A fun little widget that's good for relaxing tired eyes; I'm a fan of terrariums and aquariums, so of course I enjoyed this! I appreciate the ability to generate new 'tanks' to find one that fits my current mindset, and watching the fish and butterflies transform into each other is almost hypnotizing! I do think I'd find it more relaxing if the speed was slowed down a little, or if there was some kind of way to adjust the speed at which the "animals" moved, as the current vibes feels a little hectic for me. It's still fun to watch, though, so thanks for putting it out there!
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A short, sweet game with a sprinkling of point-and-click, I really enjoyed my time with it: Between the stylized pixel art, the music, and the breezy dialogue, it had a calming, relaxing atmosphere for me, with an almost Ghibli-like magical slice-of-life feel throughout. The idea of a peaceful train ride with interesting but friendly passengers seems completely out of reach in my slice of time and space, so it was a pleasant bit of escapism, and the little hints of worldbuilding, and about the other passengers on the train, really made the game feel like a quick peek into a more colorful, more welcoming world. The ending was a very nice conclusion, even if more questions went unanswered than otherwise, but I like that our nameless protagonist will get to hang out with his giant, sandwich-loving friend. I wish that I could really catch a train for the Amber Coast, but since I can't, this is definitely the next best thing. An understated little gem, which I very much enjoyed!
Short but cute, as someone with multiple cats, the Lovecraft-esque narration over mostly-normal aspects of cat ownership (feeding them, picking a toy) was particularly funny to me. The bright, cartoony style is endearing, and it made the creepy bits that much creepier. Several of my cats also just sit and stare at me silently, but in their case, it's a mental order to give them more food. I got the ending where the cat is just fat and happy, and I had the mental image of some eldritch being coming to Earth as a cute cat with no more or less of a reason than lazing around and being spoiled by an unsuspecting mortal. Very enjoyable!
I'm not sure I'd call this a "game," exactly, or even a visual novel, since the game itself makes the decisions; it felt more like a kinetic novel, where your only job is to press the button and advance the "page," but whatever it was, I enjoyed it! I'd be interested in seeing what a fully-developed version of this project would be, especially having the ending altered by specific combinations of results; although the game itself was very short, the writing was crisp and concise and the concept of the curse seems like it would lend itself well to a deeper dive re: the circumstances of the curse, the effect its had so far, and why the kingdom is apparently willing to accept a monarch with a flaw that could easily be so utterly devastating. Preventing a civil war/struggle for the throne, maybe? Either way, I'll be keeping an eye out for the expanded version!
As for my choices, I got:
- Marry Paul
- Keep the money for a rainy day
- Let the nobles go hungry
A fun way to pass a little time, I found the MC's character art charming, and the art style and the UI is really adorable; the music was fitting without being grating or too repetitious and the CGs in Ichigo's route, especially the True End CG, were stand-outs among the others. I would have liked a gallery for the CGs, but since the game is so short, seeing them again isn't a hassle at all. I could guess how things would go from the start, except for MC's little "hobby," but that didn't stop most of the game from being enjoyable; there aren't a lot of games that flip the script like this, and it was done well, producing a real Sympathy for the Devil-type situation. I wound up fond of Ichigo and the MC, and was genuinely pleased by the True End.
I will say that I thought the last half of Yuzuki's route, covering his backstory, was the weakest part of the game: Since it was basically an info-dump, it turned into a kinetic novel and didn't leave much of an impression on me. This may have been because I guessed how things were going to go, so the Reveals didn't feel as important or pivotal as intended. This might be why I was a little disappointed by MC's final action in Bad End 4, but maybe things would have been different if she took Ichigo's calls! I also felt Ichigo's characterization was a little uneven since the True End route has MC talk about how Ichigo was conflicted, yet earlier he was super confident and gloating when talking to Haruto, though this wasn't enough to bother me much.
All in all, I enjoyed my playthroughs and am interested in seeing your future work!
Thanks for the prompt response! I appreciate the confirmation that it's an intentional choice, so I know I didn't totally misread the situation; it still doesn't work for me as well as multiple-but-futile choices would, but this is my subjective opinion and the prologue is brief, so it's far from a dealbreaker. Implementation of saves, incidentally, is also greatly appreciated, especially if there's as many potential paths as implied, as well as the content being as accessible to players going in blind as it is to those involved with the Tumblr/Discord. I prefer to experience the story as it unfolds, so any supplementary materials have to wait until after I finish the game.
