You won't need a haircut where you're going... mostly because you're bald. Inspired by Earthbound, Undertale, and other alt-RPGs, Nepenthe is a hand-drawn game made of dad-jokes and existential dread. Also cookies. Lots of cookies.
All Reviews:
Positive (27) - 100% of the 27 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
May 17, 2018

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Includes 2 items: Nepenthe, The Endless Empty


Recent updates View all (23)

January 16

Preview of what's to come...

I'm close now. Very close...

If you have no idea what's going on, that's totally understandable, considering I'm being cryptic and spooky and all that jazz. Rest assured that I'm not trolling you—despite the ridiculously long amount of time this is taking, everything will eventually come together. I'm hoping for a big announcement in this or the next month, but I can't promise it. Until then, if you want to support what's coming (which will be totally free if you already own Nepenthe, btw), please consider leaving a review on Steam.

Cookie Monster wants your critique, and can you really say no to that face?

Have a good one!
From your friendly neighborhood game developer,
2 comments Read more

January 5

A random essay I wrote that I'm putting here because I can

Imagine, if you will, a baked potato. It’s pretty normal as far as baked potatoes go: brown, slightly mushy, and better with salt. There is only one thing that makes this baked potato unique—it’s 30 times the size of our sun. Obviously, this presents some problems for the hungry scientist. For one thing, every portion of the potato is gravitationally pulled towards every other portion of the potato. The portions on the outside are pulled toward the center, since that is where the most potato parts lie. It quickly becomes an almost perfect sphere, any irregularities crushed to the ground. Those in the center are pulled outwards in all directions equally, resulting in no overall movement. There is thus tremendous pressure exerted on the center of the potato by its own gravitational pull. AT this point, the core is squeezed to the point where its very atoms collide, creating enormous energy. The center explodes. The explosive force of matter and energy pushes outward, balancing the gravity pushing inward. The potato reaches an uneasy equilibrium: constantly exploding and imploding at the same time; a floating ball of fire in space. We have successfully baked our potato.

For the next few million years, our giant baking potato acts like a giant fusion reactor. It burns the elements in its core, producing tremendous force to counteract the constant pull of gravity. Simpler elements collide to form heaver ones, so hydrogen is the first to go. The potato eventually runs out of that, and gravity makes its move. The center compresses further, until it’s hot enough to fuse the next element up, helium. Being a potato, there isn’t much of that, and so the fusion cycle continues for a while. When it reaches iron, a strange thing happens: it isn’t fused. Iron is an incredibly stable element, and the amount of energy required to turn it into something heavier is beyond even our potato’s power. As the other elements are used up, eventually only iron is left; A perfect giant sphere of it at the very core.

Something tragic and beautiful happens then. Our potato has been burning for millions of years, and it’s all about to end. The potato has no energy left. Gravity wins. It pushes inward, and this time there is no fusion to stop it. It pushes the elements, the atoms, brings even the electrons together—a single moment and that which makes up everything touches, kisses, hugs each other for the first and last time—and keeps on pushing. The core becomes a point. Just a dot, with no width or depth or space. It’s only gravity now. The gravity of a former potato thirty times the size of the sun, all in a space so small it can hardly be called a space. The outer layers of the potato are brushed away into the cosmos by the aftershock of the event, to be forgotten among the stars. Observers far away might note an explosion in deep space, then they too will turn their attention elsewhere. No one sees what’s left behind.
The gravity of that single point which lies there is so intense that nothing can escape for one hundred miles away. Nothing. Not even light itself, the fastest possible thing in the universe. Think about that: a space the size of Honolulu, in which anything that enters never leaves. It was a potato once, and now it’s a hole in space itself. A black hole, if you will.

Our former potato—now black hole—still has close to the same mass it started off with. It’s in a smaller area, but the stuff it was made of is still there, in some form. Occasionally, a nebula or a star may cross its path, and will be swallowed by the black hole. What made up the star will be added to what made up our potato, indistinguishable in every way. As the mass increases, so will the size of its gravitational pull. The point at which even light itself cannot escape—called the event horizon—grows larger. As for the inside—there is no way to know what is happening inside. Nothing can ever come back to tell us. All we know now is that the black hole consumes, and grows, and eats, and grows.
But one day the stars will die.
Nebulae will disperse.
Galaxies will crumble away.

The universe will grow old one day, and our black hole will still be there. Eons will pass, and nobody will be there to watch the world’s clock tick, tick, tick; Our black hole will still be there. Humanity will become a distant memory, and the concept of memory itself will be forgotten—Our black hole will still be there. It will still be there, when everything else has reached its end.

