Celebrate Pride Month with these awesome games designed, or created by people who identify as LGBTQ*, or prominently features gay, or queer characters. For a bonus, we have some resources to find more games and follow queer creators.
Board Game: Artisans of Splendent Vale
• Designer: Nikki Valens
• Publisher: Renegade Game Studios
• 2-4 players
• 45-90 minutes
• Age: 14+
Artisans of Splendent Vale is the newest game from Nikki Valens, the game designer behind Arkham Horror (3rd edition) and Mansions of Madness (2nd edition), though it takes a much lighter tone. In this new, cooperative game, players are artisans who hone their individual skills while exploring the magical land of Splendent Vale. Players can develop their own individual stories and play through group experiences together.
Board Game: Orbis
• Designer: Tim Armstrong II
• Publisher: Space Cowboys
• 2-4 players
• 45 minutes
• Age: 10+
Orbis is a really solid, fast, mid-weight game. The aim of the game is to build the best pyramid of tiles. Each tile gains points from the tiles around it. The game has variable tiles and goals that make the game satisfyingly replayable. The art is very pretty and slightly sly. You get the idea that the “gods” in this game are kind of smirking at you. I have a very small board game collection, but I own Orbis because it is relaxing, and pretty, and just works.
TTRPG: i’m sorry did you say street magic
• Designer: Caro Asercion
• 1+ players
• All ages
• 2-4 hours
• Available in PDF: https://seaexcursion.itch.io/street-magic
I’m sorry did you say street magic is a collaborative worldbuilding game that promotes both creativity and equity. Players come together to build a city, taking turns describing new neighborhoods, residents, and landmarks. The game can last as long as you’d like, and the goal isn’t to win; rather, the game allows players to be creative in a safe, comfortable environment. Street magic has built-in safety tools and can be run by a facilitator, but it can also be run GM-free. This game is fun to play on its own, but it’s also a great way of kickstarting writing projects or creating campaign settings for other TTRPGs that your players feel more invested in.
TTRPG: Dream Askew
• Designer: Avery Alder
• Publisher: Buried Without Ceremony
• 3-6 players
• 3-4 hours
• Available at: https://buriedwithoutceremony.com/dream-askew
Dream Askew is a GM-less, beginner friendly RPG, set in a post-apocalyptical queer enclave. The system, belonging outside belonging, emphasizes characters and the relationships between them. The characters are easy to set up because the players have to choose between a list of attributes, rather than create their character from scratch if they don’t want to. The game makes sure that players feel comfortable by including a section on “pausing” during a game. A pause can be used, not so much to stop a narrative direction, but to explain something about the player or characters background that might redirect the story. The tone of the game is funny, light and inventive, embracing the endless possibilities of queer self-definition.
Video Game: Life is Strange: True Colors
• Producer/Designer: Square Enix
• 3-5 players
• 30 minutes – 4 hours
• Available for X-box, PS4, PS5, PC, and Switch @ https://lifeisstrange.square-enix-games.com/en-us/games/life-is-strange-true-colors/
Life is Strange games are narratively focused games that offer unique mechanics and emphasize player choice. The True Colors installment features Alex Chen, a young woman with psychic ability who attempts to uncover the truth about her brother’s untimely death. Gameplay is straightforward and approachable, and you’ll find yourself becoming more invested in the story as your choices change the narrative.
Gaymingmag is a website focused on the intersection of lgbtq+ culture and, as they say, geek culture. The website focuses on games of all kinds, but they also discuss movies, cosplay, and comics. Some of the most useful features are the monthly interview spotlights with prominent LGBTQ+ figures in gaming, as well as the yearly list of upcoming queer games to watch for.
The LGBTQ Video Game Archive is a researched and curated collection of LGBTQ content in digital games from the 1980s to the present. Rather than focusing on creators of games, the archive spotlights moments of queer representation in games, allowing users to search by game, by decade, or by type of content (characters, traits, easter eggs, etc.). The website is largely unfunded and volunteer-driven, and the creators welcome all those who want to learn more about and contribute toward the LGBTQ+ history of digital game culture.
More Recommended Games:
• Board Game: The Queer Agenda Stonewall Uprising
• RPG: Yabeza’s Bed & Breakfast
• Video Game: Queer Games Bundle 2023
Think you might want to help us out with something on the blog? Email us at GameRT@ala.org