Announing: Host Holic


Now available: Host Holic, from

Our first Otome and OEL game, Host Holic sees you as an English teacher serving out your last month in Japan. Can you find a boyfriend to help cure your loneliness? Figure out what’s making your students act up so much? Beat that damn claw machine at the arcade? Make enough money to keep your wardrobe up to date and learn mad bento skillz? Give it a whirl in VNG’s point-and-click enhanced Host Holic, now available on the MangaGamer All-Ages site.

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  1. uh. seriously? are you insane? is this an april fool’s day joke?

    if you were going to start selling original english work, would it not make sense to pick an actual game, not a buggy piece of trash with stock art whose only positive votes on vndb were clearly added by themselves? did ANYONE play it before making this great business decision?

  2. I am sorry… but why?

    I am ok with otome games here. I am ok with all ages releases here. I am more than welcoming of OELVN releases to, I really don’t care.

    But I… don’t understand why THIS game? It’s… so poor. And the stock art… why?

  3. Is any OEL VN actually worth paying for anyway?

    • Cinders was good. If you are a girl, Magical Diary was fun. Long Live The Queen was a lotta fun (ok, maybe not a full VN, but it is in VNDB). Café 0 ~The Drowned Mermaid~ Voiced Version (Japanese voices) was decent.

      They also all leagues better than this thing.

    • The demo of Cinders looked nice, will probably get around to buying it at some point when I have the time to play it. Cradle Song looks promising as well, judging by the short preview version and the nice quality of Juniper’s Knot from the same team.

    • I’d like to second Magical Diary, and it’s good even if you aren’t a girl. It’s basically an affectionate parody of the magic academy setting – particularly Harry Potter – as well as its fandom, and is a lot of fun.

    • Nintendo Maniac 64

      Katawa Shoujo says hi. Sure it may be free, but it’s arguably better than many commercial Japanese VNs.

  4. Wow, first time i’m doing a commentary here.

    I’m a little bit surprised that game has been released here at MG.

    This otome game is designed for girls (not boys), i tried the demo and i really really didn’t liked.

    But if it helps getting new players, i’ll say “why not”.

    • The problem is less that it is an otome game (I don’t care about that, let them bring some over actually) or that it was made in English (there are good English made ones). The problem is that this particular game sucks all by itself.

      Bad writing, bad characters, bad stock art.

  5. At least learn about the things you put up before you actually do. This is a terrible OELVN example.

  6. Wow, all four male leads use the exact same pose. The UI and art in this game look terribad.

  7. Apparently some of the people commenting are wondering why we at MangaGamer have released this game.

    First of all, we have nothing against OEL games. Those of us at MangaGamer are trying to help spread visual novels and build up the western market for VNs, so naturally there’s no reason for us to refuse selling a good game, be it localized or OEL.

    As it just so happens, VisualNovelGames was the first OEL developer to approach us with regards to digitally distributing their game on our website. And for the record, we fully welcome any other OEL developers who wish to see their games available on our website. (If you’re an OEL developer and reading this comment, you can contact me, or contact our other staff to work out the details.)

    As far as reviewing the game goes, yes, we did. Our editor, sloanreinja, reviewed it and found it acceptable, but I’ll let him write his own opinion.

    • You’re doing yourself a great disservice trying to publish games of such quality. I’m really glad you’re interested to lend a helping hand towards western visual novel developers, but there are creators much more viable to become better business partners, not to mention the games they make are of much higher quality than the Host Holic itself.

      Why are you planning to publish such a poor title as your first western visual novel? Instead of giving up towards first served average offer, you should try approaching some worthy developers yourself. I won’t be pointing with fingers; do the research. If you plan to open up towards western developers, this should be your top priority. You also need to be very careful with the titles you chose; bad choices will only lead to more potential customers fleeing from you and never looking back.

      • We aren’t publishing the game and don’t have any rights to it past retail (so you won’t see MangaGamer funding/producing Host Holic 2 or anything). All we’re doing is saying “You want to sell on our store? Here’s the split, yay money.” The fact that it’s moving units means that other OEL developers will likely make the idea of selling with us more apealing to others (or so we can hope).

        As with anything we list, be it Host Holic, Sandwiched Between My Wife and Sister, or (fill in story title you really love), you don’t have to buy it if you don’t want it and someone will inevitably think it’s awful. Likewise, I know some people will be very happy with our announcements coming up on Friday, but others will think they’re crap. It happens, you can’t please everyone.

  8. A doujin otome VN made in overseas??????No thx u.u

  9. I purchased Host Holic for a few reasons:

    1. I want to encourage MangaGamer to license more products with alternate pairings, or with no pairings at all. Even though I like boy x girl(s) games, I also enjoy other perspectives and types of stories.

    2. Likewise, I’m interested in more games which have intricate gameplay. Around the mid-to-late 90s, there were a lot of untranslated romance games with simulation gameplay. Over the last decade, there have been only a few: Idolm@ster, LovePlus, Lovely x Cation, and not much else. Meanwhile, over the last few years, western RPGs (with romance sidequests) have become huge, and English speaking fans have created quite a few complex romance games.

    3. And I like games which have content appropriate for general audiences.

    4. The developer is talking about using the gameplay concepts of Host Holic in more games with different pairings.

    5. It has been a while since I last bought anything made by the WVN and indie game communities.

  10. Seems like a decent decision. It might not be our kind of game, but it could get a different crowd to start looking at MG as relevant.
    As for me, the trailer doesn’t look too appealing xD

    • That’s because the game itself isn’t really that great. It’s… ok. But it is not on par with most other commercial EVNs. Even cheaper ones, actually.

      I am fine with them getting new kinds of games, especially these kinds. I’d love to see more original English content, there is great stuff out there. But this is not a particularly good game and not a good first choice.

      The decision to pick these games up is fantastic, the decision to go with this one in particular first was not.

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