Secret Little Haven is a visual novel type game that plays out in the form of an AOL Messenger style chat application, a little like Emily Is Away. You’re Alex, a fan of a Japanese Sailor Moon type anime and you take part in his interactions with friends in real life, from a fan forum, and his dad.
Alex isn’t happy for a number of reasons, but centrally he doesn’t identify as male, and part of the game how he, or rather, she comes to terms with it with advice of various kinds from those he chats with.
As well as that seriousness, there’s a load of power-girl cartoon fan fiction and art, normal teenager angst to deal with, and a friend who is a bit overbearing towards women to rein in.
I liked the story, but even though it isn’t a happy ending – more because it isn’t an ending, rather than isn’t happy – it seemed to rush towards a conclusion for your dad far too easily considering the massive change that was taking place. I also enjoyed all the early 90s internet references and the “hacking” sequence.