As ever, I look forward to seeing how Villain's Promise grows and evolves, and I anticipate future interactions with these varied characters... and, more than likely, doing my best to ruin some lives and get away with it. After all, how often do you get to play the villain?
An overdue review for the revised prologue:
I'm not sure if the lack of choices is supposed to represent the MC being unable (in the prologue) to avoid their fated execution, but the lack of ability to have even superficial impact on the story altered my perception of the game. Obviously the whole point of the prologue is the execution, so I don't expect to be able to change anything, but the long passages of prose offered plenty of chances for surface-level "decisions" that wouldn't affect the narrative while still offering a sense of agency for the player, if not the MC. For example, maybe you don't have the choice to not trust your partner, but you could easily have different responses for how you confirm your (possibly misplaced) trust: Sincerely, reluctantly, bitterly, emotionally, etc. Other potential moments for this kind of thing could be your (internal) response to the distance between you and your partner, a choice to resist the pain or have some other (futile) response rather than just closing your eyes, having some kind of reaction at some point during your imprisonment/torture, and responding to the knight that helps you to the throne room. Nothing really changes except a few lines of text, but it would drastically up the immersion factor, at least for persnickety types like myself, and it would break up the long pages of Having Things Done To You by People You (The Player) Don't Yet Know. The effect might be different for someone who's been following the tumblr and taking part in the Discord, but at least some people (like myself) won't be coming in with that information, so any deeper meaning or emotional impact could be lost in a prologue that's more like reading a novel than playing interactive fiction.
This isn't to say that the reading was unpleasant, as your prose is rich and evocative and you have a particular knack for characterization, as characters have distinct voices even if they have little more than a few lines. If I'd gone into this expecting pure prose, I'd be extremely pleased with it and interested in reading more; I'm still extremely interested, but I went into it as a player of interactive fiction, so my expectations were a little different. The only choices you have in-story is to skip the torture, which isn't so much a choice in-story as it is a meta-choice to avoid a scene, and your final response in court. I did have something dramatic planned, but I found myself so stymied by the lack of player agency (as opposed to character agency) that I seized the first chance I (the player) had to actually do something and wound up telling the court to do something anatomically unpleasant with an extremely unsuitable instrument. ... Though I like to think that was also in-character for the MC, all things considered! The lack of 'personalization,' not to be confused with customization, also kept me from feeling particularly attached to or invested in the MC, which is a problem I often have with more linear/stratified forms of IF, like visual novels.
Which, again, doesn't mean that this prologue is bad; far from it, in fact! If the lack of even superficial options is supposed to be indicative of the MC's railroading, in contrast with their post-revival options in the main game, then feel free to ignore just about everything I said above. In either case, I'll still be watching this game carefully and looking forward to how it grows.
MINOR SPOILERS, MAYBE?
I genuinely enjoyed my time in the Athenaeum, with its surprisingly thoughtful, unexpectedly affecting story about growing up and (maybe) moving on. Despite the fantastical setting, the MC's decision and the stories they hear are very applicable for worlds that aren't otherworldly libraries. I would have liked to know more about said world, but exposition about the library wasn't the point; but it did influence my (first-run) decision to Leave, so maybe that was the point, after all. I appreciated that no-one's decision or reasoning was "wrong" or "right," and even decisions that didn't work out are presented more as the wrong choice for the moment in which it was made. I found all of the characters interesting and endearing - yes, even Holden! - and it was surprisingly bittersweet when my MC and Harper made different decisions.
The art in the game is vibrant and fits the game perfectly; all the character sprites are visually striking and express each character's personality, and I love the way the 'infinite library' setting informs the world, with bookshelves taking the place of walls, the canal filled with fish and seaweed running through tree-like shelves, the reading-corner-like "steppes" where Bo's "sheep" are roaming around. (I'm with Holden on this one, those are not sheep.) (Where is this "sunlight" coming from, anyway?) (Is this some kind of post-apocalyptic The Borrowers?) (I have so many questions about this world!)
