Fancy Fish Games
Based in Connecticut

Release date:
March 2017



Regular Price:



Short Description:

When a withdrawn virtual reality nerd has the opportunity to beta test a neural device that feels more "real" than reality itself, everything she assumed about the nature of existence is thrown into question.

Long Description:

Supernovas blaze in the night sky, but the gaming world is abuzz over a new virtual reality console. Jacob Lessard, developer of the Penta device, promises a neural experience more "real" than reality itself. But what does it truly mean for something to be real?

When Lilya arrives at InterMense to beta test the Penta, she expects to spend the weekend battling her social anxiety in exchange for the opportunity to enter the Vitalia simulation. But when Ben, another tester, refuses to leave the world of Vitalia, endangering his life, Lilya sees that she has become involved in something much more eye-opening than she realized. As Lilya, Ben, and Jacob's fates intertwine, they must make some of the hardest decisions of their lives, and confront their own perceptions of the nature of existence.


</reality> is an interactive novel in which your choices shape Lilya and Jacob's beliefs about what is real - and their destinies.

In our increasingly tech-saturated world, </reality> imagines a near future in which virtual reality has become the norm and the line between what is "real" and what is virtual has blurred. The game is a character-focused look at whether what is "real" truly matters - or, whether it is only our perceptions of our realities that makes any difference in our lives. Is there an objective "reality"? Or is that simply a myth? The game was inspired by The Matrix films and the .hack//Sign series.

Some serious mental health themes are intertwined within </reality>'s exploration of perception and objectivity. "In Lilya's character, we are striving to represent a mental health affliction in an accurate and non-romanticized way. We hope to make Lilya a realistic and relatable character, and for those who may not be aware, give a glimpse into the everyday battle of living with - and managing - anxiety," explains project lead Natalie Maletz.


We've been working on the project since July 2016, and have already written our first draft of the script. The idea spawned from another game idea which was similar to the mentioned "gameplay" of the in-game world of Vitalia. However, we then came up with several interesting twists and wanted to focus more on the story as it was honestly more interesting than the gameplay. Thus started our first ever Visual Novel project. After working on the story and visuals for many months, we launched a Kickstarter and were successfully funded on December 10, 2016. Since then, we have been hard at work editing the story and finishing the art, and hope to release the game on April 18, 2017!


  • A Thought-Provoking Narrative - with several mind-bending twists and two perspective characters, the story is both philosophically ambitious and deeply personal.
  • Choices That Matter - a heavily branching story line makes the game re-playable. Your decisions have major consequences - ranging from shifting a character's attitude, to placing them on a different story branch, to re-directing the outcome of the entire game.
  • Expressive Character Art and Visuals - 14 characters (each with various poses and expressions), 12+ background scenes, 17+ CGs/special illustrations, 15+ ending panels.
  • Character and Relationship-Building - rich character development, affected by your choices, and with opportunities for both romantic and non-romantic relationship-building. Romance is optional, and may be pursued from either Lilya or Jacob's perspective.
  • Original Music and Sound Design - by the talented composer Chase Bethea.


</reality> Trailer YouTube

</reality> Gameplay YouTube

Awards & Recognition

    Selected Articles

    • "</reality> presents a well formulated story, that will genuinely make you care for its characters, and wish to see them excel in whatever path you choose for them."
      - Brittney Williams, Warp Zoned
    • "Truly, a gem of a game in a genre that is often overlooked."
      - Heather Johnson, Equity Arcade

    About Fancy Fish Games

    Fancy Fish Games is an indie game development studio dedicated to creating imaginative and thought-provoking experiences. Games that are designed to make you think, wonder, and ask questions - either during actual play, or upon reflection.

    Our goal is to make games that are unlike what you have seen before. Games that are quirky, non-traditional, or metaphorical. To actually have an impact on your life, or how you think about life, even after you've finished playing our games.

    More information
    More information on Fancy Fish Games, our logo & relevant media are available here.