Spare Parts Episode 1 is a a low sci-fi visual novel about a sheltered, young, queer woman named Lucy who has just left her parents’ home for the first time and is trying to make it on her own in the city. She manages to find a roommate who’s willing to cover her half of the rent while she looks for a job, but the latter isn’t proving too easy. Until one day, she stumbles upon a weird shop that’s apparently selling spare mechanical parts. The owner is a bit strange, but so is Lucy, so she doesn’t balk when the woman hires her to be the shop’s cashier after just one meeting.
Lucy is a trusting and pretty naïve person, so she accepts the job without question, despite how odd the circumstances and the shop owner clearly are. Little does she know she’s signed up for a lot more than she bargained for. For starters, her boss — who she calls Owen, despite the fact that they clearly say their name is Unit 01 — is an odd person, to say the least. She’s quiet, and doesn’t seem to think of the usual human needs an employee would have, like breaks for food or to use the bathroom. She also doesn’t seem to have any qualms with breaking laws or trespassing, as she gets arrested on Sophie’s first day at work.
Like any other totally normal spare parts shop, there’s also an employees only room that leads to an abandoned computer lab deep beneath the store. Here Lucy meets another strange young woman, one who’s very friendly but insists on keeping her name a secret, even as she actively pursues a friendship with Lucy. Beyond her naivety, Lucy is also a sucker for a cute, weird girl, so she’s pretty much screwed from the get go.
Spare Parts is an ongoing series, so if you find yourself entranced by Lucy’s strange adventure into retail, you can check out Episodes 2 and 3 as well on itch.io.