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.
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“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.”

“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

Об этой игре

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.

Системные требования

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • ОС: Windows XP SP2 or higher
    • Процессор: 1.8 GHz
    • Оперативная память: 2 GB ОЗУ
    • Видеокарта: 256 MB VRAM video card
    • Место на диске: 800 MB
    • ОС: Windows 7
    • Процессор: 2 GHz
    • Оперативная память: 4 GB ОЗУ
    • Видеокарта: 512 MB VRAM video card
    • ОС: OS X Lion (10.7) or higher
    • Процессор: 1.8 GHz
    • Оперативная память: 2 GB ОЗУ
    • Видеокарта: 256 MB VRAM video card
    • Место на диске: 800 MB
    • ОС: OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)
    • Процессор: 2 GHz
    • Оперативная память: 4 GB ОЗУ
    • Видеокарта: 512 MB VRAM video card
    • Процессор: 1.8 GHz
    • Оперативная память: 2 GB ОЗУ
    • Видеокарта: 256 MB VRAM video card
    • Место на диске: 800 MB
    • Дополнительно: Built with Unity 4.3.4, tested in Ubuntu 12.04 and 13.10
    • Процессор: 2 GHz
    • Оперативная память: 4 GB ОЗУ
    • Видеокарта: 512 MB VRAM video card
Полезные обзоры покупателей
48 из 61 пользователей (79%) посчитали этот обзор полезным
6.3 ч. в игре
Опубликовано: 3 января
"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 из 14 пользователей (79%) посчитали этот обзор полезным
1.7 ч. в игре
Опубликовано: 16 декабря 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.

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 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.
Был ли этот обзор полезен? Да Нет Забавный
6 из 6 пользователей (100%) посчитали этот обзор полезным
2.7 ч. в игре
Опубликовано: 25 декабря 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.

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3 из 3 пользователей (100%) посчитали этот обзор полезным
3.6 ч. в игре
Опубликовано: 24 декабря 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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3 из 4 пользователей (75%) посчитали этот обзор полезным
1 пользователь посчитал этот обзор забавным
7.4 ч. в игре
Опубликовано: 3 апреля
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):

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***.
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