The Novelist asks one central question: can you achieve your dreams without pushing away the people you love? The game focuses on Dan Kaplan, a novelist struggling to write the most important book of his career while trying to be the best husband and father he can be.
Nutzerreviews:
Insgesamt:
Größtenteils positiv (725 Reviews) - 78 % der 725 Nutzerreviews für dieses Spiel sind positiv.
Veröffentlichung: 10. Dez. 2013

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Reviews

“The Novelist affected me, deeply and painfully ... I frequently cried at the outcomes of the decisions I made for the Kaplan family.”
Rock Paper Shotgun

“While it arrives on the heels of other notable non-combat, story-based games, it still manages to feel fresh and emotionally resonant. This is thanks to sincere, realistic writing and an inspired approach to player choice, which has you picking sides and making difficult compromises in the context of family conflicts.”
Polygon

“The Novelist is the most personal and beautiful game I have ever experienced. The creator, Kent Hudson, has quite plainly poured his heart and soul into this game, and the outcome is genuinely something to behold. Never before have I felt so emotionally involved in the characters, their situation and potential future, as in this truly player-driven story.”
10 out of 10 – GameGrin

Über dieses Spiel

The Novelist asks one central question: can you achieve your dreams without pushing away the people you love? The game focuses on Dan Kaplan, a novelist struggling to write the most important book of his career while trying to be the best husband and father he can be. The Kaplans have come to a remote coastal home for the summer, unaware that they’re sharing the house with a mysterious ghostly presence: you.

Read the family’s thoughts. Explore their memories. Uncover their desires and intervene in their lives. But stay out of sight; you can’t help the Kaplans if they know there’s a ghost in the house. It’s up to you to decide how Dan’s career and family life will evolve, but choose carefully; there are no easy answers, and every choice has a cost.

Dan’s relationships – to his work, his wife, and his son – react and shift in response to your choices. With a different sequence of events in every playthrough, The Novelist gives life to a unique experience each time you play.

The decisions you make will define the Kaplans’ lives, but they may also tell you something about yourself.

Systemanforderungen

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • Betriebssystem: Windows XP SP2 or higher
    • Prozessor: 1.8 GHz
    • Arbeitsspeicher: 2 GB RAM
    • Grafik: 256 MB VRAM video card
    • Speicherplatz: 800 MB verfügbarer Speicherplatz
    Empfohlen:
    • Betriebssystem: Windows 7
    • Prozessor: 2 GHz
    • Arbeitsspeicher: 4 GB RAM
    • Grafik: 512 MB VRAM video card
    Minimum:
    • Betriebssystem: OS X Lion (10.7) or higher
    • Prozessor: 1.8 GHz
    • Arbeitsspeicher: 2 GB RAM
    • Grafik: 256 MB VRAM video card
    • Speicherplatz: 800 MB verfügbarer Speicherplatz
    Empfohlen:
    • Betriebssystem: OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)
    • Prozessor: 2 GHz
    • Arbeitsspeicher: 4 GB RAM
    • Grafik: 512 MB VRAM video card
    Minimum:
    • Prozessor: 1.8 GHz
    • Arbeitsspeicher: 2 GB RAM
    • Grafik: 256 MB VRAM video card
    • Speicherplatz: 800 MB verfügbarer Speicherplatz
    • Zusätzliche Anmerkungen: Built with Unity 4.3.4, tested in Ubuntu 12.04 and 13.10
    Empfohlen:
    • Prozessor: 2 GHz
    • Arbeitsspeicher: 4 GB RAM
    • Grafik: 512 MB VRAM video card
Nutzerreviews
Nutzerreview-System aktualisiert! Mehr erfahren
Insgesamt:
Größtenteils positiv (725 Reviews)
Kürzlich verfasst
Swift_Justice
( 7.7 Std. insgesamt )
Verfasst: 17. Mai
A while back, I received this game among a bunch of others in a Humble Bundle. Since this isn't typically the genre of game that I play, I added it to my library and promptly forgot about it. Just a few days ago, upon noticing the game in my library, I installed it with the intent of farming some steam trading cards and deleting it afterwards.

Allow me to say that I am *SO* glad that curriosity got the better of me and I decided to give the game a try. In complete honesty, I can say that I don't think I've ever become so emotionally invested in a game's fictional family as I did with the Kaplans.

This being said, I would recommend that anyone playing this game should play it in Story mode as opposed to Stealth mode. The stealth mechanic can get a bit annoying and clunky, while also making the Kaplans' stories that much less immersive than you building/observing their lives free-rein. This puts a greatter emphasis on the game's "Story-Rich" tag, and less on the "Stealth" tag, which in turn--I believe--plays to its strengths.
Hilfreich? Ja Nein Lustig
Scrubsauce
( 4.0 Std. insgesamt )
Verfasst: 13. Mai
The Novelist is a game that falls into that bucket of games that aren't exactly interactive experiences like Dear Esther, but still not nearly as involved gameplay wise as the majority of mainstream FPS games. The title sees you patrolling the Summer home of a frustrated author and his single unit family as some sort of "presence" or "ghost". There are two distinct game "difficulties", in the first you can patrol the house on foot (I assume its on foot, the player's avatar is still a bit of a mystery reserved for hints found in the notes scattered through the levels) without the NPC's noticing you. The second takes on a more stealth-based approach, requiring you to hide from the family as you peruse through their thoughts and belongings.
Basic gameplay involves you searching through the house and possessing the thoughts of the family to determine what the hopes, needs and feelings are of each family member. You can navigate through traditional walking or via possession of light fixtures. After you discover enough information to continue, you can either stick around to get the rest of the missing information, or make a decision on how to influence the father's thoughts. After a you commit to your choices, the house switches to night, where you can discover notes relating the experiences of past denizens of the house and finally pass your decisions on to the father.
The story threads hinge very much on which characters you choose to make happy at the end of each day, and the choices directly effect the NPC's moods and relationships with each other as the Summer progresses. You can go the route of making everyone as happy as possible, or focus only on the needs of a single family member depending on your decisions. The house looks pretty and has just enough detail in it for you to have to search for clues during the day without getting lost in the clutter. For a game that depends a lot on moods, the characters have somewhat blank painted-like faces, a smart decision on their part as now the characters con convey their mood via body language instead of heavily involved face posing.
As someone entering the working world trying to balance time between family, career, and hobbies, the game really clicked with me conceptually, and though its very subtle in its pace and approach to gameplay, I still found myself enjoying it for the duration of a Saturday afternoon. Length (~3 hours) may be a consideration for some, so waiting for a discount might make it more of a bang for your buck.
Hilfreich? Ja Nein Lustig
vodkaandcoke123
( 2.5 Std. insgesamt )
Verfasst: 9. Mai
I always wanted to pretend i was a lightbulb. 10/10.
Hilfreich? Ja Nein Lustig
Vixzen
( 1.8 Std. insgesamt )
Verfasst: 8. Mai
The games starts with you witnessing three family members, Dan (husband/father), Linda (wife/mother), and Tommy (son), going on holiday for the summer so Dan can concentrate on writing his next book without all of the distractions that being at home brings. Needless to say that even going away from home with family members will still bring it's own distractions as the family members each have specific things that they want to do whilst they are away, which don't generally include just letting Dan get on with his book.

