This past Sunday, yuri game development team, Studio Élan announced some exciting upcoming Sapphic visual novels during Élan Festival 2023 hosted by their adorable mascot, Melanie (voiced by Madeline Dorroh)! This is an annual showcase current and upcoming projects from Élan and their publishing wing Bellhouse and trust there is a lot to talk about! So, let’s check out all the announcements from Élan Festival 2023!
Studio Élan Announcements
Studio Élan Seeking Publishers for Console Release of Please Be Happy
It’s been a year since the release of Please Be Happy and the Studio Élan team is looking for publishers for a console release! So, if you know of any publishers, be sure to direct them to the Studio Élan inboxes!
Born as a fox in the forest of Korea, Miho carries with her the memory of a traveler who showed her kindness and spoke of home. Now more human than fox, Miho has spent a long, long time searching for her person. She arrives by airship to Wellington Skyport, one of the jewels of the floating island of New Zealand.
Despite her years spent observing humans, she still has a lot to learn about their culture and society. She’s made a living so far as a thief, her heightened senses allowing her to easily take advantage of people. She’s also seen a lot of the worst of what mankind has to offer.
It’s only after meeting Juliet, the owner of a small library, and Aspen, an aspiring novelist, that Miho starts to understand what kindness is, and that there’s more than just the bad stuff when it comes to people.Please Be Happy Synopsis
Our Home, My Keeper Key Art Reveal and Updates
Our Home, My Keeper is a collaboration between ebihime (creator of Blackberry Honey & Sweetest Monster) and Studio Élan. While the project is still in progress, we did get a peek at some of the visuals during the showcase!
Our Home, My Keeper Synopsis
When Paige purchases an old house out in the English countryside, she thinks it’ll be
the perfect opportunity for her to focus on her next novel. Deadlines are hanging over
her head, and she needs all the help she can get. What she isn’t expecting is for
excitement and inspiration to come in the form of Fay, a friendly fairy who’s occupied
the house far longer than Paige has.
Lock and Key Art Overhaul and Kickstarter Announcement
Previously announced magical girl visual novel Lock and Key will be getting a UI and art overall. During the showcase, Studio Élan did assure viewers that they would be retaining the same art team, for the updates! The team also announced that a Kickstart campaign for Lock and Key is set to launch next year with pre-orders for physical copies of the game! You can play the demo for Lock and Key over on Steam now.
What does it mean to be a magical girl?
This is the question at the heart of Lock and Key, a magical mystery visual novel set in a world shaped by your interpretation of the magical girl genre.
Sherri and Kealey Cohen, now a married couple in their late 20s, left the title of magical girls behind them over a decade ago. Now on the verge of losing their powers and entering a life of true normalcy, a string of unexplainable murders forces them to come out of retirement for one last adventure. Together with Nina, their old friend, and Ruby, a new protégé, Sherri and Kealey will have to face a mystery connected both to their past and future. In the world of Lock and Key, the player shapes their path… and more importantly, determines where that path will end.Lock and Key Synopsis
Merch for Who is the Red Queen?
Studio Élan announced merch for Alice in Wonderland inspired title, Who is the Red Queen originally developed by 4noki for Spooktober 3rd Annual Visual Novel Jam! Now players can purchase cute acrylic keychains featuring Alice and the White Queen and Alice and the Hatter! Both designs are available for purchase from the Studio Élan online store.
Alice falls down the rabbit hole into a Wonderland not quite right. Meeting an eclectic collection of people, animals, and some things in between, she sets out on an adventure in this odd new place to find the missing Red Queen. Or, more specifically, to find the pieces of the dismembered queen whose body has been strewn across the land.Who is the Red Queen Synopsis
Updates and Gameplay for Love in a Bottle
Love In a Bottle is a point-and-click girls love dating sim developed by Lovelandisle and published under Studio Élan’s Bellhouse wing. During the showcase, we were shown some more key art and teasers from the game and it was announced that each love interest will be given their own vocal character songs by Hazel! We also have a release window for Valentine’s Day 2024 but, you can wishlist the game on Steam ahead of the release!
Ankora the Love Demon is tired of living underground in the shadows of herLove in a Bottle Synopsis
successful siblings, so she’s decided to move up in the world and get an apartment in
the Coral Sea Vivariums, an underwater series of domes populated by creatures of all
kinds. She has a limited amount of time to prove she’s able to make it on her own,
but more importantly, there are HOT SINGLE WOMEN all over town and she wants to
make her presence (and availability) known to them. Can she adjust to a new place
and find love before time is up?!
Twofold release date set for late October 2023
Twofold is a fully voiced visual novel developed by Salty Salty Studios and Studio Coattails and is set in the same universe as spinoff/prequel First Snow. Twofold is Bellhouse’s longest game to date and has been in development for for a bit, but during the showcase Élan announced that the game will be released later this month (October 2023)! You can wishlist the full game on Steam or check out the demo, which has an exclusive scene that will not be included in the final version of Twofold.
Olive’s situation is dire. They’re on the verge of being thrown out of college unlessTwofold Synopsis
they can salvage their GPA, and their only chance rests on classes they know next to
Their lifeline: two club leaders who are more than willing to help them succeed.
However, no solution is that easy. Olive soon finds themself in the middle of a conflict
between these two friends that threatens to undo their long-standing love for each
Twofold is a story about love, family, and connection. It celebrates family of all kinds,
and explores the strength (and fragility) of bonds between people.
Taking place roughly a year after First Snow, Olive’s position as an outsider to these
established friend circles will be vital to fully understanding the situation threatening
to undo this close-knit group.
Summer at the Edge of the Universe is a voiced solarpunk lesbian visual novel! More fantasy than sci-fi, Summer aims to be a positive and uplifting experience, with one of the core tenets for the game being “good vibes only.” The game features three routes, each centered around one of Summer’s friends. Every route contains both romantic and platonic endings (Izzy Lancaster is aromantic).
The game was first teased and eventually announced via a series of audio logs featuring the main cast. This impressive story features the voice talent of Angel Haven Rey as Summer Nansen, Elissa Park as Quinn Son, Lisa Reimold as Hanna Reed, and Michelle Marie as Izzy Lancaster!
After drifting apart for several years, a chance encounter brings four best friends back together for the journey of a lifetime. For Summer Nansen (CV: Hikaru Station), this trip is not only a chance to rekindle old friendships, but also to discover what it is she wants out of life. Alongside a new robot friend named Curiosity, the four girls travel from planet to planet, exploring the natural wonders and diverse alien cultures that they come across. Their journey culminates at the borderline of existence itself: the very edge of the universe.Summer at the Edge of the Universe
Are You Excited for these Upcoming Releases?
There were a ton of great Yuri game announcements from Studio Élan and their Bellhouse line! If you missed the Élan Festival 2023 showcase, you can still check out the entire video on the Studio Élan YouTube channel!