Developer Room6 announced that its visual novel ghostpia Season One will release on Nintendo Switch on March 23, 2023 in Japan. The game will be available to pre-order on March 16, and a special 15% discount is available until the launch date. It will support both English and Japanese language options and ghostpia will also head to other regions soon. A PC version is also planned for release via Steam in Q2 2023.
ghostpia is a warm and charming visual novel game featuring a unique art style and a glitchy and noisy presentation. The story takes place in a snow-covered town where ghosts reside, and follows the tale of a lonely girl named Sayoko, who meets a new ghost named Yoru, leading to various incidents in the stagnant ghost world.
The game follows the traditional format of the genre while also pursuing unique expressions of art and music. One of these unique expressions is glitch and noise that creates a nostalgic, retro atmosphere akin to an old TV screen.
Additionally, the game’s controls are designed to emulate the tactile experience of an old video cassette recorder, with features like rewinding and fast-forward for a comfortable viewing experience. The HD vibration feature unique to the Nintendo Switch version adds a dramatic element to the story and gives a nostalgic tactile sensation that invites players into the distant town of the story’s final destination.
▍ Ghostpia Season One Story
Isolated from the world by snow, a town lies barren near a terminal station. There lies a town where ghosts flood the streets at night. But they aren’t really ghosts. They are immortal. Unable to die, with their neverending lives, they took to referring to themselves like that.
They say this is an ideal town. A true utopia for ghosts.
“But is it really? Can you really call this place a utopia?”
This is Sayako, and that is her plight. For you see, Sayako is the only one in town who doesn’t truly belong there. She is sharing a room with the mysterious new face, Yoru.
More than anything in the world, Sayako longs to return to her hometown. To set off beyond the unfathomable vast desert of snow, beyond where nobody has ever gone. The home she can only dream of is out there.
To be able to remember what she has forgotten: the thing she holds the dearest. That is her dream.
“In my dreams, I can get out. In my dreams, I can fit in.”
▍ Ghostpia Season One Gameplay
Denshi – The digital graphic novel art style
The visuals of ghostpia mix warm, delicate art that would be fit for an illustrated children’s book with glitch and noise effects, for a strangely nostalgic visual novel vibe.
Denshi is Japanese for “electrical” or “digital”, and this is what a Denshi graphic novel is.
All story, no fluff
There are no quick-time events and no branching scenarios. The developer promised to put all efforts into making the best possible story so that players can enjoy it like they would from a good movie.