There are two ways to play this game - story mode, or stealth mode. I chose to play the game in story mode as I just find stealth generally too frustrating, and I believe that from what I got out of the game's story-telling, I definitely made the right choice personally to remove the stealth element.

Your role within the game is to observe the three family members. From your observations you will find out what they each want from a particular moment in time, and from there you can choose your preferred outcome for only one character, and if you have the time and inclination to do more investigation around the house for each remaining family member, you can potentially choose a compromise for another character who didn't get their first preference. Your decisions will have an effect on what happens in the future so choose wisely, and obviously someone will always end up being disappointed.

You play as a ghostly presence within the house - one that can either walk around the house in plain sight (being careful not to get spotted, if playing in stealth mode), or one that can possess the lights/lamps within the house to travel without being seen. You can only be spotted by the family a small number of times in stealth mode per chapter, and after that you lose your ability to influence the choices the family make; however in story mode you can walk around at will which I found to be a much more enjoyable choice for how I wanted to play the game.

In order to find the outcomes for the family members each day, you do this by reading notes/books/pictures that are strewn around the house, and by reading the memories of each family member and walking around the house playing as each character in turn finding clues as to what they would like to achieve.

I found this game to be incredibly atmospheric. From the music to the cell-shaded visuals, it gives a sense of isolation in the big house on the cliff. Seeing how this (almost) visual novel plays out from your own choices I found to be a very personal and emotionally engaging process. I would also praise the voice acting as it really adds to the personality of the characters and the ongoing story.

It is a little frustrating at times having to walk around the whole house at least 6 times if you want to find all of the outcomes/compromises for the characters, particularly when the family are all walking around doing their own thing, but in general that still didn't spoil the atmosphere for me. There were a couple of moments where the outcomes and compromises that I had to pick seemed a little bit unrealistic in terms of how quickly the family could seemingly start to fall apart, but I managed to pull it together enough for each character to get a mostly positive ending for all family members.

This certainly isn't a game for people who want something action-packed, but if you want to be engaged with somewhat challenging decisions, character relationships and atmosphere, this would be a game I'd recommend trying, though I'd maybe wait for a sale to pick this up, as this is a short 2(ish) hour play-through for a £10.99 price-tag.
Hilfreich? Ja Nein Lustig
Freelancer Sync™
( 2.9 Std. insgesamt )
Verfasst: 30. April
Damnit, want a new ending. One where Dan and Linda get rid of ♥♥♥♥ing Tommy, and end up happy together, perfectly balancing Dan's writing, Linda's painting, and their shared fondness of alcohol.
Hilfreich? Ja Nein Lustig
Damoisme
( 6.0 Std. insgesamt )
Verfasst: 29. April
In my first playthrough I wrote a novel that was so good it instantly became part of the American literary canon, enjoyed a passionate and sexually charged life with my wife, and screwed up my son so badly that he was doomed to a miserable life of crappy jobs and few friends.

I think I got the good ending.
Hilfreich? Ja Nein Lustig
blind_sally
( 2.3 Std. insgesamt )
Verfasst: 23. April
"Meh" incarnate.
Hilfreich? Ja Nein Lustig
riderchoi
( 13.1 Std. insgesamt )
Verfasst: 21. April
The game is not very long and since I am a parent as well. It reminded me all the struggles that I have in making decisions. And it actually let me experience "what if" scenarios which makes this to have a replayability (probably not right after you finish it once)

I like the art style of the game, very nice voice over. Would like to hear more voice over from the old letters.
Hilfreich? Ja Nein Lustig
James
( 0.5 Std. insgesamt )
Verfasst: 16. April
S'alright but nothing special 9/15
Hilfreich? Ja Nein Lustig
Ketonal
( 7.4 Std. insgesamt )
Verfasst: 3. April
I was warned. Saw few bad reviews and decided to play it anyway. I mean how bad could it be? Especially that more than 3/4 reviews were positive?

But believe me - it's terrible.
Gameplay, music, graphics - this is fine. Or maybe i didn't cared.

Game is ruined by it's main rule. Whatever choice you made - there will always be one person happy, one less happy and one totally unhappy. Also author doesn't really understand what compromise means. Also some choices are just stupid.. I mean - how much time you need to play with your kid? Or how much time you have to spend with wife/husband to not turn into strangers? You can spend hour helping you kid to build a car without throwing your work/marriage out of the window. But not in this game. Usually people talk with each other. Thats why they understand others needs. Here we can see letters to friends, boss, other familly members and very limited signs of communication between Kaplan's familly itself. They are rather like 3 selfish cats put in small room than familly on vacations.


IMPORTANT RULE THAT WORKS IN REAL LIFE (consider remembering it as it might be helpful):

HAPPY MARIAGE = HAPPY CHILD
In the meantime I finished game with Dan and Lisa living like on endless honeymoon and having good jobs, while their son was in terrible condition, bullied and living sad life. What the ♥♥♥♥?

