Heartwarming adventure game where you run a haunted B&B. Protagonist is a woman of colour. Well-handled discussions of death and grief, and (briefly) of sexism in household work. 4/5 - excellent.
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Deck-building game about communities, travel, trade and climate issues. Very well-crafted in all regards, from writing to art to mechanics - though some players may find card swaps tricky. 5/5 - outstanding.
Free, short dating sim where you must try to juggle four dates without letting them realise you've got multiple versions of yourself running around. It's well-paced, fun and quite cute. Protagonist pronouns: they/them. 4/5 stars - excellent.
Pay-what-you-want TTRPG resource that could either stand alone as a one-shot or work into an existing campaign during a shopping spree. Features lots of fun ideas, an intriguing map for the fair, and a straightforward 2d6 system with sensible modifiers. Bonus points for gender-neutral language throughout and a keen awareness of safety tools and boundary-setting. 5/5 stars - outstanding.
I'm aware that it is a design choice, not a bug. However, it is an accessibility issue for some people. For example, it's painful for me - I'm autistic and hypersensitive to some visual stimuli - and it's also potentially dangerous for people with photosensitive epilepsy, as there were no warnings about flashing lights being present anywhere on the game or its description. I hope this helps to clarify things!
If you choose to add a means of disabling the flashing lights, please let me know and I'd be happy to update my review accordingly.
Captivating puzzle game where you must roll a cube through levels while avoiding having one of its faces hit the ground. The levels are very neatly designed and there's a fun range of mechanics.
One major caveat, however - when you land on the forbidden face after the previous block has disappeared, it triggers bright flashing lights for a few moments. There is currently no way to disable this - if there were, I would have given this game 4/5 stars, but unfortunately this is a noteworthy accessibility issue. 3/5 stars - enjoyable.
I saw that in 2017 someone asked about being able to exclude tags from searches (not just using one tag with the URL fix from that discussion), and an itch team member said they would be working on making that possible. Are there any updates about this? I'd really love to be able to filter out a wider range of things.
This set of prompts gives you a chance to think about something or someone that you care about in detail. By encouraging you to express your appreciation for that positive influence through writing and art, it creates an opportunity to boost your mood - and then turn your feelings of appreciation and affection towards yourself, too. 5/5 stars - outstanding.
Heartwarming and occasionally grim, this spooky interactive narrative is a great way to spend an evening. Content warnings: death, murder (no graphic violence, but a bit unsettling). 4/5 stars - excellent.
This short interactive experience is packed full of character. The art style and audio design bring the story to life in a fun and charming way. Bonus points for also using strong visual cues to represent auditory information! Female-only protagonist, though this is only apparent through the description, as the game uses no words. 4/5 stars - excellent.
This game looks really interesting, but since it mentions it's got mature content (including a serial killer), please can you provide content warnings? Currently I can't tell whether it would be a game that I should play or not.
Okay. I'm not going to change my ratings unless I find clear evidence of it having a significant negative impact on devs on itch.io in particular, so I guess I'll wait and see what the itch team say in response to my email. Sorry if this conversation drained your spoons.
Thanks for the link - I read through it, but am struggling to follow your argument. Can you explain to me if I'm missing something? The OP claimed that the 'top rated' page was useful because people might use it to find an overview of games that might interest them, which may not be reflected in direct clicks to individual games from that page. Leaf then said that they also track impressions, which (if I understand it correctly) are people viewing the links on the 'top rated' page without actually clicking on them. Leaf noted that even with impressions being considered, there was not a significant impact on discoverability. Did I interpret that correctly?
Thanks for the heads-up, that's really frustrating and useful to know. Do you have any links to sources where I can learn more about how that system works? I couldn't find anything useful, so I've emailed the itch team in the meantime.
Free, easy to learn turn-based strategy game in Early Access. It has various colourblind modes. It's straightforward and fairly elegant already, so worth checking out. 3/5 stars - enjoyable.
Free, short visual novel which follows on from the events of 'one night, hot springs'. It gradually builds the protagonist's awareness of her trans friend's anxiety (and Japanese society's widespread transphobia) in a way that feels authentic, but may be a little slow-paced for some people. Still, a great choice if you're looking for a cute, relaxing visual novel with hopeful vibes and good representation of a trans woman and wlw affection. 3/5 stars - enjoyable.
This short Twine story is a thoughtful, well-paced examination of a transgender person's feelings as they perform a ritual to help them battle their dysphoria. It has some beautiful moments, particularly burning the items from the box. And as an added bonus, it also features words specific to the Finnish setting, which you can translate with a click! 4/5 stars - excellent.
