Solo indie game developer Ori Mees has released her first game, Blake: The Visual Novel, on Steam for the low, low price of $1.99. And I'm not messing around when I say that - that price is crazy low for a game of this quality. Mees, a playtest coordinator on games like Control, Life is Strange 2, and Outriders, has branched out to develop her own titles under the publishing banner "LegendOri" (which is mad clever).
I started playing Blake: The Visual Novel this morning with the hopes of posting a fun video of the first half hour of the game (I was doing all the voices and everything; it was super dope), but my recording software and Blake don't get along so well, so that playthrough is now lost to time. But it did give me a chance to immerse myself in Mees' creation, which is full of bright, attractive art and snappy writing. The graphic-novel style mixes very well with the cyber-noir setting - with fun, well-defined characters and world-building that is deftly accomplished with a few stray lines of dialogue.
At first Blake feels like a workplace drama, but it quickly becomes something else entirely, with the titular character making sometimes difficult choices that determine his path forward. I don't want to spoil any twists or turns, but I will say that Blake: The Visual Novel is worth sticking with. The amount of content Mees offers with Blake feels more like something that would at least cost five or ten bucks, so for $2.00, Blake is an absolute steal.
Blake: The Visual Novel is now available on Steam for $1.99. The super cool ambigram logo is worth at least that much all by itself.