Author attempted to show some "adult's live". He failed. This game is bulls***.
Hilfreich? Ja Nein Lustig
Jeremy
( 3.4 Std. insgesamt )
Verfasst: 31. März
To hear the full review, listen to the episode on Game Hoard Podcast

Gameplay
Interestingly, the game offers you two different modes at the beginning, Story and Stealth. Although the core gameplay is the same, in Stealth mode the family can see you and you must remain hidden in order to be able to influence them. You accomplish this by hiding inside light bulbs, for some reason that is never explained. Unfortunately, both modes get tedious. In Story, the game has no challenge to it and it's basically just a mix of "walking simulator" and choose-your-own adventure gameplay. In Stealth mode, you end up spending a lot of time just hanging out in lightbulbs, waiting for family members to walk to another room.

The core gameplay consists of you reading notes and letters left by the family members to find out what they want. You can also read their thoughts and explore their memories. Ultimately, you find out what each person wants and then select who gets their want by touching the object associated with the want. Gameplay then shifts to nighttime mode where you read more notes left by the house's previous owners and can choose a compromise for another family member to at least partially get their want.

There are a lot of unique ideas present in this gameplay loop that I really like. The problem is, what I have just described is the whole game and you have to repeat it for nine chapters with very little variation. What feels very fresh and interesting at the start of the game feels way overplayed and boring by the end, even though the game takes only 2-3 hours to complete. In the end, I felt that the game only really had about 30 minutes worth of ideas and the game felt very stretched and empty as a result.

Presentation
The game has a great cell-shaded aesthetic and the family members all move about and act in realistic ways. I found it immersive in this way where I really did feel like I was observing a real family go about their day. Unfortunately, the graphics suffer the same problem as the gameplay, as being confined to a single house with three characters for several hours means that you are looking at the same boring rooms over and over again.

Sound Design
The music does a good job setting the tone but isn't anything to write home about. On the other hand, the voice acting is great, which really carried the game since it's mostly about listening to the internal monologues of these characters. The actors were very convincing and were able to put a lot of emotion into their lines without hamming it up.

Story
Essentially, the family has moved to a remote summer home so that the father/husband can focus on writing his novel. The mother/wife is unhappy in the marriage and an aspiring artist. Their son is struggling with bullying and schoolwork. It's not the most interesting story but it is very human and the characters feel like real people. It is interesting to see how decisions made in one chapter effect the rest and what ending you get. Also welcome is a "The story so far" feature when you load up the game.

Recommendation
Overall, I felt the game just got very stale by the end but it's still a unique experience that you may like if you want a non-violent, non-competitive game focused on family drama. If you like the "Aspirations" part of the Sims games, you may find something to like here. For most people, however, I think the experience may fall a bit flat.
Hilfreich? Ja Nein Lustig
gmorel1916
( 2.5 Std. insgesamt )
Verfasst: 30. März
Great story with good gameplay. Played through a couple times to get the different endings. Worth buying.
Hilfreich? Ja Nein Lustig
Raid
( 0.5 Std. insgesamt )
Verfasst: 29. März
The Novelist is a great idea for a game, and it manages to mostly deliver on its premise. The idea of a branching narrative based on the decisions made by the player, interestingly a novelist, is something that has tremendous promise and has generally been carried out well in Telltale Games. Here, in the Novelist, the choices the player makes do, in fact, guide the story though it does so artificially. I say that because the choice the player is faced with are usually those that pit the various family members against each other in situations that would not necessarily present themselves as opposing ideals. While the no-win situations presented in The Walking Dead make sense thematically and situationally, the ones presented here just feel forced.

I do like the idea of the game, and think that this game is actually very well done, despite some of its false feeling delivered by the decisions, and the ultimately tough outcomes the player will receive. Regardless, the decisions you make do create some interesting situations. The graphics are good, the music is fitting, and the game is good for a playthrough or two.
Hilfreich? Ja Nein Lustig
Narrow
( 3.6 Std. insgesamt )
Verfasst: 29. März
Very badly written.
You actually don't give a ♥♥♥♥ about your choices.
Hilfreich? Ja Nein Lustig
TheBeast.13
( 2.8 Std. insgesamt )
Verfasst: 28. März
This game forces you to make some pretty difficult decision and you get to see those decisions play out!
Hilfreich? Ja Nein Lustig
CredulousLeaf52
( 4.0 Std. insgesamt )
Verfasst: 22. März
Very fun and relaxing game, hoping to see another game like this.
Hilfreich? Ja Nein Lustig
Schareazar
( 3.5 Std. insgesamt )
Verfasst: 21. März
4/10

Only the story keeps tha game playable, but even that has its flaws. I think (not 100% sure) no matter what you chose, you can't make everyone happy.
Gameplay is completely repeatable- search the house for clues (often same objects), read everyone's memory, pick 1 or 2 compromises. Rinse and repeat 9 times.
The mode in which Kaplans can see you and you have to remain stealthed makes it even more annoying.
Graphics look cheap and strange. Music is just 1 looped track.
I would like to see a different ending, but just can't see myself replaying 2h only for that reason.
Hilfreich? Ja Nein Lustig
gяуffιи∂σя яуαи
( 1.8 Std. insgesamt )
Verfasst: 12. März
I just completed this game after a short 95 minute run. I would only buy this game if you want to play over and over for a different outcome. It was a waste of money if you play this only once. I went in thinking it would be just another choice after choice and nothing happens, but this game will send chills down your spine with the soundtrack and the facts. It may seem like a fictional ghost story but this game is more than real. 7/10. Doing another run for sure.
Hilfreich? Ja Nein Lustig
Adnawun
( 1.7 Std. insgesamt )
Verfasst: 11. März
I really loved this game. Played through with story mode just to get an idea of what I'd be getting myself into and could definitely see myself playing this again with stealth mode to see the challenge. I found it to be quite sweet in the way the story(ies) was told depending on your choices and made you consider priorities (work, family, life) to get the right 'balance'.

