Some game announcements just immediately grab my attention, and Vampire Therapist is definitely one of them. Honestly, it had me at the title—I mean, Vampire Therapist, there's no way you don't want to know more about that—but the underlying concept looks genuinely interesting too: It's a dark comedy narrative adventure about a cowboy who was turned into a vampire in the 1800s and is now seeking help coming to terms with immortality and finding meaning in his unlife.
The lead character in Vampire Therapist is Sam, who apparently still insists on dressing in his old-time cowboy duds. Guiding him on his journey to self-discovery is Andromachos, a 3,000-year-old vampire who's left behind his life as a warrior and assassin in order to become a therapist for the undead. After some time together, the two team up to help a bizarre array of clients including "self-hating vampires, agoraphobic social media addicts, supernatural narcissists, and victims of centuries-old capitalistic systems."
It's an essentially silly idea (although maybe not—I would imagine that immortality provides plenty of opportunities to pick up some deeply-rooted emotional baggage) but developer Little Bat Games appears to be taking it seriously: Vampire Therapist claims to have"real-life therapy techniques at its core" that were "created with the help and support of licensed therapists," and the developers warned the game "explores sensitive and potentially triggering topics in a historical context, such as war, abuse, sexual oppression, and extremism."
"While the game does not advocate or condone these actions, discussions of these events may be uncomfortable or upsetting for some readers," the Steam page says. "Vampire Therapist does not take a dismissive or trivializing approach to these topics, but rather seeks to comment on them in a way that is engaging, thought-provoking, and often humorous as a way to process trauma."
"Vampire Therapist springs from a belief that humanity could have always benefited from therapy," Little Bat creative director Cyrus Nemati said. "By providing a playfully dark, yet cozy experience, we hope to demystify therapy and show how it can be helpful to anyone, no matter how old they are."
If Nemati's name rings a bell, there's a reason: He's a voice actor with credits in games including Pyre, Hades, I Am Fish, and Star Trek: Infinite. Unsurprisingly, he also provides multiple voices in Vampire Therapist.
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So it's tough at this point to nail down what exactly we can expect from Vampire Therapist, a cozy-Eurogoth game that promises an underlying seriousness to a fundamentally goofy idea, and with no real history behind it—Vampire Therapist is Little Bat's first game—I can't even speculate as to whether this might be genuinely good, or just a funny idea wasted. But what little I've seen of it at this point has me interested enough that I want to know more—and I really hope it delivers. Vampire Therapist is set to launch on Steam in June.