If you’re looking for a game involving action, The Novelist isn’t for you. You play a ghost in a coastal home, and you’re tasked with guiding a novelist on a journey. Dan is caught between writers block, a troubled marriage, and a son looking for more attention. Basically, it’s a setting that’s straight from The Shining, but it’s summer, and there’s a lot less REDRUM.
Your job as the gamer is to possess each family member while remaining out of sight, and then access their memory to discover what they really want and truly desire in a moment. This game presents a very interesting mixture of voyeurism and problem solving. You spend time with each character’s journals and letters, allowing you to make decisions on what is best for everyone in the house as you continue to play puppet master behind the scenes of their minds.
Your first play through is likely to evoke an ethical litmus test in how you leverage the wants and needs of each family member. The compromise system not only allows for you to take a nuanced approach to the family, but it also gives the game a good replay value. This is a small and personal story, but deeply engaging. You can finish in just a few hours. If you’re looking for more of a challenge, the game allows you to play in stealth mode. This makes you avoid being seen by the family, adding some additional tension.
What’s Good: This game has a unique tone and design that’s engaging.
What Sucks: The lack of action isn’t going to appeal to all gamers.
Buy it?: If you’re looking for a game that looks to tell a more human story, grab the Novelist for $14.99 from the developer’s Website.