By Diego Hernandez / May 22nd, 2022
Girls’ love enthusiasts wake up, Élan Festival happened recently! This means we’ve got a plethora of news just for you! The developers behind writer-favorite Heart of the Woods are hard at work on several titles. In one stream we got to find out about all of them. Follow along with our post to get the scoop on these new titles. The full stream will also be linked below if you wish to view the VOD, highly recommended! With so many titles to go through, let’s not waste any time and go through them all. Reminder as always to visit Studio Élan social media and show your appreciation!
The first announcement is a publishing announcement! This one’s a bit darker than the traditional releases from either Élan or Bellhouse but a welcoming one nonetheless. From 4noki, it’s Who Is The Red Queen?
Alice falls down the rabbit hole into a Wonderland not quite right. Meeting an eclectic collection of people, animals, and some things in between, she sets out on an adventure in this odd new place to find the missing Red Queen. Or, more specifically, to find the pieces of the dismembered queen whose body has been strewn across the land.
The second announcement from Bellhouse is incredibly charming. It features a very colorful art style and boasts fun gameplay. From lovelandisle, it’s Love In a Bottle!
Ankora the Love Demon is tired of living underground in the shadows of her successful siblings, so she’s decided to move up in the world and get an apartment in the Coral Sea Vivariums, an underwater series of domes populated by creatures of all kinds. She has a limited amount of time to prove she’s able to make it on her own, but more importantly, there are HOT SINGLE WOMEN all over town and she wants to make her presence (and availability) known to them. Can she adjust to a new place and find love before time is up?!
To wrap up the Bellhouse announcements, they have something special. A wonderful sequel for those who follow Bellhouse’s publishing. From Salty Salty Studios comes Twofold! To clarify, this is a sequel to ever wonderful First Snow.
Olive’s situation is dire. They’re on the verge of being thrown out of college unless they can salvage their GPA, and their only chance rests on classes they know next to nothing about.
Their lifeline: two club leaders who are more than willing to help them succeed. However, no solution is that easy. Olive soon finds themself in the middle of a conflict between these two friends that threatens to undo their long-standing love for each other.
Twofold is a story about love, family, and connection. It celebrates family of all kinds, and explores the strength (and fragility) of bonds between people.
Taking place roughly a year after First Snow, Olive’s position as an outsider to these established friend circles will be vital to fully understanding the situation threatening to undo this close-knit group.
The next next of announcements from the Studio Élan Festival is from Studio Élan proper! First, more Heart of the Woods! The project’s soundtrack’s going on vinyl! It’ll be a marvelous two-LP gatefold featuring both soundtracks plus two extra tracks. There’ll be a new cover art drawn by adirosa and you can look forward to a sneaky Tara sticker with your order. The other Heart of the Woods announcements is that the game is getting a physical release via Limited Run Games! If you missed out on the Kickstarter campaign, consider this your second chance! There’ll be a regular edition and a collector’s, adjust spending parameters accordingly!
Studio Élan’s second announcement is quite the update. Their magical girl adventure is inching closer to finally being ready and this time it has a title update. Lock and Key is now Lock and Key: A Magical Girl Mystery! Furthermore, that’s not all. A demo of the game is finally coming. Please look forward to its release on Steam and Itch sometime next month!
What does it mean to be a magical girl?
This is the question at the heart of Lock and Key, a magical mystery visual novel set in a world shaped by your interpretation of the magical girl genre.
Sherri and Kealey Cohen, now a married couple in their late 20s, left the title of magical girls behind them over a decade ago. Now on the verge of losing their powers and entering a life of true normalcy, a string of unexplainable murders forces them to come out of retirement for one last adventure. Together with Nina, their old friend, and Ruby, a new protégé, Sherri and Kealey will have to face a mystery connected both to their past and future. In the world of Lock and Key, the player shapes their path… and more importantly, determines where that path will end.
Since this is a visual novel, you the reader are in control! The decisions you make in-game will determine the outcome of the story, and the fates of the characters in it.
The last but certainly not least announcement is a brand new story! In a collaborative effort with talented writer ebi-hime, here comes Our Home, My Keeper!
When Paige purchases an old house out in the English countryside, she thinks it’ll be the perfect opportunity for her to focus on her next novel. Deadlines are hanging over her head, and she needs all the help she can get. What she isn’t expecting is for excitement and inspiration to come in the form of Fay, a friendly fairy who’s occupied the house far longer than Paige has.
So which announcement from Élan Festival was your favorite? Let us know in the comments below! Reminder that you can view the full VOD below.
BellhouseÉlan FestivalHeart of the WoodsLock and KeyLove in a BottleOur Home My KeeperSTUDIO ÉLANTwofoldWho is the Red Queen