I admit, as much as I like stories in games, I never really got used to playing without anything much to do other than roaming around hunting for articles to read. You should see my disbelief when I finished playing The Yawhg within an hour and a half. Having used to associating my money's worth and the length of a game I bought with it, I was pretty much frustrated how short a story based game could be. Especially when I have such a high expectations after Cinders, but then again, I shouldn't confused a visual novel to a game like The Yawhg or The Novelist. I think I should rearrange my line of perspective and appreciate games like this better. Besides, there are more than one ending on both games and replayability is high. I played The Yawhg six times already (it would've been fun if there's someone to play with though).
That said, let's get on with The Novelist.
The Novelist centers on a family of three; husband and wife, Dan and Linda, as well as their son, Tommy. Each character has their own personality and priority. Throughout the game, you, as the invisible phantom haunting the house will search for clues around the house and pry on these individuals' minds for what's troubling them. You're going to influence them to make certain choices that will benefit one individual or more, make them closer to one another or ended up making them much more estranged.
The characters are well rounded, and each struggle with their own desires as well as their commitment to one another. I think the stress endured by these people made it all the more dramatic whenever we "help" them to make choices as only one choice can chosen, and only one individual will be happy while the others are not. At first, I thought they were all very selfish, but then again, it was just maybe really hard for them to cope with the situations presented to them. The game really pulls you into the story and make you want to try hard to make the right choice so their family can be whole, but alas, it won't be that easy.
The story is very realistic; not over-dramatic, instead it felt very human. I would recommend this game to anyone looking for a good story, but not for those who expect a lot of gameplay. It does get repetitive because of the gameplay pattern, so people who are not into it can steer away from this game. Still, I'd give this game 7 out of 10. You can get it on Steam if you're interested.