Stranger Things is a really popular show which everyone has been talking about this summer with the fresh release of its fourth season. With that in mind, here are a handful of visual novels with a few qualities that remind me of Stranger Things.
Scarlet Hollow (Early Access)
Price: US $19.99
Coal mines sealed off after a deadly collapse. Strange creatures preying on livestock. Houses infested with vengeful spirits. The sleepy town of Scarlet Hollow has suddenly come alive with horrors, just in time for your arrival.Black Tabby Games
This was supposed to be a quiet getaway in the rural mountains of North Carolina. All you had to do was finally meet your long-lost cousin and comfort her through her mother’s funeral. But now, each new day welcomes new nightmares.
Scarlet Hollow is a paranormal horror game with mesmerizing artwork, a chilling story, and a well-written cast that will satisfy your Stranger Things cravings. This visual novel features otherworldly creatures, an exceptionally spooky atmosphere, and a phenomenal soundtrack and detailed SFX—the kind that you’d expect to hear on a popular TV show. What I found extraordinary about Scarlet Hallow is how the traits you can choose for the main character at the start of the game eventually affect the story’s progression.
Don’t let the fact that this visual novel is in early access scare you away, because this game releases episodically; there are currently three chapters available out of a projected seven total. There are so many choices in this game that it’s probably one of the most intricate visual novels I’ve come across. The spooky, thriller aspects of this game could definitely appeal to Stranger Things fans; however, this visual novel is unlike anything I’ve ever played before. If this game interests you but you’re not sure if you want to buy it right away, then you can enjoy the demo and full-length episode 1 here.
Price: US $8.99
At the edge of reality, where nightmare creatures lurk…Chorus Worldwide
Mothmen 1966 is referred to as a “pixel pulp,” which alludes to a fusion of pulp fiction with pixel art. The story takes place in the year 1966 with an 80s-esque interface. With Stranger Things still fresh on my mind, the retro world plagued with “nightmare creatures,” similar in essence to the Upside Down’s Demogorgons, instantly reminded me of the show.
While these elements can be inherently appealing to fans of sci-fi horror, Mothmen 1966 is a visual novel that seems to transcend the genre with its one-of-a-kind art design, making it stand out from the crowd. Fans of Stranger Things might find enjoyment in Mothmen 1966, especially those who enjoy the retro feel of 80s games.
Lotus Eaters: Violet (Demo)
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux (itch.io)
Price: Free Demo
Step into the shoes of the university student Violet, who witnesses the horrifying sight of an otherworldly specter devouring her professor, leaving nothing behind. Not a single person around her remembers the professor, and even worse–Violet is being hunted! But by what, or whom? And for what reason?Lotus Eaters Studio
Lotus Eaters is a supernatural horror visual novel currently in development. The story has players question reality, and the underlying theme of the game dives deep into realism in a thrilling and captivating way.
The demo for Lotus Eaters is beautifully written, and the illustrations of whales and fish swimming in the galaxy give the game a surrealist feeling. The girl with short hair reminds me of Eleven from Stranger Things as the game starts off with this mysterious girl floating in an otherworldly place. Later, there are shadowy creatures that don’t quite belong among us, and this sinister bridge between our world and another dimension is very reminiscent of Stranger Things, but Lotus Eaters also holds its own unique flair.
All of these games have elements that can relate to Stranger Things. Each of these games listed above has creatures from another world and ordinary people who must untangle the mystery revolving around them. When you’re done binging the latest season of Stranger Things, you may feel inclined to pick-up another sci-fi horror piece, and in that case, I recommend one of the titles above.