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 (108 reviews)
Release Date: Jul 17, 2014

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Recent updates View all (9)

October 20

Game Update: Mac Crash and Final Battle Fixes

Hi All!

We've just pushed an update addressing the crash issues for Mac users. Players should now also be able to successfully continue after defeating Vlad.

Please make sure you exit steam and download the update. Before attempting to play again.

As always, your feedack is incredibly helpful so feel free to post any questions or comments here or in the forums.

- The Vlad Team

0 comments Read more

October 9

Game Update/Bug Fixes

Release Notes

Hi All!

We've just pushed a patch fixing some of the issues introduced with our previous update. Below you'll find a list of the additions:

Gameplay

  • Achievements are now working correctly
  • Fixed an issue where players couldn't continue after beating Vlad.
  • Fixed an issue where players die when successfully charming Vlad.
  • Fixed an issue where player is shown incorrect text on death.
  • Fixed instance of incorrect quest text showing in Basilica.

Improvements
  • Added SFX when player mouses over a quest name
  • Improved chapter video performance.
  • Changed flavor text for chapter deaths.

Please feel free to comment with any feedback and we’ll be sure to address it asap!

1 comments Read more

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

PC
Mac
    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
    • Hard Drive: 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
    • Hard Drive: 512 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Os X 10.7 or later
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 512 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Os X 10.7 or later
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 512 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
It's a nice choose your own adventure type of interactive novel with some stat driving RPGing in the background but it is rather short... the main value derived from multiple playthroughs as you try to finish the game with different stats and alignments while adding different layers that surround the story.

The biggest gripe with the game is its brevity and the story isn't anything groundbreaking but on sale I'd recommend it to adventure game fans who don't mind reading and using their imagination to add color to the monotone backgrounds.
Posted: September 27
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
I originally rated this game down, but due to updates in the game and the pricing, I am revising my review. This is a “choose your own adventure” type game that has a rapid progression, so it is a bit short for each play through. However, the development system is done through a clever character class system, the graphics are nice and the story has been cleaned up a bit. The addition of steam achievements was a final nice touch.

Now that the game has been dropped to a more appropriate price I can recommend it fully to those who enjoy this genre.
Posted: September 28
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.9 hrs on record
Great story telling visual novel simple strategy-ish game with awesome soundtrack! All around joy fully short replayable game!
Posted: September 24
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.5 hrs on record
An interesting graphic novel because of the setting which is pulled off quite well with some characters that i just wanted to pursue and find out more about, the sound track is nice and fitting for investigating a city that may be suffering a multitude of curses. Very fun to give your own voices to the characters.

The settings menu didnt work very well, the volume sliders slid, but did not affect volume levels and then returned to full volume position when returning to the menu.
Some choices did not highlight when selected while they were selectable.
Some spelling errors, which I know I stuggle with but in a game where reading is everything, it took me a few double takes to realise what was being said.
Font looks pixelated at the resolution I did my first attempt on, (windowed, 1600x900) but was readable.

Overall
Very interesting setting, characters and themes.
Excelent styling on font, graphics and art.

Some funtional issues, that are easy to correct or ignore

Will play through several times with all the characters.
Posted: September 25
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
It's good. Sorta wierd, short and makes little sense at times... But if you just click a bunch stuff, you will figure it out and then it can be fun and you can get some decent replayability.
Posted: September 26
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
My opinion on this game is kind of mixed.

The story is good, the way that you can make your "own adventure in every gameplay" gives a little extra with the decisions that you need to make to gain specific points for the class that you choose.
I wish that the game could be a little longer than maybe half an hour to enjoy it a bit more deeply, since all of the drawings are pretty good, and the story is fine, but i wish i could know a bit better of what happens, and maybe... to see myself die a few times before i could end this game, to think of the decision i took and to make a new one.

Overall, give this game a chance when its on a sale.

Posted: September 27
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Very short adventure/text game, but with a really nice graphic and a convincing and mature story.

5 € seems a good price for it.

In short, a good horror adventure/text game.
Posted: September 30
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
I admit I did enjoy this game the first couple times through. However, it loses it's appeal before to long as you become familiar with all the possible encounters. If you've already bought every other game you wanted to play, then give it a try.

