Genre: Visual Novel Developer: Failbetter Games Publisher: Failbetter Games Platform: Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X / S, PC Release : Autumn 2022

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The absurd-gloomy setting of Mask of the Rose , the latest game of Developer Team Failbetter Games, so many a fan of Sunless Sea or Sunless Skies is pretty well known: because here the Victorian London of bats under the earth was trapped and is now under the rule of supernatural beings.

Unlike in the last two games of the developers, Mask of the Rose is not survival RPG, where we slipped gloomy waters or dangerous airs. Rather, this time a dating SIM expects us – with a pinch of Murder Mystery.

What makes Mask Of The Rose so special?

Mask of the Rose starts a few months after London was pulled into the substrate. At the beginning we create our character, whose appearance and gender remains vague. We can only choose a silhouette and determine the title we want to address, such as sir or madam. In addition, we can determine if we are interested in romantic, sexual or platonic relationships.

Before it can go to flirting, we must first pursue our job. For our new masters – oversized muted beings who have a strange interest in the love life of the city dwellers – we have to carry out a census. In typical Visual Novel-Manier, we click so through the 2D world, turn on the map of London new places free and entertain us with various characters: whether with Griz, for which the case of London a liberation of the constraints of their role as a woman meant with the salon owner Milton, which may be a devil at the same time, or one of the masters himself.

So we learn more about the secrets of the different characters and, if we want, even closer ties with you. All storylines should be accessible, no matter if we look for a romantic or Platonic affection. Alternatively, we can also play matchmaker and simply touch the characters with each other. There is even a private mini-game that we can use to write love stories.

Away from romantic excursions, we can accept occasional jobs, put together our outfits and even examine the first murder case since the case of London. The resurrected murder victim is practically even aside, because in Mask of the Rose, death is more of a “temporary inconvenience.”

For whom is Mask of the Rose interesting?

Mask of the Rose tells the beginnings of the fall London universe, where Sunless Sea and Sunless Skies play. This offers not only for fans of absurd but lovingly told settings, but also for newcomers.

Typical of Visual Novels and Dating Sims, however, the gameplay is more likely to be located on the shallow side, but in turn also offers a diverse cast at characters and a wide selection of possible relationship forms: whether platonic, hetero, queer, asexual or also aromantic. Here something should be there for everyone.

Mask of the Rose should appear in the fall of 2022. Who is already curious, can play the demo on Steam until then.

Eleen Reinke

Already the setting of Mask of the Rose had awakened my curiosity. A dating sim in Victorian London? I only ask myself why I never came up with the idea to wish me that. To do this, take some supernatural elements and a murder mystery for my inner Sherlock Holmes fan and Mask of the Rose could become the perfect dating sim for me.

In addition, the game wants to emphasize that the relationships with the characters not only limit on romances or one night stands. Although especially in recent years in Dating Sims, there are increasingly options for platonic or asexual bonds, but often they are too short or imparted from the characters. Everyone should be able to find themselves in these games, whether you are interested in sex or relationships or just interpersonal proximity.