A downloadable game for Windows, macOS, and Linux

Buy Now$5.00 USD or more

A strange deck of playing cards.
A stranger appearing from a sudden storm.
The sheltering doorway of a lonely manor.
Unliving dolls smiling emptily as they chase you down.

They just want you to join them. Forever.

String Tyrant is a survival horror game where you must look, think, hide, and if necessary, fight your way out of a mysterious mansion filled with monsters and traps.

If you're defeated by a monster or fall for a trap, you'll be ensnared by the manor's residents - and join them to hunt your former friends. At least you'll be a pretty doll.

The game has an active card-based combat system where you build combos using your magical cards. You can hear nearby enemies through doors and walls, can open and close doors to try to break line-of-sight, and must contend with traps that will tax your wits. You'll need to unlock the secrets of the manor to stand a real chance of escape.

A free demo is provided. Please ensure system compatibility with the demo before purchasing the full game.
The demo covers the first "phase" of the game, featuring one enemy types, three doll types, and two endings. The full game contains more enemy types, traps, environmental hazards, new equipment, and the rest of the game's story.

Version 1.07 (June 14th, 2020)
This version fixes several bugs and adds the HD art pack as a free downloadable to anyone who owns the game. The art pack contains some of the sketches used to make the game and some unused assets.

Version 1.03 (April 22nd, 2020)
The OSX build has been split into its own version for both the demo and full game.
The Linux build has been discontinued as it is not cross-compatible with any other Linux versions. Version 1.02a will remain available for download for any Linux users who happen to be running Mint.

If you are a Linux user and would like to play the game, a guide has been written here by friendly user Bicobus. The guide is slightly outdated - the engine repository is here. You will need to compile the game for your distro, but the process is relatively painless.

The OSX version was compiled on OSX 10.14.6 Mojave. As above, please contact the team if you wish to compile the engine on another version.



Purchase

Buy Now$5.00 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $5 USD. You will get access to the following files:

String Tyrant Win v107.zip 52 MB
String Tyrant Win v103.zip 52 MB
String Tyrant Osx v104.zip 46 MB
String Tyrant v102a WinLinMac.zip 58 MB
String Tyrant Art Pack v2.zip 198 MB

Download demo

Download
String Tyrant Demo Osx v104.zip 38 MB
Download
String Tyrant Demo Win v103.zip 44 MB
Download
String Tyrant Demo v102a WinLinMac.zip 49 MB

Development log

Comments

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(1 edit)

So I bought the game on steam just today, and well I noticed something:

The Art Pack is missing at least a couple pieces of art.

Admittedly, I'll need to play more of the game to know for sure how much, but at the very least the Claygirl art is missing

Thanks! I just updated the art package to contain the missing files. I think I got everything now.

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So uh, I downloaded the update, and the Art Pack is the exact same as before. All the Doll Types, Stranger, Pygmalie, the Doll TFs, some endings, the sketches, and the main characters.

All the other sprites are still missing. I even deleted the artpack and had Steam install a 100% new one and it still didn't change.

Simple path error. The new Art Pack v2 should appear any minute now.

Thanks!

The Itch App will preferentially run from the ZBlockaudio.bat. I'm not sure what that batch file is for, but for me, it means that it will load without sound. Renaming it to remove or change the extension or deleting it outright will make it ask for an exe to run and fix things. I could possibly also just remove the -blockaudio option from the batch file contents.

The batch file is for players with audio problems (sometimes the Bass audio library crashes for no reason at all, but disabling audio entirely at least makes the game playable). Thanks for posting a fix. Has anyone else had this problem from the Itch app?

My reaction, just wow! I really loved the concept and the style of the game. After finishing the game I just wanted to play again and to explore more. Dolls, claygirls, card-combat, and much more. |
Happy to see a part 2. Awesome work!

Glad to hear it!

Pros and cons are down below) Check out the first minutes of the game here if you want to (but don't forget to like and sub ;))

Advantages:

1. Game mechanics are very interesting. At first it was a bit confusing but after the tutorial, I started enjoying them a lot. I think it's original and creative. I loved both exploration mechanics and fighting. Great job!

