TOUCHSTARVED is a gothic horror romance visual novel and debut game from Red Spring Studio: a small indie team made up of veteran game developers from Riot Games, Nix Hydra, Bungie, and more. The game will be crowdfunded via Kickstarter on March 21, 2023 for release on PC and Mac.
- Fantasy | Romance | Horror
- Demo: 1st chapter of the full game + 7 unlockable CGs
- Rating: Mature (Dark themes)
- Where to Play: PC (Window and Mac)
In TOUCHSTARVED, you explore the dangerous, enigmatic city of Eridia in search of a cure for your cursed touch. But to survive in this cruel world where treachery lies around every corner, you must entrust your fate to one of 5 love interests, each uniquely monstrous in their own way.
Choose your main character’s pronouns and origin story, and guide them through a thrilling journey with branching storylines, character based routes, and multiple endings. Your choices determine whether the story ends with gothic romance or blood-curdling horror. Will you lose your humanity in search for a cure, or will you find a way to save yourself and those you love?Official Synopsis
Touchstarved Demo Review
You were born cursed, with hands that twist the mind of any human you touch.
Desperation leads you to the shadowy city of Eridia, where your fate intertwines with 5 monstrous strangers. Each can offer you salvation…or damnation.
How far will you go to cure yourself?
Born with cursed touch, you are on a quest to find a cure for your affliction. But, your journey is fraught with dangers you never could have imagined, and in fact, TOUCHSTARVED wastes no time pulling you into it’s dark and twisted world. In just the first few minutes of the demo you and your companions are attacked by a Soulless and faced with the choice of cowering behind a wagon or fleeing to safety while the monster tears apart everyone around you. And believe me when I say, the writing paints a pretty gruesome picture of the whole ordeal. “He comes apart like wet paper, spilling intestines and viscera in a streaming tide” being one of the more memorable lines.
But if you think monsters are the only dangers in TOUCHSTARVED, you’d be sorely mistaken. The player’s own curse, provides horrors of its own. A single touch of your hand twists the mind of any person and sends them spiraling into madness.
There are many dangers in store for you on your journey and you’ll have to keep your wits about you if you’re going to survive to see it’s end. The devs have assured me that yes, you can die in TOUCHSTARVED. Of course, you can choose to place your trust in one of the game’s five monstrous love interests. But, be warned, these handsome strangers may prove to be much more dangerous. And I like to live dangerously. Each of the five LIs harbors dark secrets of their own and in the demo you will get the chance to try and peel back their layers and get a peek what lies beneath.
I was definitely team Leander going in, there’s something about his smile and trench coat that works for me. He gives fuckboi energy and I’m eating it up. But, honestly there isn’t a bad apple in the bunch! I wanna run my fingers through sexy doctor, Kuras‘s luscious locks. Mhin is giving leave me alone vibes that are just begging for me to tease them. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wanna pet Vere‘s floofy ears (even if it leads to my death in game). And Ais, just screams danger, and that’s just sexy AF. Each of the potential love interests brings something unique to the story (and their designs are GORGEOUS) that I found myself really excited to get to know them all.
And do not get me started on the gorgeous visuals. This demo comes with seven unlockable CGs and y’all, they are absolutely stunning, like, I wanna hang these on my wall and stare at them for hours beautiful. (Sadly y’all will have to wait till the demo drops on March 21st to see them😅). In addition to the visuals, TOUCHSTARVED has some truly fantastic writing and immersive world building that breathes life into these amazing characters and world!
A lot of times with romance games if you remove the “romance” elements the rest of the story doesn’t really hold up on it’s own. But, that isn’t the case with TOUCHSTARVED. There is a whole fascinating (and dangerous) world for you to explore, with its own lore and mysteries to uncover.
Of course, Red Spring Studio is a POC and queer-owned studio, so I don’t want to leave out that you can choose your own pronouns for the MC (he/him, they/them, she/her). Though aside from the character’s hands you don’t actually see the player character on screen, so you can kind of self insert. The game also lets you pick your backstory from one of three scenarios: The Unnamed, The Hound, and The Alchemist. Each comes with their own unique strengths and characteristics for the MC. Also, this would not be a Blerdy review without me loving the melanin in this game. WE NEED MORE BLACK AND BROWN CHARACTERS IN GAMES!
If y’all weren’t already hyped for TOUCHSTARVED, this demo is sure to take your excitement to the next level. This is a fantastic sneak peek at what Red Spring Studio has in store for us with their debut stream! You do not want to miss this demo or the Kickstarter campaign when they drop on March 21, 2023!
Find Red Spring Studio
Red Spring Studio is a small, POC and queer-owned indie studio made up of diverse talent from the gaming industry. United by a shared passion for dark, mature stories, they’ve poured their hearts into TOUCHSTARVED with the goal of telling ground-breaking tales for outcasts, danger lovers, and hopeless romantics.
For more information, follow us on Twitter and check out our website!
2 thoughts on “Touchstarved (Early Access) Demo Review”
Oh this looks really good! I’m hoping it will have a stretch goal for a Nintendo Switch release..
It’s such a fun game and the art is gorgeous. I don’t think they’ll be doing a Switch port, but maybe if the KS does well it could be a switch port.