A downloadable game for Windows, macOS, and Linux

Synopsis

Following her late husband’s funeral, a widow laments her loss. The townsfolk's whispers surround her every time she leaves the house, rumours she cannot avoid no matter how she tries.

Yet one night, everything she wishes to ignore will be laid bare as she steps into a twisted reality — one borne from her own heart.


Features

🕸️10k words

🕸️Three different endings

🕸️Beautifully drawn sprites and spooky backgrounds

🕸️A chilling soundtrack to accompany your journey with the Widow

🕸️Four CGs

🕸️German expressionist silent film vibes


Characters

Character Card (The Widow): Quiet and timid, the Widow is often the talk of the town due to her reclusive nature―especially adter the passing of her Husband, the beloved town doctor. When she can't hide any longer, rumours drive her to disappear into the woods―but there, she faces an even darker enemy.

Character Card (The Husband): The Widow's Husband was known throughout the town as the kind and gentle doctor. Everyone mourned when he passed. But behind closed doors and in the comfort of their home, he could drop his facade, revealing something more sinister.

Character Card (The Shadow): An alluring shadow who appears to haunt the Widow in the twisted reality. Who is she and how does she know so much about the Widow and her inner thoughts?

Content Warnings

WARNING! This game contains themes and mentions of:
Death, domestic abuse, mentions of murder, gaslighting, cheating, monsters, spider imagery, mentions of war, drugging
One ending contains:
Stabbing, blood, choking

Crew

Florisam
Project Lead, Lead Writer, CG Artist, BG Artist


EdgesSystem
Programmer


Fluffnight (Tammy)
Co-writer


Victoria L.
Co-writer


Rian
Sprite & CG Artist


Cara
Background Artist


z0mbievalentine
Background Artist


Skai2blue4u
GUI Artist/Designer


Leporine
Logo Designer, End Card Designer, Game Page Designer


Leon Artmann
Sound Designer


Ryan X. Messcher
Composer


Alyssa
Editor/Proofreader


More Teeth, Please
Editor/Proofreader


Chantal De Leon
Tester

StatusReleased
PlatformsWindows, macOS, Linux
Rating
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(26 total ratings)
AuthorFlorisam
GenreVisual Novel
Tags2D, Female Protagonist, Historical, Horror, Narrative, Period Piece, Psychological Horror, suspense
Average sessionAbout a half-hour

Download

Download
Windows/Linux - The Widow's Shadow 442 MB
Download
Mac - The Widow's Shadow 407 MB

Development log

Comments

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(+1)

I really enjoyed this, the best thing is really the music in this case, which was a lot of in depth tunes that truly scared me deeply. The graphics, and the monochrome art really fit this, and I liked how its themes fit, and how much the husband wasn't all that different from his own shadow because he was already his true self to her, and that's why she had such difficulty in figuring out who she is. And how she can barely recognize her own shadow too. This is a much deeper story than I anticipated at least. And the shadow too, and the concept, and how there was a mob, and how she was perceived, in comparison to her mental state was starkly contrasted. 

I really enjoyed this story a lot. I had also done a playthrough for it: 

(+1)

Now that's a scary story. And not because of the spiders...

(+1)

A banger of a presentation, with art and design referencing German Expressionist films, but it doesn't stop with the visuals.  Beautiful, engaging music and knockout sound design (which I think is often an afterthought).  I played with a set of stereo headphones on and I heard the wind in the trees, every approaching footstep, and every shuddering creak of an opening door. 

The theme of the story, too is like many Expressionist works--explores sanity and insanity, the subjective perception of reality, and human nature at odds with itself.  Deeper still, we find a character struggling to come to terms with a relationship that has ended, and the exploration here is nuanced, thoughtful, and relatable.

Beautiful game!

Having players notice the German Expressionism inspirations always brings a smile to my face! Thank you so much for your comment, we're all very happy our work resonates in such a way >v<

(+1)

(note- copied from rating page!)

The story was really engaging (the camerawork really added to the theatrics!) and I ended up really sympathising with the widow (ending 3 is so deserved!!!!!),  and the art direction- a wonderful homage to film noir! The character designs convey the reality of their 'true selves' really well! (I especially love shadow widow's design (don't want to spoil name)- blinds over eyes,,, ahhh symbolism). The music really was the cherry on top, it tied it all together!

Amazing work, team! (´꒳`)♡

(+1)

Beautiful game, really captured a Burtonesque style which I feel aids perfectly to the altered reality theme we experience in the game. I love that the endings change based on how we perceive and respond to memories revolving around our husband. 

You did a great job on this game!  

Thank you so much for playing and recording it! We always love watching people play and your video was really fun >v<

(+1)

(Copied from the Spooktober Review Page to help with the Itch.io algorithm!)

A polished and intriguing little visual novel! I won't spoil the endings, but what I will say is that your use of camerawork and cinematic techniques was really effective for the story you're telling. This is an excellent example of how to use limited resources as effectively as possible.

I also enjoyed the art direction of this visual novel: the 1920's silent film setting was well-executed, and the character designs reflected the period well too. Special shout-out to the titular Widow's Shadow, with her gorgeous spider-like costuming and makeup.

