Where does a visual novel end and an adventure game begin, or vice versa? Indie Italian developer Studio V hopes to blur that line completely – or better yet, make you forget about the question altogeher – with its recently released future noir mystery Dry Drowning.
It's 2066 and the dystopian city of Nova Polemos is beset by "a shady socio-political situation dragging everything down to the abyss." Worse, a serial killer is "drawing strength from this darkness" and has been conducting a series of "macabre serial killings inspired by ancient Greek myths." Solving the mystery falls on the shoulders of Mordred Foley, a "somewhat disgraced and unscrupulous private detective weighed down by a past case." Players must guide Foley in discovering the truth by dealing with a variety of "ambiguous characters, riddles, clues and unexpected events," making important decisions along the way that could just "bring the whole system crashing down."
Blending a futuristic cyberpunk setting with a distinctly noir feel, Dry Drowning is described as an "investigative thriller-oriented" experience inspired by both Western and Eastern visual novels. In this dialogue-heavy adventure promising "more than 150 story branches and 3 completely different endings," it's up to players to make "heavy moral choices" that will "dramatically change the way you live the game, affecting background politics, technology, environment, NPC encounters [and] who lives and who dies." This is not a straightforward detective mystery, however, as not only does it include unique psychological interrogation methods that allow you to expose people's lies, it also flashes back in time to "investigate cases from [Foley's] past to help you solve new ones."
For now the only choice of where to buy Dry Drowning is limited to Steam for Windows PC, though it is also expected to be ported to consoles in future. To learn more about the game, drop by the official website for additional details.