It falls more into the category of artistic/storytelling games but the game mechanics were decent and allowed enough exploration and player interaction to feel like a 'game'. I have no idea how varied the outcomes were, but it is that question that makes you want to start over from the beginning (and get your money worth).
Hilfreich? Ja Nein Lustig
Hilfreichste Reviews  In den letzten 30 Tagen
2 von 2 Personen (100 %) fanden dieses Review hilfreich
Empfohlen
1.8 Std. insgesamt
Verfasst: 8. Mai
The games starts with you witnessing three family members, Dan (husband/father), Linda (wife/mother), and Tommy (son), going on holiday for the summer so Dan can concentrate on writing his next book without all of the distractions that being at home brings. Needless to say that even going away from home with family members will still bring it's own distractions as the family members each have specific things that they want to do whilst they are away, which don't generally include just letting Dan get on with his book.

There are two ways to play this game - story mode, or stealth mode. I chose to play the game in story mode as I just find stealth generally too frustrating, and I believe that from what I got out of the game's story-telling, I definitely made the right choice personally to remove the stealth element.

Your role within the game is to observe the three family members. From your observations you will find out what they each want from a particular moment in time, and from there you can choose your preferred outcome for only one character, and if you have the time and inclination to do more investigation around the house for each remaining family member, you can potentially choose a compromise for another character who didn't get their first preference. Your decisions will have an effect on what happens in the future so choose wisely, and obviously someone will always end up being disappointed.

You play as a ghostly presence within the house - one that can either walk around the house in plain sight (being careful not to get spotted, if playing in stealth mode), or one that can possess the lights/lamps within the house to travel without being seen. You can only be spotted by the family a small number of times in stealth mode per chapter, and after that you lose your ability to influence the choices the family make; however in story mode you can walk around at will which I found to be a much more enjoyable choice for how I wanted to play the game.

In order to find the outcomes for the family members each day, you do this by reading notes/books/pictures that are strewn around the house, and by reading the memories of each family member and walking around the house playing as each character in turn finding clues as to what they would like to achieve.

I found this game to be incredibly atmospheric. From the music to the cell-shaded visuals, it gives a sense of isolation in the big house on the cliff. Seeing how this (almost) visual novel plays out from your own choices I found to be a very personal and emotionally engaging process. I would also praise the voice acting as it really adds to the personality of the characters and the ongoing story.

It is a little frustrating at times having to walk around the whole house at least 6 times if you want to find all of the outcomes/compromises for the characters, particularly when the family are all walking around doing their own thing, but in general that still didn't spoil the atmosphere for me. There were a couple of moments where the outcomes and compromises that I had to pick seemed a little bit unrealistic in terms of how quickly the family could seemingly start to fall apart, but I managed to pull it together enough for each character to get a mostly positive ending for all family members.

This certainly isn't a game for people who want something action-packed, but if you want to be engaged with somewhat challenging decisions, character relationships and atmosphere, this would be a game I'd recommend trying, though I'd maybe wait for a sale to pick this up, as this is a short 2(ish) hour play-through for a £10.99 price-tag.
War dieses Review hilfreich? Ja Nein Lustig
5 von 8 Personen (63 %) fanden dieses Review hilfreich
4 Personen fanden dieses Review lustig
Empfohlen
6.0 Std. insgesamt
Verfasst: 29. April
In my first playthrough I wrote a novel that was so good it instantly became part of the American literary canon, enjoyed a passionate and sexually charged life with my wife, and screwed up my son so badly that he was doomed to a miserable life of crappy jobs and few friends.

I think I got the good ending.
War dieses Review hilfreich? Ja Nein Lustig
1 von 2 Personen (50 %) fanden dieses Review hilfreich
2 Personen fanden dieses Review lustig
Empfohlen
2.5 Std. insgesamt
Verfasst: 9. Mai
I always wanted to pretend i was a lightbulb. 10/10.
War dieses Review hilfreich? Ja Nein Lustig
Hilfreichste Reviews  In den letzten 90 Tagen
8 von 10 Personen (80 %) fanden dieses Review hilfreich
1 Person fand dieses Review lustig
Nicht empfohlen
7.4 Std. insgesamt
Verfasst: 3. April
I was warned. Saw few bad reviews and decided to play it anyway. I mean how bad could it be? Especially that more than 3/4 reviews were positive?

But believe me - it's terrible.
Gameplay, music, graphics - this is fine. Or maybe i didn't cared.

Game is ruined by it's main rule. Whatever choice you made - there will always be one person happy, one less happy and one totally unhappy. Also author doesn't really understand what compromise means. Also some choices are just stupid.. I mean - how much time you need to play with your kid? Or how much time you have to spend with wife/husband to not turn into strangers? You can spend hour helping you kid to build a car without throwing your work/marriage out of the window. But not in this game. Usually people talk with each other. Thats why they understand others needs. Here we can see letters to friends, boss, other familly members and very limited signs of communication between Kaplan's familly itself. They are rather like 3 selfish cats put in small room than familly on vacations.


IMPORTANT RULE THAT WORKS IN REAL LIFE (consider remembering it as it might be helpful):

HAPPY MARIAGE = HAPPY CHILD
In the meantime I finished game with Dan and Lisa living like on endless honeymoon and having good jobs, while their son was in terrible condition, bullied and living sad life. What the ♥♥♥♥?

Author attempted to show some "adult's live". He failed. This game is bulls***.
War dieses Review hilfreich? Ja Nein Lustig
3 von 3 Personen (100 %) fanden dieses Review hilfreich
Nicht empfohlen
3.4 Std. insgesamt
Verfasst: 31. März
To hear the full review, listen to the episode on Game Hoard Podcast

Gameplay
Interestingly, the game offers you two different modes at the beginning, Story and Stealth. Although the core gameplay is the same, in Stealth mode the family can see you and you must remain hidden in order to be able to influence them. You accomplish this by hiding inside light bulbs, for some reason that is never explained. Unfortunately, both modes get tedious. In Story, the game has no challenge to it and it's basically just a mix of "walking simulator" and choose-your-own adventure gameplay. In Stealth mode, you end up spending a lot of time just hanging out in lightbulbs, waiting for family members to walk to another room.

The core gameplay consists of you reading notes and letters left by the family members to find out what they want. You can also read their thoughts and explore their memories. Ultimately, you find out what each person wants and then select who gets their want by touching the object associated with the want. Gameplay then shifts to nighttime mode where you read more notes left by the house's previous owners and can choose a compromise for another family member to at least partially get their want.

