A downloadable game for Windows, macOS, and Linux


With no memories and no sense of self, you are brought to a witch’s house deep in the forest. To regain your life, you must break into the house, complete a task... and survive whatever you may find there.



She dwells in a house concealed from sight, where every corner can spell your demise.


Fulfill her task and you may learn more about who you are and how you came to be here. 


A dark fairytale with mystery, magic and horror elements.

  • Witchy & sapphic
  • Around 10k words
  • Ten endings and three secret epilogues
  • Playtime of approx 1 hour (to 1.5 hour if read aloud)

Made in September for Spooktober VN Jam 2022, with minor updates in October for Phantasia Jam.

Content warnings: For ages 13 and older.

Fairytale typical violence/gore alluded to, but not directly shown and described in a non-graphic way. Reference to trauma-related memory loss and disassociation. 
Detailed content warnings at the end of this page.


Concept & Team Leader • Cerise

Project manager • Windchimes

Co-Writer / Co-Programmer / Extra Art • Cerise

Co-Writer / Editor • Rascal

GUI Programmer / Co-Programmer • Fen

Sprite Artist & Co-Character Designer •  Nikki Chai

CG Artist: Epilogue CGs • S.A Welland

CG Artist: MC portrait & menu image • Soluryn

Background Artist • Kristine Santos & Nathaniel Pettey (Waikikired)

Additional backgrounds • IngthingNikki Chai & Cerise

Logo & GUI design •  Ingthing

Sound • Edwin Dizer

Voice acting • Tabetha McNeal (the Masked woman), Katabelle Ansari (the Enchanted Mirror) & Rachel Schumacher (the Witch)

 •

Update 1.3 (23rd October) Updated a background, fixed an obscure variable reset, fixed some textbox ghosts, some minor line edits .

HINT: To access the epilogues, play through to the end of Main Ending 10, and if you have epilogues unlocked, they will be offered to you after that ending.

Click for detailed content warnings (contains spoilers): Repeated but non-graphic death of main character. Allusion to using body parts for magical purposes. Allusion to removal of organs. Image of an anatomical heart made of jewels. Reference to a mental breakdown caused by traumatic circumstances. Reference to grief.
None of this is described in great detail, but please look after your wellbeing when considering these warnings.

Install instructions

Download either the PC/Linux or Mac build, unzip the folder, and play the Vivicas_heart.exe file (or Vivica's_Heart-34.exe for 34 bit systems)

If your system flags the application as ‘unknown publisher’, please follow these steps -

Windows:
Click the ‘more information’ button, and then click the ‘run anyway’ button.

Mac:
(1) Go to settings, and click ‘open anyway’ in the privacy setting for trusted apps - OR -  (2) Right-click/CTRL and click on the game icon, click ‘open’ once, then click ‘open’ again.

Download

Download
Vivicas Heart 1.3 - PC & Linux [34 bit & 64 bit].zip 315 MB
Download
Vivicas Heart 1.3 - Mac.zip 281 MB

Development log

Comments

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(+3)

Had it in my list since the past jam so, for this one, it had to be a priority!

Amazing game all along! Not just great taste and skill artwise(art, writting, music, you name it) but great narrative and event chains. Loved the idea of the time loop to get all the details for the different endings, made the game quite interesting to explore around instead of just doing what told! And the option to just go back to the previous attempt was a real timesaver lol

As for the plot, I really liked it! I love when those fairytail style things such as "stealing the stars" are done. And so well put on suspense until the very end!

(+2)

Thank you so much for this – and ah I know the feeling when you’ve got a long list of games to play, it’s exciting but wow VN devs have been busy this year! 😅 I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed it – I was really lucky to work with a group of such talented people and it’s so nice when people take the time to leave feedback about all the different aspects!

And with the plot, I was really fortunate to work alongside Rascal Devworks planning this out, her ideas were absolutely invaluable and if you had fun with the story I’d definitely recommend checking out her games (once you get through the jam stuff)!

