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Black Tabby Games recently released the first episode of Scarlet Hollow, a horror visual novel and choice-driven adventure game set in the mountains of Appalachia. After the initial release, they put up a Linux version too!

It's made by the award-winning graphic novelist Abby Howard whose previously works include the comics of 2013: The Last Halloween, Junior Scientist Power Hour and The Last Halloween - all of which had very successful Kickstarter campaigns. Scarlet Hollow will have hand-drawn backgrounds mixed with animated sprites together with a "complex relationship system to bring to life an immersive world of charming (and terrifying) characters".

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Your choices are supposed to matter here and while I haven't seen exactly how far that goes, the character build options you get to pick were interesting in how it affected conversations and actions. With my own play-through I picked the Powerful Build option, which definitely made for some amusement. I was able to partially intimidate an annoying person on the bus thanks to it, who ended up giving me a bag of…dripping peanuts? Well, Protein is Protein. Oh there's an old smelly takeaway in the fringe? Well Protein is Protein - gotta stay buff. Wait isn't this a horror? Some of the writing made me laugh but I don't want to spoil too much more.

Looks like it's going to be a fun series if this first episode is anything to go by. Great music, some wonderful artwork and with a really good atmosphere too. I don't often manage to get sucked in with visual novels but this is great. Seems users on Steam agree with is getting a Very Positive rating so soon after release.

You can play the full first episode free on Steam, with a Kickstarter campaign launching October 1 for the rest. We'll follow along and let you know how it goes.

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whizse Sep 30, 2020
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Penny-pincher sense is tingling - free game!

Kidding aside. I'll call it a winner. This particular mix of fun characters, horror interlaced with humor works well for me.

Also a genre that's new to me. Most of these games seems to be an excuse to ogle scantily clad manga ladies so my eyes sort of glazed over every time I heard "visual novel". Guess I've been overly prejudicial.
whizse Oct 2, 2020
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The Kickstarter has launched!
The Kickstarter was funded!
Liam Dawe Oct 8, 2020
Quoting: whizseAlso a genre that's new to me. Most of these games seems to be an excuse to ogle scantily clad manga ladies so my eyes sort of glazed over every time I heard "visual novel". Guess I've been overly prejudicial.
This is actually quite often why I avoid them too, there's a number of developers who just keep pushing those out and for a while it seemed like on the outside that's all there was. I'm glad to see more varied VNs.
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