A downloadable game

Buy Now$10.00 USD or more

The games contained within this text are old. Not the oldest, but close, close enough that they remember when play was called ritual and games were called gods. Esoteric is a collection of games, sure, but it is also a secret. For, you see, to describe a moment is to trap it. To pass on a memory of a moment is to mock it, stripping it of life and transforming it into clumsy masks and half-truths. Some things can be remembered. But perhaps, not everything must be. 

If your time spent playing Esoteric is a healthy one, and all goes well, then you should avoid describing your experiences to others or explaining what the game was like. It will be a secret, contained between the players, and it will die with your memory. Once you start playing, this rule is yours to follow for as long as you choose to continue playing. 

This rule is like all other rules—it should be suspended in the name of safety. Speak of this game if you must, to warn others, or to ask for help. In these golden days, your safety comes before the laws of any game, and if you don’t want to play along, nothing can make you.

Esoteric is a secret game, to be played under the cover of darkness. You may organize people together to play it, and get the supplies you need, but you cannot speak of what is to come besides to show the text of this game to others. Whoever reads from this book during the games is to be known as The Reader, in addition to any other names they might possess.

Before you begin playing, turn out all the lights and put away any machines you have with you. They won’t help you here.

Esoteric is part of the emerging Lyric Game genre on Itch.

Press Which Fails To Discuss Esoteric

Purchase

Buy Now$10.00 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $10 USD. You will get access to the following files:

Esoteric_digital.pdf 162 kB

Additional Purchasing Options

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

Community Copy

Choose this option for a free digital copy of Esoteric, no strings attached.

Physical Copy (Domestic Shipping)

Choose this option for a physical zine of Esoteric. US shipping only. Price includes shipping. 20 pages, including a black cardstock cover and either white or black interior paper. Every time a physical copy is purchased, I add a new community copy to the available pool.

If you want international shipping, please leave a 5$ tip for the additional shipping. 

Physical Copy (International Shipping)

Choose this option for a physical zine of Esoteric. International Shipping only. Price includes shipping. 20 pages, including a black cardstock cover and either white or black interior paper. Every time a physical copy is purchased, I add a new community copy to the available pool.

Comments

Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.

I haven't received my physical copy, though it says it was fulfilled 21 days ago.  Is there a way to track where the physical mail is?  I don't blame you, so not trying to be accusative.

Hey, no worries! I checked off fulfilled to let myself know that I packed your zine (I didn't realize it sent you an email, whoops!) but I didn't get it in the mail until a few days ago. It should be on its way!

Awesome, thanks!

Games I thought I recognized, until they bared their fangs.

Is there a specific player count needed? Could one play games solo? Thanks!

I don't think that's my call to make. Can you play it solo? I certainly won't stop you, it just depends on whether you feel ready.


All of these are games I learned to play with other people, however. It might be a challenge to adapt to solo experiences. I encourage you to check out Angelica Esoterica, Jammi's response to this game, which is designed for roughly solo play.

Neat, thanks!

(+1)

I won’t talk about Esoteric, not only because the text suggests it should be a secret, but because the incredible aspect of Esoteric is only emergent, from play, and is more cathartic than dramatic. Highly Recommended.

(+1)

This game contains many powerful secrets that will give you pause. It is absolutely playable, despite is potential first impressions, and it does wonderful things to create a powerful circle of trust, intimacy, and exploration.