Red Embrace: Hollywood preview — An edgy supernatural dating sim

If you think supernatural romances are played out, think again. Red Embrace: Hollywood is a dark dating sim from Argent Games revolving around an underground vampire society in 1996 Los Angeles.

Red Embrace’s character creation menu is a breath of fresh air, especially in terms of its approach to gender. While it would have been impressive enough to have a gender selection option that included ‘male,’ ‘female’ and ‘nonbinary,’ Red Embrace has a more thoughtful take on character customization. You’re able to alter a few different aspects of your character, including jaw shape and bust shape, neither of which are tied to any single gender. After customizing your appearance, you’re able to select pronouns of your preference — the ‘she’ series, ‘he’ series and ‘they’ series are available options.

Once you’ve made your character and specified their pronouns, you’re thrust into Hollywood and answer some preliminary questions about your motivations and background. Shortly thereafter, you enter the vampire underworld of the city and are introduced to a vibrant cast of characters.

There’s Markus, the first vampire you encounter after being turned, who is quite decidedly a man of mystery. It’s unclear where his true allegiances lie, and there’s certainly more to him than meets the eye (though what meets the eye happens to be tall, dark and handsome with a strange Southern charm).

Markus always wears shades.
Markus always wears shades.

The next romantic candidate that you meet is Heath, a gentler and more sentimental suitor. Unlike Markus, Heath is inclined to poetic vocabulary and coy flirting.

Heath's a suave one, and with freckles too.
Heath’s a suave one, and with freckles too.

Last but certainly not least, you meet Randal, a rebellious bad boy who’s straightforward and doesn’t play games. With tons of tattoos, a scruffy beard and flowing locks, he’s essentially the Jason Momoa of the Hollywood vampire scene.

Look at that golden hair.
Look at that golden hair.

Though the demo doesn’t last much more than half an hour, it promises to deliver a unique experience to every player. As you choose which vampire you want to woo, you also must choose which faction to align yourself with. The Iscari are a diplomatic group, the Mavvar are hot-blooded rebels, and the Golgotha are mysterious and wise bunch.

Between your romantic choices and political ones, there’s plenty of room for variety in Red Embrace. According to the developers, the completed product will contain twenty-one different endings. However, be aware that this game isn’t for everyone, as it has an R-17 rating and contains depictions of violence, drug use and sexual content.

You can check out Red Embrace: Hollywood on Kickstarter and learn more at their website. A demo is out now for PC, Linux, Mac and Android.

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