Choice of Games has just released Highway Wars – a 190,000 word interactive post-apocalyptic novel by Adrao (author of Tokyo Wizard, and co-author of Lost In The Pages and Starship Adventures – all published by Choice of Games).
Inspired by Ian Livingstone’s Fighting Fantasy gamebook Freeway Fighter, and the Mad Max series of feature films, Highway Wars is a dystopian adventure set on the Iberian Peninsula in the 22nd century. In the ‘Old Times’ the earth’s environment was pushed well beyond its limits due to escalating pollution, and as a result the planet heated up, crops died and millions perished. Wars followed and resources became scarce – now the world outside of the protective walls of the independent city-states is nothing other than a chaotic wilderness: hostile, lawless badlands where bandits, marauders and warlords fight an unending battle for survival and dominance.
You play as a highway marshal: a nomadic soldier/mercenary employed by the Alliance of Free Cities to transport goods, eliminate enemies, or escort people across the potholed highways of these damaged lands. Choose a crew to help you navigate and protect your customised, armoured vehicle, and then accept a mission – knowing that those living on the outside hate you, and that countless marshals succumb to the ever-present dangers of the wilderness, and are never heard of again.
Highway Wars features a wide range of game difficulties, from Very Easy to Almost Impossible, allowing you to set the level of your key abilities and starting money, which then affects the risk and direct repercussions of choices made during your adventure. The game is structured to allow for significant player choice, resulting in 40+ different endings. You can finish your original mission or pursue one of the many other branches that increasingly diverge from the main story, following narratives that may see you: pacifying the lands for the Free Cities; fighting or associating with warlords, and becoming one yourself; terraforming earth; or heading off-world to colonise another planet. There are also many other sub-endings to discover, so this truly is interactive fiction with genuine choice and consequence.
Highway Wars also incorporates personal and vehicle-based combat. Your skill, strength and weapon type affects the outcome when engaged in personal combat (various weapons are hidden throughout the game), and available choices in vehicle-based combat can lead to the lowering of armour (either combatant), depending on your abilities and current crew members.
You can play the first part of Highway Wars online for free, or play the full game via Steam or as an app. Visit the Choice of Games website for further details. It’s currently available at 25% off until the 22nd of March.