APRIL ROUND-UP: notable news in IF

There’s plenty happening in interactive fiction just at the moment (which is how we like it!), so here’s a very healthy selection of interesting news items, information on new and forthcoming releases, and FREE stuff to download or play online.

Nocked! True Tales of Robin Hood

A new desktop version (PC & Mac) of the adventurous text-driven role-playing game Nocked! will be released for the big(ger) screen on July 17th. This updated ‘Golden Arrow Edition’ will include restructured game mechanics, hundreds of additional pieces of art, hours of music, and tens of thousands of new words.

The peasants of Nottingham bow under the weight of Prince John’s taxes; nobles fall to the Sheriff’s political machinations; deserters from the Crusades pillage the land; and fairies lure the unwary into the depths of mist-shrouded Sherwood Forest, never to be seen again. Step into the chaos of a magical England at the end of the Third Crusade. Maid Marian hides breathless amidst the brambles after the sack of her father’s castle; Little John charges a bodyweight in gold to cross a lonely log; and Will Scarlet holds court in a brokedown tower surrounded by trees as tall as the sky, waiting for a king who will never come. The time is ripe, a spark is lit – from the ashes of your home, from the shadow of anonymity, step into legend. You are Robin Hood.

Read our review of the iOS version to find out what we thought of Nocked! You can also sign up to the Nocked Newsletter for a chance to win early beta access, soundtracks and more before the upcoming launch day.

Breacher Story

Independent game developer and publisher Doubleton Game Studio has recently released a PC version of its 2018 hacker game Breacher Story. A narrative experience that dives deep into the world of cyber-security, conspiracy theories and social engineering, Breacher Story is an immersive choice-driven adventure through intriguing mobile conversations and unprecedented world events.

After exchanging a few text messages with your best friend, you receive a text from an unknown individual claiming that you attempted to hack into his smartphone. Following a brief conversation, you are hired by his cyber-security firm, but It doesn’t take you long to understand that his corporation is barely legal. Soon, you help spread viruses, scam people out of their money and talk victims into paying ransomware while your friend, fueled by the latest conspiracy theories, dives deeper into paranoia. 

Carefully choose your replies to make your way up the small corporate ladder towards an unforeseen future or sabotage your new career. Witness critical world events surrounding cyber-threats, ransomware, online phishing and DDoS attacks as they unfold in real time. Interact with multiple unique characters via a series of text messages in a story that’ll keep you entertained and guessing until its dramatic open-ended conclusion.


  • An immersive and intuitive interface introduces the narrative by utilising the chat mechanics of popular messaging apps.
  • Use your social engineering skills to reach your goals.
  • Unlock different conversations based on your success or failure.
  • Multiple locations.
  • In-game world news ticker.
  • Dynamic glossary that updates itself based on the words you are exposed to during game.
  • English and French versions available.

Breacher Story is available via Steam for PC. Discover the full range of games created by Doubleton Game Studio at their website.


2019 Spring Thing

Held annually since 2002, Spring Thing is an online festival focused on bringing together new text games of all kinds: choice-based stories, gamebooks, hypertext fictions, visual novels, text adventures, narrative roguelikes, and wild new experiments. The 2019 Spring Thing Festival of Interactive Fiction features twenty new interactive stories submitted by authors working across the spectrum of text games. Participants can place their games in either the Main Festival, where they can be nominated for ribbons and donated prizes, or the Back Garden, with looser entry requirements allowing for more experimental or work-in-progress entries.

Spring Thing features all kinds of text games, but two of the major divisions are between choice-based games (where you interact by clicking links) and parser-based games (where you interact by typing commands). Most Spring Thing entries are available for online play, although some games must be downloaded and played offline.

Take a look at all of the 2019 entries or find out more about the Festival at the Spring Thing website.

SKALD: Against the Black Priory

Against the Black Priory is the first retro-inspired RPG under development using the SKALD engine. Featuring 8-bit graphics and the glorious 16-color Commodore 64 palette, Against the Black Priory sees you in the role of an imperial agent dispatched to the island of Idra to uproot a mystical religious order, turned apocalyptic cult. The expedition is off to a disastrous start however, and surviving Idra will take all your wits and skill.

  • Explore the environments and plot – overland, underground and on the high seas!
  • Interact via dialogue and CYOA-style sequences
  • Fight using a menu-based, fast-paced tactical combat system
  • Develop your party of up to 6 characters

You awaken to the sound of seagulls. Their crying reminds you of your childhood. Have you gone to your ancestors? The last thing you remember is chaos and the sea swallowing your vessel. Freezing water and then darkness. How could you possibly have survived?

Legs shaking, you stand up and survey the shores upon which you have landed. There is no mistaking it: Idra. By some miracle, the Emperor has delivered you to this cold, forsaken island. Now, you must find the strength to do his work!

