5 LGBTQ+ developed games to play instead of Hogwarts Legacy
A fantastical, unforgettable adventure can be queer, too.
Amongst rampant controversy, Hogwarts Legacy has become a bit of a hard sell for anyone in support of transgender rights. While the create-a-character function allows for a wide range of diversity and gender representation, many people are avoiding any of Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling’s work after her open and loud trans-exclusionary statements. If you crave a new fantasy game but want to support LGBTQ+ developers instead of Hogwarts Legacy, here are a handful of games that might scratch that itch perfectly.
Related: All characters and dateable weapons in Boyfriend Dungeon
Do you love to fight off fun fantasy monsters with cool, magical weapons? Do you also love falling for hot adventurers? Well, Kitfox Games offers Boyfriend Dungeon, where you get to romance weapons across all genders, cultural backgrounds, and spectrums. The indie studio built its diverse cast of characters from personal knowledge too, as the development team includes people of color and several LGBTQ+ members. Boyfriend Dungeon blends a more “normal,” urban human world with fantasy, so you’ll go on a little more of a grown-up adventure through these dungeons.
Related: The most notable games with LGBTQ+ characters
For countless of players, Celeste is a beautiful game wrapped in a heart-wrenching story. The main character, Madeline, is a trans girl who suffers from crippling anxiety and panic attacks. To prove herself, she tries to climb a mountain and fights through every setback. Celeste co-creator Maddy Thorson found the story to be very personal and helped her go through her own gender identity story. Join Madeline in this difficult yet accessible platformer through her life-changing journey and see just how strong and loveable one girl can be.
Dragon Age: Inquisition
Related: Dragon Age: Inquisition could’ve had a drastically different ending
Many Bioware games have been progressive spaces for LGBTQ+ characters to fall in love the way they want to. The biggest triumph, though, is arguably Dragon Age: Inquisition. Writer David Gaider, a titan in the video game industry and an openly gay man, brought fans one of the most beloved queer characters to ever be pixelized: Dorian Pavus. His story perfectly blends his difficult upbringing, becoming his own man, and finding new direction and purpose in The Inquisition. Dragon Age also includes the franchise’s first trans man in Krem, a snarky lesbian in Sera, and open bisexuals in Iron Bull and Josephine.
Get in The Car, Loser!
A mix between Monster Road Trip and elements of a classic, fun, turn-based JRPG, Get in The Car, Loser! is a fantasy-lite world with a mix of demons, monsters, snacks, and a vehicle that needs some serious TLC. The game is made by the queer-friendly Love Conquers All Games. Co-founder Christine Love, in her own words, “makes narrative games about the only thing she knows: messy queer women.” Said queer women are a goth girlfriend, a queen bee, a tough they/them, and a neon pink angel. Save the world in unforgettable style.
If you crave a story about a magic school that gets its diverse, queer characters right, Ikenfall is for you. While the main plot follows a lot of typical “magic school” beats, the creators of Ikenfall worked lovingly on making its entire cast believable and authentic. At first, the story was written by its developer and designer, Chevy Ray (he/they). However, after consulting a team of diverse readers and creatives, they realized that the characters needed extra work. With the help of queer writers and writers of color like Joanna Blackheart, Ray rewrote Ikenfell from the ground up. The title ended up as an emotional multi-perspective tale that lets you join a ragtag friend group to save the school (and the world).
There are dozens of queer stories out there filled with magic, wonder, and fantastic queer representation. However, not all of these projects are created by people who’ve come out as LGBTQ+. They could be cis/straight ally writers and developers with great resources, or they could be queer creators who don’t want to put their identity on display. As no one owes their fans a coming out story, the following fantasy games deserve an honorable mention for their wonderful representation.
- Life is Strange
- Life is Strange: True Colors
- Night in the Woods