2. The art syle is unique and lovable. Creates a very cool ambiance!

3. The game has a weird appeal to it. And by weird I mean that I can't even figure out what exactly draws me, but I just want to play more. It's just so much fun. I mean, as I'm writing this, I'm thinking when I'll be able to play more. It's very cool!

4. Also, liked the story and the amount of endings (haven't reached any of them yet, though). I like that there are missable notes that can reveal more about the story or characters. 

Disadvantages:

1. It would be a nice touch if the items the player equips would affect the appearance of Marie. I think that would be neat, though I can imagine how much time it would take adding these details.

2. For me personally, hiding mechanics were the hardest to understand. I spend a lot of time in the tutorial trying to figure out what I was doing wrong. Turned out that I have to be mindful of slashes and type "close door n\". That made me thinking that the game would benefit a lot if the tutorial would have examples of the stuff you can write (like not in the brackets like they are now but in a text so even dumb-dumbs like me would figure it out). Something like that: "you can also hide in the game. In order to do that close the door behind you. For example, the command "close the door s\" would close a particular door on your south but the rest would stay open, be mindful of that." I know that this suggestion might seem funny but I really had a hard time and more examples would be very helpful. You can even add them in a different part of the tutorial just for people like me.

3. Also a list of verbs that a player can use would be really helpful at the start. Maybe like in the different window on the right when one can see equipment. Or maybe it was there then it would be nice to point it out in the tutorial that a player has it because in that case I missed it. It would be helpful a lot because at some point I forgot about going "up" and "down" the stairs ans tried to "ascend" and "descend".

Overall:

The game is a bit confusing so the tutorial is obligatory. But after that, it's just so much fun to play! I definitely recommend it and I'll definitely play more. I rate it 5/5. It's interesting and original and weirdly addictive. Great job, devs!

Hope my feedback was useful!

Thanks! We'll keep it in mind for a sequel or possible expansion. If things work out, there may be a QoL patch down the road, as well.

Just played through this and really enjoyed it.  It's too bad I hadn't heard of it before the bundle, because it's definitely my jam.  I might end up buying it on Steam just to give you folks a little extra support.

Maybe it'd be too much trouble, but a gallery of the different sprites and artworks you've seen would be really nice.

Good idea! I'll probably add it as a downloadable .png thing for people who own the game. Glad you liked it.

could someone do a walkthrough of this ? the games great but i have the puzzle solving skills and patience of a two year old.

I'm working on one. Expect it within a week.

Yes thank you so much (=

Here it is: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tBgEYRoMvCH-hibb6Wxf3eCh2gJdIEhs/view

Thank you

The premise of String Tyrant is to save your best friend and your brother from the manor or you can transform everyone into an inanimate dolls/claygirls/statues. I was gifted this game through itch.io and I thought to give it an objective review. 

Firstly, the plot of String Tyrant is well constructed, with books scattered around detailing the origins of the lifeforms cohabiting in the manor, as well as some testaments cautioning the dangers of the manor. Most of the stories are tragic as everyone is trapped inside the manor and transformed against their will, but some actually accept their transformation into a statue, doll, claygirl (I believe there are more forms which I left out, but it's mainly these 3 which leave a deep impression). The plot is succinct and direct, following a typical storyline, while getting constantly chased by the inhabitants of the manor, which gets me to the mechanics of the game.

The style of String Tyrant is a familiar mix between House of Pandemonium Adventure Mode and Pandemonium Classic Mode. Briefly, it comprises of the rpg adventure platformer with a clearly defined end goal, with elements of Classic Mode(the enemies spawn indefinitely, sandbox mode) incorporated into it. Combat mechanics are refreshing with the use of randomly generated cards to craft a sequence of elements-based attacks. I am not very sure what the circles around the enemies are for, but maybe you could base the colours to the elemental weaknesses they have. Equipment are diverse though I do appreciate if they can implement some range weapons and even a stun bomb which temporarily stuns the movement of the enemies if you are trapped.

