ranging from fantastic to barely playable, and covering a wide range of topics and preferences.
We’ve compiled this list of our favorites, but you still might need a new memory card for your Switch to fit them all!
Nightshade isn’t just one of the first and best otome games on the Nintendo Switch, but one of the best otome games out there. Set in Japan shortly after the Sengoku period, the story follows Enju, the daughter of the head of a prominent clan of ninja. As Enju begins her very first mission to earn her spot as a shinobi, a dark conspiracy threatens her chance at proving herself and even her very life.
This game has everything a good otome should: gorgeous artwork, superb voice acting, incredible music, and an A+ storyline. Where Nightshade really stands out, however, is the protagonist. All too often, otome heroines are very flat in comparison to their various love interests. Enju, on the other hand, is a badass. She is determined to earn her position in her clan, instead of just expecting it because her father is the head. Some of her potential suitors really bring this out, especially Gekkamaru.
A lot of talent went into making Nightshade, from Teita’s illustrations to a cast of stellar voice actors to MIKOTO’s music. If you pick up just one Switch otome game, this one should be it!
Doki Doki Literature Club Plus! coming soon!
Source: Serenity Forge
One of very few games on this list to feature a male protagonist, the wildly popular psychological horror Doki Doki Literature Club Plus! is coming to the Switch on June 30, 2021. This extended version of the game features the original game as well as the folowing:
- Six new Side Stories
- Over 100 unlockable images including brand new game art
- 13 new songs by Nikki Kaelar
- Music by special guests Jason Hayes and Azuria Sky
- A built-in music player
- Full HD (1080p)
Don’t be fooled by the cutesy artwork and fun music. Doki Doki is a psychological horror game with themes of depression, suicide, homicide, and more.
The hit psychological horror dating sim, Doki Doki Literature Club is finally coming to the Switch. Meet Sayori, Natsuki, Yuri, and Monika in this terrifying world of poetry and romance!
Piofiore: Fated Memories
Set in a fictional town in Italy during the 1920’s, Piofiore puts you in the shoes of Liliana Adornato, an orphaned girl raised by a church in the center of town. Liliana soon finds that her home is also in the center of three major crime families vying for control of the town. Caught in the middle of the turf wars, she soon encounters leaders from each of these mafia families, complicating her life further.
The artwork for Piofiore, by Japanese illustrator RiRi, is positively gorgeous and the music is equally beautiful. Piofiore is also plot heavy, giving players a lot more to enjoy than some quick romance with a pretty face. However, it also includes violence, drug abuse, and even human trafficking, so if you’re sensitive to these topics, you may want to pick up a different game.
Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator
Source: Game Grumps
Dream Daddy puts you in the role of a single father who is starting the latest chapter of his life following the death of his partner. At its core, Dream Daddy balances both being a father and finding romance very well. The writing is stellar, ranging from humorous moments to more serious notes, and the artwork is pretty great too, with lots of options for body types and skin tones.
While the protagonist and his love interests are all clearly queer, another way Dream Daddy stands out is that it doesn’t rely on stereotypes, unlike many other queer dating sims. Each of the fathers is a well developed, fully realized person. As a result, the storylines are more complex and feature a wide range of endings.
You and your daughter have just moved only to discover that everyone in your neighborhood is a single, dateable Dad! Are you ready? Hi ready, I’m Dad!
Kitty Love -Way to look for love-
With a plot similar to A Whisker Away, Kitty Love puts you in the shoes of a florist named Honoka who, upon a fateful enounter with an odd-eyed black cat, is cursed to turn into a cat every night. The only thing that can break the curse is… you guessed it, true love’s kiss.
Kitty Love is a fluffy story — both literally and figuratively. The story is fairly straightforward without too much depth; however, the characters are well developed despite the storyline. The artwork is lovely and the voice acting is excellent, as would be expected with the cast of popular names. The only real complaint is the translation. There are quite a few translation errors that could have been avoided with a proper localization.
Who would have thought casually wondering what it’d be like to be a cat could have such drastic consequences? Take on the role of Honoka, a florist by day, cat by night, as she seeks out true loves kiss to break her curse.
Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~
Source: Aksys Games
Set in an alterante 19th century London, this steampunk visual novel features a cast of characters all based on literary, historical characters, including Van Helsing, Frankenstein, and Saint Germain. However, the real star of the show is protagonist Cardia, who doesn’t fall into the flat, damsel in distress stereotype that so many otome protagonists do. Cardis is tough as nails and quick-witted, and she holds her own alongside the massive names who are vying for her love and attention.
