Set in the cyberpunk city of Love Shore, Sam and Farah attempt to navigate the monstrous underworld in hopes of uncovering the means of saving their friends. Love Shore is a visual novel cyberpunk noir featuring an entirely LGBT+ cast. With 8 unique romanceable characters and routes, multiple endings and packed with action and thrills.
- LGBT+ | Cyberpunk | Sci-fi
- Available on: Windows, Mac, & Linux | Steam
- Tentative Release: Mid November 2022
Welcome to Love Shore, a city that transforms at night. The futuristic metropolis just happens to also be populated with cyborgs, old gods hidden in the depths of a criminal underground, and humans eager to crawl their way to the top, no matter what the cost.
After a fertility crisis changed the landscape of the city for good, a single company stepped in to help the residents: Life S. Incorporated, a biotech firm that claimed to be able to build life out of raw DNA, creating a fully formed human with thoughts, feelings, and morality of their own.
Their minds, physical appearance, and personality would be drawn from their parents’ DNA, but the children would be ‘born’ using artificial bodies. This new generation would be called the S.Humans: a non-aging, tough form of new life.Official Synopsis
Love Shore features two playable protagonists with four storylines and romanceable options, each with their own storylines. Sam and Farah are two completely different characters suffering from the same circumstances: they’re S.Humans, one of the 100 cyborgs created by Life.S. before the company vanished.
Love Shore Demo Review
Cyborgs, old gods, and a neon aesthetic that would put the 80’s to shame, Love Shore is the hotly anticipated debut LGBT+ visual novel from indie studio, Perfect Garbage. I came across this game back in 2019 and I have been rabid for this release, so when the team sent me the early access demo, I JUMPED at the chance to play it!
The current demo build covers the first two days of in game story and has over 40 unlockable CGs. There is a light RPG-based stat system, but nothing too intense (and as far as I can see no grinding necessary). Step into the shoes of Sam or Farah, two S.Human (non-aging cyborgs) ex-cons as they are pulled into the depths of Love Shore’s criminal underbelly. Investigate the shady goings on in the city alongside longtime friends (and the occasional ex) to uncover the truth behind the strange goings on. Though, one misstep could put you on the shit list of one or more old gods lurking in the shadows…
With it’s gorgeous visuals, diverse cast, and immersive cyberpunk premise, Love Shore is a unique experience that most gamers will be eager to play. I mean who would’ve ever thought I’d play a game where literal gods and cyborgs coexist?!
The writers seamlessly blend elements of sci-fi, action, and horror (yes, horror) to create a one of a kind story that will have you yearning for more. Love Shore is a melting pot of cultures and people that reflects the unique backgrounds of the team that is working to bring this project to life. Inanna, one of the gods you meet in Sam’s route is a ancient Mesopotamian goddess of love, war, and fertility and Eshu another god you meet is a Yoruba trickster god. Far too often creators get boxed into sticking with stuff people are familiar with, so it was a nice change to see deities from other cultures being represented in Love Shore.
In addition to that, both Farah and Sam are S.Humans, being created as a way around a fertility crisis. While they are created from the DNA of their human parents and they have their own thoughts and feeling, S.Humans are still cyborgs that need to be upgraded regularly to maintain their human-like existence. In universe the company that took care of these upgrades is now defunct leaving many S.Humans is an unchanged existence—S.Humans that look like children but are well into their 20s and 30s. So there is this unique theme of body dysmorphia and to an extent stigma that is explored through both Farah and Sam and the other S.Human characters we meet.
Identity plays a big role in Love Shore, many of the characters identify from the wide spectrum of queer identities. Sam’s love interest include Aly, a cis man, Conrad, a trans man, Vivienne, his bestie, and Aziz, Sam’s ex-boyfriend (there is a lot of history there). Then there’s Farah, whose line up includes, Maya, a trans woman and S.Human, Imani, a gorgeous older woman, Talia, Farah’s bestie, and Jo, who is non-binary (and absolutely wants a cryptid girlfriend).
Queerness is something that is baked into the story much the same way the cultural representation is. There isn’t a focus on coming out or acceptance in Love Shore—though given the stigma surrounding S.Humans, we do get a bit acceptance in that respect. Instead of viewing queerness through the lens of real world issues and politics, the game explores its themes strictly in the context of the world, by exploring these identities through the characters and their relationships with one another.
This is meaningful representation that I crave in my media and I appreciate the devs making the effort to really bake that into this story, especially given recent discourse about representation in fantasy and sci-fi media.
For my first playthrough I went with sharp tongued and witty S.Human, Sam, and y’all I have never felt more seen by a character; we’re literally the same person. Fresh out of prison, Sam is looking to get a fresh start, keeping his head down and doing honest work… at the local sex shop. Shit hits the fan when folks from his past swing by to drag him (kicking and screaming) back into a life of crime and he finds himself in the middle of a conflict between humans, gods, and S.Humans. The demo ends just when things start to get especially hairy for Sam. Meanwhile, Farah’s route seems to be happening alongside Sam’s with the promise of some intermingling as the story progresses.
Of course, every character you meet has their role to play in this story and I found myself genuinely invested in everyone. Each path will explore a unique aspect of the world that you won’t want to miss out on (I especially need the deets of Sam and Aziz). The chemistry between these characters is only enhanced by the snappy writing and dialogue. This was one of the few games I’ve played where the dialogue flowed so naturally that it felt like these were words I’d say rather than a script I was reading! Love Shore is an experience you don’t wanna miss out on and I can’t wait to dive back in once the game is officially released later this month!
Thank you to Perfect Garbage for sending me an early demo build of Love Shore for this review.
Find Perfect Garbage
Formed in 2018, Perfect Garbage is a diverse game studio that loves to mash the horrific and the hilarious, the flashy and the fantastical. Melding genres at the speed of light, we are creating the stories we want to see featuring characters that look like us in the middle of it all— with vision and drive to match. Also, dang, we really love horror.
- Official Website: perfectgarbagestudios.com
- Twitter: @perfectgarbo
- Instagram: loveshoregame
- itch.io: perfectgarbage.itch.io/loveshore
- YouTube: Perfect Garbage YouTube