Home may be where the heart is, but it’s also where you can sometimes find inspiration for the oddest, most peculiar stories to tell. Indie Canadian developer Chad Comeau, under the studio moniker Fring Frang Games, took this notion to heart when he set out to create the newly released Clarevoyance, a point-and-click adventure game inspired by and set in his native Acadian region of Clare, Nova Scotia.
While its design emphasizes authentic realism, the game aims to tell a fictional story deeply rooted in regional folklore. While visiting Clare, you learn that the embodiment of local maritime tales and legends have suddenly begun appearing without any rhyme or reason. Figuring out the cause of the paranormal phenomena will require speaking with NPCs, pursuing narrative-focused questlines, working odd jobs around the area, traveling between villages and attending local events. Something is causing the world of the mythical to merge with the world of the mundane, such as the ghostly specter of the merchant ship Mary Celeste, and it’s up to you to figure out what’s behind it all.
Clarevoyance is a true community passion project, featuring collaborations with over 100 Clare locals contributing everything from character likenesses and voice-overs to music and quest design. (The game will feature its original audio, including French and English with Acadian dialect voice-overs, but will be fully subtitled in English.) Gameplay is intended to be a relaxed, mouse-controlled affair that provides authentic local flavor, with all assets captured on location. Graphically it somewhat resembles a collage, with cutouts of the area’s real-life citizens superimposed over scenic photographs. Most quests are optional, relating to “modern-day concerns like struggling musicians or solving little mysteries,” and some require planning around the simulated passing of time, but the more you complete, the greater your “well-being,” which you’ll need to increase if you want to pursue all the “mythic quests” available.
If you’re up for a most unusual vacation in small-town Nova Scotia, you can begin right away, as Clarevoyance has released on Steam for Windows, Mac and Linux.