Angela He is a Stanford University Student (information provided in her bio from different social media accounts: Twitter and Instagram), and an amazing artist and visual novelist. She has been creating many games that touch on various topics—namely ones that show the dark side of life or rather social topics that aren’t really talked about, but should since they do happen in everyday life (unfortunately). Now, not all of them are dark; however, many of them (some of which are on this list) are. Despite them being dark—sad even, I think everyone should play these games. Some of her more known games are He Beat Her and You Left Me. Also, please check her out. Her art is absolutely beautiful and her stories have a lot of meaning and are fun to play (some of which are free to play). NOTE: None of the games listed are in any order whatsoever. MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!
- Missed Messages (2019)
Last year, I had written a review for this game for Pride Month (and I guess I’m doing it again this year too). At first glance, the visual novel seems rather nice and friendly. You play as a female college student who’s working on class work and you get messages from another woman to go hang out/go out on a date. Not only that, but it’s also your birthday. Your roommate seems a bit off while talking to you and singing to you, but you have the choice to stay or leave to go on that date. Either choice will result in 3 different endings. If you choose to stay, you have the choice of spending the evening with your roommate or working hard on your assignment. What freaked me out from playing this and getting different endings from it, was how it remembers when you get the bad ending. I remember screaming when the words “it’s happening again” popped up after I got the bad ending again. This game has strong topics such as self-harm and suicide—play at your own discretion. However, if any of these topics or if the game affects you in any way (or need someone to talk to), I will provide a list of resources for help at the end of this post. You are not alone.
- A New Life (2020)
This game was released this year. It starts off as rather cute and I even gushed a lot because of how it started. It did make me go on an emotional rollercoaster later on, but it was worth every single minute. One portion of the game takes place with the current pandemic (or its own version of it with its own name). You play as the taller one of the two women and basically try to have a long, happy life with your wife. Easy right? Thing is, every single choice you make is vital for getting a specific ending. If you make one wrong move, you’ll get a bad ending—which the game will remind you of so you can make certain choices in the moment to avoid getting it (I once got the phrase “This will probably be the only time to call the doctor” after I got one of the bad endings). Needless to say, I cried a lot while playing it. Some of this was kind of triggering for me, but I loved every single moment of it.
- There’s This Girl (2018)
This is the only one on the list that I played through an app. The game is available to play on PC, but if you don’t have one, you can play it through your phone. It’s rather short. It’s about the relationship between two women only for them to slowly start to drift apart and break up; soon showing the after story of that relationship. As a means to get through the story, you need to interact with certain objects or tap on the screen. There is only one choice you can make and it’s at the end of the game. What is it? Find out by playing the game.
I love all of these games because they’re topics people don’t really talk about. We mostly talk about the beautiful side of love/ relationships, but we never really think about the negative or painful moments within them. I really recommend these visual novels if you ever have the time to play them, want to read good lesbian stories, or simply want to see some amazing artwork in a visual novel. Please check out her social media pages if you haven’t. She creates amazing artwork. She has also made a few more games that use taboo topics (some of which could be triggering for certain people).
With that being said, I do hope you guys check out Angela He’s work. She is insanely talented. Happy Pride Month! Until next time, keep your paws and bowls of ramen up, everyone! Nya! 🐾