Visual Novel Review: ScreamCap by Pixel After Pixel

 
 

ScreamCap is an interesting, fun-to-look-at visual novel about a team of paranormal investigators. You play as the cameraperson on a live stream as you all try to untangle a supernatural mystery that seems to have ties to not only the victim but also one of your crew.


ScreamCap - Promo image showing the title in a spooky, melty block letters

Official Description:

Welcome to ScreamCap, a visual novel of supernatural mystery and romance!

Overview:

ScreamCap is a rising team of paranormal investigators live streaming their dives into the unknown to their audience of believers. Usually, things are pretty tame, but something strange has begun stalking one of their own and in order to rid themselves of it they must follow a trail of strange clues, talk to some ghosts (or chemtrails, depending on who you ask), and maybe just get to know each other a little better.

More Info:

You can get more info and download the game here on Steam!

Long Review:

This has some great elements, and I enjoyed playing it! I just also have a few complaints.

Likes:

A visual novel about a team of paranormal investigators running a live stream is a fun idea! The live chat (part of the game, not real people) along the side of the screen is also fun and written in a way that made it feel genuine, not too perfect.

I liked the story. It was more serious than I was expecting. The paranormal/mystery element was interesting, especially once I got all the pieces of the puzzle and mostly understood. And the character/emotional arc element was realistic and touching, ultimately about support and friendship.

The characters were all unique without being exaggerated caricatures, and they were likeable. I liked getting to know them a bit.

You can romance any of the four characters. (You get to know the character a bit throughout, and then it’s a few sentences that hint at romance at the end.) Or you can spend time with different characters throughout and have friendship without romance.

I like the bold, fun character designs! They have such a strong artistic style. Including the ghosts. The backgrounds were a different art style but nice too. Even the design of the whole screen and UI was fun. (No CGs.)

Dislikes:

I was confused in my first playthrough. Characters would make connections and talk about things, but I didn’t understand. I now realize, I was missing info because you get different bits of info depending on who you choose to go with in each section, but the conversation between sections doesn’t really change. So they sometimes reference things you don’t know yet or that didn’t happen in that playthrough. Characters are also really vague and beat around the bush a lot. It made more sense the repeated times I played, but I still think they could’ve made things a little more clear. I recommend choosing Raz for everything the first time, that might help.

Characters would sometimes say or notice very similar things. Like, no matter who you went with into the hospital with, they would note the lights being on, and either you or they would suggest a fake baby distraction. It would’ve felt more genuine if they noticed or suggested different things.

There were some little wonky things when I first played, but as far as I can tell, they’ve been mostly fixed. Text in the chat still gets added further up instead of at the end sometimes, but it’s no longer ahead of what’s happening on screen.

Neither Liked or Disliked, but Still Worth Mentioning:

There’s no music during the game, but there are some sound effects, and the intro music is fun.

Choices don’t matter for the plot (except one, sort of, near the end). Mostly what matters is which character you choose for each section, and some dialogue choices may affect the romantic outcome. This VN is more about experiencing the story and getting to know the characters.

The game is mostly dialogue, very little (if any) narration.

I saved Charlie for last, and I’m glad I did because not only was he fun with all his government conspiracies and cryptid lore, his romance also felt the most believable for me, and understanding the story helped me to understand the emotion in his route.

It took me 2 hours to finish my first playthrough and about 5 hours to complete the game with all four characters. The full price of the game is $11.99, and to be honest, I would expect a game to be a little longer and more developed for that price. Personally, I’d wait for a sale, but it’s up to you.

Another thing to note, the devs are encouraging people to use the characters, art, and story to make their own content! More info can be found on the store page.

Overall:

If you don’t mind a bit of confusion at first and you like short visual novels, you may enjoy this for its fun premise, bold art, and interesting paranormal story!

*Source/Cost: I received a free copy.*

Screenshot from ScreamCap showing Charlie, a buff, light-haired guy smiling and blushing while saying, 'What can I say? I love me some funky little creatures and damning the man. That all makes sense.' The background is a spacious RV with fairy lights, curtains, a paper-covered pinboard, and couches decorated with skull pillows.

Short Review:

– Fun idea about paranormal investigators live streaming
– Story was confusing but interesting (less confusing if you choose Raz for everything first)
– Mostly dialogue, little narration
– Choices don’t affect plot but can lead to romance
– Touching friendship
– Unique characters
– Bold, fun art (no CGs)
– Overall an enjoyable, fairly quick visual novel

Accessibility:

(May not include everything)
– Not accessible for blind / visually impaired players and screen reader users.

 
 
 
 

Talk to me!

Have you played ScreamCap?
Do you like when games add something unique or different, like the "live chat" in this one?

 
 
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Your Thoughts

 

4 thoughts on “Visual Novel Review: ScreamCap by Pixel After Pixel

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  1. Greg

    The chat element sounds fun. I do like it when player choices affect the plot, but at least they affect the romance here a little bit. Sounds fun!

    I’m going to keep an eye out for this one to maybe on sale at steam…