The gist of the transformations is inanimate, forced(against will) possession which I do not prefer. I do like some anthro and mythical creatures, maybe considering exploring a sequel with these in place to cater to a greater community. However, what I do acknowledge is that the transformation sequences are well-illustrated and coloured, and there is no denial that the artists have spent a huge time deliberately designing inanimate characters, so kudos to them. In particular, I like that the ending scenes and the transformation scenes are placed on a black blackground, thus shifting most of the focus to the transformations themselves, and not on the background. The title screen is ominous too, which foreshadows what the protaganist and her friends predicament if they are not careful.

There isn't any iconic soundtrack that house of pandemonium adventure has, but the absence of any fast paced, upbeat soundtrack fits the mood of String Tyrant. The characters are memorable and endearing, particularly Lauren who can stand up for himself despite appearing fearful throughout most of the game. There isn't any end bosses to the game, but I find that the health of the end game enemies is a tad too much. There isn't any bugs nor typos I have found in the game, except the occasional inseperation of the words for the dialogue between Sarah and the protagonist at the basement. The minigames(disguised as traps)are a great respite from the run-or-fight playstyle for String Tyrant. The minigames are creative and logical. I wouldn't spoil the endings for you, hence I do encourage you to check out the demo, or you can hop on to Discord or Salty's blog to find out more.

Overall, great work by the developers of the game who obviously design the game for a particular audience who like inanimate tfs. Yet, there is some charm in discovering the origins of String Tyrant and discovering your inner fetish. Expect the playtime to be around 2.5-3 hours. Thank you to the developers and supporters of the game. Final Score 8/10 (objectively, can't denial that my preference for HoP adventure mode and mythical/anthros tfs pull the score down a little, but 8 is a respectable score nonetheless)

From FloraAsu. I posted the exact same review on tfgamesite.

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Oh, this is some wonderful stuff.  Interesting combat system (though I was a little unclear on just what Water/Stone were actually doing and how they were helping me, although I was on the Turn Mode rather than Active Mode; maybe that would make a difference), and some lovely artwork for the whole thing.

That said, I will say that a couple of things disappointed me.  First: While I love all of the looks that were there, I was a little disappointed that only the Goth and Dancer ones were available as ways for one to end as a doll.  I totally get why Dancer is where it is; there would be a lot of extra artwork needed otherwise.  However, I was more than a little surprised that only Goth ever happened with the earlier situations.  Given that the ending screens for the doll endings don't make it clear just which doll is Mary, I might have expected it to be more random.  Or maybe I just really wanted to run around as Princess Mary for a bit.

Second, and this is perhaps more of a nitpick, but:  If you lose in a battle against one of the Resin Dolls, while the transformation you undergo into a doll is different, along with the character artwork being an alternate hue, everything after you regain control of Mary is simply a replay of the normal Doll ending path.  It seemed surprising to me that Resin Mary would remember having undergone the same plastification process that the normal dolls do, along with subjecting her sisters to the syringe rather than the same process she underwent.  Similarly, I might have expected different ending text (and perhaps a palette swap on the ending screen) given that the Resin Dolls are explicitly described as being a sort of warrior caste within the Manor, as opposed to the lesser dolls running around alongside them.

Also, though maybe this is just me not quite understanding what's going on, is there somewhere to view all the endings, or do I need to have a big pile of save files for that?


One last thing:  I wouldn't mind it if there was an Endless Mode of sorts that unlocked upon reaching endings 5, 6, or 10.  Could be fun to have something akin to the way that House of Pandemonium plays in Corruption Mode, where you can train up your own plastic army.  Maybe get to know Eileen a little better at the same time... :)

Hm? Dancer and Goth have some special endings, but the other four are also available.
The form you get is determined at game start, so a new game will get you a different doll. You can also use the debug command [pref x] where x is princess/goth/dancer/geisha/bride/punk.

The resin titan thing is just a minor thing. It might get changed, might not, it's not exactly a dealbreaker. Dev time is limited and all that.

As of v1.01, you can re-view the ending sequences for all endings you've unlocked. It's on the options screen, there is an "Endings" button in the bottom left.