There are a lot of unique ideas present in this gameplay loop that I really like. The problem is, what I have just described is the whole game and you have to repeat it for nine chapters with very little variation. What feels very fresh and interesting at the start of the game feels way overplayed and boring by the end, even though the game takes only 2-3 hours to complete. In the end, I felt that the game only really had about 30 minutes worth of ideas and the game felt very stretched and empty as a result.

Presentation
The game has a great cell-shaded aesthetic and the family members all move about and act in realistic ways. I found it immersive in this way where I really did feel like I was observing a real family go about their day. Unfortunately, the graphics suffer the same problem as the gameplay, as being confined to a single house with three characters for several hours means that you are looking at the same boring rooms over and over again.

Sound Design
The music does a good job setting the tone but isn't anything to write home about. On the other hand, the voice acting is great, which really carried the game since it's mostly about listening to the internal monologues of these characters. The actors were very convincing and were able to put a lot of emotion into their lines without hamming it up.

Story
Essentially, the family has moved to a remote summer home so that the father/husband can focus on writing his novel. The mother/wife is unhappy in the marriage and an aspiring artist. Their son is struggling with bullying and schoolwork. It's not the most interesting story but it is very human and the characters feel like real people. It is interesting to see how decisions made in one chapter effect the rest and what ending you get. Also welcome is a "The story so far" feature when you load up the game.

Recommendation
Overall, I felt the game just got very stale by the end but it's still a unique experience that you may like if you want a non-violent, non-competitive game focused on family drama. If you like the "Aspirations" part of the Sims games, you may find something to like here. For most people, however, I think the experience may fall a bit flat.
War dieses Review hilfreich? Ja Nein Lustig
2 von 2 Personen (100 %) fanden dieses Review hilfreich
Empfohlen
0.5 Std. insgesamt
Verfasst: 29. März
The Novelist is a great idea for a game, and it manages to mostly deliver on its premise. The idea of a branching narrative based on the decisions made by the player, interestingly a novelist, is something that has tremendous promise and has generally been carried out well in Telltale Games. Here, in the Novelist, the choices the player makes do, in fact, guide the story though it does so artificially. I say that because the choice the player is faced with are usually those that pit the various family members against each other in situations that would not necessarily present themselves as opposing ideals. While the no-win situations presented in The Walking Dead make sense thematically and situationally, the ones presented here just feel forced.

I do like the idea of the game, and think that this game is actually very well done, despite some of its false feeling delivered by the decisions, and the ultimately tough outcomes the player will receive. Regardless, the decisions you make do create some interesting situations. The graphics are good, the music is fitting, and the game is good for a playthrough or two.
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Hilfreichste Reviews  In den letzten 180 Tagen
1 von 1 Personen (100 %) fanden dieses Review hilfreich
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3.3 Std. insgesamt
Verfasst: 4. Januar
The Novelist erfindet das Rad nicht neu, weiß aber damit umzugehen!

Nach längerer Zeit des ignorierens habe ich mir dieses Spiel im Urlaub mal angeschaut und dann auch direkt durchgespielt. Ich habe es an einem Laptop ohne Maus gespielt, deswegen möchte ich hier nochmal deutlich sagen: SPIELT DIESES SPIEL MIT EINER MAUS!

The Novelist ist ein Spiel, in dem es um Entscheidungen geht. Wir begleiten eine 3 köpfige Familie, die in einem Ferienhaus "Urlaub" macht, weil der Vater sich auf seine Autorentätigkeit konzentrieren möchte.
Die Mutter verspricht sich von dieser Zeit hingegen eine neue Chance die Beziehung zu ihrem Mann aufzufrischen. Der Sohn möchte sich dort wohlfühlen und ebenfalls einen guten Kontakt zu seinem Vater haben.

Wir spielen eine Art Geist, die in dem Haus lebt und kriegen in mehreren Kapiteln die jeweiligen Wünsche und Probleme der Familienmitglieder mit, in dem wir Notizen und Briefe lesen, gemalte Bilder des Jungen anschauen und uns in die Erinnerungen der drei schleichen. Haben wir genug informationen gesammelt, können wir uns entscheiden, welches Problem/welchen Wunsch wir dem Vater im Schlaf deutlich machen. Sammeln wir alle Hinweise eines Kapitels, können wir noch einen Kompromiss für eine zweite Person eingehen.
Und genau darum geht es in dem Spiel: Resource management
Welche Wünsche soll der Vater berücksichtigen? Was geht gerade vor? Wie lassen wir den Vater seine Zeit investieren?
Natürlich ist es immer sehr reduziert, wie wir Lösungen finden können und wir wissen natürlich auch nicht, WIE der Vater unsere Entscheidung genau umsetzt, aber trotzdem kann ich mich darin gut wiederfinden.
Wie investiere ich meine Zeit, welche Person geht gerade vor und wofür reicht mein Geld?
Das klären von Prioritäten in diesem naheliegenden Familiensetting hat mich tatsächlich viel darüber nachdenken lassen, wie wir diese Entscheidungen in unserem Leben treffen.

Die Grafik und der Soundtrack unterstreichen sehr schön die Atmosphäre des Spiels und passen sehr gut dazu. Sie runden das Spiel gut ab und dadurch bildet sich das Gesamtkunstwerk, dass the Novelist ist.

Wenn ihr Spiele über entscheidungen mögt, wenn ihr Erzählungen mögt, dann lohnt sich dieses Spiel definitiv!
Wenn nicht, dann rate ich trotzdem dazu, diesem Spiel eine Chance zu geben, denn in meinen Augen lohnt es sich sehr!

Habt Spaß damit,
Kai
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49 von 62 Personen (79 %) fanden dieses Review hilfreich
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6.3 Std. insgesamt
Verfasst: 3. Januar
"Human beings are born solitary, but everywhere they are in chains - daisy chains - of interactivity. Social actions are makeshift forms, often courageous, sometimes ridiculous, always strange. And in a way, every social action is a negotiation, a compromise between 'his,' 'her' or 'their' wish and yours." - Andy Warhol

The Novelist is a story driven narrative exploration game that strolls around quite loaded terms like choice, goals, drives, relationships, priorities and compromise. The concept that the game revolves around - influencing social dynamics to observe the result of interrelated choices and their consequences - is an interesting and hard to accomplish one. Sadly its presentation within the game both in definition and execution, is definitely flawed.

