Family is brilliant. The theme fits the mechanics perfectly, and the music is excellent. Really enjoyed it. Great work! - Lucas Pope, Papers Please, Return of the Obra Dinn.

Want to talk about Family? Join the Discord

Want more? Check out Rivals, due on 21st of September.

Reviews

 As a piece of detective micro-fiction...t’s great, because it has what most attempts at detective games don’t really nail: the personal touch - Alice Bell, Rock Paper Shotgun

 Family is a brief submersion into a time gone by...It's a game about relaxing in a warm memory, either your own or in my case, someone else's. And you know what? The Smiths: finally I'm beginning to see why. - Robert Purchese, Eurogamer

Family is great...clearly borne from a love and deep understanding of indie music, and of a bygone age of music journalism... If the words 'NME' and 'Melody Maker' are not just meaningless noise, you should probably play it. - Tom Sykes, PC Gamer

"Goodness me, this is a clever thing... really satisfying hour or so. It’s quite mad that this is free...a job well done" - John Walker (RPS Founder), Buried Treasures.

Family is a really interesting concept... a different kind of detective game and definitely one worth giving a look if you have any interest in the pop scene of that era. - Jupiter Hadley, IndieGamesPlus.

If you have enjoyed this game, please leave a review. I appreciate them very much.

Overview

Family is a puzzle game, based around a fictional, forgotten 80s indie music scene.

Discover the strange and wonderful music of long-lost bands, while uncovering their stories.

A note about the Web Version

This has a slimmed down version of the cut scenes for intro, tutorial and outro. The rest of game is identical. However, I do recommend downloading the 'full fat' Windows version, if you have option.

Credits

Music, Art & Code by Tim Sheinman (Owl_Skip)

Voice work by Hattie Snooks, Daniel Duke, Mark West

Bass Guitar - Ali Wedderburn.

Soundtrack

Instructions

In the main game screen, you can open the family tree by clicking on the bottom left hand corner.

You may identify any musician by clicking on them and selecting a name from the book.

Upon selecting 5 musicians correctly, the game will let you know.

When all 30 musicians are identified. The game is completed.

Installation

Windows: Download file and run installer

Mac: 

This only works on OS before Catalina.

Mac can be really tough to run indie programs on. However, here is how to do it.

1. Got to system preferences.

2. Open Security.

3. In General, change 'Allow apps downloaded from' to Anywhere.

4. If this is not possible, go to the terminal and type sudo spctl --master-disable. Then type in your password. 

5. Download and open application. 



Purchase

Buy Now$2.99 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $2.99 USD. You will get access to the following files:

Family Game Installer (Windows v1.9).exe 286 MB
Family Game Installer (Mac 1.9).zip 299 MB

Development log

Comments

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Thanks to thesixthaxis, found this, wonderful way to kill a few hours instead of working today! Thanks mate, a work of art.

Thanks very much!

Honestly, I have no idea how you are supposed to know the person on drums in Dowa Pawlowa, so I kinda got a little frustrated at the end, and I still dont know how you should figure that one out.

But I got it through guessing and it is still a really great game. 

IIRC this was the person that was supposed to replace drummer in the band other member of Dowa played in.

Ahh, this was fantastic. Thank you.

You are very welcome!

Are you able to change the resolution of the game?

Oh, one other thing -- it seems that the game is set up so that the Itch client runs the installer every time you play?

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Heads-up on a technical issue: I have a 16:10 monitor, and when I play the Windows version, the sides of the interface are cut off: https://imgur.com/a/3TMFZov

I'll work around it by changing my desktop resolution for the moment, but it would be nice if the game could accommodate it :)

I am in love. I adore 70s, 80s music and this game made my little fangirl heart so happy. All the bands felt so real, I felt like I was reading actual interviews and news and notes. I am enamoured with the songs too! I love Casta Nyet's Love Songs the most because it feels so intimate. This whole game feels so intimate. Thank you for this!

P.S. If you think this game is exactly your jam, I recommend reading "Daisy Jones & the Six" by Taylor Jenkins Reid. They compliment each other perfectly with this game.