Aha!  I didn't realize the doll type was set at New Game; I played through with a single save that I reloaded to on each game over.

Out of curiosity, which one is the special Goth ending?  Was that the strings?

Correct. Get caught by the strings three times and a unique bad-end plays out.

This is quite an amazing game. I love the fact that you continue playing as the enemy once you get defeated as well.

(Wow I made this comment way to big; I just had a lot to say about the game because I care and love it; it is honestly a really good game)

The story is fairly interesting but leaves some room to be improved. I'll elaborate a bit:

The statue form of yourself is very much a favorite it seems. This version of yourself has a lot of text that was really fun. Of course it can be the same droning text over and over but I do wish some of the other forms Mary had additional text when carrying the supporting cast members. 

Maybe also differing speech and thought text depending on what type of doll you get transformed into (i.e. the punk doll probably shouldn't speak or think like the rest of the dolls since they're apparently rebellious but loyal to the creator, whereas the princess doll should be fairly royal in their speech patterns) but those are really just minor nitpicks.

I did encounter a typo in the game when I was playing; if you get defeated by Jessie as a statue it says "As swing your stone..." instead of "As you swing your stone...." That itself is a minor typo though. So far I haven't encountered any other typos.

The only mechanical problem seems to be that most of the time when I move my mouse and the game is open, it freezes for a second or two. Fullscreen also seems to make my mouse disappear on the title screen. This may just be a problem on the Starlight Engine for me, but its the only game I have that does it constantly.

As for combat, I have a lot to say:

There doesn't really seem to be an incentive to use water or earth cards. They do impede some slowness on enemies, but I found myself building a pure fire and wind deck (with the life and death cards) since the Torch is one of the best weapons in the game as of right now because of its +2 to fire damage. Combined with the appropriate gloves and the best armor in the game, this can give you a total +5 to your fire, which can just incinerate (literally) enemies in the game. I put wind cards in the deck because their biggest bonus is drawing additional cards every time. Sure some enemies have a weakness to water or earth, but fire is the most common weakness in the manor, and the +1 weakness damage just doesn't cut it. For a turn-based run-through of this game, wind is definitely an element you need in the deck to play. While a certain awesome sounding item is in the late game, I just didn't use it because there was no incentive to. I had the torch; the torch is an item you need in one part of the game, and I just never bothered to unequip it because there might of been an area needing it later.

I believe I have gotten 13 out of the 15 endings on my first play-through of the game, since I do not know how to get the Betrayal or the Submit endings. I don't particularly mind as much. Perhaps in my next play-through of the game (Most likely on Normal or Hard difficulty; Easy just seems really easy except for the Stranger one or two times. That later just was a pushover fight like the rest of the enemies, however.), I will try to figure it out, but other than harder difficulties and getting the endings, the game itself doesn't really have a replay value in a sense.

Speaking about harder difficulties:

Maybe on Hard mode the game should disable save glyphs or just make them much more rare in the game. I never had to use one since a fountain was always nearby. Or even then you could add a new mode that removes the aspect of "playing fair" and if you get found by a doll there's no combat, you just lose hit points and the doll gets disabled for a while (depending on the weapon and possibly its weakness it could be stunned for a longer amount of time). Getting attacked by the stranger could either instantly kill you or you could get hit for half your health. As the game progresses, the dolls deal more damage and the stranger could instantly kill you. Maybe having all three members of the party will make too much noise and you'd have to hide them in a safe place (such as a fountain area) after you scout out enemies in the game. This could bring the stealth aspect of the game more into fruition without over-impeding that core of the game. I did see the marble item in the game's coding, but never encountered it in the game; that would be a great thing to add into the game for this hypothetical mode if it isn't there and I didn't skip over it.

I do feel as though Jessie and Lauren should be harder to beat the farther you go into the game, or better yet maybe they should be really difficult (like the stranger) to beat on harder difficulties; maybe they run away after you beat them and you have to defeat them a total of three times to finally cripple them. Most of the endings to the doll-part of the game are too easy it seems. I honestly wish the think command did not give me the exact location of Lauren and Jessie, maybe just a part of where they are in the manor. 

