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God is in the Radio

by catsket

Horror
2022

Web Site

(based on 9 ratings)
2 reviews

About the Story

HIS LOVE IS ETERNAL. HIS LIGHT IS ETERNAL.

CONTENT WARNINGS INCLUDE: death, cults, nonsexual nudity, abuse, and descriptions of body horror and gore.
RENPY 8.0 IS NOT ALLOWING WEB BUILDS AT THE MOMENT. THE .EXE IS SAFE. THANK YOU FOR UNDERSTANDING!
update 11/6: fixed a code error and a typo

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WE ALL DESIRE THE LIFE, ETERNAL! THE WARMTH, ETERNAL! THE HAPPINESS, ETERNAL!
you death, one of 22 members of the major arcana, a cult dedicated to some far-off god. the night is halloween, and you watch in scorn as the unknowing dance among devils and dress to indulge in sin. the high priestess receives a message from the all-mighty himself: the arcana must gather in an abandoned house and find his song on an old radio receiver. by finding his gift, he will grant you the life, eternal, and the world will finally be able to hear his light.

are you scared of what's to come? do you doubt the cult and its god? or do you embrace it with open arms?

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this is an entry for the "le grand guignol" category of ECTOCOMP 2022.

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based in the art without blood universe. you do not need to play any of the other games in this world to play this one.

loosely based on the song of the same name by queens of the stone age. there are inspirations also from worst girls games's we know the devil, if only for introducing me to this song.

contains:

3 endings
7.5k words
22 character sprites
i'm sorry to everyone on the forums who has to read this.


Game Details


Awards

4th Place, Le Grand Guignol - English - ECTOCOMP 2022

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
It's Halloween, and you're in a cult. What could go wrong?, November 13, 2022
by N. Cormier
Related reviews: Ectocomp 2022

God is in the Radio is a short visual novel made in ReníPy, and with its heavy emphasis on the visual side stands out from the crowd. (This is no mean feat given the number of high-quality games in this yearís Ectocomp!) The story focuses on an unnamed cult centered around the Major Arcana of the Tarot, who have just been told by their High Priestess that they can hear a message from God of they complete a ritual involving a radio. The plot is mostly on rails, with the protagonist Death being given a few choices to decide how they feel or react to the whole ritual situation - these wonít change things immediately, but will affect what ending you get.

Despite the relative lack of interactivity, I had no trouble staying engaged with the plot. Part of this is because the story is well-written and well-paced, with tension slowly rising at every step. The other part is due to some kind of writing wizardry, because there are 22(!!!) characters including the protagonist - one for every Major Arcana in the Tarot. They all have unique portraits and uniquely defined characterization, and somehow despite being a short game with this many characters it doesnít feel overstuffed. Mostly I think this is because the full cast only participates in the ritual, with a more limited number being part of the rising tension beforehand. Even with that it would be easy for the ritual portion to outstay its welcome so I am deeply impressed.

My only gripe with this game is how the endings are managed - the three choices are spread out throughout the game, and as far as I can tell different choices wonít change anything until you get a different ending. Because of this I wasnít motivated to play through again in the hope of seeing the other endings (I got ending 2), but I donít think this is necessarily a flaw in the game, per se. Most VNs Iíve played are like this (i.e. with long sections of non-interactive text between choices) but most of them make up for it by allowing you to skip text youíve already seen, effectively fast-forwarding you to important choices and/or new content. God is in the Radio was written in four and a half hours and is a phenomenal game given that restriction, but I think it could be elevated further if the author implemented a similar feature.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A tarot- and cult-influenced Halloween Visual Novel, November 11, 2022
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

This is an impressive game for one made in 4 hours.

It features a kind of cult or religion that has 22 members, one for each of the major arcana. You are death. One of the highlights for the game is the custom art of each member (one of which features the non-sexual nudity mentioned in the content warnings). My favorite was the high priestess, with a symbolic-looking pose.

There is also music, background images, etc. The gameplay style is Visual Novel style, with several pages of text interspersed by few but impactful choices. I only saw a few choices, and it was hard to know the outcome, but I know there are multiple endings (I got ending 2).

The story is that your cult is horrified by Halloween, when the devil's servants are allowed to walk around unless placated by candy, so you go to a house whose owners have died and decayed in order to try to hear God's voice on the radio.

Overall, the writing is well-done, descriptive and evocative, and the game is well-polished for being made in such a short time. My current preference is to have more agency in a story (or to be able to read more quickly for replays for endings), so I wish I had a bit more to do. The worldbuilding is done well, and I'm glad I played.

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Polls

The following polls include votes for God is in the Radio:

Outstanding Horror Game of 2022 - Player's Choice by MathBrush
This poll is part of the 2022 IFDB Awards. The rules for the competition can be found here, and a list of all categories can be found here. This award is for the best horror game of 2022. Voting is open to all IFDB members. Eligible...

Outstanding Worldbuilding of 2022 - Player's Choice by MathBrush
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