Dry Drowning, a visual novel on Windows PC

At a time of political upheaval across the world, VLG Publishing is excited to announce that Dry Drowning – a visual novel that takes a stark look at a near-future dominated by dark forces in positions of power – has today launched on Steam, GOG, Utomik, and itch.io for Windows PC.

Dry Drowning drops players into the world of Mordred Foley – a troubled private detective with a genuinely shady past – and his mission to lift the lid on a serial killer taking out targets in a dystopian future. Weighed down by a dark history of his own, Foley’s world is one gripped by tyranny, where the hunger for power at the top results in society sinking to the absolute bottom.

The game’s visual novel style enables it to deliver a deep and fully realised dystopian world, with a script that doesn’t shy away from tackling themes such as racism, immigration, political extremism, and sexism.

Players must take charge of Foley as he takes on his detractors and resumes his life as a detective on the streets of fictional city Nova Polemos, all while contending with a world that has little time for right and wrong. It all plays out in a multi-branching story made up of 150 different threads – a structure that places a heavy burden on every decision taken, and every line of dialogue uttered.

A free demo that includes the first two hours of gameplay is also now available on Windows PC.

Dry Drowning may be a work of fiction, but we can’t help but think the story it tells is going to particularly relevant to many players around the world right now,” says VLG Director Daniele Falcone. “Life in the locked-off city of Nova Polemos is uncomfortable for all but those in charge, and the world of Dry Drowning is designed to place the player in unfamiliar situations whilst walking the path of a man who is anything but your typical hero. Straight off the bat, players will have to decide if they want to represent a defendant who subscribes to the very tyranny that’s oppressing both Foley and the people around him. Doing so will help restore his reputation and earn his crust, but might also place those he cares for in danger.

“Nova Polemos is an alarming vision of the future – a city where extremists are in charge, and every mad idea they have is just a hop, skip, and jump away from becoming official policy. It’s a dark vision of the future, yes, but the positive reception we’ve received from both the press to the preview version we put out last month has been outstanding.”

Developed by Studio V, Dry Drowning also features a unique ‘masks of deception’ system that highlights when a character is lying, with Foley’s investigations uncovering a world where trusting anyone quickly becomes folly. In a world where lying appears to be second nature to most, the ability to uncover the truth is worth its weight in gold. Can you use your nose for the truth to make your mark when society itself appears bent on propping up liars?

Dry Drowning features:

    • Choices that really matter: More than 150 story branches and three completely different endings.
    • Moral choices that impact character relationships and the game environment across a potential 20 hours of gameplay.
    • Elaborate clue system for investigations: Learn about the city of Nova Polemos and its citizens through dialogue, evidences, items, and character biographies.
    • Horror style interrogations: Use evidence to reconstruct cases, break people’s masks of deception, and uncover the truth with Dry Drowning’s “Living Nightmare” system.
    • Explore flashbacks and past cases to solve new ones.
    • Dynamic soundtrack with more than 40 dramatic and emotional tracks.
    • A balanced mix of Western and Eastern visual arts, casting light on a grim futuristic setting where cyberpunk and retro elements harmoniously coexist.

Dry Drowning is available on Steam, GOG, Utomik, and itch.io for PC from today, following on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch in 2020. A free demo that includes the first two hours of gameplay is also available on Windows PC.