June is Pride Month, and a new bundle which launched yesterday aims to give you a huge number of games and things from queer developers - and give those indie devs money. The Queer Games Bundle 2021 is a real mix of stuff on Itch.io, everything from RPGs and turn-based tactical action to poetry and dating sims. Plus at least one game about a buff Baywatch babe making seagulls kiss.
The bundle contains over 230 items: RPGs, turn-based tactics, dating sims, road trips, visual novels, a flight simulator, an FPS, poetry, playable dreams and diaries, puzzles, a rhythm game, music, game-making assets, and tabletop RPG doodads ranging from supplements to a collaborative storytelling game set during atmospheric reentry.
The Queer Games Bundle 2021 is available from Itch.io for $60. If you can't afford that, it is also available pay-what-you-can with a $10 minimum. A handful of 'em include Steam keys. The bundle lists a fundraising goal of $5 million.
"If we had 1/3rd of the budget of an AAA game, we could give every solo developer a livable wage for a year and every single team a massive funding boost," the organisers say. "Imagine what the developers and artists in this bundle could create a year from now if they weren't worried about starving or how to pay their rent this month.
"Purchasing the Queer Games Bundle is a direct action that you can take right now to support queer people in a life changing way and in exchange you get over 200 amazing, heartfelt, fun, and radical games."
I've not played most of these but can recommend a few. I adore Nathalie Lawhead's games, delightful collections of minigames and virtual pets and animations and things which often play with their nature as software on a desktop computer. Then the bundle has several of Lena NW's games, which are bold and graphic in ways that can be challenging and shocking (including Fuck Everything, which Cara wrote about long ago). And Genderwrecked (pictured right up ↑ at the top) is a funny and insightful visual novel about trying to come to an understanding of "gender" by exploring islands and talking with the weird monsters who live there, possibly even pashing.
Life Is Strange studio Dontnod are giving away Tell Me Why, their latest game, free for keepsies during Pride Month. One of their suggestions for what people did with their money instead was buying games from trans and queer indie devs.