Here, we take a quick glance at the Kaplans - a family of three going through a though time. Dan is an author who's stressed out to complete the novel that he's been working on, Linda has some worries about her marriage and family ties - also struggles on going back to being a painter. Tommy, their only son is having some adaptation and learning difficulties who needs his parents' attention and support full time. At the beginning of one summer, the Kaplans decide to pass their vacation in a rental villa by the seaside to have some quality time and possibly work through their problems, a villa that YOU reside in... In this detached little game, you are a ghostly entity - who's presence within the house will never be explained properly. You have the ability to stalk, observe and influence the Kaplans, thus deciding the story of this specific family in the end.

The game has two distinct modes: Stealth or Story. In Stealth Mode, you have to avoid being seen by the Kaplans if you'd like to explore everything. If you are seen, they get nervous and focus on their annoyance rather than their actual problems. You are capable of travelling through possessing light sources within the house while you hide from their perception. This mode quickly gets annoying and breaks the immersion of the storyline that you are trying to reveal quite fast. In Story Mode, you are free to roam as you wish without worrying for them to see you, but even excluding that limitation, everything becomes boring and repetitive. You are stuck within the same house with the same tense mood and you basically memorize the possible locations a note may spawn after the second chapter. They never change or surprise you. It is not possible to miss something. You roam around, read notes, watch some memories, whisper what you decided to Dan while he is sleeping and you are done. Another chapter conquered. You only decide whose need is a priority and see the accumulated conclusions in the end.

In each episode - there are 9 in total - you are presented with a couple of conflicting desires of family members. Everyone got different priorities and you must choose one specific desire to influence and accomplish, and maybe another one to half way accomplish through "compromising" which leaves you with one desire completely ignored. This is where things get a bit ridiculous. These 9 encounters oddly end up defining the whole being and interdynamics of a whole family! The definition of compromise in the dictionary is "a settlement of differences by mutual concessions; an agreement reached by adjustment of conflicting or opposing claims, principles, etc., by reciprocal modification of demands". Here, there is no middle ground between parties, no given opportunity to work on different needs, there is basically no settlement. Even real life doesn't work like this! We surely either act selfish or make sacrifices on things little or grand, but a human being is capable of undertaking more than one deed, feeling or accomplishment in a timely manner.

A human being comes with dimensions - which is another huge flaw in this game. The Kaplans are obscenely selfish - without much appreciation for sacrifices or understanding of shortcoming. Their personal desires never seem to even coincide with the desires of others. It is not possible to sympathize with any one of them. Heck, they even do not talk within the same house hold! You are a ghost, stuck within their household for his/her all being and never see them talk more than a couple of automated remarks and some memories. They seem to communicate through written notes scattered around the house. I mean, what kind of family does that?

I surely do understand the limitation of the developer team, thus I won't mumble much about the scenes, the environment and chapters being dull, stolid or repetitive; but I cannot accept the term "compromise" being misused for "forced priority and selfish desire". No remotely eligible father of a small boy would be so consumed with his ongoing artistic pursuit that he'd end up not putting together a toy car that would take 3 hours to assemble for 3 months! This really is ridiculous! So, I personally think this game comes with a possibly good concept executed without much sentimental or even practical depth. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for narrative exploration. I actually love games like Gone Home if they are capable of presenting the echo of an emotion, an idea or at least a state of being. In its current state and price, The Novelist surely doesn't deliver. Wait for a huge sale to satisfy your curiosity if you wish.

Please also check out Lady Storyteller's Curator page here - follow for regular updates on reviews for other games!
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11 von 14 Personen (79 %) fanden dieses Review hilfreich
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1.7 Std. insgesamt
Verfasst: 16. Dezember 2015
Life is hard. Working is hard. Having a family is hard.

The Novelist tells the story of The Kaplan family during their summer break. To which through playing the game you can heavily influence the events of that summer.

THE GAMEPLAY
You are some sort of ghost that when not inside a light bulb you are probably slightly more opaque or corporeal than what the traditional notion of a ghost is. You can either play the game having the Kaplans react and cause you to fail upon discovery or just throw it into story mode and become invisible and focus on the objectives. The ladder is what I did.

The game revolves Dan, his wife Linda and their son Tommy. You explore the home WASD'ing around and teleporting between lights. You must find notes, pictures, documents and items laying about the house; additionally being supernatural (I guess) you can delve into the memories of the characters as well and see what they are thinking at any given moment. Each chapter you'll find clues of what each characters desires are and how they want to go about moving forward. You will choose which (by this I mean whose) outcome you want each chapter and possibly working out a compromise with one other character. My only complaint is that this really, more or less, is just a walking simulator; It might have been served better as a text adventure to be honest.

THE GIST
The outcomes will be very different based on who you decide to “resolve” certain situations with, as well as (if any) you compromised with. I'll tell you right now. Granted, I did not try my very best to keep everyone happy however one aspect of one characters life went exceedingly well. While the rest of that characters life among the rest got sorted out in a very mediocre (almost realistic) but very depressing in its delivery sort of way. Perhaps it was due to summarizing future decades into a few paragraphs. Though to be honest, I guarantee there are far worse endings than I got.

Yeah, its one of those sticky indie art games that you've already made a decision if you like or not. However, this is one of the better ones yet its still not stellar. Its interesting.
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6 von 6 Personen (100 %) fanden dieses Review hilfreich
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2.7 Std. insgesamt
Verfasst: 25. Dezember 2015
In this game you play as a ghostorsomething who can positively interfere with the everyday life of a family.

Every level you explore the house and the minds of the residents (yes, you have mental superpowers) and decide who to help, being careful to not disappoint the others.

I like the idea and the overall realization, although the character design could have been more complex and engaging. Nothing really dramatic happens, and for most of the cases the individual desires you have to support or not with your actions are somewhat stereotypical and repetitive; basically the child wants to play, the wife wants attention and the husband wants to succeed in his work. At least for me, the choices were not very difficult, in the sense I did not perceive them as very strong moral dilemmas.

