First Impressions – Call Me Under Demo

Call Me Under is an upcoming queer positive supernatural, fantasy visual novel developed by the indie game studio, Lunaris Games. Coming on the heels of When the Night Comes and Errant Kingdom, this is the studio’s third project and promises to be their most ambitious release to date, as it will be the team’s first non-episodic game.

Set in the 1950s, Call Me Under takes players on a trip beneath the watery depths to the underwater city of Styx, a haven inhabited by humans, sirens, and a host of unknown otherworldly entities.  Eldritch horrors, dark mysteries, magic, and even romance await in what promises to be another exciting visual novel from Lunaris Games.

The team successfully crowdfunded the project through Kickstarter campaign! In just a few days of launching they secured over 50% funding—if that isn’t enough of an endorsement, I don’t know what is… so since the demo is available, I decided to take a deep dive into the world of Call Me Under and see if the story holds up!

Call Me Under gives players the opportunity to play as one of two different protagonists: The Human and The Skia. Each path comes with their own distinctive histories and that affects your journey through Styx.  In the demo only the Human path is available, but like with their previous releases you can choose your name and pronouns to give your player character a more personal touch.

In the demo, you live in the underwater city of Styx and you’ve recently been  employed by Penelope Sinclair, editor of the Styx Journal and the leader of Scott & Sinclair investigations.  Your past is full of skeletons, but you’re hoping to get a new start in Styx and with your new life and job everything seems to be coming up roses… that is if you overlook the string of mysterious disappearances in the city.

One night the city is suddenly hit by a huge quake and in the aftermath you experience a vision of a stranger covered in blood, followed by a splitting headache. You pass out and awake the next morning in bed with no memory of how you managed to get home the night before. Unbeknownst to you, this is just the beginning of events that will change the lives of everyone in Styx. Someone or something is calling out to you and the only clue is the blood-soaked man from your vision. But, uncovering the truth will put you in the crosshairs of two very powerful otherworldly entities.

This is an early demo, so it’s pretty short taking more or less 30 minutes to get through—so instead of doing my usual standard demo review, I’ve opted to treat this like an impressions post. But, despite it’s short runtime, the Call Me Under demo does give you a pretty fair preview of the game introducing us to the world of Styx and the colorful characters that live there. Like their previous releases, Call Me Under features a multicultural cast each with their own gender identities and sexual orientations (and yes, there will be poly romance options). You guys know how I am about representation in my games, and with Lunaris Games’s history of producing well rounded diverse characters, I am confident that the team will do all their characters justice.

In the demo we meet each of the prospective love interests and they’ve all piqued my interest—though sexy songstress, Callie and hottie with the body, Archie are the two I am most looking forward too! The demo just gives you a small taste, there is quiet the variety of delectable morsels to choose from and with the promise of poly routes for Callie + Penny and Adrian + Blue, there is truly an experience that will appeal to everyone. Also special kudos for Callie—and a curvy black woman, having a character that looks like me in the game makes me feel so seen. 

I am fresh off my binge of Lovecraft Country and I gotta say, Call Me Under gives me the same vibes—50’s setting with a delightful supernatural twist—and I am here for it! I am a sucker for period pieces and supernatural mysteries, so it’s like this game was tailor made for me! Not to mention all the references to Greek myth—this game is LITERALLY perfect.

Features NOT in the demo that I’m looking forward to

  • The final release will be fully voiced (and they already have the voice cast lineup) but, in this demo only Blue is voiced and y’all the quality is so good! I can’t wait to hear Callie’s voice in the game!!
  • The explore feature isn’t in this demo, but in the full game you will be able to travel between the different locales around Styx and interact with the characters you encounter there.
  • Channel your inner Phoenix Wright as you investigate your growing pile of missing persons reports. Use the in game interactive case board to organize the clues you find on your journey.
  • The romances (duh). Lunaris Games has always done a great job of building up their romance in a natural way, so I’m really looking forward to seeing how the relationships in the game develop.

The Kickstarter campaign is currently LIVE so be sure to show Lunaris Games some love! If you can’t give monetarily, definitely share the campaign on your social media! And of course, give the demo a try when you have the chance—it’s short, but it definitely leaves a good first impression! Also, y’all it’s going to be on the Nintendo Switch!!!

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