Friday, April 12, 2024

Call Me Under’s Mystery Enthralls and Intrigues

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Indie publisher Lunaris Games released an extended demo of their 1950s eldritch-horror-infested romance visual novel Call Me Under today providing a quite intriguing preview into the game’s setting, characters, and mystery!

In Call Me Under, players choose one of two different faceless protagonists from The Surface seeking to leave their past behind. A human or a Skia, you work with Penny Sinclair, the editor of the Styx Journal and the leader of Scott and Sinclair Investigations. Scott is missing, as are many other people from Styx, making it imperative for the you to figure out just what is going on.

The extended demo takes players through the main character having their first vision/dream, which leads to either seeing Blue covered in blood (human) or Adrien in his dream (Skia) and the beginning realizations that something seriously weird is going on. Well, weirder than a city underwater and in a world where ghosts, sirens, and who knows what eldritch horrors exist.

While everyone else you meet is pretty friendly (all considering), Blue is a jerk, and as the human, you’ll be “guided” through the story by him. As a Skia, Adrien is your guide, though both the human and Skia interact with all the characters including Eve, the owner of The Killing Moon, Callie, a singer (and maybe ex of Penny) at The Vanguard Lounge, and Archie, a doctor.

As the Skia, your story began long before you came into this world when your relatives escaped the watery grip of Styx through unknown means to The Surface. The call of the Shadows, however, is inescapable for a half-blood. It swells in you like a deafening melody, calling you home. As the human, you accumulated a few convictions above but down in Styx, no one knows who you are so it doesn’t matter. As the game progresses, more about the human and Skia characters will be revealed as well as the lore behind sirens and other beings.

We also get to see way more beautifully illustrated locations in this demo, though for the most part they are definitely uneasy. Add in the gorgeous soundtrack and voice acting, and Call Me Under is incredibly atmospheric, which means that when we finally find out just what’s going on, it’s going to be an Experience™!

(If there’s not at least one kraken creature I’ll be so disappointed.)

More hints at relationships between the characters are also revealed. The original demos clearly set up that Callie and Penny had something going on, though whether it was just a flirtation or a full on relationship remained to be seen.

Interactions with Callie and Penny allow the start of a developing relationship with each (or both) of the two, as polyamorous relationships are a hallmark of Lunaris Games stories. As are the complex characters and the entertaining (and sometimes stressful) drama that comes with being involved with any of their characters. Cracking Blue and Eve’s shells is definitely going to be an adventure.

Adrien and Blue will be the other polyam option, should you choose to romance. Depending on the dialogue options you pick, a heart emoji appears in the air briefly to indicate that romance is happening!

You also get to flirt a bit with the bartender at the Vanguard Lounge, but I’m not sure if there’ll be any one-off intimate scenes with them or not.

It also wouldn’t be a Lunaris Game storyline without some epic drama occurring right under the noses of all the inhabitants. In this case, two ancient otherworldly entities (The Shadows and the Light) are embroiled in a centuries long battle for power and the poor main character (and everyone else) has been wrapped up in it without even knowing.

Plus, there’s ghosts. There are always ghosts…

How was Styx created? What is the prophecy that Archie’s dad was searching for? How are you, Adrien, and Blue connected? Will we get more Cthulhu posters? I’m really excited to see how the mystery unfolds and what role our intrepid human/Skia will play in I assume saving the world.

Call Me Under releases later this year and you can play the demo via Itch.io or Steam, and wishlist the game on Steam now!

Images courtesy of Lunaris Games

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