The New Queer Video Games

The arrival of fresh queer representation brings forth an opportunity to explore video games as an alternate means of escape from reality for those uninterested in books, movies, or TV series.

The video game industry has seen an increase in the number of games that explore LGBT+ themes and characters in recent years. Often referred to as queer games, these games enable players to immerse themselves in storylines and gameplay that depict the experiences and lives of queer individuals.

Queer video games may be traced back to the early days of gaming. Moonmist, a 1986 video game, featuring a same-sex relationship between two characters. However, it wasn’t until the early 2000s that LGBT+ video games gained popularity. Fahrenheit (previously known as Indigo Prophecy) was one of the first games to gain critical recognition for its representation of a lesbian relationship. In the game, the player controls a female character who falls in love with another female character. The game was praised for its complex depiction of the relationship and for treating it with the same care and attention that heterosexual partnerships are given in other games. 

Including LGBT+ themes and characters in video games can bring about positive change within the gaming industry. The industry must become more inclusive and welcoming to players from diverse backgrounds as it continues to evolve. Queer video games provide a platform for individuals within the LGBT+ community to see themselves represented in games and connect with characters and narratives that resonate with their experiences. Additionally, by incorporating these themes and characters, video games can play a role in confronting damaging stereotypes and biases. So, we come up with a list of some of the new queer video games that are set or have been released this year: 

Beneath Her Starry Sky (PC) 

RELEASE DATE: 4 Jan, 2023 

Developer: Sylphsong, Inc. 

Beneath Her Starry Sky

A fantasy/adventure graphic novel in which you, as Freya Fae, must track down the great assassin Orick Genn before he wrecks disaster on your home city. As you meet perils lurking in the streets, rely on trusty allies and make friends with the inhabitants. 

The Symbiant (PC) 

RELEASE DATE: 2 Feb, 2023 

Developer: HeartCore Développement 

The Symbiant

The Symbiant is a visual novel in the BL/Yaoi/Gay genre that portrays the journey of two men, hailing from contrasting worlds, as they embrace their sexuality and newfound love. Alongside being a romantic story, it also highlights themes of interstellar companionship and the experience of being gay in a space setting. 

Midnight Scenes: From The Woods (PC) 

RELEASE DATE: 9 Feb, 2023 

Developer: Octavi Navarro Arts & Games 

Midnight Scenes: From The Woods

The arrival of a new patient at Fernwood Creek Mental Health Center in Midnight Scenes sets off a series of unsettling events. This introduces a new level of terror, taking the audience on a journey to an alternate dimension of horror. 

Romancelvania (PC, PS4/PS5, Xbox One/Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch) 

RELEASE DATE: 7 Mar, 2023 

Developer: The Deep End Games 


Sink your teeth into Romancelvania, a unique and humorous mashup of genres that blends side-scrolling action with tongue-in-cheek romance. This absurd and unforgettable adventure will take you on a wild ride, as you navigate through a darkly comic world filled with unexpected twists and turns. Get ready to experience a gaming experience unlike any other as you journey through the bizarre landscape of Romancelvania. 

The Secret Life of Dorian Pink (PC) 

RELEASE DATE: 27 Mar, 2023 

Developer: amberlimshin 

The Secret Life of Dorian Pink

In this alternate universe of Oscar Wilde’s Picture of Dorian Gray, you take on the role of a character in a choices-based RPG. The game involves rescuing your boyfriend Basil from the clutches of the Devil through a series of questionable decisions and forming alliances. Along the way, you’ll encounter unexpected scenarios, like exploding doughnuts. 

Desta: The Memories Between (Nintendo Switch/PC) 

RELEASE DATE: 26 Apr, 2023 

Developer: Ustwo Games 

Desta: The Memories Between

From the makers of Monument Valley comes Desta: The Memories Between, a warm and inviting team-based tactical adventure. As you progress through the game, you’ll meet old friends, acquire impressive abilities, and execute breathtaking trick shots to overcome obstacles, all while delving deeper into the enigmatic and surreal universe that surrounds you. 

Mask of the Rose (PC/Nintendo Switch, PS4/PS5, Xbox One/Xbox Series X/S) 

RELEASE DATE: 8 Jun, 2023 

Developer: Failbetter Games 

Mask of the Rose

This game offers a captivating blend of romance and mystery, where love and danger intertwine in a stolen city. Navigate through a world of amorous intrigue, seeking love and justice, both for yourself and for your friends. Beware of the bats, as you help solve the murder of a man and unravel the secrets that lie within this wondrous and mysterious realm. 

Beeftown Beatdown (PC) 

RELEASE DATE: 8 Aug, 2023 

Developer: Team HimBim, Xahutek 

Beeftown Beatdown

Get ready to engage in an unconventional blend of gameplay styles as you compete in the Beeftown Beatdown Championship. This unique game combines elements of a roguelite deck building game and a visual novel, giving you the chance to wrestle, cook, and even date your opponents. With each challenge, you’ll face new obstacles and opponents, all while striving to become the ultimate champion of Beeftown Beatdown. 

Life by You (PC) 

RELEASE DATE: 12 Sep, 2023 

Developer: Paradox Tectonic 

Life by You

Life by You is a life-simulation game designed to be incredibly customizable and flexible, offering ample opportunities for players to modify and create their own unique experiences. With its open nature, the game invites players to bring their own humans, stories, and creations to the table, allowing for endless possibilities and exciting outcomes. 

Tales of Aravorn: An Elven Marriage (PC)  


Developer: Winter Wolves 

Tales of Aravorn: An Elven Marriage

The first spin-off of the popular VN/RPG Loren The Amazon Princess puts players in the shoes of Elenor or Saren once again, taking them on a journey to Triberg to oversee an arranged elven marriage between Lydia and Marian. However, as they navigate through this new adventure, they must remain cautious as the demons are planning something sinister in the background. 

High Elo Girls (PC) 


Developer: Split Fate Studios 

High Elo Girls

Step into the world of esports with High Elo Girls, a Visual Novel that immerses you in a thrilling scene. As the newest addition to an all-girls team, your objective is to lead your squad to victory and help them reach their full potential. However, the path to success is never easy, and you must navigate through a series of challenges that will test your skills and determination. Will you rise to the occasion and lead your team to glory, or will you falter and let your own potential go to waste? 

Love Shore (PC) 


Developer: Perfect Garbage 

Love Shore

Embark on an electrifying adventure through the neon-lit cyberpunk city of Love Shore, playing as either Sam or Farah. As you navigate through this thrilling landscape, you’ll be tasked with solving murders, battling gods, and maybe even finding love along the way. Will you be able to handle the high stakes and challenging obstacles that await you in this futuristic world? 


The queer video games slated for release in 2023 are sorted by their respective month of debut. In the event that an official release date is yet to be announced, games will be filed under the category ‘TBD’. Rest assured that we will keep this list up to date with any delays or cancellations that may occur. 


Article by Ciprian Ciobanu 

Ciprian Ciobanu is the Senior Editor and Gen Z specialist for GAY45. He is ending his MA at the University of Timisoara, majoring in painting and working in mixed media. Ciobanu is researching on the mechanism of the relationship between art and the trends of a given time from music, fashion and popular stories. 



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