Fran Bow is a creepy adventure game that tells the story of Fran, a young girl struggling with a mental disorder and an unfair destiny.
User reviews:
Recent:
Very Positive (118 reviews) - 94% of the 118 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Overwhelmingly Positive (1,575 reviews) - 96% of the 1,575 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Aug 27, 2015

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August 26

Fran Bow Anniversary!



Hello, awesome adventurer!

Tomorrow is the day when Fran Bow was released one year ago! To celebrate her one year anniversary, we updated the game for Windows and are having a 50% sale this weekend!

PATCH NOTES BELOW
  • Fixed truncations issues when using items with objects in chapters 1-3
  • Typo fixes (they never end!)

In case this update made something worse, or you had it running perfectly before, then turn to this awesome help FAQ!

Best wishes and happy gaming,
Natalia and Isak

37 comments Read more

Reviews

“…imaginative, strange, unsettling, intelligent and charged with a rare and beautiful sense of hope.”
RockPaperShotgun

“Fran Bow makes you love its main character even as you hate her for dragging you to these gruesome places.”
IndieGames

“I often get feelings while playing this game that I haven’t experienced in quite some time.”
TruePCGaming

About This Game

Fran Bow is a creepy adventure game that tells the story of Fran, a young girl struggling with a mental disorder and an unfair destiny.
After witnessing the gruesome and mysterious loss of her parents, found dismembered at their home, Fran rushes into the woods, together with her only friend, Mr. Midnight, a black cat that Fran had previously received as a present from her parents.

In the forest, Fran goes into shock over the loss of her parents and when she recovers, she’s at Oswald Asylum, an oppressive mental institution for children, and Mr. Midnight is nowhere to be found.

After having a dream about her beloved cat, Fran decides to escape from the mental institution to find him and go back home to Aunt Grace, her only living relative.

Features

  • Story driven creepy psychological horror adventure game.
  • Unique and peculiar hand drawn 2D Art-Style and 2D animation.
  • Self administer medication to open the terrible hidden world that will help solve puzzles and find objects.
  • A big variety of puzzles designed with different levels of difficulty and specifically based on the story.
  • Three arcade inspired mini-games all with different art style to be part of the transitions in the story.
  • Interactive and occasionally playable pet cat, Mr Midnight.
  • 50+ interactive unique characters with unique personalities.
  • Original Soundtrack.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: 7+
    • Processor: 1.7 GHz Dual Core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260, ATI Radeon 4870 HD, or equivalent card with at least 512 MB VRAM
    • Storage: 600 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card
    Minimum:
    • OS: Snow Leopard 10.6.8 or later
    • Processor: Intel Core Duo
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 4850, NVIDIA GeForce GT 120, or equivalent card with at least 512 MB VRAM
    • Storage: 600 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
    • Processor: 1.7 GHz Dual Core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260, ATI Radeon 4870 HD, or equivalent card with at least 512 MB VRAM
    • Storage: 600 MB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Very Positive (118 reviews)
Overall:
Overwhelmingly Positive (1,575 reviews)
Recently Posted
andtomorrow
8.1 hrs
Posted: August 29
I really enjoyed this game. The artwork is fantastic, and the puzzles are just challenging enough to keep me entertained. Not to mention, the story of the game is dark and interesting. I loved point-and-click games as a kid, and I'm happy to see that they're being made for adults.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Rachael
8.1 hrs
Posted: August 29
Creepy atmosphere and story, though a little more surreal than I had expected. Had trouble sussing out a few of the puzzles (why wouldn't you give baking powder to a frog?!) but in general they were just challenging enough. Finished the game in two sittings and really enjoyed it.

N.B. Bought on offer for around a fiver.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
victoriacitter
11.7 hrs
Posted: August 29
I thoroughly enjoyed this game. The story is very interesting and left me wanting more!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Samishii
2.8 hrs
Posted: August 29
Product received for free
Not one for the hemephobic.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
randomreynolds333
12.2 hrs
Posted: August 29
Absolutely wonderful game, really didn't want the journey to come to an end
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Smoke, drink & Dota
0.3 hrs
Posted: August 29
This game was excellent and I would gladly have paid more for it! I sure hope you guys make something similiar to Fran Bow as it's the closest I've managed to come to the Alice's look and feel (Atmosphere, story, environment) which I enjoyed immensely.

Thank you very much Killmonday and please keep up the great work!

Helpful? Yes No Funny
ThePortugál
5.8 hrs
Posted: August 29
10/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Smik
10.3 hrs
Posted: August 29
** Decent Little Puzzle Adventure Game **

Author Notes: I'm a adventure game veteran. I grew up with Scott Adam's "Adventureland" on a Vic-20, back in the days when the puzzles REALLY didn't make any sense and the text parsers were primitive. My solve time for Fran Bow was 9 hrs without any help, and that's including taking breaks to play with my own rather insistent cat (who is black and white). Your mileage may vary.