I'd like it a lot more if they'd expand the storyline.
Posted: September 30
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
Really good 'Chose your own adventure' type game. You play one of 3 characters and your states change based on the choises you make during the adventure which can change your class. With each play though you gain more knowledge on how the encounters work so you're able to shape your character to better suit you or the final outcome. This game is fun with very high replayability.
Posted: September 30
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6.9 hrs on record
It's not a game. It's a interactive graphic novel. From my view, is the future of novels.
Posted: October 10
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12.8 hrs on record
Different take on choose your adventure narrative game genre. It's packaged well with BW hand-drawing style art with eerie mood music- it's kinda refreshing to experience how much this game can pull you into its own world with minimal approach. Definitely worth 4.99 for what it offers, most importantly I have thoroughly enjoyed writing which is a majority of gameplay. Wish there's more games like this one. Hopefully with more interactive gameplay.
Posted: October 1
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1.8 hrs on record
Its short, but if you like visual novels I found it well worth the asking price. really enjoyed the story and the different options and seeing the different results. It reminded me of the "choose your own adventure" books I loved reading as a kid. If you don't like to read or strickly play action games you will want to pass. but to those who love adventure and replaying to see the different story outcomes its definately worth checking out, I can't recommend it enough.
Posted: October 2
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0.9 hrs on record
Saying too much about this game spoils it, but also might not include any experiences that someone else had, so i'm just gonnna say that it was the best choose you're own adventure game I played in a long time.
Posted: October 12
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15.3 hrs on record
Evaluation: Really creative game, but some of the dots don't quite connect.

Summary: If you haven't gathered from the description and other reviews, it's a graphic interactive. You are presented with places to "search" (or go, fight, investigate, etc) where you're given one or more options. Your choice determines the derived experience -- meaning what you learn about the state of the city (corruption, undercurrents, what evil abounds), or you just get your ♥♥♥ kicked along the way. Unfortunately, it's not airtight.

Key Plus factors:
+ Outstanding writing. Best aspect of the game. Potentially overwhelming with the amount of information you gather, the descriptions and language read well.
+ Understated graphics. Black/white impressionistic at start/finish of chapters.
+ The atmospheric and authentic element is successful.

Key Minus factors:
-- Extensive discontinuity. Conceptually, consider multiple doors that lead to different rooms along different paths. Great theory, especially for replayability, right? BUT ...You may go from point A to C without the critical knowledge one gets at B. (or you're later rewarded/penalized for a decision you never made). This is especially true for the subtle cluegathering as you solve the mystery, but such a game would be way to ambitious from a small studio.
-- That said, replayability is compromised because you can only make an either/or decision two ways.
-- Your attributes are raised/lowered based on your choices. Unclear how attributes even make a difference. A manual would be really helpful here. Sometimes impacts are unpredictable. Sometimes, you may need to compromise attributes to gain information. What's "charm" anyway?
-- Enjoyable music, but after a couple of hours, it might grow tiresome.

Neutral:
-- Permadeath. Dying in later chapters means you completely start over. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

Clean up the discontinuity and you'd have a nice $15 game. For now, consider it bundle padding.
Posted: October 3
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1.9 hrs on record
Plays like a chose your own adventure book. If you play it once you've experienced all there is to offer. Nicely drawn however.
Posted: October 13
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2.5 hrs on record
Achievements have started working. Game is still not as recommendable as it could be with some work.
Posted: September 26
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1.9 hrs on record
I can, at best, say that I enjoy this game in an ironic way. It's a CYOA with some light RPG elements (though good luck ever figuring that out from the available screenshots and videos) but that would be giving it more credit than it arguably deserves. You have a choice of three main characters to start with, but the only differences between them are a slight difference in starting stats. Once you're in the game proper, it's divided into five "Chapters" of three days each, and on each day you can go to one of six or so places and see an event (it was originally random which event you got, but has since been patched to allow you to choose). Each event has two different outcomes - sometimes you get nothing for your trouble, sometimes you learn information or get an item, and regardless of your choice you usually get a small stat boost/penalty.

