I cannot sing enough praises for this game. Expertly written, Secret Little Haven is nothing short of a time capsule. It handles dark and sensitive themes with an unusual level of care. Each of the characters are distinct and likeable, with Alex Cole themselves being a particular standout in terms of charm and believability. The occasional dips into horror whenever John entered the narrative were a welcome change of pace and featured some creative scares that further emphasised the bitterness of the situation. I ended up making a serious effort to continue their fanfiction despite the fact I could have just written the word "butts" 481 times and cheesed the game's lack of insight. It's not flawless of course, the UI has a fair number of bugs and glitches involving windows getting stuck on top of each other and one puzzle getting me stuck for more than an hour could have used an extra hint (I didn't realise "Y O U R desktop" meant the actual desktop of your Windows 10 PC and not the virtual desktop in the game's executable). But it's absolutely worth the five dollars I would have paid had I not received it in a bundle.
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this game is so cute im recommending it to all my friends!
Hey, I'm sure someone has already asked about this, but what is the best doll to make for Sam on day 2? I've figured out the sweater and the blue skirt, but I'm at a loss for any options. I've tried several times and haven't gotten better than "not so bad".
You're close, the last item you need is the orange hair (Because her avatar has orange hair)!
this game is so fucking cute and good!! highly recommend it, 10/10 i was Touched by it
Thanks for making such a cute simulation game that introduce us to the unique journal of transgender and fandom. You can tell how much effort the developer put into the design of a complete simulated 90s-style computer operating system. The response speed of NPCs sometimes is a little bit too slow.
Just cried my heart out 10/10. Beautiful storytelling, thank you.
adore this game and have recommended it to many of my friends!! such a cute style, i love the gameplay and the story made me CRY! love this game 10/10
this game is so beautiful!! i'm not a trans person exactly, but this game really helped me understand some of the things trans people go through on the daily.. how WRONG it feels when the wrong pronouns are used, etc.
that being said, it was unexpectedly relatable. The way everyone talks is just so REAL. i was so immersed playing as alex.
thank you for making such a wonderful, pretty, cute game that helps me understand a lot of my trans loved ones and even myself just a bit more. <3
...not to mention early internet is so fascinating to me and i LOVED being able to interact with this world. <3
10/10 Far too relatable and real
I love this game so much! Is there any chance i can get my hands on the raw images/sprites/whatever for the icons and mouse cursor? I wanna try using them on my PC :P
My antivirus hates this game for some reason? It just deletes the .exe files and says it found an IDP.generic malware every time I try to play it. Also it doesn't let me move the .exe file away from the downloads folder. So sad bc I was really looking forward to playing this game for pride month!! Will definitely come back to it in a while to see if my laptop has stopped acting up by then lol
sorry for the trouble with the game! What antivirus is quarantining it, and are you able to play it if the AV is temporarily disabled?
This is a really comfy, and yet really terrifying game. I love it.
I played this like a year ago and forgot to comment, but I loved it so much. The aesthetics, the theme, the execution, just great <3
As a trans girl named Alyxandra and growing up in the 90s, this got kinda personal for me. I loved it. Very emotional, stressful at times. I cried a few times. Love seeing trans representation in games and this one did a great job of it. <3
I really liked everything about this!
Love the aesthetics, love the music, love the nostalgic Web 1.0 feels, and love the writing with all the characters and community feeling! I've needed to take a short break each time a chat notification for the dad poped up... The material gets stressful (especially for things I relate to), but in the end it's all uplifting. Thanks for making the game!
This game was exactly what I needed in my life right now. Thanks.
The colors and music and dialogue were so perfect! I Played this game in about four sessions and I loved every minute of it. It was a little difficult reading most of John's dialogue, but I like the effect. This game clearly had a lot of care and thought put into it and I can't wait to see what else this creator releases! /\._./\
Lovely game, it was a pleasure playing it.
Love the LGBT+ representation in games.
You know I played this game like a few months before I came out as trans, and I think this is what finally broke my egg in. Thank you so much.
Hi I played this fantastic game but I have one problem; HOW THE FUCK DO YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT HAPPEND TO ME. This game litrally happend to me irl like my dad locked me out of my pc he faslite me this whole story actually happend to me I figured out I was trans while apart of a community for a tv show like really. Thank you so much for making this thank you
made me cry a few times :')
very wonderful. had a bit of trouble with the console bits but felt very powerful when I figured them out
A very nice game with a great storytelling!
I was a bit stuck with those "hacking" stuff but find out eventually.
It was actually very accurate view inside "fan" community, and on the topic of finding self....
Also there is a quite big ammount of written text in forum which i liked very much.
I desperately want to play more of this game but I am unable to reset it, every time i reinstall it starts me on thursday and I am unable to go back and do something else I want to do on my first playthrough, I need to start on wednesday
Sorry to hear the reset isn't working D:
Are you playing on Windows? Try deleting:
Copypasting my review here. It contains some minor spoilers, but nothing specific:
WOW this was so fucking good!!
I played this during a hospital stay, having nothing else to do, and not expecting very much. But instead I got something I really needed, and something that was very engaging and beautiful. I loved the characters, I loved the vibe and aesthetic, I loved the dialogue. The music was nice too. Most importantly I felt like it really taught me some stuff. I've been kind of stuck in real life - I've felt it. I've had the same thoughts as Alex. I've felt like I have to solve it all right now, that I'm too lost in life, in my identity, my gender, my education and my future. One of the central messages, "it's complicated, but you'll figure it out", really resonated with me. And the discussions about gender.... really cleared stuff up for me. It's almost like it was meant for me (but I guess it's just made for a certain audience).