I also liked the implication that Holden initially stayed because Cosette stayed, and that, by extension, making such big decisions because of someone else, even someone you care for, isn't always the best thing to do. That said, I noted that when you speak to Holden or Cosette, they reference the other and the dialogue changes a little, depending if you'd spoken to the other previously. Bo and Robinson do the same thing if you talk to Bo first, but if you talk to Robinson first and then to Bo, he still says that you should go talk to Robinson as if you hadn't already done so. It's a minor thing, but it seems like a bug? I do like the fact that the dialogue changes a little in reference to the other characters; it makes it seem more like a community with people who know and interact with each other.
In conclusion, I really enjoyed this game and I'm glad you put it out there so people like me to play. Even if some endings are bittersweet, there's a wholesome kind of heartwarming to Athenaeum that made it more than its short playtime. Excellent work!
(Just what exactly is Speculative Fiction - Agriculture? Is that where all the Harvest Moon/Rune Factory/Stardew Valley transcripts go?)
POSSIBLE MINOR DEMO SPOILERS:
For all of the superheroics (which I love) and character interactions (which are amazing) that are squeezed into this brief demo, the part that hit the hardest is our erstwhile MC's job search.Beam Man may be right about the Department of Valor being shady (though I hope he workshops his name in super-jail), but I for one would happily be a paper-pusher for spandex-clad do-gooders and/or amoral shadow agencies if it meant a steady paycheck. We need to buy cat food, gorram it!
That said, every other part of this demo is also amazing. The art style is bright and vibrant, nailing that comic-book aesthetic without feeling cookie-cutter in the way that actual superhero comics sometimes are. (As a comics fan, I say that with love.) And while it may seem like a small thing, I really like the logo. That is some excellent design work! I appreciate the number of choices for even seemingly insignificant decisions, and the fact that choices are given equal weight: Some may have "better" results, but they're all presented as equally valid in the moment, which isn't something you can say for all choice-based fiction. I also very much appreciate being able to save the dog! The writing is strong, and the Clammy Woman's personal space invasion felt genuinely claustrophobic; Beam Man's attack was appropriately chaotic. I like the fact that the first supervillain we see is the MC's old teacher and what that says about the game-world, which feels like it's putting real effort into creating a grounded, believable setting despite all the superpowers. Beam Man also feels a bit like a callback to old-school comics, where the hero's nemesis was always the first person they foiled or someone they went to school with.
TL;DR: I really enjoyed the demo, and I'm looking forward to seeing where things go from here!
POTENTIAL SPOILERS BELOW:
A brief but enjoyable visual novel that, in some ways, felt like something of a throwback (in a good way!). In particular, the CG of Caitlyn and James in the observation room and then of Elliot's perception of them felt retro but nostalgic, which may have made the short playtime that much more palatable. Though we didn't get to spend much time with any of the characters due to the game's brevity, I thought that they were well-established in a short amount of time: In particular, Caitlyn's almost desperate wish to help Elliot and the mention of going through multiple actors because they couldn't stand deceiving Elliot for long seem ripe for elaboration.
The hook, of course, is the perspective-flip, which works very well; Elliot's perspective, in particular, illustrates the odd foreshadowing during the 'hanging out' scene, and seeing Caitlyn and James interact as actual people makes Elliot's perceptions of them hit harder. The VN feels more like a prologue than something self-contained: Elliot may be suffering from a debilitating but mundane condition, but the details of his treatment seem to indicate otherwise. This is a lot of set-up for one person, especially considering the mysterious "They" and James' interest in Elliot's perceptions. I supposed Elliot could just be related to someone wealthy or powerful enough to dedicate these resources to him, but it feels like there's a larger story here; if that's the case, I hope to be able to play that game, too!
Overall, I enjoyed the game! It was surprisingly complete, given its status as a jam game; while it could have used an editor to smooth out sentences and replace some awkward phrasing, I could easily understand it and it didn't really detract from the overall experience. There were only two places where the language usage caused actual confusion: Once during Dan and Lee's argument on the roof, when it almost sounded as if Dan were accusing Lee of being the murderer, and during Moon's interrogation, when some of the speaker's names and in-dialogue names were switched around. Again, nothing an editor/proofreader couldn't fix.
