“TOMATO CLINIC” by npckc & sdhizumi.

“[A] visual novel about going on a tour at a vampire blood donation clinic […] with multiple endings. […] [Learn] a few things about vampire life and vampire culture, and if you want, you can even donate blood at the end of the tour.”

In “TOMATO CLINIC”, you are the first human visitor in a blood donation clinic run by vampires. But as many negative stereotypes as well as hackneyed clichés still affect mankind’s image of vampires, you are also the only visitor. That is too bad, as both clinic leaders – Marie and Gakuto – prepared a bunch of educational and fun activities to set the record straight. You thought vampires get pulverized by daylight? No, they only get strong sunburns! Garlic helps to chase them away? Not at all! You really believed that they drink human blood? Well, that is actually true – but not how you think they would. It is all about consent, after all!

“TOMATO CLINIC” is a wonderful little interactive novel about how we treat others, especially when their life is completely different from ours or when they have certain characteristics that we do not have. When I first played this sweet game, I immediately thought that its creators are using vampires as a metapher for LBGTQ+ people, as there was one scene, where Marie offers the protagonist to answer any of their questions. Her answer to a specific one was remarkable. When you ask her if it is possible for vampires to turn humans into one of them, she denies it while explaining that being a vampire is not a disease or contagious or an infection. That is easily transferable to LBGTQ+ people, as many of them already experienced discrimination because of that stupid idea.

For example, if you are openly gay, then even today you will have a rough time if you want to be a teacher or kindergartner, as some parents may fear that you turn their kids into homosexuals. In the world of “TOMATO CLINIC”, this scenario gets illustrated by a couple of vampires running a blood donation clinic. That may seem a bit off at first glance, but if you just take a moment to get informed and educated by them, your anxiety about such farfetched myths will go away. [PLAY]