Penrose is a non-linear narrative adventure game about time, choice, and the nature of obsession. Players navigate forward and backward through a generation-spanning story, making subtle changes that nudge events towards their inevitable conclusion. Featuring seven original compositions for violin by VANCORVID.



Penrose was originally conceived by Michael Townsend in early 2018, while thinking about ways to merge pure narrative with interactivity. Three pages were written, and the first puzzle designed, before he hit a wall, not knowing where to take the concept. Penrose would be shelved for a year while doublespeak experimented with other concepts, but the idea proved to be quite tenacious...


Riding a creative high after the completion of A Flight of Fancy, doublespeak began searching for another narrative-focused project to dive into. Curious, Townsend returned to those first few pages of what would become Penrose, and found the previous creative blocks had vanished. In the spring of 2019, doublespeak committed entirely to the development of Penrose, and work began in earnest. By the summer of that year, the technical groundwork was laid and the focus turned to writing. Countless hours were spent in coffee shops and libraries, as Townsend scripted the largest single work of writing he had ever attempted. One year later the writing was complete and, while running closed playtesting, a chance meeting with recording artist VANCORVID would shape the musical direction of the project.


Timeline for the completion of the musical score in hand, a release date for the project was in sight; Penrose would be released in early September of 2020. Fingers crossed...


  • Traverse an intricate narrative, shaped by ripples of overlapping choice and consequence.
  • Solve puzzles by manipulating the environment, interpreting signs, and violating causality.
  • Haunting original score, composed and performed by VANCORVID
  • Play at your speed. Every choice is reversible.
  • Ensure that all will happen as it must.


Release TrailerYouTube

Announcement TrailerYouTube


Awards & Recognition

  • "Natterhub's Safest Educational iOS Games" 17 March, 2021
  • "TouchArcade Game of the Week" 4 September, 2020

Selected Articles

  • The whole thing is just fascinating, and I’ve never been more excited to read and then RE-read the same bits of a story before.
    Jared Nelson, TouchArcade
  • A mysterious, compelling interactive story
    Andy Price, TapSmart
Original Soundtrack
Available from

About doublespeak games

doublespeak is a small independent game studio focused on open source, browser based experiences. Creators of A Dark Room and Gridland.
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