AUGUST ROUND-UP: newly released and coming soon

It’s time for another round-up! In this edition we’ve got details about a forthcoming pulp-style multiplayer game; more Cthulhu; classic solo adventures forming part of the return of an early RPG system; the third book in a well-received sci-fi series; a steampunk update; and a new fantasy game/novel featuring golems, dragons and magical weapons.


Harrowing Adventures

Harrowing Adventures is a cooperative, multiplayer interactive fiction game in the style of pulp serials from the 1930s & 40s. A text-based, turn-based adventure for mobiles, it uses the CYOA format to imitate the experience of a tabletop RPG, except that your friends need not be in the same room, and you can keep the adventure going by playing when you have just a few minutes to spare.

Currently in development from 4th Wall Games, Harrowing Adventures is both a novel and a game. Each player chooses one of three characters and decides on that character’s actions as the story develops. The story you experience will change depending on what your friends do. You work together cooperatively with your friends to save the world… and each other. The game adapts intelligently to your decisions, just like a tabletop GM, responding to your chosen style of play. Character reactions and the situations you encounter will change from game to game. In one game, the heavy you’re trailing might hop in a car, causing you to flag down a cab to give chase. In the next game, the thug may instead decide drop into an open manhole and lead you on a dark and winding hunt through the sewers. Harrowing Adventures is highly replayable, offering a unique adventure every time you play.

True to the 1930s serials, the adventures continue through several installments, each ending with a cliffhanger that will leave players eagerly anticipating the next episode. Furthermore, your hero develops and grows from episode-to-episode, carrying you through an epic adventure.

You can follow the ongoing work on Harrowing Adventures at the developers’ website or via Facebook. 4th Wall Games are also interested in hearing from potential players, so are conducting a very short survey about personal interests and the various features of Harrowing Adventures – you can complete their online survey here.


Cthulhu Chronicles

MetaArcade have now released the three concluding installments in the Investigations in Lovecraft Country campaign arc for their Cthulhu Chronicles app.

Miskatonic University ~ it may not be full of eldritch monsters, but the knowledge held within its walls may probe the limits of your sanity.

Crimson Letters ~ the playing field has shifted, and now you must navigate the dangerous minefield of Arkham’s underbelly. The only way to get the mysterious Crimson Letters lies through meetings with students of the arcane, uncertain alliances, and horrors beyond measure.

Blackwater Creek ~ it doesn’t like visitors, but that’s the least of your worries as your misadventures reach an epic conclusion. All your actions in previous stories have led to this – so be ready to face the consequences!

Like all others, these scenarios are available for 20 tickets, or you can play for FREE using one of your trials. Cthulhu Chronicles is currently available only on iOS.


The Fantasy Trip (inc. Death Test/Death Test 2)

Steve Jackson’s first tabletop RPG, The Fantasy Trip, is now returning to print via a new (and already wildly successful!) Kickstarter campaign from Steve Jackson Games. This old-school system featuring simple character design, streamlined roleplaying rules and tactical combat includes microgames, full-size rulebooks and solo adventures – perfect for playing a game by yourself or with others.

The Fantasy Trip is set on the mega-world of Cidri, a huge place which can contain every campaign world that anyone wants to create. Magical Gates connect many areas, so travel to very distant places is easy if you know the way. The background is unabashedly swords and sorcery. Elves are noble, dragons are greedy, and gunpowder weapons exist but are very likely to blow up in your face!Unavailable for nearly 40 years, the new Legacy Edition of The Fantasy Trip will be a great introduction for new players, and will reward all existing fans with a revised game presented as it should have been all those years ago. The ‘programmed adventure’ solos Death Test and Death Test 2 have already been unlocked during the campaign, so both will be included in the Legacy Edition.

Death Test (1978) ~ A ruthless and powerful ruler, the Thorsz, wants to recruit guards . . . and he wants them to be tough. A labyrinth set under his palace will offer a severe test, guarded by monsters, prisoners, wizards and other would-be soldiers of the Thorsz. If you can get out alive without showing cowardice, you’re hired. The penalty for failure is death.

Death Test 2 (1980) ~ Same story, different setting. The Thorsz is now annoyed because word has gotten around about how to beat his testing dungeon. So he had it remade, tougher than ever!

The Fantasy Trip will be available in print and PDF. Head to the Kickstarter campaign page for more information.


Heavy Metal Thunder 3: Slaughter at Masada

The epic Heavy Metal Thunder gamebook series from Kyle B. Stiff returns with Slaughter at Masada – its long-overdue third installment. A branching narrative gamebook driven by the reader’s decisions made during key moments, this third book follows on from the events of the two previous adventures: Heavy Metal Thunder and Sol Invictus (both available in Kindle or iOS/Android versions).

Now that they have come out of the shadows, the Black Lance Legion turns an eye to Mars, where the people of Masada have been under siege for three years. Unlike so many others who gave in to despair when the Invaders came, the people of Masada chose to embrace a philosophy of ENDLESS WAR. So it is that Admiral Franks, supreme leader of the Black Lance Legion, has given you the task of recruiting them into the Legion.

You are Commander Cromulus, leader of the Parsapura Eagles, a team of rookies and screw-ups who are not fond of being led by a ‘human fanatic’. You must lead the Eagles through the battlefield of Mars to the showdown at the gates of Masada. But this will be your most dangerous mission yet, for Mount Olympus is surrounded by a ring of Invader berserkers – undisciplined criminal psychopaths too dangerous to be trusted inside spaceships, even by their own people. Tearing across the dust-choked warzone in their souped-up automobiles, they enjoy nothing more than hunting down human prey.

All 499 sections in this Kindle Edition are hyperlinked, and no dice are required (however, stats and equipment are recorded if playing with the full rules). While it is possible to enjoy Slaughter at Masada without having read either the first or second book, it is highly recommended that you read the series in sequential order.

Heavy Metal Thunder 3: Slaughter at Masada is now available to download from Amazon.


Steam Highwayman: Highways and Holloways

The Kickstarter campaign for the second book in Martin Noutch’s Steam Highwayman series has successfully reached its funding goal. Also, the fantastic new cover for Volume II: Highways and Holloways, illustrated by Ben May, has now been revealed!

The Kickstarter campaign for will conclude on August 17th, so don’t miss your chance to join as a project backer and experience these exciting steampunk adventures for yourself. Check out Martin’s website for further information and updates.


Choice of Games: The Last Wizard

The new games keep on coming from Choice of Games – this time a user-made adventure using the ChoiceScript scripting language, via Hosted Games. The Last Wizard is an 185,000-word interactive fantasy novel by Mike Walter, where your choices will influence who rules the land and what happens to the civilians living there. Will you find love or will you strive to return to the life you were forced to leave behind? Will you save the kingdom, or will you betray the people for your own personal gain? The choice is yours!

It’s a regular Tuesday evening when you are pulled from the Earth and sent to a place where magic still exists. You are given a wizard’s tower filled with arcane knowledge that you are expected to learn. Thrust into a war between two nations, it’s up to you to save the kingdom where you now live.

  • Learn and master multiple powerful spells.
  • Build a powerful golem, ride a dragon, raise the dead, heal the sick, rain fire upon your enemies, fly, become invisible, summon lightning, enchant magical weapons…
  • Acquire powerful magical artifacts.
  • Save the kingdom or join the enemy.
  • Return home to Earth or live your life in a fantasy world.
  • Change the fates of two nations!

The Last Wizard is now available for Steam, Android and iOS. You can play the first three chapters of the game online for FREE and it’s currently priced at 40% off until August 10th! Visit the Hosted Games website for further details.

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