You have to think that most game designers have an imaginary consumer clearly in mind, and based on the evidence of most of what gets published, that seems to be a Maxim-reading dude with baggy pants and plenty of heavy metal and hip-hop on his iPod. Yes?
If that's so, then Georgina Okerson's imaginary consumer is very different -- an anime-obsessed teen emo girl, probably.
In her previous game, Kishi Kawaii, Okerson took on the tropes of the CRPG in an unusual way; playing a teen girl in a fantasy world, it challenged you to find a life path over the course of a year, in a time-management sim carried mostly in text with a bunch of small manga-inspired images. Though it contained a dungeon-crawling minigame, it was far from your usual hack-and-slash Diablo clone, and focussed far more on character relationships and the quest for personal growth. Crude, in many ways, but unique in its approach.
In Fatal Hearts, Okerson keeps the manga-inspired graphics, but this game is much more like a "choose your own ending" book implemented in a graphic adventure style. As Christina Robinson, apparently a fairly typical suburban American teen, you're faced with an intrusion of the horrific into everyday life, Lovecraftian shivers in the 'burbs, if you will. Much of the game is essentially non-interactive story-telling, with the space bar bringing up more text and new images, but every once in a while you're faced with a puzzle minigame, and occasionally a more traditional graphic adventure-style point-and-click puzzle. As well, you're occasionally asked to choose from one of several options--options that, in fact, trigger different directions in the story, and different outcomes, so that, like Chivalry is Not Dead, there's a far higher degree of repeat playability here than with most adventures.
In truth, hardcore adventure gamers may find it too simple; it's designed for accessibility to non-gamers, rather than for challenge. Yet it's a refreshing attempt to address a different audience, and offer a different style of gameplay, than the norm.