On a previous post, I talked about Otome games and how they are an interesting form of electronic literature. Last year, a new type of Otome game came out called Mystic Messenger and it changed the way that Otome games could be.
Instead of the traditional hypertext/video game story where in the story there are passages of text and the reader every so often is able to pick an answer to give to increase their romance with their chose character with various challenges to keep the game interesting, Mystic Messenger redid the format.
Mystic Messenger created itself to incorporate the technology on phones, as the game is an app, that everyone uses. The main way that the story is told is through the Chatroom, as seen in the biggest circle in the picture.
The reader doesn’t have agency in telling the story as with other Otome games but they have more opportunities to pick a response to something that one of the other characters says in the Chatroom. Unlike other Otome games as well is the fact that the reader is not picking one character to follow throughout the story but can end up romancing any of the characters depending on the choices they pick so at the end of the storyline is when you know who your matched up with.
As shown in the other smaller circles in the upper picture, there is a
Phone option and a Message one. Every so often, the characters will call the reader and you can hear their voice and they will get private text messages from the characters as well that can earn the reader more romance points.
The most unique thing about this game is that it follows real time. The story has a seven day time limit and all of the Chatroom chats, Phone calls, and Messages all happen depending on the time of day it is. So the reader is not stuck trying to beat a challenge to move forward within the story but they have to dedicate the time to be able to make it to all the Chatroom conversations or else they will miss key points within the story and with romancing characters.
Just like with other Otome games, this one has various walk throughs that will tell the reader when to expect Chatroom conversations to pop up and what responses will romance what character.
So in conclusion, Mystic Messenger has changed the way that Otome games can be done to make them fit in more to the everyday person who will find it easy to play the game and by doing so, they have changed the direction this type of electronic literature will go.