(CW: Suicide, Self-harm, Vehicular Accidents, Mild Gore)

Dissolving (known in Russian as Исчезая) is a pleasant little bilingual visual novel by studio Flying Whale. Inspired by internet folk tales and post-digital-utopian cyber fiction of the early 2000s, Dissolving is a healthy dose of metaphysical skepticism.

As our zeitgeist trends towards cynicism of, and disbelief in, technological progress as a shared social project, more and more people begin to question if anyone, or anything, is at the wheel of this thing; Dissolving plants its thesis firmly in this knowledge gap, enticing you to learn more, at horrific cost.

You can take it easy and let the fiction take you in; there aren’t any dialogue choices at play here or critical decisions to make, and that’s actually quite refreshing. There’s clearly been a lot of love put into this by @atime_loop and the rest of the team, and it shows in everything from the bleak writing with its dark sense of humor, to the wonderful accompanying music.

Speaking of the music, I’m really quite smitten with this track; emmиtt did superb work capturing the feeling of cheesy visual novel muzak while imbuing it with an unmistakable twist of horror. It’s a necessary reprieve in an otherwise dark and moody maze of topics that include self-harm and social-media-induced depressive isolation.

We’re extremely excited to see whatever Flying Whale puts together next, and if you enjoy Dissolving as much as I did, then you should definitely check them out.

Emily Rose is an indie developer who writes for and resides in the pacific northwest. She’s often seen in the local VR arcade and developer community participating in pushing the medium’s horizons. You can find her on twitter @caravanmalice