New Portland-Based Video Game “Queer Quest” Adds Mystery Element to the Dating Simulation Genre

Indie game developer Mo Cohen’s proudly LGBTQ+ role-playing game is part puzzler, part scavenger hunt.

"Queer Quest," image courtesy of Mo Cohen.

Your princess is in another castle. It’s a problem as old as video games.

Countless titles follow the hero’s journey to save their lost love. Few of those games are as openly and expressively LGBTQ+ as Queer Quest, a new point-and-click puzzler released June 3 by independent video game developer Mo Cohen. Available on Mac and PC via Steam and Itch, Queer Quest follows Lupe as she unravels the mystery of her girlfriend Alexis’ abduction. Along the way, Lupe overcomes some very Portland-specific challenges, like navigating a naked bike ride and setting up an ex-girlfriend with her crush.

Cohen first announced Queer Quest in 2016. Cohen wrote via Kickstarter that they were inspired to write Queer Quest by how queer protesters they saw in Portland came together during a protest against an unspecified gay-bashing attack. After the Kickstarter campaign failed, Cohen raised funds for Queer Quest through Patreon. Cohen’s press release describes Queer Quest as “a gay Monkey’s Island meets a feminist Leisure Suit Larry.”

Queer Quest is part puzzler, part role playing game, part dating simulator, fully out and proud, and fully not safe for work. Barely censored nudity, sex toys, booze and marijuana feature heavily in Queer Quest, though users can opt not to partake in any substance use without sacrificing gameplay, leaving options open for sober gamers.

There are plenty of gay dating sims, like Dream Daddy, but few exist featuring other members of the LGBTQ+ community. Queer Quest’s characters come from many different backgrounds and express themselves with all colors and pronouns. Lupe bounces across town on her search for Alexis, unlocking mini quests as one question leads to someone looking for something, like hair for a new wig, or a DVD for a lesbian TV series.

Gamers might need to regularly check their to-do lists as their codependent side quests build on each other, but Queer Quest’s gameplay is easy enough to pick up, and its plot surrounding Alexis’ abduction and the rise of a radical queer collective called the Reignbows is unexpected enough to keep gamers guessing as to what will happen next.

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