I Can't Stop Spending Money on This Horrible Horny Dating Sim

By Gita Jackson on at

Every time I open Instagram, I see three kinds of ads: hipster makeup, hipster clothes and corny-looking visual novels. It’s easy for me to resist the makeup and clothes, as I’m trying to downsize on both right now, but in a moment of weakness, I downloaded one of the visual novels last night. It is terrible. It oozes horniness. I can’t stop playing it.

Star Crossed Myth is a visual novel from game developer Voltage Inc., whose adverts litter my Instagram feed. It’s about a girl who is suddenly courted by a series of handsome anime men, each with their own romance novel trope attached. They are also gods who live in the stars who are mostly amused by the nameless protagonist’s awe over them. It’s the kind of story that crops up a lot in cheesy romance-themed anime and visual novels, and also in a lot of fanfic. She’s a special girl, a reincarnation of a goddess, and these impossibly handsome men have deemed her and her alone worthy of their time. This is also the plot of Jupiter Ascending, a very stupid movie that I love where Mila Kunis falls in love with a space werewolf played by Channing Tatum, so I thought hey, why not.

Once I opened it up, I saw that the game has a pricing scheme that really adds up over time. You can play the first chapter of all the potential love interests for free, but buying the main story is another few pounds for every character. And from there, there’s an epilogue story, a sequel and an epilogue for the sequel, which all cost another couple of pounds each. When I saw that, I assumed that I’d probably delete Star Crossed Myth by the end of the night. Instead, I spent nearly ten pounds on it.

This game pushed all my buttons. I do have a soft spot for dumb romances but I am almost ashamed of how hard I got played by this game. It is seethingly, aggressively horny. The love interest I chose, Leon, is described as “sadistic” in his bio, but I didn’t think the game would go so far as to actually get sexual about it. Usually these kinds of games rely on building tension without anything happening, and I thought Star Crossed Myth would be the same. I was very wrong about this. In his first, free chapter, Leon takes you to his mansion, undresses you, shoves you to your knees and tells you to beg for him. All of these star gods have special powers, and his is the power to grant humans “pleasure.” Basically, he can make you come by touching you. I am being totally serious here:

It went from zero to BDSM so fast that it gave me whiplash. And of course, the chapter ended on a cliffhanger, so without any hesitation I bought the rest of his story. And I played it twice, got both endings, and I watched the animated video you get for getting both endings where Leon confesses his love for you. The protagonist and Leon never had sex, but I was already in too deep. Leon has a specific illustration for when he’s being smug at you, and as a person who has awful taste in men this deeply appealed to me. Unlike in real life, over the course of the story you change his whole outlook on life. Because of you, and your special specialness, he went from a man who said that love is pointless and stupid to someone absolutely devoted to you.

This morning I woke up and checked my matches on Bumble, a dating app. I sent some guy a message, and then started swiping through DJs, stand up comedians and guys who say they’re financial analysts and look like Patrick Bateman. In real life, you can’t pick the dude who is going to align to all your kinks out of a line up. In Star Crossed Myth and other games from Voltage, you really, really can. In fact, I downloaded another one before I went to work today. It’s called Enchanted In The Moonlight, your potential suitors are all handsome anime boys that happen to be Japanese spirits. Before I even opened it, I could tell that Miyabi, the fox spirit, would have functionally the same personality as Leon. He too is a little cold, very possessive, a bit dismissive and by the end of the game I know I’ll find that, beneath it all, he has a tender heart.

Star Crossed Myth is bad. It’s got some weird sexual politics, it’s corny as hell, it crashed on me a couple times and the writing has a bunch of typographical errors. Today, I’m planning on buying the sequel to Leon’s story, as well as its epilogue. I’m probably not going to hear back from that guy on Bumble, but I heard in one of Leon’s routes there’s a real sex scene, and I’m going to find it.

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