Gayming

What’s Inside the “Trans Witches are Witches” Gaming Bundle?

The Trans Witches are Witches bundle is a massive collection of magic-themed video games and interactive art by LGBTQ+ creatives. Coming in at the same price as that other wizarding world game, this collection has raised nearly $200,000 in support of pro-trans gamers and in protest of a certain anti-trans author. So with only a day left before the deal expires this Friday, there’s no better time to unpack the unique offerings in this huge library.

While the subject matter of the collection is based around fantasy and wizarding schools, these games mine that topic for all kinds of resonant themes. There are stories of passing, of transformation, of growing up, of getting it on, of setting the world right, and of the power of (magic) words. But the one thing they have in common is that they uplift queer voices through an eclectic array of indie art.

While it’s certainly worth approaching the bundle as a kind of mystery box, we thought we’d take a peek at what’s inside. Because there are a total of 69 video games, tabletop roleplaying games (TTRPGs), zines and music on offer, we couldn’t cover them all, but here is a representative sampling of the Trans Witches are Witches bundle.

Transmute and Polymute

Transmute and Polymute are exploration puzzle games by the same developer, and the main mechanic is transformation. In Transmute, you are a wizard learning how to transform objects. In Polymute, you are learning how to transform yourself. Only by changing forms can you understand the true nature of the strange world you find yourself in.

Casting Hearts

The pandemic was a time when we all could have used a little magic, and Casting Hearts gives us that escapism we needed. You play as a young witch planning a surprise birthday party for your girlfriend, but because of the state of the world, you can only meet with her through a crystal ball. It’s a game that explores the ache of a long-distance relationship and the anxiety of a pandemic within a wholesome magical setting.

Do I Pass?

Do I Pass? is a visual novel that explores the pain and anxiety of passing. You play as a trans woman who gains the ability to see into the minds of other people, and you must learn to reconcile your own self-esteem with outside judgments you can’t control.

Magic Trick

Wands are so tired. Real witches, the original punks, use skateboards. In Magic Trick, you get to do just that as a young wizard living in a town floating in the clouds. Your mission is to help out your assortment of animal friends with all their wizarding needs by performing sick skateboard magic tricks.

Cantrip

Cantrip is a TTRPG where you and your friends explore coming-of-age as a group of witches at a magic school. Citing everything from Little Witch Academia to Kiki’s Delivery Service as its inspiration, Cantrip blends modern-day scenarios like getting involved in a school play with the wonders and secrets lurking within the walls of a witch academy. The experience is so magical that Dicebreaker included it on their list of best wholesome RPGs.

You Are a Wizard

Taking its inspiration from the heyday of pixel art video games, You Are A Wizard is a short magical adventure that manages to make wizardry even more surreal. Throughout the quest to rescue your boyfriend, Sherlock Holmes, you will solve riddles by dickish talking foxes, navigate glitchy worlds, and make flowers grow wherever you tread—just to make the world a prettier place.

Tombs: Toot on my balls skeleton

Tombs: Toot on my balls skeleton promises to teach players the true meaning of boning. This TTRPG puts players in the roles of animated skeletons who fall in lust while serving in their master’s undead army. But because you’ve been dead for millennia, you’ll have to rediscover where all the parts go, or else start getting creative. There’s no bush to beat around here—it’s a game about skeleton sex.

Let’s Rob RJ McElhenney and Steal Her Golden Quill

Let’s Rob RJ McElhenny and Steal Her Golden Quill is a TTRPG in which you get to be a wizard and do crimes. Uber wealthy author RJ McElhenny uses the magic of writing to decide who does and doesn’t get to be “real” wizards. So you and your friends stage a mystic heist to steal the source of her power, the golden quill. As the game’s creator puts it, this is “a game with no subtext whatsoever and legally you can’t prove otherwise.”

Deadline

Deadline is a detective-style visual novel where you play as Rebecca Thompson, a reporter investigating a series of mysterious disappearances. When a talking feline shows up in your home, you are forced to team up with this sinister ally. You’ll have to race against the clock to close your investigation—or else become cat food.

Nameless – The Departed Cycle

Set in a dark and mystic wood, Nameless – The Departed Cycle is a high fantasy adventure with horror elements. Players take on the role of Israh Almasi, a wandering swordsman who must unravel the mysteries of the Umbral Forest and slay the creature within, all while reckoning with the appearance of a handsome stranger known only as The Nameless.

Tarot: Theo’s Quest

No wizarding game’s list would be complete without a mystic trading card game. In Tarot: Theo’s Quest, you travel across Witch Nation to expand your tarot deck by getting into magic card battles, relying solely on your wits and divination skills.

A Mallard’s Song

A Mallard’s Song is a game that takes on English Christian nationalism and mythology through surreal allegory. Players are given 60 seconds to find their way out of a level, and those that fail are thrust into strange landscapes where folklore characters reveal disturbing stories about English history. In so doing, the game seeks to demonstrate how these myths smooth over a history of brutality against marginalized people.♦

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