Really enjoyed this title - thank you for making it!

(+1)

The aesthetic is so beautiful, and the story depicted was so starkly real it definitely affected me more than I was expecting going in...

But I absolutely love how well you handled the subject matter all in all; the true ending was so wonderfully moving... thank you!


Thank you so much for giving it a try! And I hope you're alright now despite the heavy feelings it may have caused <3

I'm beyond happy seeing you enjoy the game, so, once again, thanks!

(+1)

Oooh--I've been looking forward to this entry since it was announced, and it still far exceeded my hopes as a deliciously spooky love-letter to a film genre and era I adore! A phenomenally polished and beautifully designed package, with an absolutely stunning soundtrack (put me vividly in mind of watching old Kino Video editions of G.W. Pabst films!), gorgeous character art and UI, stylish backgrounds, and fantastic, atmospheric sound design. The story is structured with a clear knowledge of its genre and almost surgical artistic precision. One of my favorites so far, for certain!

(+1)

You have no idea how giddy I got seeing a comment mentioning that you also adore the film genre! German Expressionism just has a lovely little place in my heart and I'm delighted to see it get acknowledged! Thank you so much for your comment, it has made us in the team quite happy!

(+2)

Very well put together story that had me captivated from the start! The aesthetic and cinemaphotography was beautiful. The music and sound effects suited each moment. Amazing work to everyone on this team!

(+4)

I enjoyed every second of this game and am still reeling from how beautifully told the story is! Its art style and use of motion was striking from the get-go and the protagonist's plight immediately intrigued me. 

At many points I stopped and thought to myself how well the music and sound effects went with every moment, and I loved the use of camerawork in the hallway--a really smart move in maximising the assets you have for effective storytelling. The rest of the camerawork also accompanied the story well, and I can't wait to see what will happen if you push it further for future projects.

Amazing work, all of you! 🎉

It took me so long to properly reply to your comment, but just know it's because it made me so happy to see it, I didn't even know what to say!

I'm very happy you enjoyed it, and honestly the rest of the team appreciates your praise as well! I must agree, the music and sounds are great, and our programmer did a wonderful job with the camerawork! I'm really looking forward to learn and try to do more with it >v<

(+3)

This was such a wild ride. I love every second of it, the vibe kinda reminds of that really old vampire movie and that french film les diabolique , which is one of the movies I really love.  The art, music and everything else just compliments the writing. You should check this game out. 

I'm glad you enjoyed it! If you mean Nosferatu, you're right on the money, as it's one of the movies that inspired this in some regards! I have never seen Les Diaboliques, but after looking it up I'm intrigued, perhaps I should take a look!

Thank you so much for playing! <3

Gamepad support? Will you put on steam?

We built the game in Ren'Py, which I believe has automatic gamepad support. So yes, you should be able to play it that way.

As for Steam, we have no plans to publish there right now.

so beauty novel

(+6)

The Burton-esque art style and character designs (I found the choice to give a horn-shaped hairstyle to one specific character especially brilliant!) and achromatic aesthetic of this game perfectly suit the story. 

Oh, and what a story it is! Once the spooky portion of the VN began, I was reminded of Coraline initially, but you've managed to utilize the premise to relay a concise, cohesive message that matters and hits hard. I believe this story has the potential to resonate and provide catharsis to many readers who have undergone similar experiences as the widow and who have dealt with people like her late husband. 

I enjoyed getting all the endings! One particular moment in Ending 2 gave me chills. Perfection! Your team should be very proud of yourselves for releasing such a solid visual novel! Congratulations!

(Note: Copy-pasting this comment from the Spooktober VN Jam 2023 page.)

(+2)

Thank you for your lovely comment! I have to admit the horn-shaped hair is one of my proudest ideas haha!

I'm really happy to read your thoughts about the story, I really hope it positively resonates with those who read it! Catharsis was definitely something I had in mind for one of the endings!

One more time, thank you for taking your time to comment <3

(+6)

I'm absolutely floored. This game has easily and instantly become one of my favourite VNs! Everything from the writing, music, cinematography and art style come together in a beautifully crafted package and a deeply felt, emotional story.

Everyone on the team deserves a big pat on the back!

(+2)

Thank you so much! It's an honour for it to be deemed one of your faves!! <3

(+5)

Lovely use of silhouettes and Tim Burton-esque eye bags to convey the mood of the whole story. This is such a haunting tale that makes me sad for all the housewives that had to put up with this!

I appreciated how everyone’s names was THE WIDOW, THE NOSY VILLAGER, THE WIDOW’S FRIEND, giving the sense of Brother’s Grimm fairy tale anonymity to everyone.

The music set the tone so well, as did all the creepy CGs! It takes a toll on you to pick the choices that unlocks the final CG, and it’s such a relief to have another path where she

SPOILER ALERT BELOW

stands up for herself!

(+2)

Thank you so much for playing! I'm really happy you liked our way of telling the story >v<

I'm quite sure Tim Burton has gotten influenced by German Expressionism, the film movement that inspired this game! So I can absolutely see the comparison!

