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Mask of the Rose demo launches today

Mask of the Rose, a visual novel game set in the setting of Fallen London, today launches a demo to let players get in on the action. And no, we don’t just mean that kind of action… Though we’re certain they’ll be plenty of that too.

For players who haven’t had the chance to play previous games in the London Fallen setting, let us set the scene: you play a protagonist who has to face the early days of living in a London that’s been dragged underground by bats. As you can probably tell from that description alone: it’s not exactly an easy time for you.

Even so, you won’t be alone during this difficult time. In times of strife, people either pull apart or together. With Mask of the Rose taking place in the early days of such a traumatic upheaval, it’ll be up to players to decide whether they are looking for something deeper like romance, or just a friend to help them through the tough times.

Giving players the choice of experiencing Mask of the Rose as someone just looking for friendship was an obvious choice for Failbetter Games. It also allowed the developers to explore the complexities of relationships that aren’t romantic. It certainly isn’t playing a lesser experience of the game either.

“Not everyone experiences attraction, or experiences it in the same way; not everyone is looking for a romantic connection. And some players simply prefer not to play romantic storylines,” explains creative director Emily Short. “If Mask of the Rose were simply a romance simulator, it might not be possible to build it in a way that would speak to those players. But it is a game about love, which is a different beast – and we have a lot of kinds of love story to tell.”

Fallen London may be a strange setting, but it’s also arguably a great starting point for characters in Mask of the Rose to start again without the constraints of their past life. This, of course, includes the player character as well as the people you meet in-game.

“We’re exploring an intimate view of our setting which we haven’t shown before. The characters are figuring out what they want from life after a seismic change. The fabric of strait-laced Victorian society has started to fray, and we’re able to show how different characters respond. Like your roommate Griz, who is finding a lot more opportunities open to her than when she was pigeonholed as ‘Miss Grizelda’.” adds Communications Director Hannah Flynn.

The Mask of the Rose demo is available to play right now over on Steam. The full game will release on Steam, GOG.com and Nintendo Switch in late October or early November 2022, with console releases for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S planned to follow.

Aimee Hart

[She/They] Aimee Hart is Editor-in-Chief of Gayming Magazine. She specializes in queer fandom, video games and tabletop, having started her career writing for numerous websites like The Verge, Polygon, Input Magazine and more. Her goal now is to boost LGBTQ+ voices in the video games industry.