H.P. Lovecraft once said that “with strange aeons even death may die,” and perhaps he was right. Black holes represent a sort of cosmic death, and black holes themselves will someday die. No one will be there to witness it, but space itself—the shifting quantum foam that softly bubbles everywhere—will take its due. At all times—even now—particles are created out of the foam, both of matter and its twin, antimatter. The two are born, then touch, then annihilate each other. This dance of death takes place all around us, every second of every day. We don’t notice it, since we don’t have to: The particles are gone as soon as they appear, leaving no net energy behind. Around a black hole however, things are different. If the particles appear near the event horizon, one may fall in, while the other escapes. The one that escapes must by definition have an incredible amount of energy, in order to flee the gravity well. Since both particles brought together produce zero net energy, the one that fell into the black hole must have negative energy. Einstein famously showed that energy can be converted to mass, so in some sense the black hole just lost mass. It shrunk.

Over an unimaginable length of time, this shrinking by quantum radiation—Hawking radiation, as it is called— will become noticeable. The particles involved are among the smallest known, so for a practical eternity they have little effect. Of course, we have forever to wait. One day the last star will die, and the only source of energy left will be hawking radiation. If there is anyone left alive, they will have to live off of its power, scant though that may be.
As the black hole gets smaller, the curve of the event horizon becomes more pronounced. This makes it easier for quantum particles to diverge, since the gravitational pull will be significantly different depending on how close to the horizon they are. The hawking radiation thus becomes stronger, and the black hole shrinks faster. Our black hole—once a giant potato the size of thirty suns— will die in an explosion of hawking radiation, millions of megatons flowing from an event horizon the size of a proton.

Our potato will be the dying light of a black universe.

Now that’s food for thought.

Further reading:

PS: Wow, I'm impressed you read all that! If you liked it, well, thanks I guess :3
If you're confused, good. The plan is working. MWAH HA HA HA!
3 comments Read more


“There is charm packed into every nook and cranny...wickedly funny”
Letter grade: A – The Zerathulu View

“Reminiscent of all of the made-up video games I’d scribble in the margins of my homework at school when I was a kid”
indie Games+

“It's a gorgeous game...a fun, complicated RPG that has brilliant moments backed up by unique art and music.”
8/10 – DigitalChumps

About This Game

You wake up with no memory. Your day is starting off great!

Nepenthe is a hand-drawn RPG with a terrible sense of humor. Set in the strange world of Carithia, you play as a mysterious bald dude who lost his memory. Yes, you read that right. Meet some very polite monsters, and battle both them and your sense of self-dignity in epic bullet-hell fight scenes.

Definitely not a potato in a trench coat

Sporting a childish hand-drawn art style, Nepenthe is sure to either make you love it at first glance, or throw your computer away. The developer of Nepenthe takes no responsibility for such actions, and recommends drinking chamomile tea. “It’s really soothing,” he says. “You should really try it one day,” he says. “What was I talking about?” He asks. There is an awkward pause.

designed for non-psychopaths, mostly

With three different endings, and countless side-quests, Nepenthe is designed for ultimate replayability. This can get quite annoying if you need to share a computer with someone else. Trust me. Almost every monster can be spared, for added challenge and less violence. They can also be killed - don’t worry, you psychopaths! If you enjoy dad-jokes or Chinese water torture, Nepenthe is for you.

Nepenthe is designed for both casual and hardcore gamers alike.

  • Explore two modes: "Adventure" or "Story," to find the play-style that best suits you.
  • "Adventure" mode is a bullet-hell extravaganza, with ever increasing difficulty as the game progresses.
  • "Story" mode's battles are easy one-click things, designed for those who just want the story, not the gameplay.
  • Enjoy stunning hand-drawn art along the way

Join us, as we stare into the Orb together.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: anything made in the last decade
    • Processor: one that works
    • Memory: 490 MB RAM
    • Graphics: a toaster - you really shouldn't have trouble
    • Sound Card: yes.
    • Additional Notes: make sure your computer is on
    • OS: anything your grandmother didn't own when she was a kid
    • Processor: needs to exist
    • Memory: 480 MB RAM
    • Graphics: not too gory, kids play this
    • Sound Card: one that makes sound
    • Additional Notes: remember that you are a wonderful person and I love you
    • OS: anything made in the last decade
    • Processor: A small rock covered in tin foil should do
    • Memory: 500 MB RAM
    • Graphics: a sink - this is an RPG Maker game for goodness' sake
    • Sound Card: yee
    • Additional Notes: Why are you gaming on Linux?

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