A city gone mad with violence and the mass murder of its people. In this interactive graphic-novel, your choices can either lead you to the ultimate destruction of this fallen metropolis, or the demise of a vicious butcher. Will you save this city as promised or will you fall prey to the killer within?
User reviews: Mixed (253 reviews) - 66% of the 253 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jul 17, 2014

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About This Game

Vlad is an interactive graphic-novel with RPG elements where your decisions shape the outcome of your story. Each playthrough offers a different experience and immersive story totalling two hours of content.

Features

  • Three different classes to choose from.
  • A morality system that unlocks special classes based on your decisions.
  • The choices you make will make or break your stats, effecting how your story ends.
  • An engrossing, gritty art style that immerses you in the world of Vlad the Impaler.
  • Music by Kevin Riepl, composer for Gears of War and many other titles.
  • Over 50 unique illustrated stories.
  • Over 100 unique illustrations including weapons, characters, stories and more.
  • Collectable Trading cards, badges and achievements.

Story


The scent of murder hangs in the air. It is the year 1452 and a city under siege is desperate. You receive a letter, bearing the king’s seal, begging for your help. A once beautiful, peaceful place is now a tormentor’s paradise; dark, bleak and heavy with fear.

You venture along the road to your destination, determined to solve the mystery terrorizing the citizens of Istanbul. Thousands of bodies line the roads, impaled on bloody poles, ravaged & torn, lying limp; faces contorted in anguish. If this is just the path to the city, what lies within its walls?

A gruesome scene welcomes you; hollow sockets live where eyes once saw their murderer coming for them. Torsos of young children ripped open, their bodies hung like criminals; blood filled pools in the Cistern house rotting bodies, throats cut, fingers missing. Dank Catacombs lined with broken bones containing new members, heads daggered, burn marks over eyes. Blood streaked Basilica walls, disembowelments and beheadings. The brutality is too much to bear. What – or who -is murdering the innocent lives of these people!? You hunt through the night, intent on finding your foe, bringing an end to the grisly massacre.

As the Explorer, you have knowledge of the land; you are fast, on target and adventurous. You leave no stone unturned in your pursuit. Will you be the enemy Spy or will you be the Emissary?

The Mage is skilled, wise and supernatural. Become the the high Priest who can be counted on to cast spells to protect the people of Istanbul or choose to be the Sorcerer and release your inner demon fueling your thirst for destruction.

The Soldier; fierce, strong, and none better with a blade. Protecting people is your Knightly duty, with your feminine intuition & compassionate heart leading you to do the right thing for the kingdom. But perhaps you would rather seek to unlock the dark side and become the Assassin. The choice is yours; will you seek justice or wickedness?

Each character unlocks unique levels and secret weapons. Feel the weight of your decisions and change the story of your game with each turn. Your actions will determine the future of your people, saving their souls or surrendering them to evil.

About the Developers


Section Studios brings you this action packed adventure, where your wits are just as important as your strength. We wanted to create an experience that combined a unique visual style with thoughtful narrative and game play. We chose a world and character that our team would feel passionate about reinventing with Vlad. By creating everything from story to artwork, we were allowed to let our imaginations run wild and create something we all felt connected to.

As a studio that originated in the world of video games, we know what our audience wants because we ARE the audience. Supernatural powers, an abundance of undead abominations and plenty of secret expeditions throughout the game, along with awesome, gothic graphics, illustrations & challenges are what made this game something we were proud to work on – and very excited to play.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP or Later
    • Processor: Core 2 Duo
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB graphics memory and directx 9.0c compatible gpu
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 512 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows XP or Later
    • Processor: Core i3
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB graphics memory and directx 9.0c compatible gpu
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 512 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Os X 10.7 or later
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Storage: 512 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Os X 10.7 or later
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Storage: 512 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
13 of 15 people (87%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
6.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 21, 2015
The art is fantastic and story is entertaining enough, although events are seemingly random with the choices you make having very little effect on changing the outcome.

There are also several confusing inconsistancies where the game seems to assume you've completed an event regardless of whether you have or not. At one point, I was approached by someone thanking me for saving their child, an event I hadn't come across at all.

But what took me out of the story every single time were the terrible spelling and grammar errors. You'd think the creators of a visual novel would have a strong grasp on the English language but these mistakes are littered absolutely everywhere and they're incredibly distracting.

This could have really been something interesting but instead it feels rushed and sloppily thrown together without much thought or care.
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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
7.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 6
Slightly different take on a story of Dracula, "Vlad the Impaler" is a short text-based visual novel (or choose your own adventure, if you prefer) with an interesting setting (most of the game takes place in medieval Istanbul) and visually stunning art style.

The game can be completed within 30 minutes, but it takes some time to discover which choices will help you to defeat Vlad. In the key events your success is based on stats, so careful character development (giving the light RPG feel) and discovering the outcomes of the individual choices is a crucial part of the gameplay. There are 3 available characters classes, and each class can evolve into 2 "advanced" professions depending on your actions.

The game includes a morality tracking system, and while neither deep, nor impacting the storyline much, is a nice little touch nevertheless.

"Vlad The Impaler" has its issues (listed below), but at the current price point, if you like visual novel/CYOA type of games, you can't go wrong with it. Recommended!