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Fantastic game, beat in one sitting but didnt feel too short at all. The soundtrack is wonderful and i would definitely buy it on its own. Would love more info on the musicians involved?

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Absolutely loved this, short but so sweet.

Soundtrack is fantastic, and the whole thing comes together in a package that really draws you in.

Would absolutely love to see more of this!

That's great, and you will.

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This is a gem. As someone who cut up magazine interviews of my favorite bands and dropped everything when their songs played on the radio - this really took me somewhere. Excellent storytelling, and a genuinely satisfying logic puzzle. Loved it from start to finish! Can't wait for the songs to be available.

Thanks! Songs are available on bandcamp, see link in description.

As a music lover I enjoyed this so much! Great music, chill atmosphere and was very satisfying to figure out all the names~

Loved Dova Pavlova and the Watercolours as soon as I heard them, nice to know they were based on some of my favorite bands! 

Ah excellent, thanks very much!

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Loved the game! Android port someday?

It was fun

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Personal Main Takeaways:

  • Ella Neil is damn great
  • Alex is a curse
  • They really did that to a sheep!???
  • Great Music, Great Game
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If you want to make her day, tweet @hattiesnooks as if she's ella.

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will we ever get the music on spotify? I really loved listening to it!!

Thanks! I will surely upload it soon.

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What I'm about to say I say in the nicest way possible: This game feels like one of those strange BBC "web games" from the mid 00's. It feels really intimate, and I remember thinking "Oh no, he's a dickhead" about one of the characters when I got more clues. I'm really glad I played this!

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Thanks! Look, if I could have made it on ceefax...I would have made it on ceefax.

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I wasn't even a fan of this scene before. I am now.


This game, while not difficult, does require a little bit of your brain. I did my first playthrough with my speakers low (rest of the house asleep) but with a couple guesses I still got through. Second time, doing it the proper way, by logically going through everything and listening to the audio clues (I knew who everyone was, but wanted to see if there were no areas where you had to guess)...I still found everyone.


The songs are amazing. The radio interview is amazing. The clues give you just enough to keep searching. It's not a long game, it's not a difficult game, but it's a wonderful game nonetheless.


4.75/5 from me.


The developer should sell the soundtrack. Loving the songs.

Thanks very much! You can pay what you like for the downloadable soundtrack on the bandcamp site listed in the game description.

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This game is lovely. I'm a sucker for all of these genres and music history and nerdiness in general, and you can really tell a lot of time and soul went into putting things together in a thoughtful way. The radio interview bits were well done and it was neat getting an extra layer of hints. It really felt like I was starting to get to know some of these people and bands.

I'm also stuck on my last 5. I feel like 3 or 4 of them *have* to be right, but even cycling through what's left for the remainders, nothing is quite clicking. Do you have any extra hints, or a solution that shows where the hints were if I weren't a goober and read better? It's Klanger's synth player and Dova Pavlova, in particular the drummer. (Watercolors' bassist is the last one but that's totally a given by now.)

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If you need help, just leap into the discord.

This combines my love of 80’s indie music with a really cool idea for a game, and is just the kind of game I’ve been wanting to make myself for ages. So thanks for saving me the effort! :D

PS. Nice job on approximating The Jesus & Mary Chain (et al) there..

Hey, glad you'll be able to use that time for something else.

With JAMC, had to really work to make the guitars sound crap enough, modern effects pedals are not up to the job!

What a brilliant little game. Tracing the band members thru the years was intuitive without being trivial, and I was able to get them all without the need for guessing.

love the presentation and effort that went into the game, between the songs, the radio, the album covers, and the text  passages. Family has an enormous amount of charm, and I cannot wait to see what the developers will do next.

What an excellent game! I loved the organic nature of the scene. It felt very authentic, especially the clashing personalities.

It's a real gem! Great game! I'm recommending it to any one and every one!

Thanks!

This is so, so good! I'm not even half way but I'm already enjoying it thouroughly. Such a clever and well executed concept too. Definitely going to recommend this to some of my musician friends! I'm piss poor at the moment but I'll make sure I'll donate come payday. 

