Stories From Sol: Part 1 – VN Demo

Thank you to Space Colony Studios for reaching out to me about this upcoming demo. I’m so excited to tell you all about this new demo. It has touches of retro nostalgia, with space cadet aesthetics, and a really compelling intro. Those are the adjectives. What’s really going on here though is we have a new game entering onto the scene with no background really, although everything about it is seductively indie–it’s worth checking out, hands down. There’s a war, and then there’s not a war, and then there’s war again. It’s a space soldier kind of story, although this sneak peek led me mostly through sharp comedic timing and even… a romantic interest? Hey, it’s anime, that’s all you folks are looking for these days right? It’s more of the VA-11-Hall-A kind of anime though, which is pixelated and rests well in a visual novel.

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Neuronet Mendax Proxy

NeuroNet: Mendax Proxy – New VN Demo

“Dream Harvest,” the developers of NeuroNet: Mendaxy Proxy have provided a demo that gives a special preview of this futuristic fiction that showcases a highly visual and highly interactive story experience. The synopsis goes something like this. Wake up, you’re the newest programmed artificial intelligence developed by a very prominent corporation in the high-tech metropolitan Catena. Take it into your own hands in the bizarre POV of the AI, who is named Arc after a few calibrations in the prologue, or “beta” if you will. As you evolve, you’ll be given various responsibilities that will make you think and test ethical tropes that perhaps you aren’t as committed to as you think.

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Overboard! – Get Away With Murder – Really Funny And Dark – Review

With eye-catching flat graphics and exciting period stylized environments, no one could say the game Overboard! doesn’t have class. (Also known as Overboard! Get Away With Murder.) Literary elements and composition create an intellectual environment on the fictional steamship SS Hook, where your task is to resolve speculation on a murder. It’s not just an ordinary mystery though. From the very get-go, it’s made apparent that you, the apathetic yet charismatic, Veronica Villensey, are the killer–of her own husband! It is up to you to decide what your motive is, or if you even care! For context, however, it is hinted that the financial ruin of the late Mr. Villensey is most of the motive.

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Good Pizza, Great Pizza – Wholesome Pizzeria Simulator – Review

In Fall 2020 when I was just launching the Mr. Dave Pizza concept, I played Good Pizza, Great Pizza by Tapblaze on an Android tablet, one of the many formats this game is available on. Today I played the official version released for Nintendo Switch to go back and really see what amused me about this game. Pizza, the food, has always been pretty popular, but in the last five years, it’s developed a near cult status. It’s kind of weird honestly, but it’s spun some pretty creative and entertaining ideas. So, after so much traffic from google here by indie-game playing pizza lovers and truffle pizza fast food cravers, I am issuing an inaugural validation of Good Pizza, Great Pizza as one of the greatest pizza-themed indie games of all time. At least that I’ve played–I’ll get to you Freddy.

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Shindig: A Game to Make You Feel Happy and Safe

This is a game that had come across my desk yesterday, which I had accidentally overlooked because of my new format, but I was really interested in it. Shindig is an interactive fiction in the style of something like a kids’ exploration picturebook with some tried and true interactive gameplay. As you might know, it’s always been my goal to seek out wholesome indie games because I’m a bit jumpier than a jackrabbit at times. I tend to like games that can be played by anyone. In Shindig I explored this friendly animated world on a quest to help a friendly warthog find treasures to put together a party, or a Shindig rather. It’s cute and thoughtful. Learn more here if you wish.

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Beacon Pines: Interactive Fiction Demo Impressions

Beacon Pines is a visual novel, but really it qualifies with a new level of cozy interaction and fathoms deep optimistic complexity to its characters. The basic structure of the story relies on an interesting “plot device” made of… well, plot devices! You start in a storybook tale of a young fawn, though I’d say that’s up for interpretation, named Luka at his grandmother’s. Through exploration and experimentation and interacting with those around you can acquire something known as “charms.” Charms help change the course of the story. You may need to go back and forth to test what works and what doesn’t, but with each charm, comes some new element that alters everything. Hold on to your BOOK straps, we’re going in.

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Neo Cab: Rear-View Mirror of The Future: Review

Neo Cab is an award-winning visual novel released in 2019 somewhere within the future echoes of driver automation and the course of smart services. It involves themes of corporate monopolization, intimate driver/passenger simulations, and the management of being a business in the contemporary market. The story features Lina, an empathic cab driver new in Los Ojos, where being an actual cab driver is a rare occupation. There are many nuances to Neo Cab. Let me take you through each one.

