Press kit — A Mortician's Tale
A Mortician's Tale is a narrative-driven death positive video game where you play as a mortician tasked with running a funeral home. Take on the role of recent funeral direction graduate Charlie as she learns the ropes of the business and industry. Prepare the bodies of the deceased (via embalming or cremation), attend their funerals and listen to their loved ones' stories, and interact with Charlie's coworkers, clients, and bosses. A Mortician's Tale is an informative, honest, and sometimes humorous look at the current state of and the future of the western death industry.
Laundry Bear's debut game and current project, A Mortician's Tale is greatly inspired by the works of Caitlin Doughty, The Order of the Good Death, and the death positive movement. After reading Caitlin's book Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, A Mortician's Tale designer and artist Gabby DaRienzo (Graceful Explosion Machine, Celeste, Parkitect) was inspired to make a game about the western death industry. She originally created a simple pixel art prototype using PICO-8 that she called Mortuary Simulator, but after receiving a large amount of interest in the game and genuine questions about the death industry, Gabby decided to team up with game developer Andrew Carvalho (Soundshapes, LOUD On Planet X) to make it a full 3D game. They have since collaborated with musician Halina Heron (Moon Hunters, The Beginner's Guide, The Yawhg), illustrator Jacquelin de Leon (The Sirens of San Francisco), sound designer Jen Costa (Fate Tectonics, Light Fingers), writer Kaitlin Tremblay (Ain't No Place for a Hero, Those Who Make Us, Say When), and technical sound designer Robby Duguay (Graceful Explosion Machine, We Are Doomed) to bring A Mortician's Tale to life. A Mortician's Tale is made possible with support by Ontario Arts Council.
- Explore the colorful world of Rose and Daughters Funeral Home — from the morgue itself to the viewing room where funerals take place
- Prepare 8 different bodies using realistic tools and procedures involved with traditional burials and cremations
- Talk to the deceased's loved ones, discover their stories, and learn how each of them mourns in different ways
- Follow Charlie's journey at Rose and Daughters Funeral Home as it transitions from a family-run business to being bought and owned by a massive funeral conglomerate and beyond
- Discover some real life truths about the current state of and future of the western funeral industry
Awards and Recognition
- "Official Selection, Fantastic Arcade" Austin, Fall 2017
- "Official Selection, Double Fine's Day of the Devs" San Francisco, Fall 2016
- "Official Selection, Different Games Toronto" Toronto, Spring 2017
- "One Of 2017's Best Games... It elicits dark feelings, but asks players to consider where those feelings came from and what makes them dark."
— Cecilia D'Anastasio, Kotaku — One Of 2017's Best Games Is About Being A Mortician
- "82/100 — An approachable and thought-provoking meditation on life’s only certainty."
— Philippa Warr, PC Gamer — A Mortician's Tale Review
- "Recommended — This is a beautiful game. It scared me. It moved me. Most of all, it made me stop what I was doing and think."
— Christian Donlan, Eurogamer — A Mortician's Tale Review
- "8/10 — [A Mortician's Tale] is a short game, only an hour or so long, but it leaves an impact far beyond its runtime. Give it a chance, and it might just change the way you think about death."
— Nic Rowen, Destructoid — Review: A Mortician's Tale
- “In its debut PC game A Mortician’s Tale, death is not only natural, but something worth utmost respect. It’s an inevitability that deserves as much care as life does.”
— Allegra Frank, Polygon — In A Mortician’s Tale, death doesn’t have to be a downer
- "A Mortician’s Tale is a game that lets you go behind the curtain of funerals, to step into the shoes of the people for whom this is just an everyday job like any other. Your grief is their bread and butter; your special, one-off occasion, lovingly planned and arranged, is their package deal.”
— Kate Gray, Waypoint — A Game That Finds Comfort in the Banality of Death
- "[A Mortician's Tale] makes the end of life visible, and in doing so crafts one of the only meditations on death in videogames that feels authentic.
— Julie Muncy, WIRED — A Mortician's Tale might be the first game to really get death
- "[A Mortician's Tale] is a quiet meditation on what it's like to live when all that seems to surround you is death."
— Caty McCarthy, USGamer — In A Mortician's Tale, Death Isn't the End of the World
- "That's the gift that Mortician's Tale provides: a space to experience death without pretense, or stigma, or the shame of being a walking reminder that we all become bodies on a gurney one day."
— Jess Joho, Mashable — Indie game dares to talk about death in a way few others have
- "This is a game that deals with the reality of shuffling off this mortal coil, and is ready to bury the taboos surrounding it."
— Rachel Weber, PC Gamer — Corpses leak and pacemakers are cut out: Dealing with death in A Mortician's Tale
- "It’s welcoming and friendly, as though it’s inviting you to share in a reflective moment and to accept the realities of mortality without any judgment or shame."
— Stephanie Chan, VentureBeat — A Mortician’s Tale dissects the stigma of death
- "This is a quietly understated and oddly beautiful tale of what happens when we die and what a mortician has to do to make sure the funeral process goes as smoothly as possible. It might seem an odd subject, but this is a labour of love on behalf of an industry that rarely gets much."
— Louise Blain, GameMaster Magazine — IndieMaster: The Best of the Indie Scene
- "...It's rare for a game to feature death that actually feels real, that helps you understand the losses we will all inevitably face. A Mortician's Tale is trying to go there, by mixing a serious subject (dealing with dead bodies) with a crazy, cute art style and satisfying game mechanics."
— Rachel Weber, Rolling Stone (Glixel) — 'A Mortician's Tale': Inside a Death-Positive Video Game
About Laundry Bear
Laundry Bear Games is a small independent game studio founded in 2016 by Andrew Carvalho and Gabby DaRienzo. We love collaborating with friends to make strange and colourful video games.
More information on Laundry Bear Games, our logo & relevant media are available here.
A Mortician's Tale Credits
Gabby DaRienzo (she/her)
Game Designer and Artist
Andrew Carvalho (he/him)
Halina Heron (she/her/they/them)
Jacquelin de Leon (she/her)
Jen Costa (she/her)
Kaitlin Tremblay (she/her)
Robby Duguay (he/him)
Technical Sound Designer
Chris Dwyer (he/him)