The art was clean and set the mood well, and it was clear that particular care was taken with Moon's sprite. The concept of the Half Moon is a fun one and could probably be expanded into a larger work, with this game serving as a prequel or sidestory. The endings made sense and I liked that being honest about his grudge got Moon's "best" ending, illustrating how destructive it can be to suppress your emotions, even if it was a little ambiguous at the end. As for critiques, I recommend making Dan's death appear in all routes: I went Let Him Talk -> Yes first and didn't see Dan's death, so while I assumed that Moon had dreamed of it, I wasn't sure because I the player hadn't seen it happen. I was also a little taken aback when Half Moon suddenly had speakers and a bear trap and everything, even though they disappeared when Half Moon did; the knives that killed Jun were fine but the gear that was used on Lee felt jarring, especially given that Dan was killed with a very real butcher's knife.
I enjoyed it a lot for what it was, and most of its flaws could be fixed with a little extra time and some proofreading. Good job, and thanks for uploading!
I avoid creator tumblrs (and related posting) because I like to go into games blind; also, sad to say, many games make it to the "Here's all the info, look forward to it! <3" stage before they run out of steam. As such, take whatever I say next with a grain of salt, since I've been avoiding even the tiniest spoilers! (So, no opinion on the names thing.)
* I'm good with canon genders, especially as someone who (sometimes, sort of) writes; sometimes characters spring into your head a certain way or evolve into a specific state, and it becomes hard to think of them otherwise. While I appreciate the option to choose RO genders, it's not necessary for me to appreciate and/or romance the characters.
* I'm not personally interested in poly relationships, though I know that some people prefer them or would like them to be available. It wouldn't turn me off unless it restricted characters to poly-only relationships, ex. I can't romance Character A unless I also romance Character B. It wouldn't be enough to make me swear off the game, but I might be a little disappointed if I wanted to start a (non-poly) relationship with a potential RO and couldn't.
I don't know much coding, so I can't give much of an opinion on the coding-based questions. From following the development of other games, though, it seems like trying to be too ambitious can be a one-way ticket to burnout, so don't feel like you have to meet all the expectations, especially not all at once. As a (future) player, I feel secure in saying that we're all supporting you, even if all we can do is exercise some patience!
Haha, thanks, but it's literally the least I can do! Devs are putting out cool games for free, and I'm unfortunately not in a place where I can shower creators with money and delicious food, so putting a little effort into these comments is (maybe?) the next best thing!
You're welcome, and I'm glad I didn't scare you into a tl;dr with my walls of words! I'm a little surprised to hear that Elijah and Lucifer aren't as popular, but I'm guessing it's because you only interact with Lucifur briefly (and he is responsible for trapping you in Purrgatory) and Elijah's personality is more... muted?... than the others. Honestly, though, I wouldn't have minded an ending where the MC stays in Purrgatory and keeps Lucifur company/helps him fix the place up, maybe serving as a greeter/mentor for future inhabitants, and I really liked Elijah and found him very relatable. Plus, he's an ARMY-dillo! (Unless he was actually in the Navy or something.)
Yes, I've played Daymare Town! That's probably what I was thinking of, to be honest; I got into it through the Submachine series, which sparked my love for puzzle/escape-type games, but I'm also a big chicken (not literally) so it's hard for me to find similar games that aren't horror. Which is part of why I enjoyed this one so much!
Crash-wise, two happened when the game was loading; I clicked on it before it was done (once accidentally) and it froze. The first time I had to shut it down from the Task Bar and the second time it closed itself. The other crash I remember happened during the keyboard jam sesh, when I may have been panic-hitting the keys too quickly, causing the game to lag badly, freeze and crash. I assume it was my extremely old laptop, not the game itself. Incidentally, I was relieved to find out that you don't have to actually succeed at the duet, as it was giving me second-grade-piano-lesson flashbacks.
Quote-wise, there's really too many, but:
- Sean's "I'm a snake with arms" comment.
- Numa's panic-garbled text as she literally runs screaming from the room after trying to confess (relatable but still funny).
- Elijah's "today is a floor day" conversation (also very relatable).
- Tori, of all people, geeking out when we learn that Nat is the artist behind Nocturnal, plus Nat's "it me" responses when she's trying to be coherent.
- Oliver declaring that Lucifur Himself is "a JERK" as if it's the worst thing he could think of to say.
