Mothmen 1966 is a 2022 interactive adventure/visual novel developed by LCB Game Studio and published by Chorus Worldwide. LCB Game Studio is a small Argentinian indie developer consisting of novelist Nico Saraintaris handling the writing/programming, and artist Fernando Martinez Ruppel in charge of the visuals. It is the first of a trilogy of upcoming Pixel Pulp visual novels, released on PC, consoles, Mac, and Linux. A genre coined by none other than LCB Game Studio, Pixel Pulps are fast-paced, beautifully told, and gorgeously illustrated visual novels inspired by the pulp fiction of the mid-20th century as well as 80s home computer graphics. Featuring cults, monsters, cryptids, crime stories, lost civilizations, and more, the Pixel Pulps series is a love letter to pulp fiction.

Set during the 1966 Leonid Meteor shower—the largest in 100 years—the story focuses on how three characters interconnect during a time of crisis. Lee, a college student takes his girlfriend, Victoria, on a seemingly perfect date to watch that evening’s once-in-a-lifetime meteor shower. At Holt’s gas station, the spot of all spots to take in the wonders of the night sky, Lee meets Lou Hill, and his life is forever changed. Lou is a writer investigating the potential link between the meteor showers and the quite impossible, but utterly captivating, reports of sightings of human-sized winged creatures with glowing red eyes, known locally as the “Mothmen”.

Mothmen cryptid

The game is broken up into chapters, where each section is told from the perspective of one of the three playable characters; Lee, Victoria, and Holt. Although Mothmen 1966 presents the player with multiple choices in what seems like branching pathways, the game’s story is actually fairly linear in design, with a game over ending if the player chooses incorrectly. In a typical visual novel such an undeviating storyline might be considered underwhelming; however, the short yet impactful pulp fiction-inspired premise of the game works incredibly well with this design—undoubtedly supported by Nico’s skilled writing. The story shows undeniable inspiration from the likes of some great authors of sci-fi; including R.A. Lafferty, John Langan, and most notably Charles Fort and the ‘Fortean’ subculture.

Additionally, the introduction of simple puzzle elements causes Mothmen 1966 to stray further away from the traditions of the visual novel genre. While these puzzles are sporadic in their implementation, their mostly undemanding nature is certainly a great way to introduce immersive interaction to the standard visual novel experience without slowing the game’s pacing in any way.

A fairly simple and short gaming experience, Mothmen 1966 is an engrossing tale of supernatural pulp presented in a modern-day interactive medium. With impeccable writing, an engrossing story, relatable and congenial characters, and beautifully detailed yet timeless pixel artwork; the game is unquestionably absorbing from start to finish. However, as the game is such a short experience (taking me just under two hours to fully complete), the story feels somewhat abrupt in its conclusion. Although, this is a popular tradition of pulp fiction, and is hardly a complaint as the ending is satisfactory in its delivery.

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