I was gonna write something about the family stuff, but it got a bit too personal. Anyway, I think it was done well. Sometimes, talking it out is really what's needed. It can be difficult, it's not guaranteed to work and it wont fix everything but sometimes it can finally start to make things better.
I really like the character progression and the conflict resolution... it gets realistically messy but the characters learn from their mistakes, grow and resolve things. It's a very good... something. I guess a good lesson? Both for yourself and for understanding how other people think/feel. And also for how to deal with people who have a lot of problems, how to comfort friends who have a lot on their plate.
I feel like the game in general made me more understanding and accepting, and that's a really cool thing for a game to do. And taught me some emotional intelligence!
Anyway,,, it's super fucking good, I'd recommend playing it if you're even remotely interested, especially if you're trans/questioning. Also if you're feeling a bit lost in life. Thanks for this experience! <3
ps. (some parts might be a bit messy, I don't write reviews very often)
This is hands-down the BEST indie game I have EVER played. I am so glad I tried it. I was hesitant because... I had some internalized transphobia and was convinced I could never understand transgenderism. But this game actually put me into the shoes of a young trans girl who is discovering herself and struggling in an abusive household. I honestly got triggered at some point when the gaslighting started, as I did not see it coming at all and certainly did not expect it to happen like that. And honestly I thought about stopping the game because I was getting so triggered, but... I didn't want to give up. And I am so glad I stuck with it and helped Alex through her dilemma. And... I think she helped me, too. I am now inspired to confront my own parents about how they gaslit me as a child. Wish me luck, y'all. And FFS pls download this game. It's amazing. 1,000,000/10.
I was the same age as Alex in 1999. I could go on and on about how much I feel seen and represented by this game, but I'd be saying things that have already been said better by other commenters. This is such an uncynical labor of love, and it's impossible to play without feeling that love. I ended up sitting up all night with this beautiful little story.
On the technical side, I couldn't click the button to summon the SanctuaryOS menu on Friday, which had me stuck knowing the password but being unable to log out. I also couldn't drag or close windows during that session. I tried clicking and holding on the settings sidebar button in the lower-left corner, and it eventually appeared. I toggled off flash FX and CRT FX, and all the widgets started working perfectly again.
"...I want to be a girl, Alex. I want to be a girl so fucking bad."
Heck, this line hit me so hard brought up a tear to my eye
Finally getting around to playing this game after setting it aside untill I felt more able to handle the topics it covers. While I never had experience in this era of chatrooms and forums on the internet a lot of what Alexandra has gone through in her journey is very similar to my own journey with my gender identity. I had to really pace myself as I progressed as some themes hit really close to home and I accidentally may have opened up some repressed memories and ended up just sitting with the game on for an hour and a half trying to collect my thoughts before playing more.
Overall great game, I was able to really relate to Alexandra and that mad the experience really memorable and I found it unearthing feelings I haven't really gotten from most media (though I normally avoid games like this as I worry I cant handle them)
I have to recommend this to my other trans friends immediately
(I really hope Alexandra's dad comes around eventually.)
I played this WAYYYY to late, but from everything I heard it definitely met expectations and beyond. I hope in one form or another see Alex again. <3
I really loved what I got to play of this - it certainly reminded me of growing up in ye olde Web 1.0 years - but I'm having the same issues others have reported with clicking things just not working sometimes. Ultimately, the "log out" button wouldn't work for me, so I was unable to save my progress to continue the game later. :(
AMAZING writing... omg. wish i played this sooner. thank you for making it! (really loved the ending sequence too aaaaa)
This game is so good. There is love injected into everything you can interact with. I spent a good thirty minutes writing more of Alex's fanfiction for fun.
Really compelling characters, excellent writing, and the ending made me tear up... she will figure it out <3
I cried. This was ART. I had online friends just like each of the ones you talk to in the game, and the game absolutely nails the social qualia of the time.
Yeah, I remember the late-90s and early-00s internet. I miss it. And if only I had allowed myself to indulge my true curiosities and passions back then... well -- I just might have figured things out a bit earlier than 32.
And hopefully, her dad will eventually come around, just like mine did.
Godspeed, Alexandra. <3
I do not know if, objectively, this is a good game. If I am being completely honest there were sections of this game I could not truthfully call fun. That said, it is probably my favourite game I have played, certainly my favourite visual novel. The parts I did not enjoy were unenjoyable to me because of how real they felt. There is a lot of genuine emotion on display here and, seriously, I do think it makes this game one of the most pieces of interactive art I've ever dealt with. It might not be for you, but it is most definitely for me and the price is cheap enough that, even if it doesn't speak to you, you'll still probably find something in there to get your moneys worth.
This review made me play it, lol. I agree, this game struck a genuine chord with me (it's crazy how it had the convolution of a hobbyist navigating the internet, lol).
I'll start off my comment by saying that this game is awesome. I loved it. I already played through it once but I want to replay it. My issue is that I played it on Windows the first time and it ran well but I switched over to Linux (specifically Manjaro) and now I can't even launch the game. I have all 3 versions of the game downloaded but the Linux version doesn't let me launch it. It tells me I don't have a program for executing files. I wanted to know if someone could help me out with this here since I can't find any help from the internet.
Some Linux users need to set permissions on the file to let it execute - try running this on the file in the terminal:
chmod +x "Secret Little Haven.x86"
You can then launch that with:
./"Secret Little Haven.x86"
Then you should be able to launch it - sorry for the inconvenience!
I very much like this game :) I'm pretty astonished as to how close this felt like browsing on an actual computer, fantastic work on emulating that!