Some praise for The Thief, The Witch, The Toad & The Mushroom

My game is officially out and it's reached a Very Positive rating on steam, with 100% positive reviews so far. Releasing this game and seeing such a wonderful response has honestly been one of the most joyful and affirming moments in my life. Please give it a go if you haven't played it yet - it's 100% free! And please join me on my new discord server if you want to chat about the game and get announcements about upcoming projects.

Below are some of my favourite reviews and comments from people who liked it.

I will always think about this game when I think about visual novels or even writing in games that really blew me away, Well Fucking Done.
- Scrap Princess

This game has absorbed me and my neighbour since we found it yesterday. It is so good. It is currently 3 am and he just finished his playthrough. We are literally unable to sleep. Masterpiece. Absolutely gorgeous. I cannot properly express how we are both feeling right now. You cooked. 

- Parthikleon

If you were ever a little kid reading late into the night, and you want to feel the way it felt back then again, even just a little, give the game a go.

Fantastic game. I don't know if I have ever played something so wonderfully ominous. The story is so much larger than it initially appears, and the journey to uncover the truth is wrought with so many delightful, yet horrible turns. The characters have a lot of depth to them; just when you think you know everything about them, something else is revealed, even darker than anything you had learned before. This game manages to perfectly deliver the sensation of spiraling downwards into a dreadful and inescapable fate. It is so rare to find a story that can hit all those notes perfectly, but this one does. Congratulations on the game, and thank you for sharing this story.

When I first saw the developer of the game, early on while playing this, I figured it was some sort of meta joke; a, "I'll come up with a real name later", and just wrote it off as the humor of the game. The more I played it, the more I appreciated that humor, with styles, and ideas ripped from dozens of stories we're all at least a little familiar with. When McNamee is being playful, he's fun, taking you into a world of endearing characters who all have something fun to say, characters who come to life in their little idiosyncrasies, from the Frog who will never stop reminding you how he has never lost at anything in his life, or the Mushroom who thinks your attempts at art are just dreadfully boring, the author manages to keep a smile on your face throughout.

But the Author isn't just trying to be playful, as the story unfolds, or really, is retold, he brings new texture to all the words he wrote earlier, little moments you didn't realize you appreciated. A sense of wonder, the smell of mystery, a feeling of dread. And by the time the story comes to an end, regardless of how you have chosen to end it, you're left with a sense of longing, to read those words for the first time again, to spend more time with those characters, to see more of this world that McNamee had so lovingly, and skillfully put together. It is rare you can finish a work of fiction, and be left only with that bittersweet feeling of loss, but McNamee manages it.

This is likely the best Visual novel I've ever read, despite its shorter length, despite its shoe string budget built on public domain art work, this is a story I will not soon forget. And Jack McNamee, is a name I will be very sure to remember, because I very much want to know what he does next.

-  Zenning

everything is perfect about this game. One night i couldn t sleep and just decided to open this game, and after playing for an hour i felt too cozy and relaxed that i only wanted to hit the hay.. 10/10

ps: it made me cry in the end..

The Thief, The Witch, The Toad and the Mushroom is now live!

My videogame is now finally live, and it's free!

It's a charming but mysterious visual novel inspired by my love of folk tales and old choose-your-own-adventure books. I've been working on it for a bit over 3 years now so I couldn't be more excited to see it launched. You can play it on Steam, or

Give it a try, and I'd love to hear any feedback or a review if you play it!

My game is launching March 23rd!


The Thief, the Witch, the Toad and the Mushroom is a cosy but mysterious visual novel inspired by my love of folk tales and old choose-your-own-adventure books. It's been a long time coming so I'm thrilled to say that it's launching March 23rd! You can wishlist it on steam here:

I can't wait for it to actually be a thing that exists in the world. See you on the other side.

This Haunted Land - Version 0.1

The Boy and the Heron, Studio Ghibli

Here is the playtest version of my game about where you play tiny imps, goblins, bugaboos, pixies, and sprites who venture out to wreak chaos upon mankind. Click on the image below to get the rules and character sheet.

You can read this post to get an idea of what this game is about. Basically, the game is focused on your inventory, like Mausritter or Knave. Your character is defined by the items they carry - if you want to be a thief, you would carry thieves tools. A wizard would carry spells, a fighter carries weapons and shields, etc. 

The twist is that your "Items" can be intangible objects like Fears, Dreams, Stolen Youth, Lost Beauty, or The Howl of a Wolf. You are fae creatures, so you can reach right into someone's head and steal their strength, their courage, their memories. Instead of carrying thieves tools, you might steal the memories of a Master Thief or a patch of the night sky to hide yourself with.

These items define what your character can do. And each one is a little sentient: They have their own goals and needs, and they can rebel and riot against you if they are mistreated. The game is about managing this chaotic hoard while having fae adventures as a little gremlin creature.

Ulla Thynell (Finnish, b. 1982) Untitled, 2021 Watercolor and alcohol ink on paper

This version is very much a work in progress, and after playtesting it there's a lot of things I want to change and update. Here's some of the improvements I'm planning for future versions:

  • Mortal forms: At the moment, you only get the basic Sprite Form. In future versions, each character will get a mortal form by default as well. This can be an animal, a small child, a plant, etc - but something that lets them blend in with mortal society and mess with humans.
  • Improved starting items: The current starting items are quite simple and D&Dish - you'll notice that everyone gets a weapon. I want to improve this and make your starting items much more baroque and fae-like. You might start with a deceptively deep puddle. A cat's curiosity. A shadow. A bag of bones. I also want to integrate this better so that there's less tables to roll on at the start.
  • Boosted Sentience: The intent is that all your items are alive. They have their own desires that they try to work through you. Even if you just have a mundane item like a sewing needle, it's a living sewing needle that can fly around and sew people's shoes together. I want to push this more and make it clearer in the text.
  • Strings attached: I'm planning to overhaul and improve the guidelines for how you steal things from other people. How you reach in and steal a soldier's courage, a mother's love, a sage's wisdom, etc. 
  • More stuff. This is a basic version of the rules, so you only have a basic list of items and one form. The full version would have a huge range of different factions, forms and items. You're all shapeshifters, so one of the core methods of advancement would be to find different forms and learning to take the shape of a vampire, a skeleton, a ghost, etc, each with different abilities and powers. You'd go out into the world and earn forms and items by doing quests for different factions, or stealing them from those factions.

I'd love any feedback or thoughts you have on the rules so far! Let me know in the comments.



Photo by Ronny Young

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