Visual novels are still new territory for gamers outside of Japan. In Japan, the genre is thriving, but they’ve slowly started to grow in popularity in other areas thanks to games like Phoenix Wright and Time Hollow. Independent developer/publisher Tycoon Games has just created Heileen, a new historical-fiction visual novel for PCs, Mac and Linux computers to help expose more gamers to the genre.
In Heileen, you play as Heileen, who happens to be the niece of a merchant in the 17th century who is traveling to the New World. Along the way she’ll be able to help out people she meets, solve problems, make friends or perhaps even make enemies. The game has 3 endings, depending on what paths you choose to follow and is eight chapters long.
There’s a short, three chapter demo that can be download (only 11.4mb for PCs and 14.5mb for Linux) if you’re interested. Unfortunately, it seems like the Mac demo for Heileen is temporarily down. When I tried to download it at 12:07pm CST today (October 24, 2008), I was sent to an Error 404 page. I decided to give it a try (since I enjoy Japanese DS visual novels), and was pleasantly surprised by how interesting the demo was.