An enjoyable game, from start to finish! The juxtaposition of the beautiful and the grotesque was well done, executed with enough restraint that it felt all the creepier; it's a kind of aesthetic that's more common in Japanese works than outside of them and I think you've pulled it off wonderfully. I particularly enjoyed the puzzles, which weren't unnecessarily convoluted or obscure while still requiring a little thought to solve, and while certain aspects were clearly a little unpolished (interacting with certain objects, for example) it didn't take much away from the experience. I will say that access points could use a more obvious indicator since they were the reason I died: I couldn't figure out where the "exit" was in the alley and the dark room despite being almost on top of it. The checkpoint system kept it from becoming frustrating, however. I did enjoy the more organic feel that came without having doors, etc light up or otherwise indicate they're usable since it felt more like you were actually exploring an abandoned town.
The story was good and surprisingly intriguing considering the relatively brevity of the game, and the art and audio effectively bolstered the atmosphere of my playthrough. Being the kind of person who checks and reads everything, I enjoyed the extra effort put into giving Aster dialogue for unusable items; the prose was effective throughout, particularly in the journal entries. I liked that some things were implied rather than stated outright, like the relationships of the inhabitants of that first house, since they felt like little rewards for the check-everything players. I was already interested in seeing more of the world before the final scene, and if you ever go back to the alternate-history setting of Everbloom I'd still be interested in seeing more.
Misc notes (POTENTIAL SPOILERS?):
- Is Dr. H. Quinn a Batman reference?
- This might be just a coincidence, but Iris' design reminded me a lot of Florence Nightingale from Fate/Grand Order and was the first thing I thought of when I saw the thumbnails.
- Is there a third child, possibly named Orchid?
- Is the implication that the 'macaques' requested in the lab notes was a coded message for human test subjects from what I assume is a POW/prison camp?