The short version of the review:
A little creepy, with a couple of clichéd plot twists that are easily forgiven for the really good plot twists and elements of deeper writing and a plot that gives no hard answers. Medium puzzle difficulty, has a few irritating mini games, and one particularly fascinating character.

Longer version:
Fran Bow's art style was the first thing that caught my attention; it has a particular style that reminds me of old children's cartoons that managed to be much creeper than they intended it to be and it works well for the game. The second thing that caught my eye was the excellent mood-setting audio, simple but effective.

And the first thing that turned me off was the dialogue. I played through the entire game before coming to the conclusion of two things: 1. there's some cultural/translation issues going on and 2. they write like they've never actually talked to real 10 year old children. For the most part, Fran doesn't react to anything like an actual person, traumatized child or not. Her dialogue makes her come off as either way too casual about the horrors or too idiotic to recognize what's going on. Now granted, most of the dialogue from other characters appear to have translation issues, but the writing definitely shows that the authors don't know the difference between innocene and off-the-wall stupid. Children might not truly grasp the full concept of death and violence but even shell-shocked ones aren't going to call blood 'red milk' or not figure out that an animal has been killed in a horrible fashion.

So, bad dialogue, unrealistic character reactions, good art and sound... what about the meat of the game?

The puzzles are decent, and for the points where I got stuck I found the solutions obvious in hind-sight, which is in my opinion a mark of a decent puzzle adventure game.

And the plot... well... that's a long story. In fact it's literally a long story, the entire game all slowly begins to fill out a plot that leaves you wondering what's real and what's not. There's multiple interpretations of what is actually going on and no easy answers.

But one character in particular really shines out in the game. You'll know it when you've met this character and while I consider myself pretty genre-savvy I couldn't figure this one out until the very end and I have to say, fantastic individual. Very memorable, and kind of reminds me a bit of Willy Wonka if he was 10x creepier.

So while what the game consideres is the 'big reveal' won't surprise anyone with horror game experience, and while the ending is rather abrupt, unsatisfying and raises a lot more questions than the game answers (and this is lampshaded at the end) the whole package itself is worth a visit. I initially didn't feel the game was going to live up to its original asking price after playing the demo and so waited for a sale, but after giving it a solid playthrough I think they're justified and if the demo grabs you it's worth picking up for full price.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
cericacnovac
23.3 hrs
Posted: August 29
this game is amazing! PLAY IT!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
FBS | Magerama
11.8 hrs
Posted: August 28
Woah... I still can't believe such masterpiece exists in our day and age, and I'm not some easily impressed ♥♥♥♥♥ to throw around compliments like nothing. Because I'm an adventure game geek, and I played maybe all of the adventure games that are worth playing, seen the rise and fall of my favorite genre and so on and so forth.
And while I could imagine a good quest in 2016, maybe even great, I wouldn't dare to hope for something like Fran Bow.
This is a true Adventure, It made me feel a great variety of emotions while staying 100% interactive, dry and fun. None of the pretencious artsy-fartsy tear-jerking piece of crap that floods Steam pretending to belong could ever manage to attain such glorious goal.
To simplify, one might say that Fran Bow is "Sanitarium meets Neverending Story" or some ♥♥♥♥ like that. Well, yeah, kinda. Not exacltly though.
Thank you, Killmonday, you blew my mind. Your game's brilliant. But make normal save system next time, please. Who needs this malfunction-prone solitary autosave system in a game like this? Not me.
But thanks again, you really warmed my heart.
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
11 of 11 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
13.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 5
The best story driven point & click adventure game I have ever played!! Normally I find story driven games boring & predictable but this was none of those things. Fran Bow is a beautiful game filled with enchantment which could be described as a surrealistic horror themed alice in wonderland. Involves some puzzle elements too. Great game, thanks! 9.4/10.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
11 of 11 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
13.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 8
I finished Fran Bow last night and have been so impressed from start to finish that it is time to write that review.

I wholeheartedly recommend this point and click horror fantasy adventure game. Superb writing, layered and varied puzzles/obstacles, deep themes and beautiful artwork. The music as well supports plot development and the tone of mini-game transitions very well.