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Tales of the Neon Sea Title

Tales Of The Neon Sea: Impressions

Tales of the Neon Sea is a bright pixel art in the hardboiled cyberpunk detective style. It’s also borderline platformer and adheres to a very high-density environment in synch with some of the best cyberpunk cinematics out there. Explore shadowy laboratories or deep dungeons sewers. This game is not for the light-hearted but it does deliver on content. This is probably the most sophisticated pixel art game I have ever played. Let’s take a look.

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My Cup of Coffee Title Screen

My Cup Of Coffee: A Visual Novel Review

My Cup of Coffee: The Trouble with Earl Grey is a visual novel that takes place in a very imaginative turn of the century coffee shop presumably somewhere within Victorian society. You play as a family apprentice of the coffee trade and you more or less are plonked right into days as a barista. The story revolves around a casual plot involving a group of customers known as the Grey family. Using clues from casual conversation, you are tasked to unravel the feeling of tension between Mrs. Grey and Mr. Grey and their maid as well.

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Wheels of Aurelia Screen

Wheels of Aurelia 1978: Interactive Fiction Review

Wheels of Aurelia is an interactive-fiction-style racing game set in Italy in 1978. The left-hand steers the wheel of a gritty game that is full of themes of crime, punk, and danger. While the themes are a bit serious, its thematic integrity is in check by fun, innovative game design, and a serious historical snapshot. Drive through the coastlines in low-polygon graphics and talk to your passengers about anything.

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forgotten fields

Forgotten Fields: Demo Impressions: Indian Indie!

Forgotten FIelds is an indie-developed story-rich interact game about a young Indian author seeking inspiration for his next book in the midst of a major family transition at his childhood home. The character, Siddharth, visits home which at first seems a distraction but may help him re-think his writing completely. The game design is aesthetically pleasing low-poly 3D modeling combined with interactive puzzles and visual novel style dialogue. It recently released on Steam, and is available to download.

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nyaa-kuza title screen

Nyaa-Kuza!! Japanese Cat Gangsters: Review

Nyaa-Kuza is an illustrated half-action interactive fiction title from the self-dubbed Catzooka Studios out of the University of Utah’s EAE program. Play as Mochi, an ex Nyaa-Kuza brawler cat, whose cat wife, Hime, has been “catnapped” by the syndicate. You’ll traverse the outskirts of a Japanese city interacting with leads and allies in a conventional visual novel style to find Hime. At other times, the game is highly interactive with button-mashing fight scenes with cat gangsters. The game is free on Steam, and I sincerely suspect you’ve never seen a game like this.

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doubts visual novel logo

Doubts: An Interactive Fiction: Review

Doubts is a short interactive fiction game from a talented solo developer by German artist, Fulmen. Play the role of Gerda, a woman in 1926 Berlin, Germany. She has decided to run away with her boyfriend and is left by herself during her boyfriend, Joseph’s, temporary absence. She contemplates her surroundings and decisions in a session of examining items around their hotel room while he is away. Without certainty, she wonders if her decision to be with Joseph is such a good idea.

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vecter indie game

Half Past Fate: Dating Sim Review

Half Past Fate: Romantic Distance is a visual novel about a dating during the pandemic. It was released February of 2021. The story revolves around a mutual interest involving a young man and his broken laptop named Stephen and a clerk at a computer repair shop named Robin. Soon after they meet, the city goes into lockdown because of the pandemic. They try to make it work using video dating for multiple months, and test the limits of distant relationships. The game has a very pleasing 2.5D pixel art aesthetic and a catchy chiptune soundtrack.

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crash autodrive visual novel title screen

CRASH Autodrive: Prologue Review

CRASH: Autodrive is a visual novel style point-and-click mystery that takes place in Pittsburgh, PA, the year 2027. You are a passenger in a robot auto cab that hosts you and three other passengers on your way to your respective destinations. The car takes an unanticipated detour and strikes a crossing bicyclist on a deserted back road in the city. With the aid of a host full of clues from your cab-sharers, you will use information and evidence from the individual to unravel the mystery behind the crash. In a world where A.I. is everywhere, you’ll have to deduct on your own the implications of this accident. The game is due for release sometime in the spring of 2021.

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demetrios funny visual novel interactive fiction

Demetrios: The BIG Cynical Adventure: Review

Demetrios: The BIG Cynical Adventure is an indie interactive-fiction/visual novel cartoon adventure. The interactive feature is much like you’d see in a hidden object story as well, although clues that you find unlock different possibilities. The story is very comical on purpose and can get as fresh out of the outhouse as you please. Despite this, it is a very well-thought-out mystery story about a complex theft and the clues can leave you curious about what’s around every corner.

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