The Desperate Search

Knives, lies or kindness   

What are you willing to do to get your friend back?

Nordbygt. 4, gårdsinteriør. Peter Andreas Blix. Owner: Oslo Museum

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About The Desperate Search

An action-packed romp through Christiania (Oslo), Norway in the 1820’s – from a female perspective. You play as a young woman searching for her friend, who has been taken by the town’s criminal queen. Your search takes you to the darkest corners to the brightest ballrooms. What are you willing to do to get your son back, and will you use knives, lies or kindness to succeed?


The Desperate Search is a tribute to girls and women, past and present, who do their very best for their friends, even if things don’t always work out the way they planned. In this game the women and girls are illustrated, while the men and boys are silhouettes in the background. The only illustrated male is the one you kill in the first scene.


The Desperate Search is a narrative adventure game set in the lower, middling, and poorer parts of 1820´s Christiania (today Oslo, Norway). You play a teen girl, just released for the workhouse, and on a desperate search for your friend Anders who has been taken by the town´s ruthless criminal queen Mrs Weismann. To find him you must take on the towns criminal empire and make some tough choices along the way.

The game is inspired by historical processes and events. The weather, newspaper articles, and buildings are all based on sources. The characters you encounter are inspired by real people, and their life stories are gathered from court papers, census records, or newspapers. The challenges you face are plausible historical dilemmas, and how you solve them is up to you – whether you choose to use knives, lies, or kindness.
A drunk coachman for the traveler. Johannes Flintoe. Owner: Nasjonalmuseet


This is a Nordic noir game exploring the women’s history and labor history. It is deeply inspired by 18th and 19th century authors emphasizing social realism and women’s lives, of which international authors like Jane Austen, Mary Wollstonecraft, Daniel Dafoe, and Charles Dickens as well as Norwegian authors like Conradine Dunker, Amalie Skram and Camilla Collet are prominent.
The artwork is European story book style, drawing on contemporary images of buildings, landscapes and people, inspired by themes in realism and classical painters, and artist like Johannes Flintoe, Christian Krog, John W. Edy and Peter Andreas Blix.

Game mechanics

The narrative is told in Visual Novel form. All your choices matter. Every decision will impact your attributes (knives, lies and kindness), as well as how people treat you, and which doors are opened or closed to you – Ultimately, your choices determine if, and how, you get your friend back.

Example from our previous narrative adventure game The Widow's Boutique

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