The Disappearing Of Gensokyo is the first Touhou fangame on Steam

The Disappearing of Gensokyo

The Japanese mega-franchise that is Touhou has had a good time on Steam lately, with the latest main game in the series debuting to massive sales and user-reviews to match, and the most recent spinoff fighting game making a splash despite its Japanese-language-only release.

What I wasn’t expecting was for commercial Touhou fangames to make their presence known so soon. Available now on Steam from Chinese indie team MyACG Studio is The Disappearing Of Gensokyo, an action-RPG/twin-stick shooter hybrid starring the iconic cast of the shmup series. And it’s in (patchy) English, too.

Thanks to original developer Team Shanghai Alice’s ultra-permissive policy on fan-works, Touhou derivative games are an industry unto themselves. This isn’t the first English-language fangame release either, with the PS4/Vita roguelike Genso Wanderer being the first on the block. What sets The Disappearing Of Gensokyo apart (aside from being a first on Steam) is that this seems to be an entirely self-published release, meaning that this could very well be the first of many Touhou launches, assuming no legal troubles arise over the coming days.

While the animation looks a little stuff in places, The Disappearing Of Gensokyo looks to be a surprisingly authentic take on the setting. Familiar characters, environments, enemies and bullet patterns recontextualized into a more aggressive twin-stick slugfest, with a wide range of playable characters providing wildly different play-styles. Original protagonist Reimu gets the most vanilla of all attack-sets, with a basic spread shot, bullet-clearing smartbombs and a dash move, while doll-summoning mage Alice places units around the battlefield and calls out targets to them for both ranged and melee attacks.

Surprisingly, the game already offers a DLC character pack, adding another three playable protagonists if the initial selection aren’t quite enough. The current English translation is very much a second (or third) language production at present, but the developer is apparently working closely with the industrious Touhou fan-translation crew to get it polished up, and they (quite reasonably) note that the game isn’t especially story-focused so should be fine to dive into now.

It seems that The Disappearance of Gensokyo’s launch has followed in the footsteps of the previous two Steam Touhou releases. While the game isn’t drowning in positive reviews as quickly as Touhou 16, at the time of writing, the unofficial Steam Charts says there are almost 700 players online and enjoying the game at present. A figure not to be sniffed at, considering the commercial fan-work nature of the game.

The Disappearing of Gensokyo is available now on Steam for 15% off a $10/£8.29 RRP, and another $3/£2.09 will get you the character DLC pack, including mighty miniature Oni Suika, time-bending maid Sakuya and unpredictable dream-deity Koishi.

8 Comments

  1. Baines says:

    I’m kind of wary about Chinese games on Steam these days. Not because of the Chinese developers, but rather because of stuff like China blocking access to the Steam Community last month.

    While that itself might seem as something arguably minor, it certainly affects communication, such as issues with a game. For example, I find it hard to see it as a coincidence that the Chinese-published Red Obsidian Remnant, stopped receiving updates after China blocked access to the Steam Community.

  2. OmNomNom says:

    Schoolgirls (or some near appropriation of).

    Hey, fancy that.

  3. Chenkari says:

    >First touhou fangame on steam

    i n c o r r e c t

    Like minigames? Like touhou? Try Nitorinc! A wario-ware like game that has minigames including some of your favorite girls! Made by volunteers, it’s a fanmade game made by lots of different people! Updating with new minigames in the future~ You can play the demo now for freeeeee~

  4. Erinduck says:

    “And it’s in (patchy) English, too.”

    Now now, Patchouli’s pronunciation is just a little off because she’s only ever read the words in books.

  5. Catterbatter says:

    Does Touhou Alice have anything to do with Shin Megami Tensei Alice? I don’t really know anything about either series, but at a glance they are the same character. (I actually tried googling this and got nothing, but I think they’re too similar for it to be a coincidence.)

  6. racccoon says:

    This game looks cool, watched a few vids on it and looks well made with great artwork & visuals.
    The music is well nice, may use it on my run next morning, there so many variations of this song on you did it tube they all miss the point the vocal is it & of course the original arrangement you just can’t beat but a lot did a great a job. Well done :)
    One problem..its Held to Ransom on Steam, which kind of sucks!.. yep, in 2018 Steam still Sucks arse :)

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