The #SpooktoberVNJam is a yearly game jam where writers, artists, and programmers challenge themselves to write, draw, and program a visual novel in the month of September. Entries qualify if they are made in September, and either center around the Halloween holiday or just contain general spookiness.
Some wonderful people have donated their time to be part of a jury to select their top picks from the list of submissions. And thanks to some very generous sponsors, there is a prize pot of $5700 to be divided over the winners. 🏆
More than 100 games were submitted this year, so I’ve taken the liberty to select a few favorites of my own. And of course, I went for those that are sexy or romantic as well as spooky. 😘
Sorry to disappoint those who were hoping for more hard-hitting journalism, but I hope you can appreciate some spooky independent games just the same.
Elle never intended to visit her father’s grave on Halloween, but she inexplicably finds her drawn to the local cemetery. Perhaps looking for a semblance of closure, she sits against his headstone and talks to her dad for the first time in years.
While she’s drowning in a downpour of memories, a stranger approaches. Two worlds of grief collide on Hallows Eve when Elle meets Lucia.
Graveyard Girls is a stunning tale of grief, death, and meet-cutes from TidalBlossoms.
Hey, aren’t you the guy with the pumpkin head that everyone was talking about? Welcome to Misty Hollow! With the Halloween Party just around the corner, you’ve moved in at the perfect time! Don’t be a stranger; I’m sure you'll fit right in.
Misty Hollow is a monster-themed visual novel about love, friendship, and mental health. And pumpkin heads. 🎃
Dive head-first into a supernatural underworld right on your home turf, where you meet Mori, the handsome face of chaos. He’s got secrets, but they should be no problem as long as you love big furry monsters.
The best part of Tri-City Monsters is that you can play it right in your browser!
Wingston and Barktholomew are two dads excited to see their daughter Baella return from college. She’s back just in time for a nice, vegan Halloween dinner. But she also brought an unexpected guest that throws their plans into disarray - a young lady from a well-to-do witching family, with the refined tastes to match a girl of her station!
Can these dads save dinner without embarrassing their daughter in Scary Gourmet?
Love’s Curse is a romantic visual novel with a creepy twist. You are the Main Character in your last week of high school. Try to make it to graduation while trying to find romance, but be careful not to fill up your Dread Meter…
It’s October 30th and you’ve just moved to Ravenville. Halloween is the last thing on your mind right now, even though it seems like your new town is obsessed with the holiday. When you decide to skip the festivities, you are instead visited by three handsome Halloween Ghosts, who try to convince you to give the holiday a chance. Will they be successful? Or will you just spend your time trying to flirt with them?
The #SpooktoberVNJam submission for Halloween Scrooge consists of the intro and the first chapter the team has planned for the game. They hope to release the entire game by Halloween! 👻
Did I miss anything?
With so many entries this year, I’m bound to look over something great. Let me know who your favorites are in the comments!
Writing Wrap-Up 📖
OpRainfall interviewed the creator of Graveyard Girls. Sam Kerr is absolutely a rising star after releasing Starlight Shores to critical acclaim last year and I’m happy to see more people take notice!
Lewd shoot-em-up Waifu Discovered 2: Medieval Fantasy bursts onto Switch. Take the helm of your tiny ship to blow up clothes and save beautiful women from an evil curse!
Revitalize a local business in Would You Like to Run an Idol Café? 2. Only your accounting skills can save us now, senpai.
OpRainfall reviewed UchiKano - Living With My Girlfriend. I hear that they’re working on a “marriage” DLC as well.
Niche Gamer put their Spotlight on Succubus. This is the combat-focused RPG spin-off of Agony, where you rip and tear through the minions of Hell. Boobily.
Adult platform Lustery announced a “Kink for Yourself” promo campaign. According to a representative: "Lustery celebrates a thrilling spectrum of kinks and fetishes unleashed — or on a leash, if that’s the way you like it."
New Chinese game regulation tackles the dangerous threat of anime games. The shorter headline would have been “China bans fun”, in my opinion.
Cheeky chuckle 🤭
Artist spotlight 💡
Thanks for reading this far!
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Until next time!