LGBTQ video games have never been stronger or more plentiful. The annual E3 video game conference didn’t occur for the second time in the last three years, but that didn’t mean that the week normally reserved as “E3 season” didn’t include a flood of game news and announcements, including many notabe title infused with distinct brands of queerness.
Major publishers, games press outlets and Geoff Keighly’s “Summer Games Fest” stepped into the space vacated by the Electronic Software Association, delivering a week’s worth of updates, and we’ve gathered the best LGBTQ games discussed.
The Last Of Us Part 1 Remake
“The Last Of Us” franchise is one of the most popular PlayStation exclusives ever, and developer Naughty Dog is going back to the well one more time with a complete, from the ground up remake of the title that started it all in 2013. The remake will feature updated and enhanced graphics and will include the heartwarming LGBTQ “Left Behind” DLC. “The Last Of Us Part 1” remake will release on PS5 later this year and will come to PC at a later date.
Saints Row: Boss Factory
The upcoming reboot of the “Saints Row” franchise showed off its robust character creation app, “Boss Factory,” which features the most gender-affirming set of tools seen in a major video game release. The app is available to download now and any creations made in it can be imported into the game when it releases on August 23, 2022.
Overwatch 2 Goes Free-To-Play
The sequel to Blizzard Entertainment’s successful hero shooter “Overwatch” is nearing its early access release, and it noted that moment by announcing that “Overwatch 2” will be free-to-play and will be available on Xbox Game Pass. Fans can get their hands on one of the queerest shooters ever made on October 4, 2022.
Outerloop games’ mixture of turn-based combat, skateboarding and cooking places players in an experience that tackles the tough task of mending broken relationships and mistakes of youth. And it does all of that with style for days.
Spirit Swap Release Window Announced
“Spirit Swap: Lofi Beats To Match-3 To” showed off more of its queer, witchy and cute spin on the match-3 genre, but the big news is that the game finally ha a release window. Fans will get to take a trip into its interesting world in 2023.
Boyfriend Dungeon Announces Secret Weapons Update
The best game where you can date you’re weapons is adding even more weapons one year after release. The “Secret Weapons” update adds two more characters to romance, which also means that there are two more weapons to woo as you slay throughout the game’s various dungeons. The update also adds a new villain, Mr. Holmes, created by beloved developer Ikumi Nakamura. The update arrives Summer 2022.
Kaichu: A Kaiju Dating Sim
Who doesn’t love seeing big monsters smash up national moments and then get to smooching? “Kaichu” is an adorably destructive take on the dating sim genre, allowing players to pair off their monster with others as you destroy the world and find love together. The game is currently scheduled for release later this summer.
League Of Legends, Valorant Coming To Xbox Game Pass
Riot Games’ library of incredibly successful games, including “League of Legends” and “Valorant,” are making the jump to Xbox Game Pass later this year. The move will also make all characters in those games, which were previous sold to players on an individual basis, free for Xbox Game Pass subscribers.
Grid Force: Mask Of The Goddess
LGBTQ developer and Playtra Games founder Dan Bernardo leads a team building out this fast-paced tactical role-playing game set for release on August 11, 2022. The game’s story mixes plenty of emotion with the frantic action, and Playtra is currently partnered with the It Gets Better Project.
Desta: The Memories Between
Ustwo Games, the creators behind “Monument Valley,” are back with a new take on the tactical puzzle genre. “Desta: The Memories Between” send players on an emotional journey through a families memories, both happy and painful, through isometric environments where a dodgeball is your main navigation tool. It’s an odd mixture coated in a pleasing art style that looks to be greater than the sum of its parts.
Calico: Pawsome Edition Announced
“Calico,” the cutesy cat cafe management sim, is back with a number of updates. The “Pawsome Edition” packs in new animals to meet, a large overhaul to its cooking mini-games, changes to the character creation tool and additional content that players will get later this summer.
We Are OFK
A blend of interactive narrative and music biopic, “We Are OFK” takes players through the journey of indie band OFK, including romance, tribulations and making rad music. The game openly embraces its queer characters and vibes and welcomes players into its musical world later this summer.
Sticking with the music motif, “Cassette Beasts” takes the open-world turn-based RPG experience made popular by “Pokemon” and adds a new twist. Players use cassette tape recordings of monsters they’ve collected to transform and do battle with other characters, and the game allows for some customization with its Fusion system.
Roots Of Pacha
“Roots of Pacha” places the tenets of the city-builder genre into the Stone Age, charging players with building a thriving village. The game includes same sex relationships, so you can build your little gay family while farming your way to prosperity.
Pen Pal Princess
A self-described “queer romantic comedy,” ceschiii’s new visual novel places players in the shoes of a princess locked away in a tower who exchanges letters with dragons, heroes and one buff lady knight. There is plenty of love on display, not to mention the tease of “hot dragons?”
Hill Agency: PURITYdecay
Who wants a noir mystery game that is looking to lean into queer identities? The moody detective game also places Indigenous identities front and center amid its cybernoir backdrop. Players can jump into its intriguing style on August 31, 2022.
ValiDate: Struggling Singles In Your Area
This dating sim places BIPOC identities searching for love amid many of the daily struggles we all face in our lives, including vexing jobs and Millennial life crises. The game also features queer romance, letting users of all backgrounds see themselves.
LGBTQ video games: Previously on Towleroad
Image courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment