There is a name people caught up in the otome game craze should know: Otomate. This is the branch of Idea Factory that devotes itself to making games for women. These tend to be visual novels with dating sim elements, though Library Cross is a mobile RPG and I Will Protect You was an Otomate Forte Metroidvania. Lots of Otomate games have been released in English for people to enjoy! Depending on the system you own, you could have at least one title to try.
I own a PlayStation 3!
Only one Otomate game made it to the PlayStation 3 outside of Japan. I will give you three guesses which series it is from, and the first two do not count. I hope you said Hakuoki, because it is Hakuoki. (That series is everywhere.)
Hakuoki: Stories of the Shinsengumi is the one that lets you romance a demon named Chikage Kazama, Shinsengumi Vice Commander Toshizo Hijikata, or Troop Captains Souji Okita, Hajime Saito, Heisuke Todo and Sanosuke Harada. Our avatar is a young woman disguising herself as a man to search for her missing doctor father, a fellow who was working on a supernatural formula for the Shinsengumi.
I own a PlayStation 4!
There is only one PlayStation 4 Otomate game available in English right now, though I honestly expect that number to grow over the next few years. You can grab Code: Realize ~Bouquet of Rainbows~. This is the game about the young woman who has a strange jewel embedded on her chest and a toxic touch. She can find love with a legendary thief, mad doctor, vampire, vampire hunter or zombie. Though, due to this compilation including the main game (Guardian of Rebirth) and fandisk (Future Blessings), you can also romance a legendary detective and find out what is going on with the heroine’s brother.
I own a PlayStation Portable!
The PSP is where Otomate games first started appearing in English! Aksys picked up two titles originally. One was, now do not get too shocked when you hear this, Hakuoki. To be more specific, Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom, the most barebones version of the visual novel. The other is Sweet Fuse: At Your Side, a romantic mystery about Keiji Inafune’s niece being trapped in an amusement park by a kidnapper and forced to complete challenges alongside eligible bachelors.
I own a PlayStation Vita!
Guess what? You have one of the absolute best systems for Otomate games in English! There are so many titles out now and coming soon. Plus, backwards compatibility lets you go ahead and play any of the games released on the PSP here too!
The first thing to note is that a number of the Vita Otomate games are available on multiple platforms. You can get Amnesia: Memories, Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~, the Code: Realize ~Future Blessings fandisk and the Hakuoki story via Kyoto Winds and Edo Blossoms. All five of these games appear on other platforms mentioned here, so keep that in mind when buying.
A number of the Vita Otomate games in English are original, one-off stories. Bad Apple Wars traps a young woman in purgatory, which is a high school with warring factions of handsome young men. Collar x Malice’s cop heroine has a poisonous collar from a terrorist group around her neck and a number of detective partners who want to fight crime and help her. Norn9: Var Commons lets us follow three heroines with superpowers trying to save their world, each with three possible bachelors to date. Period: Cube ~Shackles of Amadeus~ traps a heroine in an MMO and has her trying to find a way out… while falling in love. Each one tells a rather romantic and succinct story.
There are also a few recently released Otomate games to keep in mind. One is the Psychedelica series. Aksys picked up Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk and Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly. The latter is out now and follows an amnesiac trapped in a mansion, running from monsters with the help of some bachelors. The former releases on June 29, 2018. It follows a young woman with an odd eye living on the outskirts of town disguised as a boy. She is looking for love and the truth behind magical stones. Between those these two games, people can find 7’s Carlet on May 25, 2018. It lets you help a woman find her missing brother and… oh, right, love again.
I own a 3DS!
We will keep this entry short. Only one of the Otomate games has made it to the Nintendo 3DS in English. It is Hakuoki: Memories of the Shinsengumi. So if you want to chase after Harada, Hijikata, Kazama, Okita, Saito and Toudou on two screens at once, this is your chance.
I own a phone!
People with phones are in just as good a position to play Otomate games as ones with Vitas. This happened for two reasons. One is because Idea Factory International went ahead and released Amnesia: Memories and Hakuoki on Android and iOS devices. Each one has an option where you can start with a free trial and buy pieces or spend $22.99 for the full game.
But the other reason this is a great place to be is because NTT Solmare, makers of the Shall We Date? line, has localized a number of Otomate games! Granted, this means going with a free-to-play approach where you have to buy each route and pay quite a bit of money, but it means access to a number of titles you would not otherwise see outside of Japan.
NTT Solmare has picked up four of these games so far. One is Demons’ Bond is the localization of Toki no Kizuna, a game where players are a Warring States Period demon warrior who works with fellow demons to find out who attacked Princess Yase, head of the Ten-Demon Alliance. Another is Hiiro no Kakera 4, which was localized as Scarlet Fate: Fragments of the Past and allows you to fall in love with guardians who are gods. Both the main game and its fandisk, Seasons of Love: Scarlet Fate II, were released in English! Nise no Chigiri found its way out of Japan as Eternal Vows: Love Beyond Time, letting us follow a young woman thrown rom the present into the Sengoku period to perhaps find love. Finally, Princess Arthur has players follow a young woman who draws the sword Excalibur from the stone and can now rule Camelot alongside romanceable Knights of the Round Table.
I own a PC!
Congratulations! You get ports! You have two Otomate options in English. You can get Amnesia: Memories and help a girl try to recover her memories while not letting one of her possible boyfriends get wise to the situation. Or, well, you can go ahead and play Hakuoki again. Hakuoki Kyoto Winds and Edo Blossoms are here, letting you romance the original six bachelors and six new ones first in Kyoto, then in Edo.