Varney Lake was, at its heart, exactly what I expected it to be: a mystery story, a horror story, and a coming-of-age story all rolled into one neat package. There’s even some surprises in there. Playing Mothmen 1966 first was definitely useful for referencing characters, but it’s not absolutely necessary to play it first. The developer did a wonderful job at creating an immersive experience while confined to the visual standard it set for itself. I’m eagerly awaiting the final title in the series: Bahnsen Knights is about a cult. I’m also awaiting further news on the recently-announced Pixel Pulp physical edition for Nintendo Switch, which I will definitely be adding to my collection.
Minimalism breeds great impact in this adventure, with a sparse narrative approach allowing the game’s inner mystery to grow deeply as the corners of its story darken. Its lack of interactivity renders players largely as passive observers of an unfolding tale, but this powerlessness arguably strengthens Varney Lake. As summer dies, you can only watch in horror as each story beat unfurls.
Varney Lake is an interesting coming-of-age story with a supernatural twist. The characters were all fun and the interactions between the children were great. If you have a couple of hours to spare, check this pixel pulp story out and learn what happened in the summer of 1954.
Varney Lake tries to be a compelling thriller that obviously wants to keep its players guessing. The narrative lacked in its ability to keep me entertained and wanting to know what actually happened during that summer. What kept me interested was the way it looked, sounded and made me feel. It pulls off the “pixel” elements but very much fails to live up to the exciting, suspenseful narrative of the pulp fiction genre. If you’re into game and audio design, or love the pixel artstyle , you may be able to forgive this, but if you’re looking for a narrative that will have you clicking your mouse for more, best look elsewhere.
SummarySummer, 1954. A perfect vacation awaits three best friends, playing games, making crazy plans, and running from bullies... Until they meet the vampire. What really happened that summer at Varney Lake?