One of its triumphs which deserves being mentioned is the ability to deal with mature or difficult themes with depth and sensitivity. One of my concerns before playing the game (and before playing any game that deals with mental illness, shocking murders or abductions and the asylum context) was whether it will drift into lazy exploitation or worse into idolization of ultimately fairly crappy human predicaments like suffering from depression and being committed to a mental hospital. Fran Bow not only passes the test by presenting a range of characters with different stories, some morally repugnant but not demonised and others praiseworthy but perhaps flawed, but Fran's child perspective is used to explore and convey genuinely wise and perceptive responsive to the emotional suffering she and other characters face in the world. The use of mythopoetic metaphor in the alternative realities, explored through the clever and well deployed mechanic of duoxitine and later the layered realities, is beautifully composed and presents a coherent psychological fantasy world that works on a straight forward level as a fantasy/horror adventure and also as a means of metaphorically exploring Fran's psychological ordeal and learning coping mechanisms to face the dark monsters that lie in wait for us all. My favourite character (aside from Fran and Mr Midnight of course) Palontras is a wonderfully simple example of this who as a giant flying Salamander (salamanders being able to regrow their own limbs after losing them) is a satisfyingly sweet teacher of healing the Self.

On game length:
My play time was 13.7 hours - I am a s l o w gamer. I like to poke around and soak up the atmosphere of a game and I talk to EVERYONE. I have nothing but good things to say about the writing of this game. It is possible to complete this game faster but such care has been taken to produce even minor characters with complex back stories that it is rewarding to explore dialogue trees to their full.

Positive Points:
Everything! This is an absolute gem of a game and you must play it if you appreciate the point and click genre or have an interest in psychiatry and mental health. I was so eager to complete this game but felt a building sadness that my journey with Fran and Mr Midnight was coming to a close as I reached the end stages. There are some delightful achievements to pick up along the way and some I have missed so I look forward to replaying Fran Bow in future.

Negative Points:
The final section of the game showed some tailing off in terms of the complexity of the puzzles and occasions where I could see myself having to walk back and forth over the level architecture to obtain item 'keys' to progress rather than truly solve a puzzle. But this was only noticeable due to the very high quality of the gaming experience throughout and didn't detract from the experience as a whole as I was so fully invested in the characters and the themes being explored.

10/10 100% would drop hallucinogenic horror pills again.
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
11.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 18
Donnie Darko meets Alice in Wonderland.

This game is thoroughly bizarre, creepy bloody, cute, and tragic. The storyline and mystery keeps you constantly interested and making theories about what's going on.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
6.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 25
I've been looking for this kind of game since I played "Downfall" and "The Cat Lady" and this is even better! The story is dark but seeing it from a 10 year old's POV gives a cute and innocent touch to it all. And I love the surreal nightmare that runs through the game. Kinda makes you wonder what's real. What is she really going through in all of this? Which even early in the game makes you feel like you have to play through at least one more time.

The puzzles can be a liiiittle tricky at times but they all make sense. Sometimes you need to do some horrid stuff to carry on through the game which I personally always find interesting ("no...no I don't wanna!")

The soundtrack doesn't impress me that much but it fills it's purpose for the atmosphere I guess.

All in all. Great game. I can't wait to get to the ending!
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 15
(Don't mind my playing time on record, I was offline and it's skewed for whatever reason).

Definitely one of my all-time favs. I finished it in one sitting.

I found it addicting, mainly because of its atmosphere, which while creepy, is also enticing. The story keeps you guessing, albeit being arguably predictable. It's sweet and twisted at the same time, which if you are like me, is the best thing in the world. The gameplay and puzzles had unique aspects which kept the game interesting, especially in the beginning. Again, the art was just beautiful, and I couldn't keep my mind away from the game for as long as it lasted.

Definitely a quirky, beautiful game everyone inclined to dark games must have.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
24.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 20
This is probably the most unique and memorable point and click game I have ever played (and I´ve played a lot). The story is incredibly rich and confusing.
Its one of the few games in its genre that you may want to play more than once. I somehow wish the end was more clear about what was going on, but if you replay the game, or after watching a few youtube videos, it is a clearer (and has an amazing and complicated explanation and backstory).
Oh, and the puzzles made total sense which is a really big deal for me (even more points earned on this for being such a weird game)

Definite buy.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 10
Fran Bow is perfect, the story is great, the art style is fantastic, the gameplay is great, the puzzles are fun, I could go on and on and on and on and on and on.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 24
There are few games like Fran Bow. The art, story, characters, and gameplay all came together to make a unique and memorable game. The story is so haunting that I would think about it well after I completed a chapter. The art, especially the characters, are just so different and beautiful.

I think it will be one of the games that stays with me for the rest of my life.

Thank you to the developers for making such an incredible experience <3 and for being so wonderfully inspiring!
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 22
One of the best indie horror games I've ever played (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
23.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 29
this game is amazing! PLAY IT!
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