It would probably help that doll!Mary got the full map added to them to help with this harder Jessie and Lauren. 

I really, really love this game and I want there to be more added to it, including maybe a "true ending" that shows how far you went like in other survival horror games. While it may seem like I am thrashing on the game's mechanics and its combat, I really enjoyed the first time I went through this game; especially since I went through the game blind as a bat. Lauren is someone I want to protect and make sure nothing happens to; Jessie is pretty funny at some times, and Mary is the main character.

I do want more of the game and the doll manor to play through; more replay value and harder difficulties would be great. While I don't think anything will be added, it is a brilliant game that I wish to see more of.

Starlight Studios, you made quite a brilliant gem and I hope to see more of your projects in the future.

Thank you for (possibly?) reading this really long comment. If you've stayed here for this long it means you actually wanted to read my comment. So cheers!

Wow, thanks for the (long) feedback! We'll get on the bugs soon, we're doing periodic bugfix releases.

Many of these are good suggestions, and if the game does well, we're considering a sequel or expansion. One of String Tyrant's strengths is that it is small and to the point, with no padding, but a sequel can expand upon the gameplay and still not be padded. So, expect future entries to be larger and have more replayability.

We have some... improvements in mind already for a possible sequel. Stay tuned!

aaaaa I love this game so much.. I just had to comment so soon! I just have to know what will come next? More updates? A new game? I'm speechless, and overwhelmed with things to say at the same time! 

I found a couple of bugs. Pick-up and text-size related. Would you like them reported anywhere?

(+1)

Here is good, we'll release some small patches periodically.
Sequels/Expansions are based on how well the game does. We're currently working on a Steam release and seeing about promoting it. Stay tuned!

Thank you so much!! I am very eager to give something like a monthly donation to support you, or at least paying twice the price for this game. Cute assimilation is as rare to me as how obsessed I am with it~ A whole game of it, and possibly more in the future is a special dream to me :3

Now about the bugs, which really don't bother me a bit!

-When I resize the text from large to small, small text written in the text box will overlap the previous large text on the screen when scrolling up.

-Text and fullscreen settings don't save.

-Moving the mouse between rooms sometimes highlights a door where there isn't one. (Between Reading Room SE - NE is one of many)

-Some keys like the chapel and small key have a typo. 'an' before 'small'

-Storybooks don't leave my inventory if I drop them, until I leave the room after doing so. I think the same happens if I pick it up, after first dropping it and returning to take it.


Thank you again for making such a great game <3

(+1)

All right, I will log these and get to them this week.

If you feel like monthly support, the team has a patreon. This is a NSFW thing, though. We have another game we make - Pandemonium. It's free. Give it a look. You can find more out on our blog.

Thanks for the positive review! It's a rare thing to see cute assimilation, so boy did you luck out.

Could this be luck? My need for more cute assimilation is worse than ever. Living without more or the hype for more will be the end of me x^x

I couldn't even watch through the beginning of most transformations @w@ If there is more than one ending involving multiple girls against one.. I don't know what I'll do~

If we already bought the game and you release it on steam, is there any way to get it through the steam system without paying again since it's always easier to have all of one's games in one spot.

Yes. Steam allows us to generate keys and they can be sent to players. There is a special button on the page that can request a key.
The Steam release is expected to be in early May.

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I finished the entire game I guess, great experience. Although I found it rather hard to get betrayal and submit endings since there was no option to do it via the menu, you had to type in command yourself. It ended up in me searching in Lua files for a few hours. :I Still, great game.

Thanks, glad you liked it. They're meant to be sort of "secret" endings, but making a popup would be mischevious...

Is there actually a way to do it? I haven't managed to figure it out. 

[SPOILERS FOR PEOPLE]
When in the last phase of the game, use the [transform jessie] command. You have all the same abilities even if you know who you are, right?

Ohhhh. Now I feel silly.

Started playing game, in an update would be cool if in options you added a list of all found endings and could click on one to view it again.

Great idea! I'll see if I can work it into the patch that is projected for Sunday or Monday.