FMV Friday for July 21, 2023

Here are some of the FMV games I played this week and other various FMV things that may be of interest.

After Hours

After Hours is a short student game released in 2019 by Bahiyya Khan. It is a vignette game about a young woman who was molested as a child and suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder as a result. I thought the game handled the subject very well and the performance by the designer was good too. I’m hoping that it gets a more public release someday but I believe you can still get the game by subscribing to Humble Choice and downloading the game through the indie game collection that subscribers get.

Virtua Bird Trainer: The Game

Virtua Bird Trainer: The Game is a short adaptation of a Youtube video which replicates the aesthetics of Sega Saturn games. It’s a short, fun game by the creator of Indiepocalypse, which you should also check out.

Murderous Muses

Earlier this week the Youtube channel Conversations with Curtis, which is hosted by the lead of the 90s FMV game Phantasmagoria 2, had an interview and Let’s Play with Tim Cowles from D’Avekki Studios for the studio’s newest game Murderous Muses. It’s a good interview and the game looks interesting too. Turns out it just went on sale on Steam yesterday so I guess I’ll pick it up now.


Last night I saw that the interactive fiction/rpg game engine Narrat now supports video. From looking at other things made with the engine, the dialog and text usually seems to follow a format more like you’d see in a game like Disco Elysium so it seems like some really interesting stuff could be made in it.

My New Game

I also released a FMV game earlier this week. The game isn’t anything amazing (outside of the lead actress) but I had a good time working with the engine and want to use it more. I used the Charles Engine, a package for Unity that lets you easily create choice based FMV games. The engine was created by Charles Games, who previously made some other games I liked. I bought the plugin when it first came out and then just….sorta forgot. But I really enjoyed using it and the game got many more downloads than I expected so I’m hoping to make more FMV games in the near future.

FMV Friday

For research for something I’m working on, and also just because I genuinely like them, I’ve started playing a lot more games with FMV in them and I guess I should write about them so people have more games to check out. No idea how often I’ll do this but maybe you’ll discover some neat stuff.

Internet Court

screenshot from Internet Court showing a web call between a big group and a caption from someone saying "There's only one way for me to win this trial - I have to like like crazy)

A pleasant surprise this week was Internet Court. I had seen previous games by the studio show up on Steam before but never really heard much about their games but a positive review on Adventure Gamers was enough to get me to check it out during the Steam sale and I’m glad I did. If you watch the trailer, you can tell that it’s extremely low budget and maybe doesn’t feature the most professional actors but even with its lack of polish (or because of it?) it is extremely charming. It’s just very silly fun but never leans into doing an intentionally bad thing on purpose. The game’s Steam page jokes about the game only having one actual actor but everyone involved, including the moms of the developers, gives it their all to delivery genuinely funny performances and I’m looking forward to checking out other games by the studio.

Markus Ritter – The Lost Family

This is a weird one. Markus Ritter is a short FMV game inspired by 90s adventure games like the Gabriel Knight, and especially the second Gabriel Knight game, down to having the player character having the last name Ritter and at least one other Gabriel Knight reference thrown in there. I have no idea what to rate it. It plays fine. The game takes itself so seriously but the acting is pretty goofy, and not all of it intentionally, that it ends up being amusing and charming in its own way I guess? Even the rough edges are unintentionally charming, like the many shots where the lead actor walks back to the camera to turn it off and it shakes a little when they do that and they just don’t clip that part out of the final product. I guess it has a sequel in August and I’m curious about it so it did something right. I’m being rough on it but it’s free so check it out if you’re really into 90s point-and-click adventure games with FMV like I am. It has some nice quality of life stuff in there too, like a built-in hint system and being able to highlight all the spots you can click on.

Aran’s Bike Trip

I wasn’t sure if I should put this in here since I don’t think there’s really any FMV in here, just 360 panorama photos you can interact with, but it’s neat so I’m putting it in here anyway. Aran’s Bike Trip is a game by Sokpop Collective, a small group that has been making a variety of short games for years, where you follow someone along on a biking trip one of the developer’s took. All you do is look at panoramic photos of the Dutch countryside while looking at notes from the designer and listen to calming music but it’s very nice. Sometimes a game can just be an excuse to look at photos of beautiful places in the world.