- Almost anything Kyungsoon says, particularly her matter-of-fact speech about Lucifur's cat form and 'petting him like a bongo.'
- Lucifur's defensive response when you ask him about the cat toy, and the MC's earlier response when the cat toy breaks and they just drape the string-and-mouse part on the cat.
- I really liked Numa's refusal to leave if the MC couldn't go. Considering how withdrawn and anxious she is when you meet her, it was heartwarming that she could stand up to Lucifur like that, as well as a testament to the strength of her new relationships. Kyungsoon's flat "what" when Numa says that neither of them will be leaving was funny, though!
- I also really liked the whole "I'm Spartacus!" scene; it was a real feel-good vibe to see more introverted characters like Numa and Oliver speak up, or Tori defer her laser-like focus on escaping for the sake of MC and the others.
- I just liked a lot of the friendship moments, like helping Elijah and Sean make up or Tori storming into Oliver's study to talk about chess. Relatedly, Elijah being so happy that the Everything Slam is coming together/went off so well, and seeing everyone interacting after that.
- Not actually a quote, but the different exhibits and cards in the Meowseum, including Hover Cat, Scaly Cat and "just regular Starry Night." I also have to admit that the giant rotating cat model took me by surprise because it's just so different from everything else in the game!
I think the demo thus far does a good job of establishing the game and its atmosphere a: The art is lush and appropriately storybook-like, and I'm particularly fond of the literal storybook title-screen, which ties in nicely with the occasional narration. It has a thoroughly fantasy/fairytale feeling, to the point where it's something of a shock when I remember it apparently takes place in modern times! The character art is vivid and clean and the writing is evocative without dipping into purple prose; the dialogue in particular does an excellent job illustrating the characters' personalities, which has me interested in seeing more of them in. The audio fits the scenes well and is generally warm and soothing, complementing the game's overall feel, and I appreciate the fact that there's going to be platonic routes as well as romantic ones! Everything looks excellent so far, and I look forward to playing the completed game!
MILD SPOILERS, MAYBE?
That was a lot of fun. Although it's a visual novel, it feels like it draws heavily on the classic point-and-click adventure genre and it both looks and feels (at least to some degree) like those old Flash escape-the-room games. I mean the better ones, so that's a compliment! I didn't play the most recent version so my review may be slightly dated, but:
I enjoyed the visual style, which between the intentional sketchiness and the black-and-white environment is likely what reminded me of those Flash games. The character's sprites are distinctive and evoke their personalities before you even speak to them, and there's just enough oddness to establish Purrgatory as a slightly surreal world unto itself while keeping it firmly grounded in the mostly benign, mildly irritating banality that seems to be its hallmark. The audio was amazing and the ambient music was fitting without getting grating, which is important considering how much backtracking I wound up doing; the lack of shortcuts/fast travel makes total sense within the game, as the characters literally have forever to get from place to place and the mild irritation is probably a feature, not a bug. I found the mechanics easy to understand and enjoyed the puzzles, which required a bit of thinking without being hard or unfair; they were also well-integrated into the narrative, since they felt like things I'd enjoy doing (interacting with the characters, exploring) rather than things I was doing simply to advance the game.
The writing was witty without being overbearing and much of the dialogue was convincingly natural; it went a long way towards establishing the characters and their personalities without making outright statements, and things that were revealed in later conversations felt like the natural results of earlier conversations. I genuinely wanted to help them characters and felt good about it when I succeeded in doing so. The text could be heartwarming or poignant but was also funny, keeping things relatively light despite the frankly terrifying existential implications of a potentially-perpetual Purrgatory. I appreciate the fact that there was text for just about anything you could click on, though I'm still sad on behalf of my MC: Did they not deserve a snack from that vending machine? I'm the type of person who tries to guess the twist so I had an idea of how things would play out, but it's to your credit that I thoroughly enjoyed the journey nonetheless and was actually slightly wrong about how things would end: My compliments on the red herring that was the snowglobes as I was legitimately flabbergasted when I got to the end of that hallway, which is probably just what Lucifurr wanted. You raised my hopes and dashed them most expertly, sir. The ability to determine pieces of the MC's background was also a nice touch, retaining the faceless protagonist and allowing players to self-insert while giving a bit of personalization.