Hope you enjoyed the jam, and looking forward to checking out your submission hopefully very soon ❤

(+3)

Love the game design on this! Love the timeloop. Excellent work on the story branching. It's been so long since I used 7 and more pages of save slots. Each choice can be either important or has the same ending as the other choice. It has that perfect balance! Regardless, all of the choices are worth choosing! Nice art and music as well. I'm still confused with the plot since I personally find it hard to understand reading material with this kind of writing style (I don't usually read books and I can only understand casual and technical English lol) But it's very poetic~ Also, love the UI and the background images so much <3 <3 <3

(+1)

Ahh thank you for your lovely comment, and for checking out so many aspects of the routes – that was very kind of you! I wish we’d had the chance to add more variation to some of those options (there was meant to be a lot more variation, initially!) but I’m glad you still enjoyed it!

With the script, it’s true that we made it quite stylised and left quite a bit of the backstory up to interpretation, so I’m sorry if it was a bit impenetrable at times – I might try and write up a little ‘what on earth happened?’ spoiler guide later, to help with that!

But thank you very much for the feedback, and for shouting out the art and music, I will pass along your comments to the team!

(+4)

This game was genuinely SO amazing - it literally blew my mind!! I literally loved every second of it. The way the loops were done was so freaking creative and enjoyable! I also loved how the different endings/epilogues were added to the necklace.

The art was gorgeous and the voice acting was so good! I cannot express enough how much I enjoyed this game. A definite highlight of my game jam playthroughs 😊

(+1)

Thank you so much for this amazing video and for commenting as well! Your playthrough was a joy to watch, and I loved hearing your thoughts and reactions. You picked up on lots of little details, and your observations were so interesting, I had a lot of fun revisiting the story through fresh eyes!

Apologies though that accessing the epilogues wasn’t v clear, I’ve been meaning to make a guide post about that, so I’ll try and do that soon. I should do likewise with the mask on/off differences, as there actually was something different to see in the garden, and a small difference in the parlour (just dialogue though!) so I will write up a little list for anyone who wants to be completist about it.

Talking of which, we are honoured that you took the time to collect all of the endings and epilogues for your video, that was very generous of you! Thank you also for your kind words about all the team members’ work, everyone worked very hard and we’re so glad you enjoyed it. Looking forward to checking out your game soon!

Awe, thank you!! I'm so glad you enjoyed my playthrough! I genuinely was so in love with the game, time absolutely flew while I played it! I'm normally not much of a completionist but it was so, so rewarding seeing all of the different endings. It's very clear to me you all put so much time and effort into the game, it absolutely shows! 

(+3)

Oh, goodness -- this has been on my to-play list since release, and now I am kicking myself for taking so long. 

What a wonderfully, delightfully, gorgeously crafted story! So, so tightly woven with layers upon layers of details scattered all throughout for players who want to delve deeper into the lore and witchy atmosphere. I

From the intricate sprite art to the evocative writing to the cleverly designed UI (THE. NECKLACE!! GENIUS!!), I am so inspired, no--OBSESSED!! I can't say it enough: well done! <3 

(Can I please enter my own timeloop so I can experience this story all over again?)

Thank you so much for this incredibly sweet comment – and ah don’t worry about timing, I have SO MANY spook games I’m excited about which I still haven’t manage to play yet, October has just disappeared!

Anyway, I’m really glad you enjoyed it – I was lucky to have Rascal as co-writer who added so much richness to the world (and the beautiful journals/memories for the lore) and I was really fortunate to work with so many talented artists and designers as well.

I'm happy you liked the endings necklace, when I got the idea I was quite excited about it but it was almost cut it for scope until Ingthing volunteered to do the art for it (as well as the GUI)!! I was so grateful for that, and really all of the team were very generous with their time, so being able to share comments like these really makes my day! ❤

(As for a personal timeloop... alas I’ve no way to erase a memory but the game is set up to loop infinite times, so feel free to replay as much as you like 😂)

(+2)

Um… wow… 

That was AMAZING.

Going to try and write this as un-spoilery as I can. But for anyone seeing this wanting to go in blind, yeah, maybe stop reading now :D

Time loop stuff can be so tricky to get right, but oh man, this was borderline perfect. Keeping things simple initially and having lots of little variations to try out and build up the complexity gradually. Having the ‘correct’ path laid out for you so you have a sense of what to do but then that ending really only being the beginning. Having it so one discovery means you can do something else right from the start and change everything. And then working it all into an easy to understand ‘completion list’ so the player has a sense of what to work towards, AND doubling that ‘list’ into a story element… Sublime.

