5 fantastic LGBTQ+ games released in 2023 that you shouldn’t miss

5 fantastic LGBTQ+ games released in 2023 that you shouldn’t miss
AstralShift | Summerfall Studios | Lowbirth Games | Toge Productions | Lorenzo Redaelli

Written by 

Jack Roberts

Last updated 

28th Dec 2023 11:30

Contents

It’s no secret that 2023 has been a stacked year for games, but among the likes of Tears of the Kingdom, Alan Wake 2 and beyond, there’s an assortment of LGBTQ+ games that shouldn’t be missed – so here we have a list of 5 that represent some of the best the year had to offer.

Each of these games presents queerness in incredibly unique and remarkable ways, from cosy cafés to musicals to mind-bending horrors that help them stand tall among their contemporaries and should be added to your libraries.

Little Goody Two Shoes

Elise dreams of a better life while looking out the window in Little Goody Two Shoes
Click to enlarge
Image via AstralShift

At first glance, one might think you're in for a delightfully cosy time in Little Goody Two Shoes. As Elise, you'll be running errands, talking to townsfolk and forging a romance with one of three eligible bachelorettes around town. But lurking just under the surface is a sinister horror that is just waiting to be explored.

Little Goody Two Shoes' graphical style combines cutscenes that could have come straight from a 90s anime with pixel-art gameplay as Elise yearns for the life she's meant to live away from the town. But things aren't always what they seem, and this fairy tale quickly descends into a terrifyingly cute nightmare.

Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical

Grace and Pan talk in Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical
Click to enlarge
Image via Summerfall Studios

It's no secret that gamers love the Greek gods, especially when there's a new interpretation of their stories. And while Hades may be the go-to roguelike when it comes to telling the unique queer stories of the pantheon, Stray Gods offers something a little different.

Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical is a beautifully animated game that sees our songbird protagonist, Grace attempt to prove her innocence of murdering the last muse, Calliope. Stray Gods is almost entirely musical, with the pantheon of Greek gods bearing down on Grace in a heart-racing and emotional story that doesn't skip a beat.

This Bed We Made

A magazine saying 'And they were roommates' in This Bed We Made
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Image via Lowbirth Games

Admittedly, I'm a sucker for a mystery, particularly one set in a hotel where behind every door, there's a secret just waiting to be stumbled on. And who better than the maid in the 1950s to sniff out these secrets? This Bed We Made pays homage to the Chandler-esque film noirs that navigate crimes, passion and queer secrets among its protagonists.

Under the context of a time when homosexuality was still criminalised, the hotel at the heart of the story plays host to an assortment of stories about queer love forced into the shadows in a beguiling, intimate and enthralling mystery.

Coffee Talk: Episode 2 - Hibiscus & Butterfly

Lucas and Officer Jorji await their coffee in Coffee Talk: Episode 2 - Hibiscus & Butterfly
Click to enlarge
Image via Toge Productions

2020’s Coffee Talk is a game of many facets. As cosy as it is queer, it blends a delicate narrative with unique caffeinated puzzles as your barista protagonist listens to the stories the patrons have to tell. Coffee Talk: Episode 2 - Hibiscus & Butterfly follows up in very much the same vein, as a whole new set of fantastical coffee-loving denizens descend upon your humble café.

There’s always a romanticism around a quaint coffee shop, particularly when so many of the stories told in this game are poignantly tender, from burgeoning loves that were never thought possible, to the struggles of work, and Coffee Talk: Episode 2 - Hibiscus and Butterfly interweaves these queer stories with the damn fine cups of coffee you'll be concocting.

Mediterranea Inferno

Claudio smokes a cigarette in Mediterranea Inferno
Click to enlarge
Image via Lorenzo Redaelli

You'll be hard-pushed to find someone who remembers lockdown favourably, particularly in parts of the world where the restrictions were particularly stringent. Mediterranea Inferno is a visual novel that tackles life after lockdown head-on through the intertwining lives of a queer group of friends who are reuniting in a villa in Italy after having been apart for two years.

However, this vacation takes an existential twist, as the friends find themselves in the grip of surreal Mirages that confront them with their intense desires, and their darkest thoughts and test the mettle of their bond.

Mediterranea Inferno’s hallucinatory colour pallet feels like something out of James Bidgood’s Pink Narcissus, or Fassbinder’s Querelle as saccharine pinks and nauseating greens dazzle the senses. It’s unabashedly queer, oozes decadence and blends in a tale of post-lockdown horror.

And that’s it, five fantastic LGBTQ+ games that helped make 2023 an incredible year for game releases and that you shouldn’t miss. There are plenty of lists that you can enjoy right here, including our list of the best cosy games to relax to, or even the best horror games to get you in the spooky mood.

Jack is a Guides Writer at GGRecon. With a BA (Hons) & MA in English and Creative Writing, he was also the Gaming Editor for The Indiependent. When not pondering which game has the best cup of coffee (and drinking far too much of it himself), he can often be found playing Dead by Daylight, Street Fighter or making yet another build in Bloodborne.

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