77 Oleander Avenue Ghost House Investigation: Haunted House Mystery
Lately, during my move to a different town, which has displaced me for about three weeks now, trust me when someone tells you to rent a truck and get it all over with in one day, DO IT. Having stuff in two separate locations and using your weekends to move stuff for three weeks is brutal.
Back to Oleander Avenue… I was going through the steam new releases and the Itch.io releases, and I’ve been on a little paranormal kick lately, so when I saw the title 77 Oleander Avenue Ghost House Investigation, I knew I had to at least check out the game page. I’m glad I did. That being said, you need to know it is a tried and true visual novel. That may turn some people away, but I’ve been a fan of the genre since the Zero Escape games, particularly Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, and the Danganronpa series.
The set-up for Oleander Avenue is pretty simple. Taken straight from the games page: Waking up disoriented and weary, Tabby wakes up in the parlor of an abandoned house. Her keys, wallet, and phone are missing, and she can’t remember why she’s in such a place. It doesn’t take long for her to meet Evie, a ghost, and this greatly irritates Tabby on account of she was hoping to just grab her things and leave quickly. The Larkspur house on 77 Oleander, however, is not Evie’s home. It is not the site of a bittersweet tragedy. It is not the skeleton left behind by a family’s unexpected death. Tabby will realize this too late, and then, when she’s finally ready to heed Evie’s warnings, she will forget.
After reading that and watching the trailer, I knew I had to dive in immediately. Since 77 Oleander Avenue, Ghost House Investigation is a visual novel, the writing needs to be on point. If it is not very good, you quickly lose that sense of immersion, but Oleander does a great job in this regard giving us (Tabby) a sense of self, motivation and it also does a great job at describing events and environments, letting us use our imagination since there are many animations it helps the house feel like a real place, and feel lived in.
The overall goal in Oleander Avenue is to find out why Tabby is stuck in the house. 77 Oleanerder Avenue does a good job making us, as the player, feel like an observer of the story that takes place, and it works well. There is lots of thought put into how the characters talk to each other, mixed with some hauntingly beautiful set pieces. Adding to that, the music fits extremely well with what is being presented to us on screen. There are multiple endings that I only played through to get one. With nine different endings, there are sure to be ending that give more closure to what is going on with the ghost in the house and why Tabby is stuck in the house.
It is an interesting game overall with an asking price of 5$. I think there is plenty to enjoy here, especially if you enjoy paranormal stories, then this is for you. If you enjoy visual novels, this is a great edition, you can tell there was a lot of passion put into this game, and I miss horror visual novels. Yes, we have games like Corpse Party, but with its more recent release, that has become a little too far leaning into the fan service of it all.
Overall you should check out 77 Oleander Avenue Ghost House Investigation. It is a shorter game with some good replayability. An interesting story and some good music to fit the atmosphere. Developer Runa Liore did a great job. Check out the game over at Itch.io and follow the dev over on Twitter.
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