As you take on the role of Cardia, you’re presented with a mystery. For starters, Cardia has amnesia and can’t remember much of anything before two years prior, but far more pressing, she has poison flowing through her veins, leaving her toxic to touch. As she meets each of the various love interests, will she be able to find the source of her amnesia and poison touch?
Code: Realize is a stunningly beautiful game due in large part to the intricately detailed illustrations by Japanese artist Miko. The music was also fantastic and sets the mood perfectly. Unlike some other dating sims, this game is a lengthy visual novel. Expect to spend at least 50 hours to complete all the endings, but don’t be surprised if you lose all track of time because this is a really engaging story.
Venture into a reimagined steampunk version of 19th century London. Follow the adventures of the poison-skinned maiden Cardia, the men trying to help her, and the mysterious organization intent on capturing her.
Collar X Malice
Source: Aksys Games
Collar X Malice puts you in the shoes of Shinjuku detective Ichika Hoshino, who finds herself abducted and blackmailed by a criminal organization known only as Adonis. Having been fitted with a collar that could kill her at any moment, Ichika works alongside members of an independent detective agency to uncover the truth and expose Adonis.
Although very dark, Collar X Malice is a phenomenally written story with fantastic artwork by Hanamura Mai. The music, including Japanese alternative rock band Plastic Tree’s opening, is a lot of fun and very fitting for the story. The cast includes some big name voice actors and each gives a stellar performance. The only thing to be wary of is the dark themes; Collar X Malice includes a lot of violence and bloodshed, so may not be the best game for those sensitive to these themes.
A dangerous shadow organization launches a campaign of fear and violence in the city of Shinjuku, pushing society to the brink of chaos. As a young police officer tasked with restoring order, you become the target of an attack and five mysterious strangers appear to aid you in your quest for the truth.
Source: Bloom Digital
LongStory puts your in the role of a student at the weirdly lovable Weasel Heights Middle School. Unlike most games on this list, you get to build your protagonist, including LGBTQ+ options. The protagonist and love interests are all around 14, so romance is of the holding hands and first kiss variety, but that leaves a lot more room for exploring identity and learning more about the cast.
As far as dating sims go, LongStory has a pretty unique gameplay aspect in that it allows you to rewind time to redo your last choice and the flexible options for gender and sexual orientation are a rarity among otome games. There’s a lot of appeal here for those of us who went through school closeted, or worse, lacking the vocabulary to identify ourselves, but there’s also potential for teens to navigate through their own feelings and identities as well.
All in all, LongStory a really sweet story with cute artwork and a lot of space for more story to tell, if the publisher chooses to release more.
From the same creator of Code: Realize, Café Enchanté is a light-hearted fantasy story with a cast of delightful creatures. You play as Kotone Awaki, a hard-working young woman who inherited a café from her grandfather. However, she soon finds that the Café Enchanté is no ordinary café.
Serving as a meeting spot for all manner of otherworldly creature, Kotone meets with demons, angels, beasts, and even a headless knight, all while her café is under watch of the Government Paranormal Measures agency. With beautiful and bright illustrations by Yuuya and fantastic music by Tomomi Nakamura and Love solfege, this game is a delight to play through — which is good because it takes at least 60 hours to complete.
When Kotone inherits her grandfather’s Tokyo café, she discovers the shop holds more secrets than anyone could imagine. The Café Enchanté hosts clients from other worlds, including demons, fallen angels, and more.
Love Letter from Thief X
In Love Letter from Thief X, you play a museum curator who is targeted by an infamous group of thieves known as the Black Foxes. The Black Foxes are looking for priceless artwork your grandfather painted many years prior, but the FBI is also looking for them.
While the artwork for Love Letter isn’t quite as outstanding as some of the other entries on this list, the character development for each of the love interests is great. I can’t say the same for the protagonist, who is a bit of a Mary Sue, but her banter with the various guys is quite funny.
The Black Foxes, an infamous band of thieves have picked you as their next target! But what could they want with a simple museum curator? Be careful or one might just steal your heart.
Our Two Bedroom Story
Our Two Bedroom Story puts you in the role of a young woman who just got her dream job, but also needs to move out. She moves into a home owned by her stepfather, but he doesn’t mention that there’s someone else living there too and he just so happens to work on the same team. Now, she has to figure how to keep secret that she is living with a coworker.
Another Mary Sue protagonist with no face, the main character really doesn’t sell this game, although I will say she is dedicated and hardworking. On the other hand, the artwork is good and the story behind most of the love interests is compelling enough to keep you coming back for more.
