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Sacred Reviews: The Novelist (Demo)


"The Novelist" is an incomplete project that was being developed by Glue using RPG Maker 2003. And unlike some other demo projects this one is going to be a bit of a pain to write a lengthy review for in my opinion since the demo itself only contains around 5 to 8 minutes worth of content. And most of that is presented in the form of cut scenes. So it's not like the player even gets to do a lot in this game.

Though why this project was abandoned isn't particularly clear. I know the developer originally released this as part of one of the Release Something Day evens in order to get some helpful feedback on the project as well as some advice on what direction to take the project in. So they may have lost interest in the project when the game didn't generate any serious buzz after the event. At least it didn't generate that much buzz based on the comments you can find on the game's summary page. And this lack of buzz caused Glue to lose faith in his project and thus it was left to simply rot. Though, I'll admit I'm speculating with very little information to go on at this point.


You play as a man simply known to the world as "The Novelist" whose made a deal with death to extend his life by three months and in exchange Death will be able to use his writings to kill various people in order to expand the amount of suffering in the world. Albeit the demo stops before the killings begin and just after your friend Robert encourages you to keep writing your book since whose ever heard of a killer book before?

Greatest Strength/Weakness

I suppose some would counter a notebook and a magazine aren't books, but their close enough in my opinion. So the idea that a book could be cursed and kill people should be a concept Robert is familiar with. If anything you'd think he'd argue that killer books are the stuff of fiction and that his friend met death and supposedly made this Faustian bargain during a nightmare or while suffering from a bad trip. That would at least make more sense then simply implying the very concept is unheard of.

As for a narrative strength this project has going for it. I really can't think of any at the moment since the cut scenes the player has access to are merely beginning the process of setting up a foundation for later narrative payoffs like your writings killing your friend and his wife.


There really isn't that much gameplay in the demo. And the few things you can do are limited to moving around and interacting with a few objects. And even the amount of objects you can interact with is rather limited.

Though I suppose the developer giving Robert a line of dialogue for trying to get in bed with his wife is a nice touch to help lighten the mood. You'll quickly find yourself getting into bed and suffering from a nightmare where your head is chopped off in no time.

Graphics & Sound

Graphically and music wise the game appears to be making use of content that comes from outside of the RTP to a certain extent. Albeit some of the resources being tapped both look and sound rather familiar. So I'm guessing at least some of them are resources that have been used in other games or media before. That being said I really don't have any major complaints or compliments about either aspect here.

I do have a minor complaint about the mapping. That complaint being that the houses are a bit too spacious at times.

Seriously look at how much blank space there is in this house! Jeez, there is a 5 tile high by 7 tile wide spot near the exit to the house that is just floor tiles. The only thing saving this from being egregious is that the demo is rather short overall so the sheer amount of padding created by these maps doesn't have enough time to build up to the point it becomes annoying. After all, walking in these old games is rather slow so spending large amounts of time simply walking from location a to location b does get old rather quickly if the maps are too large.


It's hard to say if "The Novelist" would have been good or bad in my opinion. On one hand the basic premise of the story does have potential, but the demo isn't long enough to really judge if Glue has the ability to tell such a horror story effectively. And while the game does contain some mapping issues that could be problematic in the long run. The developer does appear to be aware of this issue and willing to try and correct it if his response to criticism on one of the images posted for this game is anything to go by. Though, I suppose at the end of the day this project really isn't worth looking at anymore since it's highly unlikely this project released near the end of 2009 will ever be completed.