I'm also super happy to hear you liked the name aspect of the characters, I thought it'd be a neat touch! (And then even give an extra push to one of the endings!)

(+5)

I don't think I've seen this level of cinematrography in any other visual novel! The movement, the art, the expresions, it all kept it alive at all times. The music was just perfect, thrilling to the very end. I got the end 3, and quite honestly? I'm quite happy with that one, felt very fitting, yet I still got to try the other ones.

The initial idea was just so good, and the different paths that the mind game proposed were both, thrilling and confusing. Will you break? Will you carry on forward? What certainties do you have? Just so relatable.

Congratulations, you lot really hit the ball out of the park with this one! I don't know if it was the goal, but I tottaly want to watch german expresionism now lol

(+5)

This was so good!! I only got the third ending, so I still need to go back and check out the other two, but what I saw on its own was great! Every part of it; art, music, writing, and even the little details like how the character sprites moved in certain scenes to match what they were doing. I also love how the setting leaves you asking just enough questions to leave you wanting more! :D

I always love a good trauma story, and this one feels so grim and honest and empowering and it does so in such a short time. Loved every moment of it!!

(+5)

Really enjoyed the art and music.  

(+5)

Really stylized black-and-white horror game about a widow confronting her past.

Very psychological and intriguing, with compelling writing!

The aesthetics, the music, the sounds (and even lack thereof at times) really feed into a cohesive mood and atmosphere.

Definitely recommend!! (despite knowing nothing about German Expressionism xD)

(+8)

Nothing prepared me for such a ride. This game is a masterpiece in every possible way!! Firstly, the art is GORGEOUS and it conveys the German Expressionism aesthetic so well! The programming accentuates this with how cinematic it makes everything look, it truly feels like I'm watching a silent film from the 1920s (not putting voice acting in the game was a great choice since it enhances the experience of the silent era of cinema). The MUSIC, omg, the music is SO GOOD and draws you into the story even more!! No joke, I'd love to have the sountrack, it was amazing. And, of course, THE WRITING!! It's so charming and captivating!! The way the characters talk has a very cinematic feel. Nothing feels excessive or out of place, it flows naturally and has really good pacing. And can I just say... the ending where she stood up for herself, with that last reveal that you never question before, when you just call her "the widow", it's poetic justice. I love it so much!! Don't even get me started on the symbolism of the black widow spider. Amazing. This is definitely a must play!!

(+7)

To say I enjoyed this story is an understatement, it was EXTRAORDINARY!!!!!!!

First, let's appreciate the art, the music and the implementation of the assets: the game really managed to recreate the vibe of German impressionism, but of course, in a VN, more modern format (which shows through the excellency fo the writing). The GUI was also beautiful, and I insist on congratulating everyone who worked on this: the game was a completely polished experience, beautifully represented by the sprites, the CGs, the music, the backgrounds, the animation and camera movements... It was dramatic when it needed to be, and there is real cinematography attached to the game. So congrats on all the team!

Also, story-wise, I loved the main character (the widow). It was easy to connect with her as a protagonist, as she felt very grounded. It's complicated to really go into details without spoilers, but overall, our choices really shape the character and her reactions to both the husband and the shadow who can both get equally-threatening figures, looming over her. My favourite ending, in particular, was the second one, as the third one is more empowering and the first one OH MY GOD SO DRAMATIC (and I loved them both for what they brought to the story), the second one kept the widow's grounded nature, and was the more realistic take on the topic mentioned: not being able to hate your abuser, but still feeling relieved to be free from them.

Overall, what a game it was! It was consistent, well-written (the phrasing was very good), deep, emotional, dramatic, grounded, intense, bittersweet, frightening, nostalgic - long story short, a whirlwind of emotions and vibes!!! Congrats on all the team for this STUNNING entry, it was WONDERFUL!!!!

(+3)

Chim! Your comment was honestly a delight to read, you have no idea how happy it makes me! Everyone did such a lovely work for this game and I dare say that it's even better than what I had first envisioned.

I'm also very glad you liked our protagonist! We tried our best to make her a compelling character that at the same time felt real, and like any of the endings could still make sense for her depending on how the player goes about it (and I have to admit, the endings are some of the most fun parts to me hehe). I really like your take that the second ending feels the most grounded, and I'm inclined to agree!

Thank you so, so much for playing our game and taking the time to comment <3

(+7)

I'd love to write a cohesive comment but I'm not quite sure if I can. It was a beautiful experience. Going from the supernatural, odd occurrences to the pure catharsis of finally liberating yourself from the grasp of an abusive relationship hits HARD. "And then I'm going to live" literally made me cry. I don't know what else to say. I need to get the two remaining endings. VERY good job, this game will live in my head rent free for a long while.

(+3)

Just knowing that you liked it so much is enough to put a smile to my face, and I think the rest of the team agrees! Seeing that ending hit as hard as it did feels like a job well done, and I can only hope you also enjoy the other two when you get to them! Thank you so much for your support so far and for playing our game!