Not sure how many endings there are since I've only done one playthrough, but I got the Heaven ending and it was very satisfying, which extended through the credits and the little glimpses of the cast enjoying themselves. I chuckled at the shout-outs, like the gnome and crowbar; when I saw the train station I thought about the Number Nine from Grim Fandango, or possibly the trains from The Good Place, but I'm not sure if that's a reference or... you know, just a train station. I had a couple of crashes while playing the downloaded version; not sure if this was because I was using a slightly older version or because my laptop is ancient (probably the latter), but it didn't impact me much and might be moot at this point, given the most recent version.
I thought about quoting some of my favorite lines, but that would double the size of this already-way-too-long comment, so I'll just say that I enjoyed playing this game very much, and thank you for putting it out there to be played!
A surprisingly cute game, given its premise, with a colorful pixel style and endearing animations that keeps things lighthearted despite the fact that it starts with an elderly lady's sudden death. There's honestly a bit of reality subtext here for me, as I have cats and have often wondered what will happen to them should I suddenly die; I'm not elderly, but I think it's something that's occurred to most pet owners at one time or another. Hopefully the cats manage to find new homes after they escape the apartment! The puzzle took a little while for me to figure out, but it was satisfying when I did and it's nice that you were able to help the elderly woman move on after at least giving her beloved cats a chance. The usage of Goldie was also surprisingly grim, though like the rest of the game it was done in a humorous way. Fun and fairly short, though I guess that last part depends on how good you are at puzzle-solving. I enjoyed it!
This was an interesting... game? Experiment? It was an impressive mimicry of a smartphone and Replika-style apps, especially if you register for facial recognition and it "scans" your face, which is likely to be right in front of the game window as if it were an actual phone. I appreciated the ability to change the text colors, and while it would have been nice if palettes besides the default also had matching backgrounds, the lack of it hardly ruined my experience. You nailed the bland pleasantness of digital assistants and the chirpy, supportive persona of Replika, and it was obvious when it 'shifted' to an official notification from Prometheus and then back after it was resolved. I did a couple of playthroughs and it was interesting to note what changed: Ex. I turned Anonymize Data on and turned off some other options on my first playthrough and went with the defaults on the second, which resolved the 'suspicious activity' flag much more easily. It did make me think about the give-and-take we take for granted with our devices and digital identity, which is... not reassuring. Interesting to play around with and it gave me something to think about, so thanks!
That was a very enjoyable experience from start to finish! Well, barring that time the downloaded version crashed on me, which happened after I talked to Gilbert the first time; I'd been collecting the quarters and tried to click and use them on him, but the icon was that of my whistle and when I clicked on Gilbert, the game threw up an error screen. I switched to the browser version, which worked fine... though that may be because I avoided doing the above.
That aside, the game is obviously well-crafted and the pixel style is great: The environments fit the game perfectly and are filled with humorous asides and the character sprites are filled with personality. The GUI works excellently and has a friendly, chunky feel without being too "kiddy," and I think both the writing and the gameplay is accessible and enjoyable for actual kids as well as older players... though most kids probably won't get a lot of the references. I especially enjoyed your writing, which was witty throughout and absolutely nailed the pulpy crime/film noir style, which is easy to parody but difficult to parody well especially in an all-ages way. The BGM fit the atmosphere perfectly and I was genuinely satisfied after solving the final puzzle; the puzzles themselves were pretty straightforward, but that's probably more accessible to people who aren't familiar with the adventure game genre.
The game may be short, but I had a lot of fun with it. Thanks for making it available!
The art style and color palette is very clean yet warm and welcoming, and the BGM is well-chosen, being relaxing without getting grating as it loops. The minigames are fun little diversions and I like the extra gags, like watering the plant with the tea or having too many waffles. (I made a waffle bridge!) It did remind me that I need to get myself an actual morning routine, but it was an enjoyable if brief bit of escapism nonetheless. Nice job, and thanks for letting us play it!
A very short but very well-done game starring a very good boy! The cute pixel style and animations, plus the bouncy BGM, gave the game a very light-hearted feeling despite the premise and the grief of the human characters; the soft rain SFX and the contrast between the darker exterior and the warm colors of the rooms when you 'enter' them gave it a surprisingly cozy feel. It managed to be more heartwarming than tearjerking, with moments of humor adding levity (ex. the dog's absolutely correct and accurate homework), and the pup's floating animation/movement made it oddly satisfying to just float around. I enjoyed my time with this game a lot!