Pros:

+ amazing artwork and atmosphere! (it's worth getting for the art style alone)
+ original setting
+ can be completed multiple times with slightly different endings/choices along the way
+ achievements extend game longevity a bit (to a couple of hours)

Cons:

- no manual save game option
- too much emphasis on "dry" stat building instead of delivering coherent narrative
- a number of achievementents are too much, SPOILER ALERT forcing you to re-play the game just to receive the proper item, which is randomly determined with a little chance to appear, so it's likely you will have multiple "empty" playthroughs just to get them.
- minor bugs (if it freezes, or you don't see the choice: just quit the game and run it again, it saves your progress automatically)
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
16.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 1
Overall Vlad the Impaler is a great interactive graphic-novel with fantastic art and an intriguing dark story. However it does suffer from a few drawbacks, the main one being that the developers have tried encouraging players to replay the game dozens of times with the choice of multiple classes, outcomes and weapon choices. The problem with this is that the game lacks variety, mainly with not offering enough different scenarios to keep each play through unique. After the third or fourth time you've easily done every possible scenario at least once with very little varied difference. Even if there was the same amount of scenarios but more than one piece of art and choice was given each time I think the game would have defiantly benefited.

Another drawback is that the game contains quite a few spelling and grammar errors that were never fixed. Makes me wonder how the game wasn’t proof-read? I can only assume the game wasn’t originally English. While this isn’t a huge deal it is distracting and completely breaks the immersion of the story. Finally the game has an issue where it displays a black screen upon launch, this is fixed by verifying the game cache but is pretty irritating and really should have been fixed by now.

For its current price of $0.99 I would defiantly recommend still giving this game a chance, while it’s far from perfect and disappointingly shallow, it’s still worth the price and sinking a few hours into.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 13
Very beautiful artwork and a very interesting story well worth the price. Unique story with depth that really places you in that world.
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261 of 317 people (82%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 21, 2014
First Impression Video
http://youtu.be/ek5oGPOP9FM

Vlad the Impaler - Full Review
This game is a bit of an odd one, on it’s launch day there was nothing to indicate what type of game it might be. Just this snippet:
“A city gone mad with violence and the mass murder of its people. Your choices can either lead you to the ultimate destruction of this fallen metropolis, or the demise of a vicious butcher. Will you save this city as promised or will you fall prey to the killer within?”
Along with the system requirements.

Rather baffling I tried looking up the Developer website, only to find that they have no site. Next I tried the Publisher. They didn’t even list the game, so I emailed them just to confirm the game is from them.

As it turns out Vlad the Impaler is a choose your own adventure graphic novel with some light RPG elements. A rather interesting concept to say the least, and instantly made me think of the old Goosebumps horror books I read as a child.

Determined to get into the think of it and create a powerful character I was surprised to find that you only have three classes to choose from, and you’re unable to really customise them in anyway.
You have the explorer, essentially a rogue, the warrior, and mage. A rather standard trio in RPG games. Sadly you’re unable to mix and match them or even their attribute points. Which can only be altered in gameplay due to dialogue choices and events.

The main mechanic is choosing your own adventure by being presented with several areas to wander in, and occasionally have two choices to choose from. Yes, only two. A rather tiny amount for a game that so heavily relies on user choice as its core mechanic.

Even so the game and story is riddled with inconsistencies, and ultimately your choices have little to no true bearing on the game or its conclusion.
I’ve often finished a chapter without realising simply by exploring an area, as the each chapter has a set amount of ‘turns’ or clicks you can make. Thereby shooing you along further into the game while feeling unsatisfied and wanting more of the game world. This is where the inconsistencies hit you quicker and harder than jumping in front of a bullet train. As I entered the palace’s kitchen a man apparently thanked me for saving his son. “I’m sorry, who are you and when did I ever encounter your son or you?”. That’s what I would have asked, if even given the option, but no the game carries on giving you but two options. Either drink the stew he offers as a reward, or don’t.
I don’t ever remember any of the mentioned events, and this could only have happened less than 20 minutes ago in the previous chapter.

More inconsistencies constantly surface, even in the final act of the game. Where you somehow have all the items you need to somehow combat your foes. Such as meeting three damsels in a castle and suddenly having wild roses, which you exclaim wards off and incapacities these vile creatures. Okay, yes. Magical flowers I somehow picked up somewhere. I don’t know where, nor did I ever do so.

There are gaps in the game, and it’s a shame. One would think that since choosing your own adventure is the core mechanic the game would be simply packed full of content and choices. Sadly it’s all rather lacking, with barely any content to sate any person’s gaming or reading appetite. It fails on both accounts.



There are different class and character attributes, strength, constitution, agility, magic, and charm. The latter being emphasised throughout the game, and always highlighted. Instantly alerting you to its significance. These ware all affected by in game choices, such as speaking with someone, or witnessing something. In the case of constitution, my character lost a point simply while having his lunch and witnessing a man being executed. This was a permanent loss of one point, rather annoying but nothing series.

As mentioned charm is highlighted, and turns out to be the most important, not for simply speaking to people you encounter, but also the final conflict with the stories antagonist. It matters little that my magic points were the same as my charm ones. I was unable to cast a single spell as a mage during this encounter, and simply overpowered and subdued the creature by appealing to their humanity. So, what’s the point in all the previous options for actions, or attributes?

What little there is to Vlad the Impaler was rather enjoyable, but sadly horribly marred by the serious lack of content, and depth beyond merely having a Yes or No option.
The ‘game’, simply rushes you through in about an hour, and despite claiming to have replayability due to user choice changing the story; it’s simply false.

The beautiful and dark art, and music is fantastic and I truly enjoyed seeing and listened to it. Still, I simply cannot recommend this ‘game’ to anyone. Whether they want a dark RPG, or a visual choose your own adventure book. There simply is not enough content to justify the price tag, and makes one wonder if this was not the reason for information and details regarding the game not surfacing on its Steam page until a day or two after launch.

A true waste of what could have been something dark and wonderful.
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