Ludum Dare 35 — April 15th-18th, 2016 — Theme: Shapeshift

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Kenneth Rice: Vampire Detective

by GrooveMan - Jam Entry

UPDATE 5/3: A really kind friend of mine, Lyn-Dae Stewart, has provided me with new character art for a post-jam version of the game! Now all the characters can look as sultry as I've written them! You can find the link to the post-jam version below. If you like her speedy work here, please support her on Patreon! You can find her at

Ever wanted to relive the trashy YA fiction from your youth, but, like, in interactive story form?

No? Well too bad - here's a Comedy Noir Romance for your consideration.

You play as Kenneth Rice; a 130-year-old hard-boiled detective with sensibilities firmly in the 1920s era from when he was bitten by a vampire. Yes.

When he gets a call from a mysterious stranger with a missing necklace, Kenneth steps up to the challenge; using his detective skills and vampiric transformation powers to solve the case. And maybe fall in love?

In short, it's Castlevania: Symphony of the Night with more 20's lingo and homoerotic overtones. Enjoy!

DISCLAIMER: It's no excuse, but this turned out to be a solo project by someone who don't draw too good. Concessions needed to be made. Please understand.

- Original character artwork by Gordon Shier and Aryn Clark (Consider it a callback to my earlier work).
- Script, coding and photoshopping by Nathan Blades."
- Game music by Thomas Collins ( and Kevin MacLeod (
- Sound effects from"
- Kenneth Rice: Vampire Detective was made in Ren'Py! Ren'Py was created by PyTom. Learn more at

Downloads and Links




kivlor says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 10:34pm

loved it!

Retallicka says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 12:48am

Good storytelling, nice one :D

celia14 says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 12:58am

I love this! It's so chock full of personality - the set-up, the style (I love the purple!), Kenneth's voice. The shapeshifting aspect was fun and made me wish there was a longer game to play so I could solve more hard-boiled puzzles with my vampiric talents. :D

sndr says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 5:01pm

Excellent storytelling, nice music and I loved the character drawings. I wished there were more. Maybe in the post-LD version? :P

fullmontis says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 5:41pm

Love the writing and the polish that went into this. It is like a mashup between a Vampire The Maswuarade feel with the noir detective sotrytelling. I think you did a great job!

josemwarrior says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 7:59pm

Cool! :)

allstar602 says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 8:23pm

Nice story!

Just Tom says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 8:42pm

Had me from the start, the feel of it was great!

Malvern says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 8:56pm

Very good visual novel! I felt the background outside the speakeasy wasn't necessarily appropriate for the era but that's just a nitpick. Very well written dialogue, I hope to see more!

AnaGF says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 9:02pm

Really good storytelling, nice graphics and nice audio. Interesting theme, mixing noir and vampires.

zenmumbler says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 9:56pm

Nice, finished story and good tone and mood. Well done.

Apr 20, 2016 @ 10:36pm

Glad to see this game in the submissions after seeing it at Mad Lab.

You get to be a vampire detective, that deserves 10/10 in its own right!

Very good story. Good music. Nice visual novel.

Apr 20, 2016 @ 10:38pm

Loved it.

Rose says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 2:18am

I loved the scenario and style. I predict that this will be the best-written of all the LD games!

fizzhog says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 12:00pm

Nice work. It all comes together to create a good atmosphere.

Apr 21, 2016 @ 4:17pm

Great game! Too bad there no option for story-telling 'cause it was awesome!

leo_p_mahon says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 12:33am

*Potential Spoilers*

"Like a candy store on fire" Great story telling and I love the theme (my game is also Noir themed) but I think you nailed the theme down a bit better than I did. I also love those hard boiled types, love the humor of that protagonist.

josefnpat says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 12:56am

I like how you used real photos and then styled them to the game. Nice job!

fprawn says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 1:08am

Great game, wish there were more to play.

glaze_96 says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 8:19am

Hey GrooveMan! Just wrote you a little backstory about Pasowix as you didn't get how he was getting paid =)
Just scroll down and read it in the comments:

As for your game:

I really sorry, but I couldn't finish it. Interactive stories really tedious. Didn't get past the first phone call.
Otherwise I really like the art and the mood. But as I actually didn't play I'd say it's not fare to score you on anything.
I'm sure the game is great as by looking at the comments! But I just wanted to let you know!

Hope you guys had a fun time making it =)

May 1, 2016 @ 10:44am

Loved the amount of detail in this and the different use of the theme. Definitely got the noir atmosphere across well.

CaptainPilot says ...
May 3, 2016 @ 10:13pm

Solid entry - got the whole way through. Pretty simple, and I didn't get much excitement or climax from the story. The mood was definitely strong though.

davalcordub says ...
May 4, 2016 @ 4:36am

Really nice work, I like it. The music is really good and the art too

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