I was happily screaming when I played Tomorrow For Mar. It delivered everything that I wanted from an LGBTQ+ game; we have a magical school, characters that openly identify themselves as queer, lots of fluffy humor, and there is no angst whatsoever, apart from some students worrying about a building fire destroying their final projects.
Tomorrow for Mar was originally introduced as part of a bundle of "bite-sized games" according to the Steam page description. It is half point-and-click, half-visual novel. The runtime can go from 30 min to an hour, depending on how long it takes for you to wander the magical school campus. I'm still one ingredient away from reaching the ending, owing to the amount of backtracking that I was doing.
My hope is that the creators know how awesome they are. They brightened my day when I played the game. We got a story with no learning curve whatsoever for the spells or magic. All you need to do is solve puzzles, and maybe open your heart up to some love.
Magic School Shenanigans
Mar is a magic student preparing for final exams as a Spell Major. They have to make a Confession Potion, using three ingredients. You have a few spells under your belt, but not a lot. One lets you tell the truth, while another will summon rain. Mar knows that this isn't enough to collect ingredients for a potion when you don't even know what they are or where to find them.
The professor advises that you can ask for help, but you are not allowed to ask the professor any questions or use a truth spell on them. Using a truth spell on a know-it-all student, however, is permissible, even as the know-it-all protests that such a strategy is cheating. You find out the three ingredients that you need, as well as where they might be. So you teleport to the other campuses to find the ingredients.
A Battle Major named Lamond also has a final exam; he has to escort someone for an hour and keep them safe from danger, and, since Mar has to wander around the school, he chooses them. Mar blushes as Lamond takes coffee with them from a local stand, insists on helping gather the ingredients, and even agrees to a funky dance-off to defuse a conflict. Mar wonders why Lamond would hang out with them when he is a cool Battle Major, and talk about how fun it is to hang out with them. Gee, I do wonder why.
Several buildings exist on campus, within teleportation distance of each other. We sadly cannot see the Chemistry building, as an accident set it on fire, but we can see where the Battle Majors study, as well as the magical students learning to be medics. Some work-study students confess they have high student debts.
Cute and Nostalgic Mechanics
This game is my kind of jam and has the vibe that this was a challenge someone did in a game jam to spread joy in the world. At a few moments, the text explained that the animation should be updated for characters, but they ran out of time and budget so blame the creators. You can rely on the power of imagination for those moments, including a second coffee date with Lamond.
While the animation for the point-and-click is limited, the magical atmosphere is fun. This is how you take back the narrative of a magical school from a certain author we will not name who broke their pedestal. You tell a story that reminds us of our school days and struggling to complete projects before that dreaded deadline. In my case, it was assembling graphic design portfolios and struggling against an overloaded Epsom printer. I felt for Mar dealing with the mundane parts of being a magical student, that the thrill of casting a weather spell has long worn off its charm if you'll excuse the pun.
I loved bobbing along to the music. It's very lighthearted and whimsical, just what we need for the game.
How Is The LGBTQ+ Rep?
Top-notch. Mar is confirmed to be nonbinary, with they/them pronouns. Their sexuality is unknown, but they are attracted to Lamond. Lamond obviously returns Mar's feelings but is shy about confessing them. In fact, Lamond asks with sincerity if he can sample some of Mar's Confession Potion after they submit it for a grade. He admits that confessing is a lot scarier than facing anyone in battle. You only bleed in battle, but broken hearts take longer to heal.
Oblivious queers are the best. We've had that moment where our insecurities blind us to the fact that we are worthy of love. Mar has monologues about how cool Lamond is, too cool to hang out with a Spell Major like them. Lamond in the meantime keeps dropping hint after hint, about how awesome Mar is to study multiple disciplines while still being a Spell Major. He invites Mar to dance, and reassures them when Mar says they have never danced.
We sometimes need reminders that we matter to other people, and that we are worth helping. Mar gets by with a little bit of skirting the rules but mainly strives to help fellow students. They show a big heart and lots of compassion for others' situations. That compassion allows them to succeed in their quests.
Tomorrow For Mar is a Fun Little Adventure
This game is only $2.99 on Steam, and well worth the price. I hope that the creator puts more games out there, for the world to enjoy. We need LGBTQ+ fluff to remind us that we matter and that you can find magic anywhere that you look.
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