** Selected as a 'Best of 2014' Game by Apple **

“A quite remarkable simulation of family life” – 8/10 – Edge

“Sincere, realistic writing and an inspired approach to player choice” – Polygon

“The Novelist affected me, deeply … I frequently cried” – Rock Paper Shotgun

“Stands head and shoulders above all others … well-written and genuinely moving” - Continue Play: Indie Game of the Year

The Novelist asks one central question: can you achieve your dreams without pushing away the people you love? The game focuses on Dan Kaplan, a novelist struggling to write the most important book of his career while trying to be the best husband and father he can be. The Kaplans have come to a remote coastal home for the summer, unaware that they’re sharing the house with a mysterious ghostly presence: you.

Read the family’s thoughts. Explore their memories. Uncover their desires and intervene in their lives. But stay out of sight; you can’t help the Kaplans if they know there’s a ghost in the house. It’s up to you to decide how Dan’s career and family life will evolve, but choose carefully; there are no easy answers, and every choice has a cost.

Dan’s relationships – to his work, his wife, and his son – react and shift in response to your choices. With a different sequence of events in every playthrough, The Novelist gives life to a unique experience each time you play.

The decisions you make will define the Kaplans’ lives, but they may also tell you something about yourself.

What's New

Version 1.14

Updated the app icon to fix an issue on some displays.

Ratings and Reviews

Not entertaining at all


This is not a great game like how it says in the description. I was hoping to have something more exciting as I play but nothing happened and the game is very lame. I bought this game because I thought it was going to be fun since I will be the ghost who will witness everything in a family, but no….it was bad. The way for the main character to explore the family member’s thinking and help them to make their choice is the same every times, same process. Extremely boring and I want my refund.

Not a fan


I wanted to like this game as the description sounded good, but playing it just stinks. I wish I could get a refund.

Impressed enough to actually write a review


I almost always click the “remind me later” button when it comes to rating/reviewing a game… but this one stands out enough to take the required 2 minutes to write a review. I loved it. It is NOT for someone who likes a fast-paced, non-cerebreal experience. However, if you are interested in psychology, sociology and/or the complexity of human relationships - this game is not only interesting, it is (despite the sad and gripping storyline that you have “dropped” into as a ghost) the experience is captivating to make choices in a game that you can’t take back (a la the old-fashioned “choose your own adventure” stories from my youth). The game itself is so well written, that it is remarkably difficult to meet everyone’s emotional and financial needs (and a really good lesson for anyone who feels like their life or relationships are in a rut - this game is a great reminder that there is more than one person involved in every decision one makes in a relationship). In fact, I had to play it a few times to reach a “conclusion" that I was pleased with for everyone (since every choice is permanent, every game play is different with very different outcomes from slightly different choices made by the characters… or… me...). I really hope I can find more games like this - since now this is exactly what I’m looking for in a game. Here’s hoping!


Kent Hudson
312.3 MB
Age Rating
Rated 12+ for the following:
Infrequent/Mild Mature/Suggestive Themes
Infrequent/Mild Alcohol, Tobacco, or Drug Use or References
© Orthogonal Games LLC


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.