Ostensibly, this is meant to be a setup where you can learn different information and do different actions along the way to make each playthrough unique, but the plot doesn't follow through with that at all. At the beginning and end of each chapter, you will always be in the correct spot for the game to continue, regardless of what you actually did over those three days. In fact, the only difference between playthroughs (aside from the events themselves) is your stat spread, and which options that opens and closes to you. There are more stat checks now than there were at launch, but the number of times that your strength or magic score actually matters can still be counted on both hands if we're being generous. There is also a morality system, though as far as I can tell the only thing it does is determine which of the two "promoted" classes you become.

Forgetting the game and its structure for now, the actual writing is laughably bad. The developers were going for "dark" (which is in-and-of-itself not a bad thing, considering the subject matter), but went straight past it into grimdark-trying-too-hard territory. I mean, for god's sake just read the "About the Game" section of the store page to see what I mean. To the game's credit, there are a couple points where it all comes together and actually works, but those moments are few and far between (and mostly in the second "half" of the game). For the most part, the writing is dull and grimdark for the sake of being edgy.

The one thing I will say that I like about the game is the decision to go with the all-greyscale artwork. There are times when it makes it kind of difficult to tell exactly what's going on, but on the whole it works. The music is entirely forgettable, all five or so tracks of it.
Posted: October 21
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225 of 264 people (85%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
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.
Posted: July 21
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148 of 198 people (75%) found this review helpful
3.8 hrs on record
First of all when you start the game you will be thrown into a world of confusion. There is no in-game manual, no forums or creator's website to check on, you will have no idea what each of the 8 stats do and how they affect the game. You will choose among the places opened to you to visit per chapter, and subsequent chapters open up more locations and these locations hold events that shape your adventure, and each time you visit a location you will get a random event from a pool created by the developers(you may get them randomly, but the events themselves are always the same), these events will usually ask you to make one of two choices, that will have the conclusion pertaining to your choice. You have to note that the characters that you picked are not you, they are your avatars with their own history, and during events I find that characters will use their hidden knowledge that players didn't even know they know or that they are qualified for, or using clues you've obtained which was never properly explained. Depending on the places you visit and the choices you make, you will be rewarded predetermined or penalize stats(in which you have no idea how the developers came to the conclusion that these are what you should profit or lose from the experience of the event). With this method, I find it defeats the purpose of making your own choices, since a player will see all the events via multiple play through(see the spoiler to why), then pick the most advantageous choices to maximize stat gain.

(Spoiler) At the end of the story you fight the boss(which is the only time these stats seem to have any use), and you choose from among the ambiguously named choices on the left panel(which are actually battle events that utilizes your stats to "fight" the boss). The higher your stats are, the better the story result for that option you picked, if you win in the story event against the boss he will take a strike, with 3 strikes on the boss you win, the opposite is true if the boss wins 3 battle events. In which case kills your character, ends the game and deletes the save pertaining to that play through.

It just feels to me like this game is made to be a quick cash grab. Contrary to the bit about the developers knowing what we want as a gamer, this game is far from complete, alpha stage at best.
Posted: July 16
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64 of 86 people (74%) found this review helpful
0.7 hrs on record
This "Novel" can probably be described in one sentence; Boring, confusing, bland, short, and not worth the 10$. When I first bought the thing, it didn't even work until a patch was released so we can play it. It takes about 20 minutes to beat the whole story, and the story-line structure/mechanics in the game are organized poorly (E.g., You have a stat system in-game that doesn't serve any function until the **Spoiler** Boss battle.) Although, I do admit that the art and the gui in the game is pretty neat, it still looks more worked on then the game itself. I enjoy good reads however, but with the presentation of a premade story (Which pretty much destroys the whole "Create-your-own-adventure" feel),vague character "classes" (Which serves more as a cosmetic, since Classes barely do anything except give you different starting stats and look), and the lack of effectiveness a result is from a choice made makes this game a display of wasted potential.

<If I could refund this game, I wouldn't. Instead, the developer can keep the money, but in return I would want this game off my library so my friends wouldn't know that I played it.>
Posted: July 21
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