I'm willing to wait for SugarCube, since it's what you'll be using going forward. True, I'm eagerly anticipating further gameplay, but it's your project and you're the one doing all the hard work; we're just the lucky players who get to reap the benefits! You didn't mention how much longer a SugarCube update would take, compared to a this-week update in Harlowe, but either way, exercising a little patience won't kill me!
A worthy if brief throwback to classic Sierra-type games (ex. early King's Quest), though not (quite) as punishing! I enjoyed the narrator's commentary, although I would have liked subtitles or optional subtitles since at times it was hard for me to make out his dialogue, and the sudden genre-shifts (and art-shifts) of the minigames were unexpected but added a more dynamic character to the game itself. I didn't pass them all on the first try, so I appreciate that you were given two chances to 'die' before you had to restart; I'm not great at even simple platformers, but it didn't get frustrating and I wound up replaying it several times to try different paths. I liked the humor in both the text and the narration, though I also appreciated the ability to cut off the narration and move onto the next scene after hearing the same thing repeatedly while trying to pass specific minigames. Again, they weren't unfair or unresponsive, I'm just not great at them.
Nonetheless, I had a lot of fun playing Quest to the Dragon's Lair, so thanks for making it available!
This is a cute, friendly little game that doesn't take much time to play, but helping the colorful little villagers put a smile on my face, as did the heartwarming ending! The art style was simple but endearing, the music was fitting and soothing and the mechanics were simple enough that just about anyone could play it. The playtime might be brief, but I enjoyed it!
This game had a very retro, somehow cinematic quality that meshed very well with the subdued color palette and the melancholy mood. There was only a little backstory and world information there, most of it implied, but what was there did its job; the focus was on Rowan and Juniper and it worked very well, creating a post-quest world that was essentially devoid of triumph without being totally hopeless. There was a very heartfelt message about letting go and the time it takes to do so, and I think this game accomplished its purpose well despite its brevity. Good job!
Although Soulace is short, I enjoyed it! The art is good and the sprites are distinctive and filled with personality, as are the characters themselves; the music was good and some of the track-titles made me chuckle, like Banter with shitty friends and Drunkfounded by stupordity. Though we only had a brief glimpse into the Purgatower, its modernity (smartphones, TV rooms and popcorn) made it distinct and I wouldn't have minded seeing more of it; there's also a touch of absurdity in the game, most notably in who's in charge of actually judging souls. The plot was fairly straightforward but worked well to frame the characters and there were a lot of small touches that I liked, like the MC's bad jokes and wearing that huge hooded robe to watch Deadflix like it's a Snuggie.
Sidenote: I got an error when trying to access the Sprite Gallery after my playthrough, apparently linked to a missing images/characters/silhouettes/spydogs s1.png, though it didn't affect my game experience.
I enjoyed this brief but entertaining foray into noir parody and slightly-unsettling robot-collages. I enjoy noir and noir parodies in general and there were some genuinely funny bits, like the union reps' reaction to Fridgo's "bomb" and the Paragon/Renegade options. Short, yes, but if you ever revisited the concept, I'd be interested in playing through that iteration as well!
I'm digging the post-science fiction fantasy - I'm always interested in After The End - and I really enjoyed the prose, which was descriptive and had a lot of character without tipping over into either purple prose or being too clinical and dry. What glimpses we got at the worldbuilding were intriguing and I'm definitely interested in learning more, and the same goes for our MC and their undoubtedly riveting past (and past associates). The art was atmospheric and fit the dark fantasy aesthetic perfectly, and I'm looking forward to seeing where this project goes!
A relaxing, well-written little text adventure that felt like a not-too-long stroll in nature, with a surprising turn when I wound up helping an odd but pretty friendly goat-person find a lost jar. I also liked the ending with Kara at the gallery, and I thought that particular path was pretty uplifting and positive. The music was pleasant BGM and not intrusive or annoying on loop and the text and BG colors are muted and soothing. I'm glad I played it, and thank you for making it available!
