Manage Customers, Cure Their Ailments, and Deal with Mischievous Yokai in Fast-Paced Arcade-Style Gameplay
Whitethorn Games — publisher of cozy indie hits such as APICO, Wytchwood, and Lake — alongside developer Waking Oni Games invite players to let the soothing waters of Izajima wash over them, when their hot spring customer management game, Onsen Master, releases this summer. The game will be available for Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4 & 5, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam.
The concept for Onsen Master dates back to 2015, when Waking Oni Games founder Derrick Fields was inspired by his regular rewatches of Spirited Away, specifically a section of the film in which the protagonist is working with spirits at a bathhouse. This formed the basis of Onsen Master’s hot spring customer management gameplay, and also the Japanese setting and aesthetic of the game. After five years of development, a successful Kickstarter campaign and beta period, and the partnership with Whitethorn Games, Onsen Master is finally ready to release this month.
“As a publisher, we always try to find unique games that can appeal to anyone and everyone,” said Dr. Matthew White, CEO of Whitethorn Games. “Onsen Master fits that criteria, and we’re really proud of everyone at Waking Oni Games for the work they’re doing to bring the game to the finish line.”“Our studio prioritizes lifting up underrepresented voices, and one of the ways we do that is by working with developers of color,” said Derrick Fields, Founder of Waking Oni Games. “It was great to find a publisher that has the same core beliefs that we do, and it helped reaffirm our mission of representation and cultural intersection.”
A dark cloud hangs over the island of Izajima, its effects weighing heavily on the inhabitants. Mischievous spirits called yokai are running amok within the island’s hot springs. And the great Onsen Master, keeper of the hot springs and healer of ailments, has mysteriously vanished. Players will take on the role of his apprentice, Mu, in order to restore balance and uncover what happened to the Onsen Master.
Onsen Master features arcade-style single and two-player co-op, where players must manage the customers of their hot springs, and prepare and put together the correct ingredients to cure their ailments. Running around the hot springs, wrangling wandering customers, and putting the right concoctions into the right baths can be hectic enough already, but troublesome yokai look to impede players’ excellent service as well. Can Mu overcome obstacles to revitalize and reconnect the communities of Izajima? Spring into action and find out!
Watch the latest trailer below:
Key features of Onsen Master include:
- Spring Fling: Experience a short and sweet story for up to two players, and unveil the island of Izajima in a visual novel style narrative with a cute anime aesthetic.
- The Customer is Always Right: Skip the story and dive right in with Arcade Mode! Choose one of the six hot spring levels to put your customer service skills to the test.
- The Heat is On: Take on others in a competitive couch multiplayer mode where players must each work to manage their customers within the same hot spring.
- Spa Music: An original soundtrack full of tunes akin to a Feudal fairytale, composed by Dorrell Ettienne.
Onsen Master will release on Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4 & 5, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam this summer.
To keep up with all things Onsen Master, be sure to follow Waking Oni Games on Twitter and visit their official website. Follow Whitethorn Games on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, join the Discord community, and visit the official website.
A full press kit, including logos and screenshots, can be found here: https://uberstrategist.link/
About Whitethorn Games
We’re an indie game publisher focusing on pleasant, cozy games that can be played in pieces, that require no special skills or knowledge, and that anyone can pick up and play. We’re believers in accessibility, inclusion, and widening the audience that gets to play. We like to consider ourselves the defenders of easy games. While our games might challenge you, they’ll respect your time, they’ll make sure you can play, and most importantly, they’ll never punish you. Learn more at https://whitethorngames.com/.
About Waking Oni Games
Waking Oni Games is a BIPOC led indie studio, creating experiences that are meant to uplift underrepresented voices while exploring cultural intersections, media, and nostalgia. Visit https://wakingonigames.com/.