In my opinion the game can be tried at a low price; it is an original idea and it constitutes an affordance for some kind of phisolophical reflections on the impact everyday choices have on life. Unfortunately, it does not the same for emotions too.

6/10
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3 von 3 Personen (100 %) fanden dieses Review hilfreich
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3.6 Std. insgesamt
Verfasst: 24. Dezember 2015
Above all else, The Novelist succeeds at its stated purpose: to examine the continuous struggle of balancing conflicting needs. Through the lives and thoughts of the three Kaplans, this constant give and take becomes apparent, as does the internal back and forth between their own personal needs. The player is then put into the position of deciding both whose desire will win out and also what individual needs are going to have to go unfulfilled that week. Then they must stand back helplessly while their choices play themselves out. Due to the stress involved, it's likely that more game time will be spent deliberating than exploring or interacting with the Kaplans, which is a good thing as the actual act of playing gets rather repetitive and dull. There is only a single cabin with a handful of rooms to search and an explicitly limited number of things to uncover per chapter. The experience of playing as a whole quickly changes from pleasantly defined to restrictive and joyless.

In addition to guiding the Kaplans, the player is also given the opportunity to learn more about the previous inhabitants of the haunted cabin. Those vignettes, however, end up falling equally flat as they seem to avoid any real answers to the mysterious nature of the player's ghostly presence. But those shortcomings are easy to forgive, and forget, due to the slow-forming, but genuine emotional bond with the Kaplans and how their tangled lives turn out. That is the focus after all, and unless you were taking notes, that's likely all you'll remember about this flawed but brilliant game.
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1 von 1 Personen (100 %) fanden dieses Review hilfreich
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3.6 Std. insgesamt
Verfasst: 27. Februar
What is The Novelist?

Genre: first person exploration game for adults
Setting: family on vacation trying to solve problems
Difficulty: 3/10 --> basically easy
Length: 2 hours for a single playthrough
Mode: singleplayer campaign


First of all: The Novelist is a game for adults. It confronts you with interpersonal situations you will encounter in your adult life (or have encountered yet). It is about taking responsibility, making decisions and achieving a balance in a family's needs.

You play some sort of a poltergeist observing a family on vacation in a secluded house. The family consists of Dan, father and writer who is facing writer's block and has to finish his latest novel; there also is Linda, Dan's wife and former artist, trying to get a grip on her marriage with Dan and to start over her working career; and there is Tommy, their little boy struggling with grapho legasthenia and the need for playmates.

Now, in every chapter you read their thoughts, find out about each of their needs and have to decide which sounds the most important to you to have this character make a progress. At the same time, the other two will be disappointed. As you can choose another one for a compromise, you might soften negative aspects for one further character.

Eventually the player is absolutely free in his decisions; you can push forward only one character, letting both the other two drop badly; you can try to make them all happy; depending on what you choose the story developes further.

And that is why I would recommend the game: How would you decide? What is your priority? And, in the end, how would you rate your decisions made?

Really worth the price - and even more the experience!
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2 von 3 Personen (67 %) fanden dieses Review hilfreich
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3.4 Std. insgesamt
Verfasst: 9. Januar
A story telling game that tries to and succeeds at doing something unusual with not only style of graphics but also mechanics. You have to help the occupants of a house find one of 3 happy endings, well actually there are many more possible endings and routes. I hope you love the fresh and well executed way The Novelist lets you make the story your own.

You play the part of a ghost or "sprite" who lives in the lightbulbs and must stay hidden at all times. This adds a hint of tension to the game, but never distracts from the actual storyline. You must weave the story through your decisions, and the game actually is so clever it's actually more fun on the second play-through.
I gave it a 5/5
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2 von 3 Personen (67 %) fanden dieses Review hilfreich
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1.4 Std. insgesamt
Verfasst: 22. Januar
I haven't finished, but what I played I liked. There are choices, so it's not entirely linear. Proper review will come one day.
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4 von 7 Personen (57 %) fanden dieses Review hilfreich
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3.7 Std. insgesamt
Verfasst: 22. Januar
6.5/10 - Push and Possess your way to the end

This game is a basic possession game, nothing extremely bad or exciting. I wouldn't pay $15, more like $5.

You are Dan Kaplan, a struggling writer who has taken his family to a remote cabin in hopes of meeting his fast approaching deadline. In this story you push, read minds and possess 3 people; Dan, his wife and son. The choices you make impact not only your life but that of your family.

Worth $5 or so, I purchased for $0.74... So I feel good about that.

Accidently Reviewed
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Hilfreichste Reviews  Insgesamt
8 von 11 Personen (73 %) fanden dieses Review hilfreich
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3.1 Std. insgesamt
Verfasst: 14. Dezember 2013
Die Idee hinter The Novelist hat bei mir sofort das Interesse geweckt: Man schlüpft in die Rolle eines Geistes, der in einem abgelegenen und sterilen Ferienhaus eine Familie (Vater Dan, Mutter Linda und Sohn Tommy) beobachtet und in ihr Leben nachhaltig eingreift. Das ganze in einem Setting, das einen Hauch von Shining versprüht. Das Potential ist enorm.

Alle Familienmitglieder haben ihre Probleme (zum Teil miteinander) mit in den Urlaub genommen. Dan ist der Schriftsteller mit Schreibblockade, der immer weiter in den Alkohol abrutscht. Seine Frau möchte sich wieder stärker ihrer Künstlerkarriere widmen, in der Beziehung mit Dan kriselt es aber schon länger. Und dann ist da Tommy, dem die Überforderung des ersten Schuljahrs noch in den Knochen steckt. Ihm fehlen andere Kinder zum Spielen, eher gelangweilt hockt er mit seinen Spielzeugautos auf dem Teppichboden des Wohnzimmers.

Der Spieler schleicht nun durch die Wohnung und verfolgt die Story im Stile eines Gone Home über Briefe und Rückblenden. Im optionalen Stealthmodus muss er dabei aufpassen nicht entdeckt zu werden. Hier wurde sehr viel Potential verschenkt. Die Passivität der stets anwesenden Familie, deren in der Gegenwart erlebbares Familienleben sich auf Umherschlurfen und genuschelte Grüße beschränkt, erzeugt zwar eine bedrückende Atmosphäre. Dass man große Ereignisse wie den Besuch der Großeltern jedoch nicht als Geist mitlerben kann und nur über Einladungen und Erinnerungen mitbekommt, ist jedoch enttäuschend. Dieser Umstand dürfte den beshränkten Ressourcen des Ein-Mann-Entwicklers Kent Hudson sein (u.a. an Deus Ex: IW und Bioshock mitgewirkt).

