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Visit a mystical Montreal corner shop in this lovely little indie game

It's taken me four years to post Dépanneur Nocturne but it's still great

Supernatural shopping in a Dépanneur Nocturne screenshot.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/KO_OP

Need anything from the shop? Mushroom milk? Fresh tarts? Mystical bejewelled skull? I'm just popping out to Dépanneur Nocturne, a lovely little game which came out in 2020 and I kept forgetting to post about. It's a small first-person explore-o-chatter set within a corner shop in a magical, mystical Montreal, full of things to admire, find, poke at, and chat about with the owner. And it'll only cost you about as much as a pint of semi-skimmed and loaf of Kingsmill from your own local shop.

The game came out in, uh, 2020 and I finally remembered to post about it now after dropping in for a screenshot to illustrate a recent What's Better? question.Watch on YouTube

Dépanneur Nocturne is a type of game I adore: pay a few quid to see something different and weird and surprising and be done in an hour. The spark of novelty is important when most of my gaming time honestly goes on roguelikelike games and repeatable multiplayer murderfests. So here we are, out in the city at night, it's late, it's raining, and your beloved is waiting for you back home, but you want to bring her something nice so you nip into the local shop, the dépanneur.

Supernatural shopping in a Dépanneur Nocturne screenshot.
Yes, you can pet the cat. | Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/KO_OP

It's a cosy little shop, and a friendly one. Enjoy a chat with salamander shopkeeper Eugénie! Make yourself a coffee! Help yourself to a tart! Pet the cat! Have a good rummage around! See what you can find! See what you can do! While most of the shop's products are not of interest to you, you can bring certain special items up to Eugénie for an explanation of what they are, and maybe buy them for your sweetie. Maybe she'll even show you her special stock. I don't want to overstate Dépanneur Nocturne's scale but it does have a pleasing amount of little things to discover, including some not-so-little things I only found when I popped back into the shop last week.

I do like that this Québécois game is bilingual, and I like how it handles that. Eugénie hails you en français with a "Bonsoir!" and you set the game's language by responding in French or English (but can switch any point in a dialogue option with her). Though I speak French with more enthusiasm than competence, I've been brushing up thanks to a bandees dessinees bookshop opening in Edinburgh, and I enjoy discovering the different tone and energy of the game's French conversations. And as someone schooled in formal European French, I've also enjoyed the unfamiliar experience of casual Québécois French, where even the slang dépanneur is weird because in French French the word means mechanic or repairman.

Supernatural shopping in a Dépanneur Nocturne screenshot.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/KO_OP

It's just a pleasant little thing. Gaining a sense of a big world by visiting a tiny corner of it. Feeling out quite what you can do, finding secrets and surprises in the process. Nice stuff to stare at. A lovely look to the whole game. A new pal. A beautiful cat you can pet. What more could you want?

Dépanneur Nocturne is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux on Steam and from for £4/€5/$5. You might already own it without knowing, mind, because it was in Itch's 2022 Bundle For Ukraine. Led by G.P. Lackey, Dép was a wee side-project of KO_OP, the Montreal studio behind teen dinosaur visual novel Goodbye Volcano High and head-poking puzzler GNOG.

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