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 (222 reviews) - 63% of the 222 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.


  • 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.


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

Mac OS X
    • 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
    • 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
    • OS: Os X 10.7 or later
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Storage: 512 MB available space
    • OS: Os X 10.7 or later
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Storage: 512 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
34 of 45 people (76%) found this review helpful
9 people found this review funny
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 22
I'm very afraid that I simply can't recommend "Vlad the Impaler". It has many good aspects, but too many bad.

The art is nice, but it's composed entirely of still scenes made to appear to move by camera pans. The selection of a player type (basically explorer, warrior, mage) seems to offer promise. But it quickly reveals itself as only offering the illusion of a non-linear game. You are given options as to what part of the city you wish to visit, and a menu selection of options once you arrive there. But the options come from nowhere, with no background. ("Find the soldier's head." WHAT soldier? "Buy a falafel." Same menu, honest to God.) And no matter which you choose, you will end up with the only one that actually furthers the story.

The eventual result of your "choice" will be the increase or decrease of certain character attributes. This is where 'Vlad the Impaler" REALLY gets squirrelly. For example, breaking into the dock master’s office and finding 6 brutally murdered bodies increases "charm". Carrying a dying girl to the doctor decreases your "intelligence", with no explanation. (NEVER with an explanation.) Making a deadly enemy by humiliating a street preacher increases "charm". Maybe it's cultural.

Speaking of "cultural", many of the deficiencies are made up for by the humor created by language barriers. Several example of which:
"It seems to elude that there was a secret temple to Medusa..."
"Keeping the jagged knife just beyond the slice of your flesh..."
"You hurl your torch at the thing that's grabbed hold of her are suddenly struck with terror..."
AND my personal favorite;
"The Order of the Dragon Hmmm"

Should I ever change my Steam ID, it will be to "The Order of the Dragon Hmmm".

Not the worst game ever. Not even the worst game today. I really DO think it gets better. Really......
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19 of 24 people (79%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 23
Let me start off by saying that this is not an RPG, like a great many of my fellow reviewers would like to think. Vlad the Impaler is an adult-oriented visual novel, and is built on storytelling and atmosphere rather than hacky-slashy action bits. You do not play by mastering game mechanics so that you can beat the final boss, but by learning how the world works and using your wit.


The gameplay consists first of fifteen days you are free to spend as you see fit within the city of Istanbul, in an attempt to reveal the source of many sinister murders within the city walls. You click where in the city you wish to travel, and what you wish to do once there. You will for the most part be reading, and appreciating the artwork of the game, and then making decisions for your character underway. These decisions will affect your stats, meaning that your character is shaped by what he does in the game. For example, if you were to gain favor with a crowd of people for winning an argument with a corrupt cleric, your influence within the city would rise, thus increasing your charm stat, allowing you to much more easily persuade people to do as you would have them. Or, were you to witness a particularily horrifying sight within the catacombs, your constitution would go down as a representation of your mental health.

Some people complain about this system, because it is sometimes hard to see why a particular stat has gone up or down, and becuase you sometimes cannot influence it. But I found that stopping and thinking for a moment when in doubt as to why the game had given me the stats that it did, it made sense in the end. And though it may sometimes feel cheap to lose stats because of an event which you couldn't predict, you should be fine as long as you do not actively seek trouble. For example, delving into the catacombs alone and with no map should to most people sound of mind sound like a poor idea.


The soundtrack in this game is amazing, and adds a lot to the game's atmosphere. However, it is on the short side, so you can expect some of it to loop after you've played the game for a while. This isn't really something you will notice unless you go out of your way to listen for it, though.


The artwork is all beautifully hand-drawn, and invokes a sense of dread and despair fitting very well with the game. Though the game is largely text-based, the artwork along the text serves to increase immersion. I found myself searching up various scenes from the game after having completed it just to look at them again. Though art will always be subjective, I personally adore the style that the game went for.


The story follows the grim journey of your player character as he attempts to unravel the mystery of Istanbul. The city is descending into darkness, murders happen on a nightly basis, and several cults and creatures are starting to rise to the surface. Sent by your old friend Vlad, you will quickly find that something has gone horribly awry, and that those who preach of goodness and piety might well carry the greatest darkness of them all...

There are plenty of side-stories to follow, all of which are really well written. However, the game suffers from some disconnection as you might start a side-story and never end up finishing it, or finish a story that you did not start. There are also some grammatical errors, as the game is not made by native English-speakers. However, I find that this is not enough to break the atmosphere that the game builds, though some people may react more strongly to it.


