From the mind of Mary Borsellino comes Psychopomp High, a story of love and identity set in a high school of the dead. Caleb is a psychopomp with no memory of who he was in life. It doesn’t take him long to meet and befriend Luke and Marcella, two fellow psychopomps with their own secrets.
Psychopomp High plays in a straightforward manner. Stick with either Luke or Marcella to find out their stories and learn Caleb’s role in the afterlife, initiating a romance along the way. It’s when Caleb’s alone though that bad things start happening. What really catches my interest is the suggestion of a fully realized world underlying a short game. Luke isn’t human, Marcella wasn’t always, and Caleb…well, he’s something else entirely. Luke, Marcella, and Caleb look and behave human, but the game makes it clear that this comes more from a longing to be human more than anything, taking the time to deconstruct shallowly even the standard high school setting. After all, the game points out, why exactly would dead teenagers go to school?
Despite the somberness of the premise–dead teenagers! amnesia! revenge!–Psychopomp High is a breezy, sincere addition to the visual novel genre, with an intriguing hint of darkness underneath the bright colors.
Please note that Psychopomp High carries a content warning for non-explicit references to murder, sexual assault, and car accidents. This game is intended for an audience of teens and adults, and was written and coded by Mary Borsellino, using the Ren’Py Visual Novel Engine.
Psychopomp High is a complex story with all the fluff of teen romance and yet all the dark and gritty details of life and death. It’s a surprisingly pleasant mix that you’ll have to try for yourself.
- ‘The Four Of Us Are Dying’ is from The Slip by Nine Inch Nails
- All other tracks from Ghosts I – IV by Nine Inch Nails
Ghosts I-IV and The Slip licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license.
All music tracks have been remixed and edited by Mary Borsellino for use in Psychopomp High
- Phone tones are by AdamWeeden (Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) and Regenpak (Sampling Plus 1.0)
- Westminster Quarters chimes from public domain
All sound effects have been remixed and edited by Mary Borsellino for use in Psychopomp High
Sprite design and artwork by Angela – download full-size versions here
- Glitch art by Rosa Menkman (Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
- Bedroom image by Construction Deal Marketing (Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
- Rainy window by deliriant (Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)
- Cafe background from this site and authorised for use and alteration
- Holding hands image found on google image search of photographs marked for “Noncommercial Reuse with Modification” and used here
- Wave image is public domain and was found here
- Arcade background by Dustin M. Ramsey (Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.5)
- Fairground background by Rainer Driesen (ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)
- Concert background by mojo-jo-jo (Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
- All other backgrounds are free-to-use resources created by Uncle Mugen
All images have been edited by Mary Borsellino for use in Psychopomp High
Psychopomp High by Mary Borsellino is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.