Tusks: The Orc Dating Sim is a dating sim/visual novel begun during Na No Ren O 2015.
Tusks features the player playing as a male orc, forming a group with a number of other orcs as they travel across a semi-historical semi-mythical Scotland, and forging relationships with them ranging from friendship, romance, to something else entirely, defined by the player.
, which has been helping us live out our queer suburban fantasies since 2000, there are dozens of other mainstream games that… While it’s not necessary for a game to define the relationship and sexual norms of its world, you can bet the players think about them.
If there’s anything I’ve learned from my years as an awkward, questioning teenager with unsupervised internet access, it’s that there’s a sexual sub-subculture to every subculture. The ERP community has a murky relationship with the wider RPG community.
By the time the jam had finished, Tusks had grown from a short game about interacting with orcs as romantic interests to an expansive narrative exploring outsider status, game tropes, and identity.
Tusks is currently in development, with a free Day One Preview available via itch.io: this preview includes the first 15 minutes of the game, featuring over 21,000 words of dialogue, and introduces the NPC Autonomy feature and eight of the game's main characters.
You can download and play the First Three Days Preview of Tusks via for free, and find out more about the setting and characters, ask questions, and get updates on the game's progress at the Tusks tumblr page!
When left to write their own rules, ERP communities tend to mirror their real-life counterparts: kink-positive but with a double standard against women, heteronormative and full of casual sexual harassment (even in-game, a male avatar can pursue a female one relentlessly).
I don't want to say this, but the mom is a lot like my mom, and that probably helped do me in, especially as a gay person planning to come out soon.
If this isnt a trigger for you, or you aren't comfortable with the subject matter, I strongly suggest that you give this at least one playthrough. However, as soon as the mom was warning me about Jack, that's when I turned ("What's wrong with being gay? Having to deal then with the dad just made me legitimately angry at his intolerance. I may not be in the same position as the protagonist, but I felt connected to them and sympathized with them greatly ("MY FEELS").
Along the way, the player can begin friendships and relationships with the various members of the group, including a selkie a long way away from home, a gentle-giant orcish warrior, and a polyamorous trio of orc chieftains.
Tusks was initially conceived during Na No Ren O 2015, a game jam taking place throughout the month of March where contestants were challenged to develop a visual novel.