Demo, new trailer offer closer look at Camera Anima
Point-and-click visual novel-styled steampunk mystery coming to PC on Steam in 2024
It’s dangerous not to wear a mask! No, this isn’t a public service announcement for the prevention of infectious diseases, but rather one of the guiding principles of EXP-resso Mutt’s Camera Anima, an upcoming visual novel-styled adventure about a notorious serial killer who only stalks the maskless in a society whose status is conferred by the face coverings they wear.
The game is set on the Floating Isles of Awyr, a setting that bears a striking similarity to the fog-shrouded, Victorian-era London of another infamous killer, Jack the Ripper. One key difference, however, is that ornate masks have always been the defining characteristic of one’s livelihood and social status here. The younger generation’s attitudes have begun changing in favour of a “Face-system,” but this rebelliousness has brought about an unexpected consequence in the form of a mechanical serial killer known as the Artisan, an automaton who preys only on the maskless to kill and then artfully pose his victims. Five years have passed since he last struck, and the game sees players relive that last fateful incident through the hazy memories of Essie Flaversham, a young woman who set out to track the Artisan to his lair and save her sister Giselle before he could finish his latest “masterpiece.”
The hand-painted Camera Anima is a blend of extensive visual novel storytelling and traditional slideshow-style adventuring via a point-and-click action wheel. In between dialogue you must explore the environments of Awyr for items, clues and even optional interactions and secrets, solving a variety of puzzles along the way. You’ll frequently need to make decisions to drive the story forward as well, sometimes with a time limit in which you must “determine whether it is better to wait or act.” Choices matter here, as bad endings are possible, so you must “approach risky situations with care, or face an untimely end.”
Successfully Kickstarted in 2020, the finished version of Camera Anima is still a least a year away. The good news is that the game is now ready for wishlisting on Steam, and a playable prologue is available to download there (Windows only) or from itch.io for Windows, Mac, and Linux.