As the player I felt a lot of care was taken to guide me naturally through the experience, yet at the same time allow as much freedom as I wanted to explore. That is a super delicate and amazing balance to be able to achieve. Hats off to you for being able to do so.

This was all just so well conceived, crafted and executed. And considering it was all put together under jam conditions… I’m just in awe. So well done.

And that’s not even to mention how top notch the art, sound and writing all was. Just all so, so good!

Oh and the voice acting. Especially the delivery of the line “I show you truly. Look” ESPECIALLY the ‘Look’. So evocative! That really struck a chord with me.

I feel like I have to come up with at least SOME criticism to balance out all this gushing a bit. The only thing that really comes to mind is that the sprites were not *quite* up to the standard of the CGs. But that is basically nitpicking, and barely a criticism anyway considering what they are being compared to.

I got the ‘B’ ending. But am definitely going to dive back in and dig it all up. Such compelling stuff.

Huge congrats to the whole team on the amazing accomplishment here. Well freakin’ done!

Thank you for this incredibly detailed comment, and sorry for the slow reply. I’m so happy you enjoyed the game, and really I owe a huge thanks to our playtesters who gave feedback on the loop mechanic pacing, it definitely wouldn’t have gone as smoothly without them!

Thank you also for shouting out all the different elements, I was incredibly lucky to have so many talented team members for all of those things, and everyone worked very hard!

And yes I was really thrilled with all the VA’s performances, it was my first time adding voice acting and when the lines started coming through I was blown away! The mirror line you picked out is one of my faves, the VA was Katabelle Ansari and she committed to this unconventional part 100%!

As for the character art - it seems to vary from person to person which style they’re more drawn to, and this falls at my door for recruiting two quite different styles within one project! I’m really happy with how both turned out, and the reception they each got, but style matching is something for me to pay closer attention to in future game.

I hope you enjoy the other epilogues if you do go back to them - I consider them all ‘True Endings’ but if you end up with a favourite feel free to let us know! 🤍

(+5)

the art is absolutely gorgeous and the story was so captivating. the necklace was a such a good and innovative way to illustrate the time loop/ branches!!! Puts all the simple graphs from other VNs to shame lol. 

Loved the sapphic themes and how grey it was, I honestly don't know who were the 'good guys' even after the whole game. I genuinely felt bad for vivica even after she snapped my neck so many times hahah. 

Amazing job! I'm defos gonna check out your other work after this!!! 

(+1)

Thank you so much for your kind words! I’m so glad you enjoyed it, the team worked really hard to put it together!
And ahh V’s original character was just a one-note villain before Rascal and I had our character discussions, so you really have her to thank for that! Happy to hear that those snap-happy tendencies didn’t overrule her other charms!! 😂
And that's kind of you to look at my older stuff but just a head's up it's still pretty in progress, hoping to get back to it after the next update on this project though!

(+4)

Super interesting game! :D

(+1)

Hello Mistling!!! Thank you so much for checking it out – it is a bit darker than my other fare, but for spooktober I wanted to try mix things up a bit! 🕸 Hope you enjoy the rest of the spooky offerings, and an early happy halloween to you! ❤

(+2)

Happy (early) Halloween to you too! :D

My favorite thing about all your games is how rich the world and characters feel. The story you tell is so clearly just a snippet of their story - there’s just this sense of so much depth!

In short: fantastic job, as always. ;)

(+1)

Aw thank you so much for this! ❤ In this project of course, I did have a co-writer so I can’t take all the character credit - and do make sure to check our Rascal Devwork's stuff too if you haven’t already!!

(+1)

Ooh - off to investigate Rascal Devwork! ;)

(+4)

I love this game so much! I found it by accident and very happy i did. One thing that can get irksome in VNs is the constant need to save "just in case" but the time loop made it was so smooth. 

Don't even get me started on the artwork! Honestly some of the scenes I just stopped playing for a minute to appreciate it. 


100% Recommend and i look forward to seeing new games!

Ah I’m thrilled to hear that the universe (or itch!) randomly introduced you to this game, thank you so much for taking a chance on it! I like to replay different options in VNs anyway, so I thought the format would lend itself to one of my fave narrative devices (the timeloop!) and I’m glad it worked for you.

