“Inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft” generally tells you what a game is going to be about: horror, eldritch abominations, tentacles, things that man dare not speak of. Very rarely, the phrase means shiny big-eyed character models and cheerful black comedy, but that’s what The Miskatonic is all about.
There’s a demo up on Kickstarter that revolves around Charlotte LeStrange clicking around and exploring the playfully scary world she inhabits. The title refers to an occult university of sorts, where students and faculty often get eaten or driven mad–but still, as far as these things go, it’s not a bad place to be. Plus, as the staff is well aware, the hazard pay is fantastic.
|Recommended by Melody Lee||Thursday, March 12th, 2015||No Comments »|
Phoenix Wright, as a franchise and series, requires no introduction, but just in case you’ve missed out on the phenomenon, it’s a visual novel about a bumbling, idealistic attorney who navigates an absurd but semi-realistic series of events as he investigates cases, defends his clients, and (hopefully) wins his cases. Fans have taken it upon themselves to create their own versions starring their favorite characters or do jazzy reinventions of the soundtrack, while its popularity has spawned a musical, a live-action film, and who knows what else.
And now, for fans of Phoenix Wright who wish the series were a little more female-focused, comes Regeria Hope, who doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what she is: female Phoenix Wright.
|Recommended by Melody Lee||Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015||No Comments »|
Acceptance, a remake of a Twine game, is a game about the struggles of being trans in a hostile and often violent world. Some routes depict suicide, sexual assault, and violence. All routes contain transphobia. Made by a trans woman and adapted into a visual novel format, the game opens by asking: Are you a man or a woman?
Whatever you choose, the answer is always the same. You’re wrong. You might know what you are, but how long can you hold onto your identity when the world rejects it? Acceptance follows a single day in the life of a trans character. The game is targeting cisgender audiences exclusively, to try and promote awareness of how challenging society makes being transgender.
|Recommended by Melody Lee||Tuesday, February 24th, 2015||No Comments »|
Swaggering forward with a rose clenched firmly in her teeth and her fedora tipped low over her sunglasses, Romance Detective is here to solve the case. No murders or deaths in the sweet town of Lovebloom, however. Instead, Romance Detective (and her confused partner Romance Cop) tackles the case of the missing vase, which on the side is stamped proudly with a giant heart. Romance Detective might not be certified, she might not have anything to go off of, but she knows that this was definitely a crime of passion.
And, hey, what do you know, she’s right.
|Recommended by Melody Lee||Thursday, February 19th, 2015||No Comments »|
Visual novel Graverobber‘s primary appeal is its aesthetic. Glancing through the screenshots, it’s hard not to want to pick up the game immediately just to let your eyes devour the hypersaturated neon palette, which beautifully complements the 90s noir vibe the game evokes. But Graverobber takes its visual novel premise a step further and introduces several puzzle and point-and-click elements that puts the player-reader in an active role.
Episode 1 sees the introduction of our four protagonists: Sasha, a famous graverobber whose morality skews a little south of average; Ellery, the ghost whose grave he robbed; Barnaby, skeevy bartender and Sasha’s only ally; and Detective Copper, an obsessive law enforcement officer determined to bring Sasha to justice. And who can blame him? Sasha is, after all, stealing from the dead with zero hint of remorse, though Ellery seems determined to make Sasha face the consequences of his actions one way or another. Of course, Sasha could just dump Ellery by returning the stolen watch, but where’s the story in that?
|Recommended by Melody Lee||Wednesday, January 14th, 2015||No Comments »|
From start to finish, Cinders is a masterpiece of the genre and unlike any visual novel I’ve seen before. Even at first glance the artwork is stunning, the colors saturated and textured. The backgrounds are beautifully painted and reminiscent of oil paintings, and the classical background music adds a rich layer to an already stunning game.
Like the title suggests, Cinders is a new take on the Cinderella myth. Although Cinderella’s origins have been lost, she dates back at least to ancient Greece in the story of a Greek courtesan who seduced an Egyptian pharoah with her sandal and rose to power. The developers at MoaCube take the Cinderella story back to her origins with the introduction of Cinders, a young girl struggling to escape the rule of her overbearing stepmother and gain her freedom and independence.
|Recommended by Melody Lee||Thursday, December 4th, 2014||No Comments »|