Unless I missed something, there were no choices in Vignette, so it's really a kinetic novel. I'm mentioning this first because it probably impacted my opinion: I don't generally read kinetic novels, and while I might feel differently had I known it lacked choices and read it anyway, the lack of indication gave me different expectations. If I missed any "hidden" choices or something that would change its KN status, let me know.
The music was fitting, the audio quality was good, the art has a homey, comforting style and a soothing muted palette and I appreciated the subtitled sound effects. The central story was pretty heartwarming, as sibling relationships are comparatively underrepresented in fiction and the relationship between Rory and Dessi was endearing but realistic. I felt the lack of choice most keenly when Audrey was involved: I wouldn't have invited her to the secret base without asking Dessi first, for example. I'm not sure if it was intentional, but Rory came across as self-effacing - not standing up for themselves during the argument with Audrey, for example, blaming themselves for the break-up - and I had the impression that becoming 'obsessed' with protests was their way of hanging onto or distracting themselves from the break-up, so I was surprised that it wasn't really addressed. Maybe I misread that?
There were a lot of small touches that I liked, like the height-measuring marks on the wall, the whole idea of a "secret base" is charmingly retro, and I appreciated the somewhat ambiguous time-period and location, which made it feel timeless and applicable. As I said, kinetic novels aren't really my thing, but I enjoyed my time with it nonetheless.
I'm glad my comment had such a positive effect! Visual novels, like any niche genre, is easy to mock from an outsider's perspective, so I can see why those critics might have been on the defensive, but that's not the right mindset for a fair critique. I've seen enough low-effort parodies and "wacky" VNs that I usually skip over anything that even sort of seems like one, but I enjoyed Doomed Love and I'm glad I played it. Thanks for putting it (and yourself) out there!
I was happy to play it! As for the endings, I unlocked all of them; it wasn't too hard once I started keeping track of the loops, though admittedly I'm the kind of player who will talk to the same NPC a few extra times just to be sure there's no new dialogue, so I can see how some of the endings might be trickier than others.
A short but cute visual novel with a charming art style; the two backgrounds are soft and welcoming and our grumpy-but-friendly gardener looks like a character from a children's book, in the best way! It really gives off a 'cozy post-apocalypse' vibe and the concept here feels as though it could easily be expanded into a larger game based around the oddly gas station-looking greenhouse and the people who pass through (and receive plant-based gifts).
Very sweet and fun, thanks for posting it!
This experience was, on a personal life, increasingly unsettling in a very soothing sort of way. Does that make sense? It felt like joining a cult or merging into the Singularity, but with a much better soundtrack than what usually accompanies those kinds of things. It's very short, but hard to describe. After all, who hasn't felt overwhelmed by choice, even or especially when it's the lack of choices, which really just means a lack of good choices?
I... think I enjoyed it? It's hard to say because I'm not exactly sure what I just played, but it was oddly calming and had a very soothing aesthetic. It felt like a more graphically advanced bitsy game, if that makes sense, and I mean that as a compliment!
This is really good. I had some flattering comparisons that I was going to make, but I can't think of them at the moment, so I'll just say that it's incredibly atmospheric and I appreciate that it's system-neutral; I'm not in any games right now, but I've been using some of it as writing inspiration, and I've always just loved rolling on random tables. Thanks so much for putting this out there!
Short but fun and extremely charming, with lines that genuinely got a chuckle out of me, ex. Apollo bench pressing in a beautifully tragic way. All four god-characters are quirky in endearing ways, as opposed to a lot of "joke"/parody VNs where they're often just obnoxious; they might not be very deep, but I liked interacting with them and wouldn't be opposed to a longer playthrough. I don't think I know enough Egyptian mythology to understand why Ra is a (n aspiring?) TikTok influencer, but it was hilarious anyway!
The art was clean and colorful and each character was distinct from the others, which admittedly is kind of inevitable given the character design. I also thought their reaction sprites were great, like Inti's rays changing shape and Ra's feathers floofing up. The lack of sound wasn't a problem for me (and there's plenty of VN-style BGM that you could play if you wanted), though I can see where other people might be bothered by it. It was a little odd that you could go to a scene, ex. Lunch, and then select that same location and have the scene play again, but it didn't actually affect playing the game.
Anyway, very cute and fun, I liked it a lot!