Entscheidungen durch den Spieler werden insofern getroffen, dass jeder der Drei in jedem Kapitel einen Wunsch hat. Der Spieler entschiedet auf welchen sich Papa Dan konzentriert. In der Nacht kann man zusätzlich noch ein weiteres Bedürfnis mit einem Kompromiss befriedigen. Aber einer in der Familie kommt immer zu kurz. So kreiert der Hudson einige komplizierte Entscheidungen, die einem schwer fallen. An die moralische Komplexität eines Walking Dead kommt The Novelist aber nicht heran. Im Kern geht es um Dans Karriere vs. Zeit für die Frau vs. Zeit für den Sohn. Die Entscheidungenw erden jedoch gut vom Spiel aufgegriffen und in die Erzälstränge eingelochten.

Trotz der vielen Luft nach oben ist The Novelist ein spielenswerter Titel. Und sei es, weil es immer noch viel zu wenige Spiele gibt, mit deren Charakteren wir uns wirklich identifizieren können. Die eine Welt zeigen, zu der wir einen Bezug haben. Als jemand der früher mit seinen Eltern in Ferienwohnungen im Urlaub war, wurden so einige Kindheitserinnerungen in mir geweckt. Und mit einigen von Dans Problemen weiß ich auch etwas anzufangen. Alleine dafür haben sich die drei Stunden gelohnt.
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2 von 2 Personen (100 %) fanden dieses Review hilfreich
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0.8 Std. insgesamt
Verfasst: 21. Juni 2014
An sich ein tolles Adventure. Um dem Novelist zu helfen, sein Buch zu vollenden, und dabei nicht seine Frau und seinen Sohn zu verlieren, ist der Spieler permanent zu Entscheidungen gezwungen, bei denen immer ein Teil der Familie auf der Strecke bleibt. Die gescheiterten Versuche, die Balance zu halten, sind zum Teil wirklich herzerweichend ;) Leider ist das Spiel etwas kurz. Durch die Fülle der Entscheidungsmöglichkeiten kann man es zwar sicherlich mehrmals spielen, aber nicht unbedingt hintereinander weg. Schade, ich hätte mich sehr gerne länger mit der Familie beschäftigt!
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0 von 1 Personen (0 %) fanden dieses Review hilfreich
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3.6 Std. insgesamt
Verfasst: 21. Dezember 2013
Truely a heartwarming game. It was surprisingly tough as you had to make many heart-wrenching decisions that affected you emotionally when you saw the consequences of your choice. The story made sure you can't fulfill the needs of everyone and made it hard for you to choose. It really makes you think about how your choice could affect all the family members. I did not expect it to be so good and even though you travelled through the same house and the same rooms looking for clues you didn't find yourself feeling bored, as it felt like you had a new house to explore after every chapter. The only thing I could complain about is that I would have liked to see more of an emotional connection between you and the characters, while the connection was good, I feel it could have been better. Overall an excellent game, very pleased with my purchase. I would definitely recommend buying it, especially to those gamers who prefer story rather than game play. I would give it a 4/5.
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440 von 487 Personen (90 %) fanden dieses Review hilfreich
1 Person fand dieses Review lustig
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2.1 Std. insgesamt
Vorveröffentlichungsreview
Verfasst: 9. Dezember 2013
The Novelist is a 'narrative adventure' that is similar in many ways to games like Gone Home and Dear Esther, which is to say that it's not everybody's cup of tea. That being said, if you enjoyed those games or are open to experiencing a mature and realistic story, you might find that you enjoy The Novelist as much as I did. You play as a 'ghost' (for lack of a better word) that observes and influences a family of three (Dan, Linda, and their son Tommy) during a summer spent in the Oregon countryside. The game is sub-divided into 12 chapters, each of which has a central problem such as a family member drinking too much, a death in the family, or a child's difficulties learning. Your task is to explore the thoughts and memories of each family member and determine how they would deal with the outcome in the way most desirable for them. Inevitably this leads to a prioritization of people that results in a lot of uncomfortable trade-offs: Do encourage Dan to spend more time on his novel at the expense of his relationship with his wife and son? Or, do you make the family spend as much time together as possible at the risk of their professional obligations? And, perhaps more importantly, which of these outcomes do you choose consistently?

This is a game that you may only get 2-3 hours of playtime out of, but I valued those 2-3 hours a great deal.
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380 von 500 Personen (76 %) fanden dieses Review hilfreich
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1.0 Std. insgesamt
Verfasst: 10. Dezember 2013
When I first saw this game I was intrigued with idea of being able to interact with and influence the lives of a family. I was expecting something akin to Heavy Rain (minus the murder mystery), with choices presented very naturally through events and conversations within the game. That's not what I got.

The Novelist started off as a quirky game that I believed could offer a few hours of enjoyment. For that first day, I was intrigued with my ability to sneak around the house, observing this family while trying to learn from each family member what they wanted. However, by the end of the first day I found that my interactions with the family were limited to taking one persons side (or maybe finding a compromise). What this game boiled down to was picking up notes, listening to a few snippets of dialogue and then being offered the dreaded choice of A, B, or C (or red, blue, green if you prefer to see it that way). I didn't feel like I was involved with their lives. If they happened to see me, the only penalty was losing the option to choose a compromise. You don't feel as though you have any real role in their lives, except for making that one choice at the end of each day. This is something that gets repetitive very quickly.

Even worse, you don't actually watch the family live their lives, you learn about it through notes. The sole role of the physical characters is to simply be there and provide (optionally) a watered down stealth mechanic. You don't interact with them, you don't learn about them from watching their routine, at most you get not even a sentence from choosing to listen to their thoughts. They may as well not even be there in the game.

I have to say, I was thoroughly disappointed with this game (it hardly has the interaction to be called a game) and could not recommend it.
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