Japanese game developer WODAN has released Shinonome in Steam Early Access. The game can normally be purchased for $18.99, but there is a 15% discount during the first week of release, so it is currently available for $16.14.
Shinonome is a roguelike escape game based around the concept of a haunted house in the Edo period. The protagonist of the game, Yono, is the apprentice of an Onmyouji, who practices magic and divination. One rainy day, she is summoned to an old manor by her master, but upon entering, she discovers that it has been transformed into a haunted house filled with monsters and vengeful spirits. Yono must find a way to escape the house while fighting off the monsters that inhabit it.
Within each room of the house, there are clues or traces left behind by the monsters. For example, you could hear sounds coming from certain directions, find footprints, or spot something peeking in from the other side of a sliding screen. Players must first investigate the room, and based on the evidence they find, try to work out what monsters are hiding there as well as a suitable plan to deal with them.
Although Yono is only a beginner Onmyouji, she is still capable of exterminating the monsters by using both items and weapons. Shooting a monster through a sliding screen, throwing a bomb into the next room over, making sounds to lure monsters into a trap, and so on. These are the kinds of strategies that players must use to defeat the monsters as they make their way through the eerie house.
There are three different game modes: Misogi mode, where the goal is to escape from a randomly generated house; Harae mode, where you tackle a house with a fixed layout; and Gyou mode, where you explore endless dungeons and towers while taking short breaks at shops or kitchens.
The game was created by WODAN, a game development company formed by Kenichi Iwao and Tatsuya Yoshikawa. Iwao is a game designer who formerly worked at companies including Capcom, Square Enix, and DeNA, and has worked on games like Final Fantasy XIV and Resident Evil. Yoshikawa is a designer best known for working on titles such as Capcom’s Breath of Fire series.
Shinonome is expected to stay in Early Access for 2-4 months, but all three game modes are already fully playable. Additions that will be implemented in the full release of the game include an improved tutorial, more enemies and items, a greater amount of story content, and more. Furthermore, due to the fact that the three game modes currently share many similarities, they are also considering the following changes to create more differentiation between each mode:
HARAE: Insert stronger bosses to make the climax of each level more exciting.
MISOGI: Increase the number of unique rooms and enemies, to create greater variety in the dungeons.
GYOU: Incorporate unique items to heighten the survival elements of this mode.
The Steam page for Shinonome can be found here.
Written by. Marco Farinaccia based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2022-11-11 17:11 JST)