As summer gets to be just about done here in the northern hemisphere, you might be wondering how all those warmer months passed by so quickly. Sol Hemochroma will probably make you feel better about staying inside so much, though, as it follows a group of teenagers trying to make the most of their dwindling school break and instead stumbling upon a blood-soaked small-town conspiracy.
Developers Aether Interactive are rather experienced with making wordy, atmospheric games. Their previous releases include Subserial Network, and Localhost, both of which are cyberpunk-y looks at artificial intelligence, labour, and morality.
Sol Hemochroma drops the high-tech themes of these earlier games, but remains concerned with similar questions about power and integrity. It also borrows from a similar playbook to another of their games, Arc Symphony. Where this message-board sim explores a community dedicated to a fictional JRPG as though it were entirely real, Sol Hemochroma is described as “an adaptation of a lost, 1980s CBC classic film (that could've been)”. You can see that framing in the trailer, too:
The teens are pushed to explore an abandoned castle after bodies begin to turn up, and group leader Jason suddenly seems almost supernaturally driven to find out why. You get to tag along for a story that’s as much about deciding who to make friends with along the way as it is about choosing whether and how to be a hero.
Sol Hemochroma is available to download for pay what you want with no minimum on itch.io. A playthrough takes about 45 minutes, but there’s a lot of dialogue and story branches to go back and poke through if that’s your sort of thing.