Coming Out On Top

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Coming Out On Top is a lighthearted visual novel about exploring queer sexuality as a young adult. It’s also a game where you can bang a goldfish.

Originally released via direct PC download in 2014, Coming Out On Top is a visual novel that leans heavily on letting you mess around with folks and build relationships. While you’re dating and getting to know people, you’ve got to be careful about who you’re investing in, and what you ultimately want from these (often) temporary flings. As in Persona, who you choose to spend time with and how you choose to spend it forms the bulk of the game. Not as in Persona, you can get with a goldfish.

You’ll only experience the scene if you follow just the right pathway, but if you do, the pet goldfish you’ve had since you’ve come to college enlarges to giant size, and you spend a romantic, albeit very tongue-in-cheek, evening together. “Glub glub,” he whispers.

While there’s a lot of in-jokes among Coming Out players—particularly about the goldfish—underneath the goofiness is an earnest desire for an experience that’s fun, heartfelt, and earnest.

“I was a big comedy geek, and prior to COOT I had been playing around with writing comedy screenplays,” said the game’s developer Obscura. “So I guess I come from the perspective of someone who loves comedy films.”

At the same time, Obscura said, so many games of this type often include non-consensual scenes, or be really intense and packed with tension and drama. Instead, this game was about tapping into the frenetic, zany energy of being a college student, coming out, and experimenting.

“College, for a lot of a people, is a time full of anticipation, exploration, and general weirdness. It seemed like a good setting for a guy looking to meet other guys,” Obscura said.

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