Playing Vlad the Impaler is like reading a good horror novel. It's scarier than any game I've played before, including Outlast, Penumbra and Amnesia. Not because it's got scary monsters that pop out at you, but because it builds a sense of inescapable dread and despair, the likes of which is found in the works of Bram Stoker, H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe. I would hesitate to call it an artsy game, but it definetly takes inspiration from great works of literature. If you're a fan of horror, or just classic literature, play this game. It's great value for the price. However, if you're after more of an RPG or traditional visual novel, this might not be the game for you. It also does require an appreciation for good art and writing.

I don't like rating games from one to ten, because it's all so very subjective, especially in this genre. I will say, however, that this is an amazing visual novel, and it's perfect for a gloomy night, alone with headphones in a dark room.
Thank you for reading my review, and remember to rate it so that others can see it!
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7 of 10 people (70%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 23
I bought this game for the art. I do not regret it. I love the art. I wish there was a convenient way to just browse it without playing.

The prose is serviceable. It has minor spelling and grammar errors here and there, but is otherwise well written.

However, as a game, this is terrible.

You have several days to wander the map. There is so little guidance that all you can hope to do is wander aimlessly.

During this time random events will happen. These events often refer to other events that never happened in your playthrough. These events /are/ truly random. They never seem to have any bearing on the overall plot.

Over time you will be 'forced' into different parts of the map, closer to Vlad. There is no in-game explanation for this.

I personally beat the game by picking things I thought would get me killed when I arrived at Vlad's castle, hoping that it was not simply ignoring my choices. It seems it was.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
15.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 28
This game is like opening a beautifully wrapped gift on Christmas morning and finding socks inside. Not even good socks, but mismatched ones with holes in the toes.

Wrapping paper: The art, GUI and music are all utterly gorgeous. Holey socks: The game mechanics and story are a complete wreck.

Vlad the Impaler takes place over the course of fifteen turns, broken up over six chapters. Each turn allows you to take a single action, which gives you a little snippet of story and presents a moral dilemma, and your decision affects your stats. For example: you can go "Buy a Falafal" where you run into a fugitive, then choose to help or condemn him, which results in a plus or minus to certain character attributes. After three of these events, the chapter ends, and you get new information about the plot.

The trouble is, there is no guarantee that the three actions you take will be related, and there is no indication anywhere which ones are most important to the main plot. Some events seem totally random, and the story appears to be unaffected by your choices to the point that it moves on without you. Because you can only take three actions in each act, and thus only get three little vignettes of plot that may or may not be directly related to each other, you will never have all the information necessary to make real sense of the events that come later, unless you play through the game several times to read everything, which is an extremely ♥♥♥♥♥♥ way to tell a story. Entire chunks of plot just end up missing; and when each chapter ends, characters you've never met before may pop up and allude to events that haven't happened because you didn't play through them.

In most visual novels or other games with choice based gameplay, events you play through are flagged by the system and ONLY storylines pertaining to the actions you've actually taken play out. That's not the case here, and it makes for a frustrating experience.

There's also the fact that, while choice is a selling point in games of this type, there is a lot of God Modding in this one that make your choices seem arbitrary and worthless. Free will is mostly an illusion in Vlad the Impaler, and the plot moves you where it wants you to go without your say so. Suppose you choose to follow a mysterious woman who catches your eye and end up back at her home; when she tries to seduce you, you kill her and slice her head clean off--and the only part of this that was your choice was following her. You aren't given the option to coax information out of her before beheading her, or let her carry on with her seduction, or anything else, because God Modding is in play: you WILL do what the plot decrees whether you like it or not.

It doesn't help that the prose leaves a lot to be desired. It's sufficiently atmospheric, but the grammar is terrible, a lot of punctuation and whole words are missing and many of the events are cliche. I might be more forgiving to those if the rest of the game's problems were less annoying, but as it is they're just salt in the wound.

If the devs ever do an update that allows for more events or choices each turn or at least fixes some of the grammar and punctuation issues, I would reccommend this in a heartbeat. (With the usual provisos about its content--it's violent, and falls into many of the usual tropes that are pretty boring at this point.)

As it is, I'm going to have to say: give it a pass unless you can get it for at least 50% off.
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 2
gothic choose your own adventure thats great for casual gamers or ppl who like text/story rich single players
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