I played the top flagship stories on Episodes and Choices, the leading mobile visual story platforms, and rank them on their LGBTQ+ friendliness so you can go into the games knowing what to expect:
For most of the Episodes stories, you play as a woman. For the games listed below, you have the options to indicate your interest in dating women and subsequently determine the gender of your romantic interest(s).
Demi Lovato Series–
You play as a singer trying to make a name for yourself. Your goal is to achieve stardom, find love, and have a group of friends. Sometimes, you need to make tough decisions depending of your priority. But the game is fun, and there are a lot of cool outfits.
You were asked directly whether you are interested in dating guys, dating girls, or no preference. Your answer choice determines the gender of your ex, and the gender of your romantic interests. And this choice kind of sticks with you for the rest of your game. By answering “no preference”, you get a mix of male and female love interest. The name and the background story of the characters are the same regardless of the gender. And most of the dialogues are the same aside from a few remarks.
I chose the dating girls option, and all the romantic interests are cute, if not downright gorgeous. The romance is sweet, and there are no homophobic remarks. Although there are technically four romantic interests, there are two actual exclusive romantic interests. Once you made your choice, the other kind of fade out of the game, never to be mentioned again.
Pitch Perfect: Deep Treble –
You play as a Freshman wanting to join the Barden Bellas. For whatever reason, Beca, Chole, Aubrey and the gang are there helping Emily with the group. Like all Pitch Perfect movies, drama and hilariousness followed.
What makes this story different is that you can decide how your romantic interests look, including their skin color. One of your romantic interest has to be a Treble (a member of the male acapella group Treblemaker). And you can choose the gender of your second romantic interest by replying you are interested in girls. Then, you will overhear a beautiful voice singing in the shower stall next to you and you barge in, decide how your Beca (oh sorry, your other romantic interest) looks, and reenact the singing scene between BeChole. Only, you get to kiss the girl (or the guy).
There are a whole lot of reminder of the BeChole moments, or just Pitch Perfect moments in general. And the game painfully reminded us of Chole’s remark about ‘experimenting’ only to throw Beca with a new guy.
Regardless of the gender, the characters design is the same. I don’t like the non-Treble romance interest’s character. S/he is rude, possessive, and a music snob. S/he did grow on me because she kind of falls for you and became nicer. That and I made her extremely cute and I am a sucker for cute girls.
This game is laying thick on the Pitch Perfect moments, and playing the BeChole fans hard.
Pretty Little Liars-
You play as a fifth friend to the friend group and like all the other characters, you have your secret. Depends on whether you like girls, or guys, you can determine the gender of your ex. The romance is kind of underdeveloped and you even suspected them of being your tormentor A.
They are the only romantic option you have and even if you don’t like them, you cannot break up with them because they are needed for the plot.
Choices: Stories You Play
For Choices, there are often timed choices, which create a sense of urgency. And for most of the games, there are multiple romantic interests of each gender, often racially diverse. You have the option to date any of these romantic interests.
The Crown and the Flame
This game is different because your main objective is to save your kingdom and you take turns playing as magic user Dominic, and Princess Kenna. Each of them has their own sets of romantic interests. Dominic has a male romantic interest and Kenna has two female romantic interests.
Since the main objective mainly is to save your kingdom, the romance isn’t as well developed as it could be. A lot of the romantic interests are just thrown in out of the left field, and the genuine connections are lacking. Despite its shortcoming, I enjoy The Crown and the Flame a lot simply because of the many romantic options you are offered and the portrayal of Keena as a strong leader.
The Freshman series
You decide your name and your look and play as a freshman entering college. On your way to your dorm, you ran into a blonde hottie Chris and your nemesis Becca. Your main romantic interest is White jock Chris, Asian musician/signer Kaitlyn, and Black writer James. Although later in the game, your romantic options expanded to include Latino Zig, and your nemesis Becca. The romantic options are racially diverse. Kaitlyn is established as a lesbian, your housemate Zack is gay, and Becca is presumably bisexual.
There are a lot of drama and the focus is split between friendship, romance, and drama. LGBT wise, the storyline with Kaitlyn realizing her feeling and coming out to her parents is well-done and touching. There is no homophobic or negative reaction toward a same-sex relationship. And Zack, the gay man of the group, is given a cute romantic relationship that you can help push along. There is this weird passive-aggressive gay-denial coming from a football player Manny. But overall, The Freshman series is LGBT friendly and racially diverse.