A downloadable experience

Buy Now$8.00 USD or more

Listen to WretchedCast - The Wretched & Alone podcast here!


Final report, the commercial star-ship Nostromo. Third officer reporting. The other members of the crew—Kane, Lambert, Parker, Brett, Ash, and Captain Dallas—are dead. Cargo and ship destroyed. I should reach the frontier within six weeks. With a little luck the network will pick me up. This is Ripley, last survivor of the Nostromo, signing off.
 - Ellen Ripley


The Wretched is a solo journaling RPG played with a deck of cards, a tumbling block tower, and a microphone.

You are the last surviving crew member of the intergalactic salvage ship The Wretched. Adrift between stars after an engine failure, your ship was attacked by a hostile alien lifeform. The crew are dead. 

You thought you had won. You launched the creature out of an airlock, and that should have meant safety.

It didn’t. 

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The Wretched is a game about human resilience in the face of overwhelming odds and almost certain death. It is a game about isolation, fear, and perseverance

You play a lone survivor of an horrific attack. You have seen and done terrible things, you have seen your friends - your found family - brutally butchered by something you can’t even begin to comprehend, something that you were sure didn’t exist until it manifested itself aboard your ship.

You are existing on the edges of your endurance, high on adrenaline and fear and desperation. You are sure you won’t survive this, but all you know to do is to keep fighting.

The Wretched is inspired by the music of John Carpenter and Nine Inch Nails, as well as You Are Not Alone In This Lifeand you will die alone out here in the black by Auden Roswell.

< - - - >

The Wretched comes as a 20 page A5 zine ready for printing, or as a single-page, vertical-scroll hyperlinked PDF.

Purchases above $10 also receive a unique soundtrack written and recorded specifically for this game. You can listen to a sample of the soundtrack below.


See below for details of the print edition, strictly limited to 25 copies.



Purchase

Buy Now$8.00 USD or more

In order to download this experience you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $8 USD. You will get access to the following files:

LTR-TheWretched-A5Zine-v1.pdf 646 kB
TheWretched-Vertical.pdf 6 MB
LTR-TheWretched-BookletPrint.pdf 1 MB
LTR-TheWretched-Soundtrack.zip 153 MB
if you pay $10 USD or more

Exclusive content

Support this experience at or above a special price point to receive something exclusive.

Community Copy

If you're in need and can't afford a copy of the game, help yourself to a community copy of the digital zine. Every sale contributes more copies to the pool:

  • PDF sales add 1 copy
  • PDF + soundtrack sales add 2 copies
  • Print sales add 4 copies
  • Tips in $3 increments over the asking price add 1 copy per $3

Super Limited Edition Print Zine

Get The Wretched in an A5 saddle-stitched booklet printed in black ink on 130gsm silk interior pages with a sturdy heavyweight cover. Strictly limited to 25 copies. Price is inclusive of shipping and handling.

Buyers will be contacted to confirm their shipping address via email as there is no option for you to provide this through itch.

Development log

Comments

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(1 edit)

The Wretched is a single player journaling game with gorgeous art and deeply atmospheric writing and layout, and although it's technically a single page, it's layed out bookmark style and probably has about 15--20 pages worth of content for you to scroll through.

Content-wise, it's a combination horror/disaster story, following from a sort of bad end to Alien, where Ripley did not successfully escape and is stuck on the husk of the Nostromo with the creature still on board.

It's deeply bleak, but not hopeless, and it makes a point of this. You're not dead 'til you're dead. Everything else is fighting.

The Wretched uses a fair bit of mechanics for a journaling game, and it's also one you can (and are likely to) lose. This matches the tone.

You also need a bunch of kit, including a jenga set, d6, tokens, and a deck of cards---although you can make the game easier by making the jenga set optional.

For folks who would not be comfortable with a game that periodically reminds you of confinement and impending mortality, this is probably not an ideal experience to play.

However, for folks who really like atmospheric horror, and who would be interested in a game that produces journals/recordings that are basically as dramatic as the game itself, this is probably a title to prioritize.

Overall, this is a journaling game that I think has an appeal way outside of the normal journaling game market, due to its noticeable crunch. If you like Dread, or Alien, or non-ttrpg games like Alien: Isolation or Gods Will Be Watching, buy a copy. It also comes with its own soundtrack.

Edit: realized there are multiple formats for the game. You can also get it in booklet form if bookmark form is not ideal.

(2 edits)

This is the second wretched and alone game I've played on stream, the first one that got properly recorded, and I enjoyed it very thoroughly! The system that's used as a base is a fantastic way to tell stories, and the writing that goes into the prompts is fantastic, spurs on the setting and ideas to work within the setting. I saw someone describe the game without the falling block tower as potentially becoming a "walking simulator", and honestly, that concept sounds really entertaining to me, and this game in particular, moreso than any other wretched and alone game I know of, would be particularly suited to it. Spend a long time exploring the design of the ship, what went on in each area, how the ship and your character's view evolves over time, etc, etc. Long story short? This is a fantastic way to tell a story by yourself, and I've found it a great (albeit a little doom-and-gloom heavy) way to spin yarns for an audience. May play it again, on my own time, in a longer form, along with the soundtrack, and I'm sure I'll enjoy every moment. (also I got this via the BLM bundle, but honestly I'd have paid full price for it given how much fun I've had with it so far)

(+1)

Love the original Alien film, so I had to try this.

Journal writing games are new to me and I find something with a timer (such as the blocks or the Kings) really helps keep them from turning into a walking simulator.

I had some hesitation at first, but the prompts were so well detailed that the writing came easy.It felt almost effortless.
While your writing was the main reason, I think I could also attribute some of the credit to my liking of the film.
It wasn't difficult at all to get into the right headspace for it.

Overall, an enjoyable experience despite my character dying on Day 7 after finally making some progress.

(+1)

This was a really immersive and haunting experience - I loved the premise of being the sole survivor on board a drifting spaceship, hunted by a monstrous alien creature, and the setting and atmosphere were evoked perfectly through the prompts. This game definitely intensified the feelings of isolation I already had from being in lockdown! But depite the hopelessness and dread, it was still an extremely engaging way to spend an hour by myself. Great game!

Thanks so much for your kind words. I'm really glad you enjoyed it!

Is there a way to get the bundle and the soundtrack?

Hi Johnny,

The soundtrack isn't included with the bundle, but I've now put it on sale separately for 50% off here: https://itch.io/s/30859/soundtrack-sale

(+2)

THE WRETCHED is a solo journaling RPG played using poker cards, Jenga tower, and a recording device. You are the last surviving crew member on a broken-down spaceship, drifting helplessly in space. And a monstrous alien is hunting you. Each in-game day, you have to complete a certain amount of tasks dictated by cards you draw from the deck. Most tasks require you to pull from the tower, and you die when the tower falls. The only way to get out alive is if someone picks up your distress signal, which is highly unlikely. You character also believes that they can fix the engine, but it is a fool's errand. This game is not about winning, but about human capacity for hope in desperate circumstances. This game takes the Dread-like Jenga RPG mechanics to a whole new level. I love how each suit represents a group of task; System, Structure, Crew and the Creature. When you draw a card and see its suit, you already know what you are dealing with. The prompts for the tasks are all very evocative, and you feel trapped in a spaceship just by reading them. This game is elegantly layout, and it just looks great. It is a game that I wholeheartedly recommend.

Thanks so much! I'm really glad you enjoyed it.