A short Twine story that compellingly evokes the everyday struggles of a transmasc person putting on testosterone gel in the morning. Content warnings: dysphoria, self-harm, skin picking. 3/5 stars - enjoyable.
I am working through reviewing all of the TTRPGs from the bundle, yes. As for the other games, I will be reviewing the ones in genres that I am interested in. The hope is that reviews help people to whittle down the items they might wish to play from the bundle, as 1000+ items is a lot to choose from and many people have limited time to spend trying them out.
I've updated my review - I hope you feel that the new version addresses your points. For the record, since you specifically asked me to say this, I do think this game is in the bottom 40% of 5e products, but it seemed harsh to write that exact phrase on a review for something that was partially contributed to by a six-year-old and which is clearly a labour of love.
Inventive, deeply unsettling GMless horror TTRPG about trying to survive a summer camp stalked by a nightmarish monster. The prompts strike an impressive balance between strong characterisation, poetic worldbuilding, eerie rituals and terrifying incidents. It also has a fun approach to describing gender, and a real commitment to using safety tools to maximise enjoyment of the game. 5/5 stars - outstanding.
D&D 5e reworked for the adventures of toys battling the monsters of a child's imagination. It's a strong concept, and it's clear that a lot of fun was had in the making (particularly with the cute hand-drawn illustrations), but overall it feels like a more rules-light system would have been more suitable and accessible. As it is, this game unfortunately doesn't manage to take advantage of the mechanical depth of 5e, nor simplify it to a child-friendly variant. Not one of the stronger 5e products out there. 2/5 stars - serviceable.
One-page tabletop roleplaying game about a relationship coming to its end. Designed to be played by two people, but could probably be expanded to represent polyamorous break-ups too. 4/5 stars - excellent.
Character-driven GMless narrative roleplaying game, inspired by She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. Shows a strong understanding of best practice for consent between players, particularly in the scene guidance and mechanics for Meeting Hand to Heart. The game also notes that “Princess is not a gendered term in this game. It is Athera’s word for magician or spell caster. Anyone can be a princess, and these princesses usually don’t need saving." At time of review, it is still in beta. E4/5 stars - excellent.
A wholesome TTRPG about hamster-like creatures and their adventures. With carefully thought out inclusive worldbuilding (including notes about society not really having gender roles, and intersex Michtim being commonplace), it's a fun read even for those not planning to play it. There are also notes for changing the complexity of individual character sheets based on what stage of life one's character is at, which is a wonderful accessibility feature. 4/5 stars - excellent.
Yeah, I get that. I believe the 'bro' theme is because it was inspired by a set of comics with male characters. However, as it's a game where you make up the details of your characters and their relationship dynamic, you can make them be cool lesbian dragons with no additional effort required. :)
The rules say "you don’t have to be a boy to play this game, and if He/Him/His pronouns make you uncomfortable you have my permission to change them. If you’re not a boy but you want to be for this game to see how it feels, you don’t need my permission for it, but you have it anyway." Does that help at all? :)
A cute, silly and sweet micro-TTRPG where you play as dragons in love, talking about how much they love each other. If that sounds like your thing, you should definitely check it out. Bonus points for inclusive asides regarding gender and polyamorous relationships! 3/5 stars - enjoyable.
Emotionally compelling GMless TTRPG about angels acclimatising to life on Earth. As the creator notes, "this game is deeply queer, and is a pretty transparent metaphor for being transgender." 4/5 stars - excellent.
Gorgeously illustrated tabletop roleplaying game for creating stories in the 'magical girls' genre... Or rather, magical heroes, since it's got fantastic gender diversity throughout. It's Powered by the Apocalypse so the 2d6 mechanics look pretty solid and straightforward. There are also variant rules for 'vehicular heroes': think Voltron or Power Rangers. 5/5 stars – outstanding.
Free, thought-provoking short interactive narrative where you play as a therapist with control over whether your patient will be able to transition. Best when played through to both extremes. 4/5 stars - excellent.
I bought a huge bundle of games and tools because there were several that looked interesting - but I definitely don't need most of them. I'd like to remove them from my library, or at least hide them, because they're cluttering it up and making it hard to browse through. Please can such a feature be added?
Glad it made you smile :) I actually gave it a rating about a month ago :) unfortunately, itch.io doesn't really have a workable curation system at the moment - here's a quote from 2014 about ratings: "The rating data is currently only visible to yourself, but as more games are rated this data will be factored into building a system for helping uncover some of the standout games." Source: https://itch.io/updates/you-can-now-rate-games