And oh wow that is the highest praise I can think of for the art, thank you so much! Please do check out the artists' links if you’d like, and two of them make games with their art here on Itch if you're interested, at https://sunlabyrinth.itch.io/ and https://forsythiaproductions.itch.io/

For my part, yes I do have some ideas in the works, so thank you for the support and feel free to follow me here or on twitter for any updates! ❤ Likewise feel free to check out the rest of Spooktober jam, there is an amazing selection of 160 VNs and all for free this month!

(+3)

Before you know it, the story pulls you in. I loved being able to explore the rooms, though I'm a boring player and followed Eshe's instructions to the T in my first playthrough. :D The music was really fitting for the atmosphere of the game. Enjoyed it!

Thank you so much for your kind words, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

I’m also always interested to hear what order people play the endings in, so thank you for sharing your first run through! All are valid!! I sometimes worry that the ‘by the book’ play through is a bit dry for a first go round though, so I’m glad you continued on to check out the other routes!

Thank you for playing, and looking forward to checking out your game very soon! ❤

(3 edits) (+3)

Gorgeous VN that is a delight to play. The mystery is so gripping that I had to finish it in one sitting of about an hour without any breaks.

The art is beautiful throughout for the CGs, BGs and sprites. The witches are enchantingly fashionable with unique designs. As many have praised before: the GUI is very pretty and the endings unlock screen is very nicely done with how a pendant is incorporated in the design.

The moody audio is befitting: musical tracks perfect for the setting (such as the feminine opera soundbit) and characters are emphasised by their partial voice acting for pivotal moments.

It's really fun to explore the rooms and objects in the house (good use of camera panning for a sense of first-person movement), which gives this VN pleasant adventure game vibes. That it truly feels as if you're sneaking around makes for great suspense. You can read diary snippets to find more about the character relationships and intriguing world lore, such that you piece information together alongside the amnesiac MC.

(+1)

Thank you for this lovely comment! I’m happy to hear you had fun, and I’m honoured that you went through it in just one sitting!

I’m really glad you liked the art and design, I was v fortunate with my teammates and everyone put a lot of work in! And yes, Saint’s clothing designs are always wonderful, and Ing did a great job with the GUI and endings screen! (I ought to share my initial necklace sketch for a devlog sometime as she took something super basic and made it so beautiful!!)

And ah, Edwin’s operatic track is my absolute favourite, I had a lot of fun discussing the sound of the game with him, and I’m looking forward to making an update with a music player so people can return to listen to any tracks they want!

I was in two minds about adding voice work as I’ve never done that before – but I’m so happy I did as I think the VA s did wonderful work, I’m v grateful to them, and to Rascal for her assistance.

I love a good adventure game feel, so I'm glad you enjoyed the POV in this one - and the pans were all Fen's expertise, you should have seen me trying to fight with the maths on those. 😅

Oh! About the diary stuff – this totally slipped my mind til now but the idea of collecting diary snippets was partly inspired by collecting the ficlets in your game ‘Find my Mind’ (though I didn't get round to making ours ones re-readable)!!! I need to add your name as an inspiration source in the credits, I am terribly sorry for this oversight and will add it to the next update!!🙏

(1 edit) (+2)

The VN got such a great hook that I had no choice to keep continuing onward! Cheers to the entire team and it's great to see so many amazing artisans collaborating (anyone involved is a master at their craft!) at bringing this work to life with seamless cohesion. I realise I forgot to comment on the writing element as I was a bit hasty to get a review done, so here it is: with the lyrical quality of the VN's writing style, even without visuals, the prose already reads as an acclaimed fantasy novel you can find in bookstores, so the foundation already is very strong. This story however needs to be told in visual format and truly shines as such, as otherwise it wouldn't allow the immersive interactive experience (time loop style exploration) and audiovisual enhancements.

Yes, please, it would be nice to see the art prototypes, and I love reading DevLogs in general too. Music room would be a totally sweet addition for an update.

Oh wow, that's some high honour, thank you! I don't consider such credits as necessary, so please don't apologise or worry about it, but it's much appreciated regardless.