Many thanks, really glad you enjoyed it so much. Recommend away!

I have to admit 80s London pop music scene is not exactly my forte, but having hanged in other similar music scenes, this was a very familiar phenomenon! The game's very well made and though it felt a bit overwhelming at first, getting started was easy enough and there were enough clues to complete it without resorting to guessing.

Great work! Looking forward to seeing more :)

Really glad you enjoyed it, many thanks!

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This was fantastic, the music was great, and the radio show was excellently produced. I thoroughly enjoyed it

Really glad you enjoyed it, many thanks!

Amazing work! The wife and I played it while having a drink and had a great evening. Would love a follow up if you ever decide to do one.

Thanks! Really glad you enjoyed it. Although in a different setting, I do have a few things you may enjoy on my itch page, which are also detective games using audio. I would suggest The Remains of Richard Fleming, followed by the Russian Doll.

I'll be sure to check them out. Nice one

Terrific work. Loved the radio show in the background, very Sunday afternoon 6Music - could definitely see this expanding and deepening, it's a really neat piece and world.

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Thanks! Sundays are the heart of 6Music- Guy, Cerys, Jarvis, all that good stuff. Had a lot of fun recording the show and sticking my crap jokes in.

Loved it!

Thanks very much!

Very cool!

Thanks very much!

I really like 80s and 90s alternatives and all these were spot on stylistically. Also I love reading about music scenes so this is awesome! Would love one for other decades/genres!

Thanks very much! If you're interested in this stuff, check out Rock Family Trees, the 90s show by John Peel (it's on youtube). The game is partially dedicated to this and takes lots of cues from it. Regarding making this for new scenes...what an exhausting prospect...but, what scenes would you suggest? :)

2000s garage, 1970s new york, 1960s new york folk, 1990s K records-type thing

Oh my,  all excellent choices. I think 1960s one would be like Inside Llewelyn Davis. It was a deliberate choice not to pick a scene that was vastly known about like grunge or Britpop. I always think the most interesting thing about scenes is the early days, before anyone knows what they're about, don't you?

That's very true. In that case I would look into a book called Perfect Youth. It's a book with really obscure early Canadian punk scenes. Very good read!

This was absolutely brilliant! Pitch perfect music stylings, great performances in the radio sections, and a generally really fun multi media logic puzzle. Could have happily had it go on for longer! More please :D 

Many thanks! If you enjoyed that, you may also enjoy this.

The Remains of Richard Fleming

What are your inspirations for each band? I was really disappointed they were only imagined. They sound seriously amazing, I would love to show my dad- who's a fan of 80's music just like this.

(+1)

Rara- Jesus and Mary Chain

Rialtos -The Smith's

Klanger - Soft Cell

Easy Tiger - Kate Bush 

Clarisse- Elvis Costello

Casta Nyet- Mock Turtles/Stone Rose's

Little Red Marx - Talk Talk/Tears for Fears

Dova Pavlova - Slowdive

The Watercolours - Cocteau Twins

very fun and interesting puzzle. i really enjoyed how it gives you breadcrumbs... :)

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this was excellent, it felt so real, I actually went on looking up the bands on the internet afterwards ;)

I love the mood, you caught the 80-90s nostalgia really well. Dova Pavlova is my personal favorite :)

(+1)

Many thanks. Dova Pavlova is based on Slowdive, so perhaps you may enjoy this band, if you dont already.

Okay so I don't usually comment on here (hell I don't log in most of the time), but damn this was good. 

Music was amazing. I'll admit I don't know much about music composition, but it sounded so well developed. I loved how you could hear the changes in the sounds for each band. The radio segments didn't feel scripted, felt like I was listening to an actual radio interview. It had me looking up the bands to see if they were real. 

The varied formats of the puzzle clues kept it interesting, though I will say the puzzle itself wasn't super difficult. Not a downside, the clues mixed in with the radio created a multidimensional experience as is.

Awesome game to get lost in for an hour, excellent work.

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Thanks very much, that's just great to hear! Really glad you enjoyed.