Coming Out On Top is a lighthearted visual novel about exploring queer sexuality as a young adult. It’s also a game where you can bang a goldfish. And it’s coming to Steam soon.
Now that Steam’s softened its stance on adult-oriented games, and thanks to the fans who have built a community around the game, Coming Out On Top will be coming to Valve’s digital storefront, as one of the final games approved in by the now-sunsetted Greenlight program.
Originally released via direct PC download in 2014, Coming Out On Top is a visual novel that leans heavily on letting you mess around with folks and build relationships. While you’re dating and getting to know people, you’ve got to be careful about who you’re investing in, and what you ultimately want from these (often) temporary flings. As in Persona, who you choose to spend time with and how you choose to spend it forms the bulk of the game. Not as in Persona, you can get with a goldfish.
You’ll only experience the scene if you follow just the right pathway, but if you do, the pet goldfish you’ve had since you’ve come to college enlarges to giant size, and you spend a romantic, albeit very tongue-in-cheek, evening together.
“Glub glub,” he whispers.
While there’s a lot of in-jokes among Coming Out players—particularly about the goldfish—underneath the goofiness is an earnest desire for an experience that’s fun, heartfelt, and earnest.
“I was a big comedy geek, and prior to COOT I had been playing around with writing comedy screenplays,” said the game’s developer, who goes by the name “Obscura.” “So I guess I come from the perspective of someone who loves comedy films.”
At the same time, Obscura said, so many games of this type often include non-consensual scenes, or be really intense and packed with tension and drama. Instead, this game was about tapping into the frenetic, zany energy of being a college student, coming out, and experimenting.
“College, for a lot of a people, is a time full of anticipation, exploration, and general weirdness. It seemed like a good setting for a guy looking to meet other guys,” Obscura said.
The game was successfully approved on Greenlight earlier this year, but despite clearing that hurdle, the road’s a bit hairy going forward. Steam may have loosened its tie regarding sex games, but it is still very restrictive when it comes to nudity, particularly when it comes to erect dongs. Obscura’s not quite sure yet how to handle the game, since the original was fairly graphic. Some of the raunchier scenes may need to be trimmed, or replaced via an external patch.
In either case, fans have been celebrating all over with cheers, posts, and plenty of X-rated art. Clearly someone’s digging that hot dude-on-fish action.
After seeing The Matrix at the age of nine, Daniel Starkey has been fascinated by the idea of mediated intimacy. They see people as floating through the void of existence, eager to bridge the gap by connecting with others. These days, they’re drawn to looking at the myriad ways people share themselves and what forms that takes.