Underrated Gems: A Beautiful Ride to Carlisle

Dana and Sharon, the only characters in this visual novel

I’m a Brit, my family is mostly from Cumbria and the Scottish Borders, and I like trains – I have visited the National Railway Museum in York on several occasions and I can name every locomotive used on the National Rail network. I also like anime and visual novels.

So the moment I heard about a visual novel called “A Beautiful Ride to Carlisle” my interest had already peaked. That’s the city my grandparents hail from, and its where I hope to live again in the future.

When I found out it was a cute yuri romance about two girls meeting on a train, I picked up my debit card and bought it instantly. That was a decision I have absolutely no regrets about.

The game starts by introducing us to Dana, who is on her way to volunteer on an organic farm that provides accommodation in return for work as a nice, cheap way to start her summer holidays. As Dana finds her reserved seat, she notices a beautiful girl named Sharon sitting directly opposite her, and they begin a long conversation that lasts the whole journey.

The dialogue between the two girls is beautifully written and there are several references to towns and cities that a British audience will be familiar with. It should also be noted that Sharon is blind, which means the game has disability representation. This also makes for a unique script that needs to take some creative approaches.

The art is stunning and the music is relaxing. It runs in 1920x1080px HD and is a kinetic visual novel, meaning there are no branching paths or choices as in many other VNs. It is yuri, but its a very light and gentle romantic story – don’t expect any ecchi or H-scenes.

It’s a very short story that can be finished in about half an hour, and it runs perfectly on Windows, Mac and Linux. It is available on Itch.io for $5.00 USD and I recommend it to anyone looking for a sweet but short visual novel.

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