(+1)

Sorry for the slow reply, I was really overwhelmed by this comment! 😭 Thank you so much for your incredibly kind words, and the team shout out, they were honestly so wonderful and I will make sure they all see what you said!
I am excited to make some devlogs but it might be a little slow as I’ve injured my hand and can’t type easily just now, but fingers crossed it wont be too long. Thank you again for all the support!! ❤

(+7)

GOD THIS GAME.

I feel like I've just returned from a long beautiful journey sitting here writing this. What an absolutely gorgeous game in literally every single way! Everything is absolutely RADIANT and dripping with elegance.

SHALL I START WITH THE UI? I SHALL. It is... the most gorgeous thing I've ever laid eyes upon. The sheer elegance and detail! It ties everything up together like some sort of antique box of treasures that you can't help but want to open. Or... or... like Eshe's music box! So refined and exquisite that you're afraid you'll break it if you try to open it. At any rate. It was simply to die for.

THE MUSIC. YE GODS. Literally transportive. The theme playing through most of your time walking through the house was beyond gorgeous, lending every move I made a sort of tragic beauty. It gave me so little whiffs of nostalgia—my mind jumping from things like The Secret Garden to The Witch's House to even the soundtrack from It because of a certain chord progression I kept hearing LOL So absolutely beautiful. (ALSO I AM SOBBING THERE'S ONE SONG IN THERE THAT I RECOGNIZED DKAFJLSDKF but it's driving me crazy as now I can't remember what site it was from—the one that often plays when Vivica talks to you.)

THE ARTWORK. GGUUUUUUUHHHH. Why does everything little look like a museum-worthy painting worth thousands of dollars??? Breathtaking tbh. I was blown away by just how BEAUTIFUL everything was. The mirror painting?? THE ENDING CGS???? Just tear out my heart (like Vivica LOL).

And of course the story itself! I'm in love with how you set up the narrative structure for this! I was so entranced the whole time wondering what was going on and how dreamlike the bits and pieces of the story were presented. Honestly like navigating a surreal yet beautiful dream. The idea to collect all the different keys was wonderful! It made me want to explore every nook and cranny to get the different keys so I could unlock the epilogues. And such great use of different effects to really lay on the magical quality of everything. I chose Vivica's epilogue first as I found everything about her so fascinating. Though there was something so heart-squeezing and poignant about Isabelle's that really got to me. And Eshe's just felt so heart-warming. GUH. They were all great.

OK I'M GOING TO STOP RAMBLING NOW. Anyway. This was beyond gorgeous. An absolute treat and a magical experience that everyone should play!! Thank you so much for this piece of beauty! 💕

(1 edit) (+4)

Oh wow! Thank you so so much for your incredibly generous and detailed comment! I’m a chatty writer and I suspect I won’t be able to reply to this with kind of conciseness, so I’ll reply to half now and the rest later 🌹

The UI – That was the wonderful Ingthing’s work and ah you describe it so beautifully, I’m really glad you liked it! We’d been looking at inspirations from Alphonse Mucha’s work, but the way she used that as a starting point for something so unique was amazing to see! She then adapted the it to make the ending screen as well, and put together the necklace - I was totally overwhelmed by her talent and generosity.

And the music – I’m so glad you mentioned this, as Edwin’s music is always incredible and I was so excited when he sent me his first version of the main theme ‘Witch’s Lament’! (In fact, ‘tragic beauty’ is a great descriptor for it!) He generously made several versions of it, and two other tracks as well - I'm intending to add a 'music player' screen to the next update, so people can easily identify and replay them!

He was also VERY patient when I sent him a list of abut 20 inspirations, and worked incredibly quickly! Interestingly none of those inspirations were things you mentioned, but I’m very intrigued to hear about them! (Ironically I’ve never played The Witch’s House, I only first heard of it when I was researching potential names for this game! 😂)

Oh and in my crediting rush I didn’t specify the songs that didn’t require credits, I should do that in the next update, but that track is from Dova and translates to Haunted Singing Blues - which Edwin transposed so it fitted the soundtrack better.

Okay yes I’ve written loads so I’ll reply to the rest later, but thank you again for all the beautiful things you said, and also I’m really looking forward to your game, already got it downloaded!! ❤

(+5)

The main character sure is popular, huh? Everybody wants a piece of her!

