Psychopomp High: Even Dead Teenagers Want to Date
From the mind of Mary Borsellino comes Psychopomp High, a story of love and identity set in a high school of the dead. Caleb is a psychopomp with no memory of who he was in life. It doesn’t take him long to meet and befriend Luke and Marcella, two fellow psychopomps with their own secrets.
Psychopomp High plays in a straightforward manner. Stick with either Luke or Marcella to find out their stories and learn Caleb’s role in the afterlife, initiating a romance along the way. It’s when Caleb’s alone though that bad things start happening. What really catches my interest is the suggestion of a fully realized world underlying a short game. Luke isn’t human, Marcella wasn’t always, and Caleb…well, he’s something else entirely. Luke, Marcella, and Caleb look and behave human, but the game makes it clear that this comes more from a longing to be human more than anything, taking the time to deconstruct shallowly even the standard high school setting. After all, the game points out, why exactly would dead teenagers go to school?
Despite the somberness of the premise–dead teenagers! amnesia! revenge!–Psychopomp High is a breezy, sincere addition to the visual novel genre, with an intriguing hint of darkness underneath the bright colors.