Reading Instead of Leading: Three Spooky Visual Novels From EEK3
There’s nothing quit as scary as having to read. I know, terrifying, but it’s okay because there have been some fantastic visual novels in the work. Specifically, spooky ones. At EEK 3 several creepy visual novels were shown off, and if you managed to miss the showcase then I collected them here for you so you can enjoy what they have to offer.
You may make the assumption that RB: Axolotol is a kids game. After all, it has a cutesy art style and stars a group of adorable underwater creatures known as Axolotol. One of the characters even constantly says “hiya!” like it’s a catchphrase. However, the intro warning makes it quite clear that this is not a kids game, and that there’s some darker themes being discussed. Also there’s an Axolotol that wants to bash people’s heads in, and one of them is obsessed with murder, so there’s that.
The game sees these five Axolotol suddenly emerge inside of a strange new environment, all of which is controlled by a mysterious figure simply known as RB. Who is RB? How do they free themselves? These are the questions they’re trying to figure out. Even weirder, all five of them appear to possess knowledge that they shouldn’t, unsure of how they came across such a thing and if they’re supposed to use it to escape. Along the way they also just need to survive, and each Axolotol has an obsession they need fulfilled. Overall, it should provide some creepy drama as needed.
RB: Axolotol is being developed by Actawesome, and will be launching in Q3 2020. You can wishlist it on Steam here.
MetaWare High School (Demo)
I want to make it clear: yes “(demo)” is part of the game’s title. Because MetaWare High School (Demo) is just that. It’s a demo for a game that won’t exist. This is despite the fact that it is a full video game that actually exists right now. However the idea is pretty simple. You follow five girls in high school who very quickly learn that they’re in a video game and have no problem completely destroying the fourth wall to try and communicate with you directly.
One of the questions posed on the Steam page is “How do you see the world when nothing is real?” and that’s pretty valid. These are a bunch of video game characters that know they’re video game characters. Nothing they do matters, and in a way that’s more terrifying than anything else. Knowing that everything you’ve done and ever will do is controlled by some guy sitting in a computer chair like a gremlin, half paying attention to you while also watching a YouTube compilation of dogs doing silly things. That’s hell.
Just, you know, it’s funny too.
MetaWare High School (Demo) was developed by Not Fun Games and is currently available right now for free.
There’s nothing worse than the entire world deciding it’s time for you to leave it and attempting to murder you. Such is the case with Retrace, where a woman named Freya goes on a ghost tour and gets way more than she bargained for. Specifically, she and her friends find themselves trapped, with ghosts looking to end their lives. It’s never a good time, and she’ll have to use her death to peek into the different events that could happen. Morbid!
Sure it may be a bad time to make a move, but Retrace also features romance. Freya is trapped with Mia, the woman she loves, and Claire, who very clearly loves Freya. As you advance in the game you’ll make choices that can lead Freya towards one relationship or another. Sure you may all be horribly murdered by ghosts, but on the off chance that you survive then good news! You’re surviving with a love interest. That’s better than just getting a lousy t-shirt out of the deal.
Retrace was developed by Spider Lilly Studios and is currently available on Steam right now.