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If Darkest Dungeon was an anime dating sim, it’d be this Steam game

A character fires a blue laser beam in a botanical garden, as a robotic character flies alongside it

Take the turn-based combat of Darkest Dungeon, and combine it with a sparkly dating sim and you get Nova Hearts, this cutesy new Steam game.

There are some things I don’t expect to see at the start of a random week in December. The Day Before has shuttered, E3 is officially dead, and there’s a new “turn-based combat dating sim” called Nova Hearts coming to Steam. Safe to say, it’s set to be a pretty weird week.

Trading out the gorgeous black, white, and red visuals of Othercide for a sparkly, Final Fantasy X-2 world, you’re thrust into the shoes of Luce and her merry band of misfits, who have been tasked with saving the world from a new, mysterious otherworldly force.

Both your squad and several of your enemies – all sexy singles in your area, of course – have been gifted an array of powerful superhero-style talents, meaning you’ll be facing off against myriad different supervillains and their hordes of ravenous minions. Combat channels Darkest Dungeon’s turn-based strategy, and sees you work together with your friends to unleash devastating combos on your foes.

But, in the background, you’ll also have to successfully woo your chosen companions. You can text, chat, and even go on dates with your colleagues – or even your new arch-nemeses. I know which I’ll be picking.

But, bear in mind that, to quote good ol’ Uncle Ben (or Voltaire, if you prefer 17th-century French literature like me): “With great power comes great responsibility.” Your actions will dictate the outcome of the story, and could potentially land you in some pretty hot water. Will I still romance the bad guy? Absolutely, but I’m just giving you a bit of warning.

So if you fancy channelling your inner superhero (or villain), Nova Hearts will release the first part of its story, Nova Hearts: The Spark on January 17, 2024. The rest of the game will follow in summer, 2024.

As a League of Legends player and support main, the entire game is giving me Lux vibes (especially the image above), and I absolutely adore it. Having sunk hours into Doomsday Paradise (imagine Slay the Spire, if it was a dating sim), I can’t wait to try out Nova Hearts for myself – the Lady of Luminosity would be so proud.

Until then, we have a list of all the best superhero games to get you in the crime-fighting mood, as well as a collection of free Steam games so that you can save some cash during the holiday season.

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Lauren Bergin Forged in the heart of the World of Darkness, Lauren is PCGamesN’s news editor and resident Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines expert. When she’s not yelling at stop signs and televisions as a magnificently maniacal Malkavian, she’s dropping too much money on League of Legends skins and shouting at her bank account instead. With bylines at Dexerto, The Loadout, and Wargamer, quotes from her Diablo 4 review were broadcast in cinemas worldwide, and, yes, she did ugly cry in public. She has a master’s degree in War Studies and wrote her dissertation on LA Noire, which she still contends is one of the best PC games ever made.

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