This was a really well put-together VN, the timeloop aspect was integrated well into the story, and I'm impressed by the sheer amount of unique art assets there are. The CGs in particular are gorgeous, I love the art style employed: it works really well the dreamy, fairytale-like narrative. It was also fun that were so many choices to play around with, it made the story feel very rich and alive!

I also have to mention the UI, it looks gorgeous. This might have my favourite UI out of all the VNs I've played for the Jam: the designer did a great job! The colours are all so cohesive, it looks so appealing!

(+1)

LOL that is very true!! (and, uh, in some cases, quite literally!!?) But hey, you saw the beautiful face Soluryn gave her – it’s only reasonable she’s a popular gal!😂

For real though - thank you for this incredibly thoughtful comment, I’m so happy you enjoyed it! We were very lucky to have so many talented artists on the team to get through all those assets, and although the timeloop and those choice threads were my nemesis for a bit, I’m glad they turned out okay in the end!

For the GUI - yes Ingthing did a wonderful job and so quickly, please be sure to check out her link above! And I think you're right that the CG artists S.W and Soluryn were a great fit - I’d approached them particularly as I thought they’d be perfect for this story, and their work turned out even better than I’d dreamed! Everyone did such lovely work and it makes me so happy to see it appreciated, so thank you very much for commenting. ❤

(+6)

god! seeing this whole project come together after playtesting is incredible. you all made such a wonderful and detailed project in just a month, and it may be one of [if not my absolute] favorite games to come out of this spooktober. the art, combined with atmosphere from background noise and the voices, creates this melancholy dream of both being in control of the world while it pricking at your skin enough to give it cuts. it's one of my favorites, you did such a good job, and i'm excited to see what you all make next time around!

(+1)

Oh my goodness I am overwhelmed by this comment! Thank you so much for your kind words, not to mention offering a last minute playtest to a stranger - your insights and encouraging words were truly invaluable. 🙇‍♀️ Also, it’s v kind of you to replay again so soon after testing – but I’m really happy you got to see the game with all the art, music and VA work in place, as everyone did work really hard! Thank you again, and I will love sharing your feedback with the team!!

(+6)

This game is a gem! The time loop is really well done to never be boring, there is something mystical in the atmosphere at every moment. The art, the music, the writing the voice acting... Everything participate into a very cohesive grim fairy tale. I loved it.

(+3)

<3

(+3)

Ahh, thank you so much, for playing and for the thoughtful comment! I think all the team members did a great job, and I’m glad to hear the timeloop worked out, it gave me some real headaches at some points… 😂
I just updated to add a couple of things, but I’m glad to hear the early version was a good experience, and I’m looking forward to playing yours too!

(+6)

The art is stunning

(+2)

Thank you so much for this - the team put a lot of work into it so your comment is very appreciated! And please feel free to check out the artists' links on the game page to see more of their art! ❤

(+5)

This was just incredible to play through (many, many times)! Beautiful art work and a wonderful story (stories). Collected all the keys and endings. As much as I wanted to like Eshe, there is something about a ginger bad girl, so yeah we have to make them pay for what they did to me (insert evil laugh here).

(+3)

Eshe VA here! Lol, I love this so much! Thank you so much for playing the game.  

(+2)

You're welcome.

(+3)

¬‿¬

(+2)

(◕‿◕ )

(+1)

Oh wow, thank you so much for this – that’s so cool you got all the endings, and I’m sure you and she will have a beautiful evil future together! ❤ Not, of course, that you 'technically' have to choose - which is the real beauty of a time loop... 😉
Anyway, I'm really glad you enjoyed it, and I'll pass your comments along!

(+5)

oh wow this is beautiful

(+2)

That's so kind of you, we really enjoyed putting it together!

(+4)

Oh my god! This is just incredible! I can’t believe that a small team made this in a month! It’s so polished! The time loop mechanic is masterfully executed, the way the keys unlock different ending last is really clever. The art is amazing, the music is haunting, the story chilling and heartbreaking! (Sorry)

An absolute gem of a game! We want more from this studio!

(+3)

Thank you so much for your lovely comment - I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I was so lucky to work with so many talented people, and I'll pass along your compliments to the team!