Substitute Priest now presiding on Steam
Hand-painted point-and-click adventure with horror elements available for download on Windows and Mac
A week in the life of a cleric might not sound like the most compelling adventure game fodder, but it is when it’s this particular man of the cloth in this particular parish in Janne’s newly released point-and-click adventure, Substitute Priest.
Players control a visiting priest, invited to fill in for the week at a seemingly pleasant small-town community church by a colleague who left rather abruptly under suspicious circumstances. Over the course of seven days, you’ll perform typical maintenance and priestly duties for the congregation, getting to know “many quirky characters, both helpful and disruptive.” As you listen to their stories, problems and confessions of sins, it’s your responsibility to make ethical decisions and guide them with absolution and words of wisdom – or not? But what starts out as a harmless week in the life of a clergyman’s duties gradually gives way to a darker tale of secrets and horror that makes the town’s residents afraid to go out at night.
As with the developer’s previous game, Knew the Beginning, Substitute Priest is a fully voiced, highly stylized hand-drawn point-and-click adventure. While there are some puzzles to solve, the primary focus here is on the characters and story, driven by player choice both “in dialogue and in actions.” You can freely roam the accessible areas of the church, but you’ll spend much of your time in conversation with the various eclectic locals, from the pigtailed twins to the rotund construction worker fixing the roof, to the bendy-legged shepherd with his sheep. It’s up to you to deal with them as you see fit, not just with “simple good or bad” answers but rather with thoughtful decisions that will impact them more personally. In between, expect to increasingly encounter “jumpscares and other horror aspects” as the narrative takes a progressively darker turn.
If you think you’ve got what it takes to don the collar and do it justice, you can fulfill your calling right away, as Substitute Priest is available now on Steam for Windows and Mac.