You work for a publishing house and decide to start living on your own, but a coworker’s in your new home?! “This is my house… but you could live with me.”
The Men of Yoshiwara
Source: D3 Publisher
The Men of Yoshiwara is split into two titles: Kikuya and Ohgiya. Both stories take place on an island where there are no baby boys born and so men must be brought in from the mainland. At the center of the island stands Yoshiwara, where these men act as courtesans, taking the “reverse harem” a little too literally.
In Kikuya, you are a smuggler who helps a courtesan and his lover escape the island, while Ohgiya puts you in the role of a wealthy merchant’s daughter. In both, you end up seeking love with one of the many courtesans of Yoshiwara.
Despite not being voiced, The Men of Yoshiwara series features some astoundingly beautiful artwork by Japanese illustrater Hs. These games are worth the price for the artwork alone. Storywise, they’re pretty compelling with a bit of something for everyone.
On a closed island where baby boys are not born, Yoshiwara, housed in the center of the island, always had a beautiful glow to it. Will you find love and romance in Yoshiwara?
Enchanted in the Moonlight
Enchanted in the Moonlight is another otome divided into two parts: Miyabi, Kyoga & Samon, and Kiryu, Chikage & Yukinojo. These cover each of the different love interests, but there is little in the way of overlap. Originally, the game had a seventh love interest, but he didn’t make it to the Switch ports.
In both games, you take on the role of a young woman with “special blood” capable of boosting the power of Ayakashi, supernatural creatures who live in the shadows. A group of Ayakashi approach the protagonist after a series of near fatal accidents and explain to her that the accidents were the work of evil Ayakashi who want her blood. Each of these men is willing to protect her, but only if she will bear his child.
Although the premise is cliché and a little uncomfortable if you think too hard about it, the artwork is lovely. As mentioned, the stories really don’t overlap, which means you can play in any order you want without risk of spoilers, and despite the awkward premise, the love interests are pretty compelling.
On day, you discover that your blood is imbued with an ancient power, one that the spirit world covets, and these handsome strangers are willing to protect you… for a price, that is. Are you ready to make a deal with these otherworldly creatures?
Another game that has been divided up for the Switch, Star-Crossed Myth has two parts: The Department of Wishes and The Department of Punishments. Each game features six potential love interests (all gods by the way) one for each of the Zodiac constellations. Each god has been branded with a sin and seek you out to absolve them of their sin.
Although the Star-Crossed Myth games aren’t voiced, the writing is stellar and each of the different love interests are compelling and consistent. The main character is also written really well, giving a fair bit of push back to these gods invading her life. The artwork is also really lovely, save for a few of the standard impossibly awkward poses that you find in most of the genre.
The Department of Wishes is the first half, while Punishments is the second half, but if you’re looking for a particular Zodiac, you’ll find Leo, Cancer, Aquarius, Taurus, Capricorn, and Sagittarius in Wishes, while Punishments features Libra, Scorpio, Aries, Virgo, Gemini, and Pisces.
Your days are dreamless and mundane until, one night, you notice a star sparkling in the heavens. Suddenly, the beautiful gods of the stars appear before you. Their goal? To erase their sins. This exquisite, heartrending true love…all began with a sin.
Fantasy Tavern Sextet
Originally a single game, Fantasy Tavern Sextet was divided up into three games for the Switch, each featuring two of the six love interests. In this game, you play as a cook for a maid cafe who finds himself pulled into another world. This other world hosts all sorts of fantasy creatures and the main character has no way to return home.
Fortunately, he is saved (literally and figuratively) by a bar owner who gives him a job at her bar. There he meets a number of young women, all vying for his attention.
As far as dating sims go, especially ones geared towards men, this series isn’t bad. The protagonist is thoughtful and understanding to the various women seeking his love, and the relationships develop slowly, giving time to really understand the world and each character. The biggest complaint I have with this series, however, is that the choices don’t actually matter. It’s a cute story, but when your choices give the same results regardless, it’s less enjoyable.
You’ll laugh! You’ll cry! Set against the backdrop of a fantasy world’s tavern, this slightly naughty, slapstick love-harem drama is about to begin!
Source: D3 Publisher
Fans of Ouron High School Host Club, this is the otome for you. Gakuen Club puts you in the shoes of Akane Koizumi, an ordinary high school student who stumbles upon a big secret: her school has an illegal late night host club! To be sure Akane keeps the host club secret, she is forced to work there. However, the more nights she spends with the hosts, the more they find their way into her heart.