Date Me

I also wanted to check out some of the FMV games on Itch so I downloaded Date Me, a very short and gay dating sim created (I think) by university students. It’s funny and free so you might as well try it if that sounds like something you’re interested in but my biggest takeaway from it was mostly that I’m very jealous of college students doing goofy games like this instead of the boring, massive projects that people in my computer club were trying to push when I was in school. Where were the people like this?! This is far more exciting and was actually completed. Oh well.

Helping Your Environment at a Local Level

I won’t say that getting involved with environmental stuff locally will completely cure you of climate doom feelings but it does help. Even volunteering with a local restoration group is nice. Spending a couple of hours to clean up an area or turn a plot of grass into a rain garden and seeing how much an area improved in a really short time span is a pretty good feeling! It feels like every place has a restoration group too. I’m in the Detroit area so I follow along with what Friends of the Rouge is doing.

Even if things have been moving very slowly at the national level, making changes at the local level can have a big impact. There’s things we can push for like more shade created by trees, more buses, and making it easier for people to bike.

There’s also things you can do in your own home, if you have a yard, like replacing grass with native plants, not using any chemical fertilizer, not constantly mowing your lawn, and reducing your waste by having a spot for compost.

Caramelized Onion Dip from Edward’s Cafe in Northville, Michigan

Ok, so this might be a weird one given that this blog is mostly about technology but it was too important for me to not post. The TLDR is that I found a recipe I like from a place that used to be near me but closed a few years ago, skip to the end for the recipe.

the inside of Edwards showing the counter where people ordered food

For a few decades, there was a cafe in Northville, Michigan called Edward’s Cafe and Catering that I enjoyed going to when I lived there for a few years. They mostly focused on sandwiches and desserts but one thing I really enjoyed from them was the caramelized onion dip for the chips that would come with the sandwich orders. They closed early on during the pandemic so I assumed I would never get to have it again until I saw a recipe for it at my parents’ house a few days ago. I’m not completely sure how my mom got it. I’m guessing she just asked for it during a cooking class, since she took a few of them there, and wrote it on a scrap piece of paper along with some other Edward’s recipes I saw in her collection. I just made it earlier today and it tastes just like I remember it so I’m sharing it here for anyone doing a Google search for this place. I probably could have made any caramelized onion dip recipe and roughly get the same thing but I’m very happy to have this recipe preserved.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 yellow onions, pulsed in processor
  • 3 tablespoons beef paste (The recipe says Karlsburger but I used something else and it seemed fine)
  • 4 1/2 cups sour cream (The recipe says to use Guernsey)
  • 2 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder


  1. Caramelize onions in oil until golden. The longer and slower, the better.
  2. Add beef base and cook for five minutes.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and mix well
  4. Serve with chips

Pandora’s Box

Lately I’ve been playing Pandora’s Box, a 1999 puzzle game published by Microsoft that was designed by Alexey Pajitnov, the designer of Tetris. It’s really unfortunate that it seems to have been completely forgotten because it’s a really charming collection of puzzles.

It’s a pretty straightforward collection of puzzles. There’s technically a plot about you having to recapture some tricksters that have escaped from Pandora’s box, which isn’t really how the story originally worked but whatever, it’s just there to give an excuse to do a variety of relaxing puzzles. The Wikipedia page has a good description of all the puzzle types. Not all of them are winners, the weirdly named Image Hole is a tedious slog where you just have to slowly move holes around until you see the place in a painting where they can fit in, but most of them are good and it’s a fun way to pass the time when I want to play a game to relax. I think the ones that I prefer the most are the ones that are closer to your traditional jigsaw puzzle. Overlap, Jesse’s Strips, and Outer Layer are the highlights for me and all involve you putting pieces together to form either a painting or photo, or in the case of Outer Layer, some sort of 3D artwork. Overlap and Jesse’s Strips have fun twists on the jigsaw puzzle by having pieces that overlap with each other.

The game’s very 90s aesthetic and calming soundtrack just make this a really peaceful game for me to play. It’s too bad that Microsoft doesn’t seem to care about any of their old computer games outside of Age of Empires. There’s plenty of games like this, Motocross Madness, and Freelancer that could really use a rerelease but are just kinda stuck as abandonware and forgotten by most people.

That all said, go check it out! It’s not too difficult to get it working on modern versions of Windows and it’s available to download here. I guess I can just link to an abandonware site? I suppose I can since it’s my own site and I can do whatever? Anyway, it’s not available for sale so you’re not hurting anyone by just downloading it.