Blood Pact Press Coverage, from Kotaku to Critical Distance


Just over one month ago, Callie and I launched Blood Pact into the world. It was a long journey filled with sweat, tears, and a little bit of blood spilled onto an ancient codex (mine, not Callie's, for the record).

Since then, we've heard so many good things from our readers. Trans women told us they felt seen and desired in our smut. BDSM practitioners reached out and praised our game for accurately depicting D/s encounters. And queer readers across genders relished the horny-yet-thought-provoking romp through a chilly library basement/impromptu sex dungeon.

We've felt that love first-hand. And in itch.io's case, there's science to back it up. Here are some fun statistics about Blood Pact's first month.

  • More than 11,200 sitewide impressions
  • Over 9,500 views in total
  •  4,000+ playthroughs, including 137 downloads via the itch.io desktop app
  • Added to 121 players' collections
  • 9 ratings, all 5/5 stars
  • Top referrals from itch.io, Twitter, and Kotaku
  • Over 1,000 views from Kotaku alone

The press coverage we've received for Blood Pact has been phenomenal. Many of my colleagues across the games journalism world have praised our game and commented on some of its themes. It's been a real honor reading through their words and understanding their relationship with the game—especially trans women who have covered it. Here's a short list of the press coverage we've received so far.


. . .


Blood Pact Does 'Sexy Succubus BDSM Game' The Right Way by Kate Gray for Kotaku

Ana Valens’ Blood Pact gets it. Blood Pact, a fiercely queer illustrated porn game made in Twine, tells a short story about accidentally summoning a succubus who seeks out trans women to worship her with their bodies and souls. Unlike Fifty Shades, it’s as gentle as it is brutal; it ebbs and flows as the energy and consent change in each scene. This is far from the first time I’ve found queer fiction that depicts realistic BDSM, the kind that shows the caring side as much as it does the kinky whips-and-chains stuff.

Getting Horny with Blood Pact by Astrid Johnson for Gayming Magazine

Blood Pact is a few things. It’s more positive trans representation in a way that we don’t see a lot of, and it’s a great look at BDSM which communicates some important aspects of how it works in a healthy way. The fact that it’s one of just two works of media I can think of in my head that explores this subject is a crying shame, but that they both emerged within six months of each other, when for years before this we hadn’t seen much at all, does make me feel a bit hopeful

Blood Pact Review: Sex and Excess by Autumn Wright (as seen on Critical Distance)

What makes Blood Pact so strong from here is its textual and visual illustration. I recognized Alexa’s feelings personally, from the squeezing her legs together while first getting bothered to the puddle of precum on her belly. Trans writing and representation makes us feel seen, but it doesn’t often get to make us feel those very things it’s describing. Ana told me she wanted to create something “that mirrored the kind of sex I love with other trans women, the kind of sex I have with other trans women, and how we talk/think/engage with each others’ bodies when we’re sleeping together.” Though it wasn’t an explicit goal of Blood Pact, it certainly accomplishes as much. 

Ana Valens: Twine, Erotica, Transgender Representation, and Blood Pact by Patrick Guilford

Luckily, Ana wasn’t alone in making Blood Pact. Working alongside Ana, was illustrator and co-designer, Callie G.. Callie and Ana have long been collaborators since Ana’s short story “Bell”. As their collaborating efforts, Ana stated “She let me lead the way as an authority on trans women’s bodies and that came through in her art…she also served as an editor…More specifically, she gave a lot of constructive feedback on Blood Pacts’ early drafts and helped me navigate writing Alexa’s identity…she taught me how to be aware of my white privilege, how to write characters of color like Alexa in ways that aren’t lazy or harmful, and why it’s so incredibly important to bring on sensitivity readers to help iron out any issues with a marginalized character’s depiction.”

Meet & Seduce a Goddess in Twine Erotica Blood Pact by Jupiter Hadley for Indie Games Plus

In my lifetime, I’ve read a fair bit of erotica and played a couple of handfuls of porn or sex games. I have also played many games that feature transgender characters, experiences, and stories about transitioning. Blood Pact is something very different to what I have played and read thus far. [...] [T]he way that these women are described and the amount of care taken into the way they interact with each other is really wonderful to read. 


That's five feature stories in just one month. It's incredibly flattering, and I speak for both of us when I say we're utterly blown away. Jupiter, Patrick, Autumn, Astrid, and Kate: Thank you for your thoughtful and generous words.

In the meantime, Callie and I have some interesting content in the pipeline for both Blood Pact and a new one-shot erotica. Nothing to announce yet, but don't worry. You'll know more soon enough.

—Ana

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