Featuring illustrations by Japanese artist Mero, music by Mao Uzuki, and a talented pool of popular voice actors, Gakuen Club is an exceptionally pretty game. Unfortunately, that pretty wrapping doesn’t extend to the storyline. While the stories and characters aren’t bad, they do rely on a lot of tropes and stereotypes. The protagonist is fairly flat, certainly no Haruhi. Still, if the formula works for you, there’s some lovely music and artwork to be had here.
What lay behind the door was a glamorous nightlife. Welcome to the secret social spot
Iris School of Wizardry -Vinculum Hearts-
In Iris School of Wizardry, you play the role of Aria, a half wizard who has just been accepted into a prestigious magic school. She joins the school’s student council where she is paired off with another student for exams. Each route pairs off Aria with a different love interest, following fairly similar plotlines, ultimately leading to Aria finding success in both love and academics.
Illustrated by Fujinami Mari and featuring a phenomenal voice cast, Iris School of Wizardry has a lot of talent behind it and it shows. The artwork is positively ethereal and well worth the purchase price alone. The characters are also a lot of fun, with Aria standing out as a capable heroine who refuses to let the bigotry she faces from her classmates hinder her.
While some would compare Iris School of Wizardry to Harry Potter, the writing is definitely much better and the overarching themes are deeper.
ISW is the elite academy for magically gifted young men and women and you’ve just received your acceptance letter. But as a half wizard, will you be able to keep up with your fellow classmates?
Akash: Path of the Five
Source: Truant Pixel LLC
Akash: Path of the Five puts you in the shoes of an Elemental (think benders from Avatar the Last Air Bender) named Aurora, the only woman in her class. In fact, Aurora is the first female Elemental in many, many years, so needless to say, she has caught the eyes of many young men. As she comes close to graduation, Aurora will need to settle on a single element and wouldn’t you know it, her class includes a young man from each of the five elements.
One of very few English made otome games, Akash: Path of the Five has artwork far more similar to what you’d find in classic fantasy games, like Dungeon and Dragons or Magic the Gathering. The music composed by audio duo Fat Bard, however, is much more similar to otome games, having been compared to the whimsical melodies of Studio Ghibli.
Storyline-wise, this game is a lot of fun and steers clear of a lot of the unhealthy messages other otome can feature. Aurora sets healthy boundaries, expresses her needs in mature and responsible ways, and otherwise presents a heroine worthy of admiration.
As the first girl raised in your village in over 200 years, your choices will decide your fate, and the future of your people
How to take off your Mask
Source: Ratalaika Games
A romantic visual novel, How to take off your Mask puts you in the shoes of a young baker named Lilia, who mysteriously finds herself turning into a cat person. As she tries to understand what is happening to her (and how to make it stop!) Lilia also uncovers secrets about her childhood friend, Ronan. Will they be able to confront their secrets and show each other who they really are?
At its core, How to take off your Mask is about the different faces we wear in different circumstances and how the real self is something beneath all of that. Of course, it’s all wrapped up in a cute, cat girl love story. All of this is backed with lovely music and adorable illustrations, not to mention excellent voice acting.
The only real complaint I had about How to take off your Mask was the length. While most otome games feature several love interests, this game only has the one. It’s still a really sweet story, but compared to the 50+ hour games on this list, it is quite short.
One day you discover the other side of your partner you had never known. What is the truth beneath the masks?
Source: Bloom Digital
While most dating sims feature a young, stereotypically beautiful cast, Later Daters tosses out that premise and instead focuses on a cast of octogenarians. Your character, who you get to customize, finds themselves in a retirement home, but where as you expected to find an easier, more peaceful place, you instead find all manner of hijinks and even love.
Later Daters is technically a dating sim, but it also tackles a lot of really heavy subjects, like aging and death, in a very realistic way. It portrays each elderly character as a fully realized, three-dimensional person that is so much more than their age.
This game is certainly not for everyone, but the stories and characters in Later Daters are meant to challenge how the player views the elderly and it’s quite successful in that regard. Later Daters also features bright, colorful art, a wide range of body types and skin tones, and is LGBTQ+ friendly. Currently, only the first three episodes are available on the Switch, but there are four more available on PC that may make their way to the Switch in the future.
Play as an octogenarian and find somebody to love, or just get your kicks in while the getting is good. If the chairs are rockin’, don’t come a-knockin’.
Your favorite otome games on Nintendo Switch?
There are literally hundreds of otome games out there, so we can’t have played them all. Is your favorite missing from the list? Share your hidden gem in the comments below and we’ll be sure to check it out!