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'And All The Colored Girls Say: doo da doo da doo doo da doo'

Specimen Girl is a really impressive demo of a horror adventure game by Chester. (Its description field also tags it with the 'Visual Novel' and 'RPG Labels', but I couldn't detect (m)any RPG elements in the game and there was more gameplay than I associate with a visual novel, a genre I usually avoid.

Four girls as different and can be awake to discover that they are being held captive in an opulently appointed artists' studio. None of them can remember how they came to be there. The demo doesn't contain any concrete hints about their captor's plans or identity or the fate he might have in store for them, but is suitably obvious. Rose is the first girl we're introduced to, and she is mute. Azure is anything but mute, and comes off as a cold, arrogant, lazy bitch quickly and consistently. Noir (I should mention these are code names that Azure assigns the girls based on their hair color) seems like an introverted goth or bookworm type that seems terrified of her own shadow and just as worried about the other girls making fun of her as she should be of the sketchy situation she's in. Finally, Rouge, the red-head, is brash, reckless, and impatient. The girls are well-characterized and well written, and I can't stress this enough: especially if the author is not a native English speaker. Unfortunately, the story in the demo does not advance beyond the prologue.

Anime and Japanese influences are heavy-handed here. The set up most immediately reminded me of the show Death Parade, although I have no idea if that was actually an influence.

Gameplay is minimal enough and consists of exploring the environment, interacting with your fellow captives, and solving a few VERY simple puzzles. I am curious how this aspect of the game will evolve as the girls are imperiled.

Specimen Girl has every indication of being a gorgeous game. The busts of the four main characters are well drawn and nicely animated. The environments are lavish and show a good command of lighting and parallax mapping. The reflections of objects off of the bright marble floors was a particularly impressive detail. Menus and UI were also well designed and attractive. Good use was made of what I believe are predominantly Celianna's tiles.

Little details like the echoing footsteps off of different surfaces helped add a sense of immersion. Most of the music was well chosen--good, but not amazing--but I was not a fan of the song chosen for the credits.

Final Thoughts
It wouldn't be appropriate to give this game a score yet (if I were to, it would be somewhere around 4 Stars). This is a horror game and as the creator mentioned, the horror hasn't come crashing down yet. As a horror junkie, I want to be able to evaluate the horrific elements of the game before I assign it a score.


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Hello StormCrow!

First of all thank you for your review! :D It's really heartwarming to see someone write his/her thoughts on my work!

You are absolutely right about the labels, and I changed it to just "adventure" now. I loved your description of the four girls haha, I think this is my favourite thing about this game, everybody just has such a personal approach when describing the girls! :D

THANK YOU for comparing my work to Death Parade even if it is nowhere close to this level of perfection haha! I love this show even though it was not an inspiration for this game.

Concerning action, the puzzles will remain very simple as having puzzules inside the house wouldn't make any sense in the scenario haha (and I cannot use the "it's hauuuunted!" excuse in order to create interesting puzzles in each rooms). I guess it will remain very easy in this sense, not like other horror RPGs, and exploration and interaction with your surroundings will remain key mechanics to the game.

Thank you for all your compliments on the narration and the mapping, it's always appreciated and it is extremely encouraging! (as this is my first try at parallax to be honest...and I'm still far from being confident with what I produce!)

As for the horror part, although it will remain light, I think the game will mostly work on exploration, tension building and gory/disturbing elements so we'll see if this is the kind of horror you might like or not. :)

Once again thank you for your review and sorry for my late response!


(Also, sorry if I make some mistakes in my answer, as, you said it, English is not my native language. ;) )
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