Home Gay Editorials Dear Monster — Erotic Fantasy, Hot Guys, and Surprising Heart

Dear Monster — Erotic Fantasy, Hot Guys, and Surprising Heart

by Edwin Chris
The dateable men of Dear Monster.

The vast majority of gay games you can find on the market are visual novels, erotic or otherwise. This statement isn’t meant to be reductive of the genre, nor a slight to Dear Monster—the sophomore release from Sentimental Trickster developer Lovenuts—but merely an acknowledgement of how gay games have historically found a place in the market, and what it must take for any gay visual novel to stand out. Or, to put it more simply—Dear Monster, an erotic gay visual novel with hot guys in a swords n’ sorcery type fantasy setting, has all the bullet points of a game that could’ve gotten lost in the shuffle when it was released in January 2023.

A full embrace of the genre and medium

Lovenuts (and perhaps publisher Y Press Games, too, who have a staggering 12 gay games published on Steam since 2018) were likely aware of this fact going in, and instead of running away from the any of tropes of its chosen genres, instead fully embrace everything that’s fun, cheeky, and emotive about them.

In Dear Monster, a perfectly cute anime twink finds himself surrounded by a menagerie of otherworldly studs vying for his attention in a relatively simple, fun romp. It’s exactly what it looks like. It’s gay fantasy, and it’s a gay fantasy, if you know what I mean. The reason Dear Monster has endured is not because of any particular twists on the genre, but simply because it’s tightly executed, polished, and made with far more cleverness than a synopsis can convey without spoilers.

Hikmat scolds Allen in his garden for being too horny.

Did you want me to apologize for buying your game, Hikmat? Because I won’t.

High quality art… at a cost

Before saying anything about the game’s narrative, is important to talk about just how pretty this game is. It surpasses any previous works from this company without question—lead character artist Jouvru’s portraits would’ve been enough to earn this praise on their own, but Lovenuts has gone the extra mile of giving the character art well-executed tweening and swaying animations. It brings a layer of immersion and expression few visual novels can, and it does a lot of heavy lifting for keeping the player in the (ever shifting, magically drenched) world.

There is a bizarre performance issue with the sprites, however, that may make you want to turn off the animations. When three characters are on the screen at the same times, sometimes it will pause for a noticeably long amount of time before passing on to the next path. This issue even occurs in the most recent Slagathor DLC, and it’s a genuinely frustrating, albeit rare, hiccup in what is otherwise one of the most polished and gorgeous indie visual novels you can play.

You’re (maybe) a wizard, Allen

And what world it is. In Dear Monster, you play Allen, who’s on his way to his first day of med school when he gets a letter from his estranged grandfather, Theodore. The letter is an open invite to his mansion, which Allen decides to check out on his way to school—only to find out that Theodore’s mansion is full of orcs, unicorns, dragons, and other wild creatures of magic—and they’re all represented as hot gay guys. (Of course!) How convenient for you, the player, and Allen, a horny, single, nerdy gay guy that isn’t entirely sure if he wants to go to med school anyways.

The biggest surprise of Dear Monster is that, given the synopsis above, that it has narrative weight at all. The writers could’ve just had Allen fuck each man without a shred of plot if they wanted to and probably called it a day—they certainly had a talented enough artist to make it work. There is a plot, though, and one that is just complex enough to, like the magic Allen grapples with as a thinly veiled metaphor for his queer desires, give surprisingly varied and interesting story paths regardless of how you play.

Momo wonders what Allen said to another character to cause them to cry.

Choices made to pursue some men will deeply impact others. And you /will/ be informed.

Meeting the man-monsters

The heart of Dear Monster, regardless of which dateable mythic man you pursue, is centered around Allen’s uncertainty with his place in life. How important is it to indulge in fantasy over reality? Is there a balance that can work? How much should you let other people’s expectations of you guide your life? It’s all stuff that could get very heady very quickly, but Dear Monster does a good job of tackling these subjects in a respectful, simple way without ever dragging the story down or endangering the player’s primary reasons for playing the game: which is, of course, the men.

You have (at the time of this writing) five romanceable options: Imbriss the Dragon (He’s hot-headed! How can you tame such a angry boy?), Faeryn the Unicorn (He’s a pretty femboy! …why is he so clingy?), Momo the Fox (He’s a slut! Well, okay, listen, there’s more to him then that, but—), Hikmat (Don’t ask Hikmat what he is), and, as of the most recent free title update, Slagathor the Orc (Cook and Beefy Daddy.) Each of these characters take fairly simple premises (and over the top, nearly cartoonish personalities) and wring the most emotion and romantic drama one can out of them thanks to careful writing that makes each of these monster men far more fleshed out than any promotional material might prepare you for.

RELATED: Our Favorite Gay Games of 2023 (And Why Games Will Be Gayer in 2024)

Free indie DLC? In this economy?

Everyone’s going to like different characters for different reasons, but for the sake of this review, I’d like to call out that the free Slagathor DLC is one of the game’s easiest to enjoy stories for the uninitiated, and a good “gateway” to the other routes. This tusked cook is a character far less weighed down by some of the magical storytelling and over-the-top tropes that, for better or worse, haunt other routes. For readers that want a more grounded character to start with before, he’s the big green daddy you’re looking for. (It is with this knowledge that it makes the decision to not launch the game with him perhaps a bit baffling, but still, it’s hard to slight free DLC nearly a year out.)

Allen is caught between two beefy orcs talking in their native tongue.

I wonder how much of a coincidence it is that Y Press Games is releasing a orc dating sim next year.

At the end of the day, Dear Monster is pure fantasy in every sense, both in terms of some ambitious magical world building and in terms of horny dudes fucking each others brains out without much hesitation. It’s not a erotic game that just happens to have sex in it, it is a porn game that just happens to have an interesting world to explore, and knowing the difference between those two is likely going to determine how much you enjoy your stay at Theodore’s mansion. For this reviewer, I enjoyed it enough to see what each monster man was looking for—and was happy to find it each and every time.


  • Beautiful character art and CG splash screens largely unrivaled in the genre
  • Five wildly different paths of delightful gay drama and sex.
  • It’s even quite romantic at times! It’s got it all!
  • Far better writing and storytelling than the flimsy premise prepares you for
  • Every dude is hot and they aren’t all hot in the same way.
  • Allen, the main character, has a surprising amount of depth and agency
  • You, I, and god all know you’re going to fuck Imbriss eventually.
  • Wide variety of paths, one of which is meta-textual and order dependent, beg for multiple playthroughs


  • Performance issues with sprites once three or more characters are online
  • Faeryn, I’m sorry, can you fucking chill out? Please?
  • Dear Monster’s writing may be a bit too playful for some, especially given some of its more serious story beats.

OVERALL: 77/100

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