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Visual Novel / Lovely Little Thieves

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Lovely Little Thieves is a Ren'Py-based Visual Novel currently in development by PangoDango Games. It was originally set for release in fall 2015, but has since been pushed back to some point in the future for reasons explained here.

At its core a tribute to the classic Slasher Movies of The '80s, the story follows the college student Dawn, as her and five peers are on a road trip from Rhode Island down to Daytona Beach for spring break. Not one day into the long drive, however, the group’s van breaks down in the middle of a thick forest in northern Virginia. With no help in sight and the sun rapidly setting, the gang scouts the forest, and finds a dilapidated hilltop mansion, marked only with the number "72."

The strange house triggers a horrible flash of recognition in Dawn, as she has recently been plagued by nightmares of an eerily similar place and a strange and powerful creature with red eyes tormenting her. But her friends, desperate for shelter, decides go inside. But after they encounter a mysteriously ancient corpse propped up in the dining room, they soon find that the mansion refuses to let them leave again, as all exits are suddenly blocked by what appear to be a supernatural force. What's worse, the assumed house number "72" turns out to be another warning: the number warps and shifts lower every hour, counting down to an unknown fate at the end of their 3-day visit. She doesn't know it yet, but the lives of her companions are in Dawn's hands...

The Kickstarter campaign for the game is here. A demo, containing the first section of the game, is currently available here. The developer's Tumblr page about the game can be found here.

This Visual Novel contains instances of:

  • The All-American Boy: Russell is this on the surface, but is a lot more hot-headed and even paranoid than most examples.
  • Amnesiac Hero: A Downplayed example: Dawn's nightmares have been messing with her memory, to the point that when she wakes up during the car ride it takes some time for her to remember what's going on and who she's with. The decisions the player makes throughout the game impact her personality.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Colin and his huge ego and occasional brattiness rubs a lot of people the wrong way, but, ironically, his older sister Danielle is one of the few people he actually gets along well with.
  • Anyone Can Die: Depending on Dawn's decisions, naturally.
  • The Bet: Dawn and Colin can make a wager over whether or not Dawn will be capable of proving Colin wrong about something during the course of the vacation.
  • Brutal Honesty: If, when given a choice between turning Colin's joke back on him or telling him off for being mean, you choose to tell him off, Colin will give this trope as an explanation for his behavior: according to Colin, most people in the world are happy to accept lies, so it's up to people like Colin to be honest with people.
  • Childhood Friends: Dawn and Danielle.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: As the blonde college student Dawn is the player character, you can play Dawn as this trope depending on your decisions.
  • Haunted House: The hilltop mansion.
  • A House Divided: The group of characters could barely get along even when things were going fine. Once the car breaks down and things start getting worse, the veneer of civility goes very, very quickly.
  • Idle Rich: Colin and Danielle are both trust fund kids. Though Danielle is quite self-conscious about it, and actually wishes her father would give her more responsibility in the family company.
  • The Ingenue: During the van ride, Randy uses this trope to poke fun at Dawn and Russell: he says that Russell is a lucky man, because Dawn is like a baby bird that has been snatched from the heavens and placed in Russell's "clumsy man hands", in Randy's words, and Daytona will probably be lots of fun for Russell with Dawn reminding him to say his prayers before bed. Dawn protests that she's not that innocent.
  • Insufferable Genius: Colin is by all means quite clever, and he won't let anyone forget that fact. However, Colin is a more nuanced take on this trope than usual: he and Dawn can make a bet over whether or not Dawn can prove Colin wrong about something over the course of the vacation, and this wager is Colin's idea, so Colin is open to the possibility that he might be wrong about something, but he's very confident it won't happen.
  • It's All My Fault: Russell has a temper, but he is aware of this and blames himself for it. He also thinks that while Dawn has been "distant" from him lately, it must have been something he did to cause it.
  • Jerkass: Mostly Colin, but Russell also has his moments, and Danielle slips into this once when she steals Russell's flashlight.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: If you scold Colin for being mean instead of turning his joke back on him, Colin will point out that Randy made a vulgar joke about Dawn and Russell earlier, but because Randy hid it in an acronym, Dawn didn't realize it. So, as Colin points out, the reason Dawn is telling off Colin and not Randy is because Colin is more forthright.
  • Kick the Dog: After the van breaks down, Colin insults Randy even though Colin knew Randy was already feeling terrible about the van.
  • The Leader: Russell is the headstrong type. He is proactive, brave, and has a strong sense of right and wrong. But his stubbornness and preference for browbeating people into following his command combined with his proneness to fits of stress and paranoia, causes quite a bit of friction with the rest of the group.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Danielle. Her exact sexuality hasn't come up in game yet, but she was confirmed to be gay by the writer. There is one small hint so far: when Dawn asks Danielle why the latter is grilling the former about her relationship with Russell, Danielle blushes and gives an evasive answer, although Dawn misunderstands and thinks Danielle is trying to set her up with Jay.
  • Multiple Endings: Nine are planned, with the majority having wider variations depending on who survived/who Dawn ends up with.
  • The Napoleon: Colin is aggressively self-conscious about the fact that he is the smallest member of the group.
  • Nice Guy: At one point, Danielle will ask Dawn if she really does like Russell, or if she's only dating him because it's convenient right now. If Dawn answers that she really does like Russell, she'll describe him as this trope; while Dawn acknowledges that Russell has a temper, he's a patient guy in the ways that count.
  • Nice Girl: You can play Dawn as this depending on your decisions.
  • Rose-Haired Sweetie: Danielle has pink hair, though Dawn mentions that she used to be black-haired before she started dyeing it.
  • Sixth Ranger: Jay is a tag-along to the group at the beginning, only really knowing Danielle as the two of them are lab-partners.
  • The Stoic: Jay. Nobody really knows anything about him, and if you try to ask him a question in the car, he gives a very short answer, seemingly confused as to why you're even talking to him. In the demo, his stoic demeanor breaks once: when Russell blames him for the suspicious goings-on in the house, Jay angrily explains to Russell that while everyone else was freaking out, he was going all over the house testing every possible escape route.
  • The Stoner: Randy is quite fond of weed.
  • Too Clever by Half: Colin.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: Unlike most visual novels, where you get onto a route by winning over the character involved, Dawn gets close to a character based on the kind of person that your choices have made her. This makes the route process a little more obscure, as it isn't always obvious what kind of person attracts the character you're trying to get.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: If you opt to take supplies from the van instead of meeting up with Russell right away, in the ensuing conversation, Danielle mentions that she really needs to let her little brother Colin have it, as "he used to be so sweet."
  • Vaporware: With an announcement in 2014 and a scheduled release of 2015, yeah, it's pretty much become this. Officially the project hasn't been cancelled or even put under hiatus, but updates are practically non existent.