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Press Release _ Long Version

Neon Lynx reinvents eBook with Fantasy-Novel-Game RunWithMe

What if Bella had chosen to be with the werewolf? If Katniss had gone straight for combat in Hunger Games? For the first time, the new Fantasy Novel Game “RunWithMe” lets the reader decide what kind of adventures she wants to experience.

The Game

“RunWithMe” is an all-new combination of mobile game and eBook. The thrilling urban fantasy story allows readers to create their own novel. Mesmerizing images of fantastic people and creatures, as well as augmented reality filters, immerse readers even deeper into the adventure. “We thought that you can do a lot more with an eBook than just save paper and printer ink,” reports Sophia Schoene, founder of Neon Lynx.

„RunWithMe” was created based on the 1980s “game books”. In the course of the story, the player collects energy and trust points, important items and gems. With these gems she can unlock additional images, filters and background stories. “Gems can’t be bought with money, because we don’t use in-app purchases as a matter of principle,” notes developer Matthias Schindler. However, the player can purchase Gems if she shares her progress, photos or selfies with AR filters on social networks.


The Story

Lia’s familiar world of school and social media suddenly goes totally out of control. She already knows about the shimmering dragons in the asphalt, but now she’s being attacked by evil beings. Then three bitterly feuding strangers show up, and each one tries to win Lia over to their side. Lia has no idea what’s going on around her, and most importantly, she doesn’t know who to trust. Lennox, descendant of the powerful Rieck dynasty, seems to know everything about Lia—but how? Morrigan, a mysterious and fearsome Oblivian, also has a reputation for using his magic for the dark side. Does he really want to help Lia, or will he hand her over to the enemy? And Arianna, the intriguing leader of the Emerald Underground Rebellion, claims that Lia plays a crucial role in the battle against the powers of darkness. But her own people mistrust Lia as if she were the enemy herself. Lia must decide who she wants to have as her companion on this adventure. And she must find out how she got caught in the middle of a deadly struggle for power in which she seems to play a pivotal role.

A wild hunt begins, and Lia encounters many fantastic creatures; some are friendly, but others can be dangerous. Will Lia be able to save all of the worlds from destruction? Will she find out who she is and who she can trust? Once it’s all over, there could be a happy ending—or things might turn out a completely different way…


The Gaming Studio

The ratio of women at the Neon Lynx gaming studio is disproportionately high. That’s not typical for the industry, but it’s no coincidence. Here, computer games are made by women, for women. “When Sophia told me about her idea for the start-up and the first game, I only had one condition,” reports freelance copywriter and co-author Thordis Taag: “Nothing like Twilight!” With that, she was preaching to the choir at Neon Lynx. Here they agree: there are already enough books and movies in which trembling women wait to be saved by vampires. “The name of the game is ‘Run With Me,’ not ‘Who Can I Run After,'” emphasizes Elisabeth Mell, the studio’s marketing representative and freelance audio narrator.

“Narratives shape the thinking of entire generations. We don’t just want to stop telling stories of little, weak girls,” explains Thordis Taag, “We want to start telling stories of strong women.”

The unifying element of all Neon Lynx employees is the desire to use their own talents and creative ideas for a genuine heartfelt project. So, everything about “RunWithMe” is digital handicraft: from the story, which is the equivalent of a 600-page book, to the more than 200 photographs and AR filters, to the recordings of the audio version.


The Funds

With its story and game concept, the young gaming studio was able to convince the Federal Ministry responsible for digitalization and received a six-figure sum from the pot for computer games funding – which has a total volume of up to 50 million euros annually. Under the motto “Playing your way to innovation”, the federal government of Germany has been funding the games sector since 2019. The gaming sector is already Germany’s strongest creative industry in terms of revenue, but the aim is to make it even more competitive internationally.

Neon Lynx has been internationally oriented from the beginning. The first version of “RunWithMe” can be played in German as well as in English. And an audio version for people with visual impairments will follow shortly. With a fund for “innovative digital audiovisual content” from HessenFilm und Medien GmbH, an audioventure version of the game is being developed. Like the original game, this works according to the so-called “choose your own adventure” principle. By swiping, the listener of the audio game can decide whether game heroine Lia should ignore or interact with the talking weaseldragon on her school desk. Whether she should crawl into the dark tunnel or fight the hellhound.


The game mechanics

Whether reading or listening, players can decide between up to 1000 choices. And these choices are more far-reaching than they first appear. Depending on how Lia deals with the three important counterparts, her relationship with them develops. Thus, the player can enter into more or less close relationships according to her gut feeling and truly gets her own individual story. “Who would you fall for” is the name of this principle, which has not yet found much of a place in the European gaming landscape. Speaking of competition. “We’re not really comparable to similar games on the market,” Sophia Schoene notes. “There are some questionable mobile games for girls with bad stories, bad graphics and paywall. We’ve seen some horrible stuff out there. From vampire lovers getting a ‘my lord’ breathed on them to princesses getting their engagement broken off because they wore the wrong dress for their mother-in-law’s birthday.” That couldn’t happen to Lia, who usually wears a black shirt with the obligatory trace of monster blood on it.

“RunWithMe” will soon be available for one-time purchase on the App Store and Google Play. There are no in-game purchases, no gambling mechanics, no hidden costs and no vampires. Those who purchase the game can play through it from start to finish, as many times as they like.

Enough vampire bashing and get playing!

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