Varney Lake

varney lake teaser
Jack Allin

Written by Jack Allin

March 18, 2023

Next two games in the Pixel Pulps anthology unveiled by the creators of Mothmen 1966


Last year indie developer LCB Game Studio delighted fans of visual novel-styled adventures with the stylish paranormal thriller Mothmen 1966. Now the indie developer is back with the second game in their “Pixel Pulps” anthology, Varney Lake, with the next installment already planned for later this year.

Paranormal investigator Lou Hill returns with another old mystery to crack, this one from the summer of 1954 at Varney Lake. That’s where pals Jimmy, Doug and Christine spent their vacation enjoying “teenage crushes, pranks and card tricks, long days of adventure, a pipe dream of saving the local drive-in from demolition,” and other typical coming-of-age experiences for youths that age. Far from typical, however, was their discovery of a wounded vampire and the mysterious events that followed. Eager to put the pieces of this fantastical story together for himself, Lou must try to “retrace the steps of three kids’ summer vacation from decades ago, and collectively come to the truth behind their supposed encounter with a vampire” and what happened to Doug. Easier said than done almost thirty years after the fact, however, as Jimmy and Christine are now in their 40s and “may have murky memories of the time.”

As with its predecessor, Varney Lake is a story “inspired by mid-20th century pulp fiction and illustrated by 80s home computer-inspired graphics.” The narrative plays out largely like a visual novel, as you “recall the trio’s story via choice-based gameplay and explore the multiple roads of a branching interactive fiction without friction.” Occasionally you’ll be called upon to solve “accessible, brain-tickling puzzles” or play a minigame like Doug’s own invention, Solitaire 10. As you peel back the layers of what happened at the lake so long ago and “decipher details between generations,” you’ll also uncover “more about the paranormal investigator himself in a dual-timeline story.”

A demo for Varney Lake is available now on Steam for Windows and Mac ahead of the full game’s launch on April 28th, including console versions for PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One and Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch. Better yet, we shouldn’t have much longer to wait for the final installment in the “first volume” of the Pixel Pulps trilogy, as Bahnsen Knights is due to arrive later this year and is already ready for wishlisting.


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