A sickness has taken hold here: Carroleth. Carroleth the heretic! Master of the Black Priory. That foul order of enlightened men, which has strayed so far from orthodoxy. It is to them that you must deliver the Emperors justice – by steel and by fire!

You shudder in the cold breeze. It feels as though the very land sets itself against you. You will find few allies on Idra and even less hope. Pray your sanity holds…

The SKALD universe is dark, grounded and unforgiving, and Against the Black Priory will dip its toes into the cold and dark waters of eldritch horror. The game aims to stay clear of binary good/bad characters, with the writing instead featuring difficult choices that will have real (often painful) consequences.

To be released initially on Steam, Against the Black Priory will subsequently be made available for mobile devices. Learn more about the game, or subscribe to The SKALD Devlog newsletter, at the SKALD website.

The Price of Freedom: Innocence Lost

This newly released update of The Price of Freedom: Innocence Lost by Avery Moore (previously published in 2014) now contains three more stats, a choice of names for your character, the option to play as either male or female, two extra chapters, far more background and character development, and is over twice as long as the original, with a total of over 100,000 words.

You are ten years old when you first feel the weight of shackles around your wrists. In a matter of hours, your whole world is turned upside down as you and your brother are dragged away from your home in Greece to work as slaves in the Roman Empire. Now you must struggle for survival. Every decision you make will affect your future. Your life, the life of your brother and the lives of your friends are in your hands.

Begin your journey as a child, and make heartbreaking choices that will shape the adult you will become. But be careful. An act of kindness might come back to haunt you, and a thoughtless word could earn you some powerful enemies. A split second decision will determine who lives and who dies. Will you sell your soul to win your freedom, or sacrifice everything for the people you love? Will you even live long enough to see the sun rise?

The Price of Freedom: Innocence Lost is FREE to play at ChooseYourStory.com


Totem Force

Totem Force, a light-hearted 260,000 word anime-inspired interactive novel by Tom Rayner, is the latest user-made release from Hosted Games.

Battle giant robots, mad gods, and… awkward teen romance? You were just an ordinary high-school student – up until you rescued a mysterious being from the army, and were granted amazing powers! Now you must put on your coloured costume, make sure to finish your homework, and prepare for the fight of your life!  

  • Play as male, female, or non-binary; gay, straight, bisexual, or asexual.
  • Romance your jerk rival, the mysterious blonde, your childhood best friend, and many others.
  • Solve your problems with friendship, or use your own intellect and willpower.
  • Defend the city from monster attacks!

It’s time for you to become the Heir to the Heavens!

You can play the first three chapters of Totem Force for FREE online, or purchase the full game for Steam, iOS or Android. Visit the Hosted Games website for further information.

Hoagie Quest

Charles A.F. King’s latest Choose Your Own Fate gamebook, Hoagie Quest, has now been released. An adventure solely relying on player choice rather than random dice rolls or coin flips, Hoagie Quest is focused on gathering items in order to generate the highest score possible. Written in a humorous style that takes violent and serious situations to parody-levels of extremity, the book is set in a near-future post-apocalypse world that has been brought to ruin by unknown and unseen forces. You will have to contend with hardened survivors, austere environments and horrific mutations, with different outcomes arising from how good or evil you decide to act.

You finally wake from your stupor with a great hunger, a hunger that can only be sated by a hoagie! In this branching path story you will be able to determine how the tale unfolds and what kind of legendary epic hoagie you will be able to create!

You must do whatever it takes in order to acquire the ingredients to build that perfect sandwich – are you ready to make the big sacrifices? …are you willing to bend your moral code to satisfy that hunger inside you, or are you pulled towards a higher calling?

Hoagie Quest incorporates an optional puzzle mechanic that runs throughout the book, challenging readers who enjoy demystifying the obscure. There are also ‘secrets’ hidden within the adventure that will really challenge just how far down the rabbit hole you are prepared to go.

Hoagie Quest is available in paperback from Amazon (US, UK & CA).

CYOA: War With The Evil Power Master

Chooseco and Z-Man Games are back with another collaborative family board game, and this time prepare to face the most ruthless intergalactic enemy to enter the Lacoonian System… the Evil Power Master.

This second board game adaptation from the CYOA series will be based on Choose Your Own Adventure #12, War With The Evil Power Master by R. A. Montgomery, originally published in 1984 as the 37th title in the original lineup. Featuring brand new mechanics allowing you to explore various sectors of space in search of the Evil Power Master, War With The Evil Power Master will maintain many of the elements that players loved in the first installment, while expanding to be a more complex game universe with greater re-playability.

There are 9 locations in the Lacoonian System where the Evil Power Master could be hiding. Maybe he’s hiding in the cloudy rings of Kronur or the black depths of the Void of Niro. Follow the clues, conquer challenges, and chase down the Evil Power Master for an epic final showdown. 

War With The Evil Power Master is slated for production during spring. Find out more about the game at the Chooseco website.


Fighting Fantasy Fest 3

Don’t forget that tickets are still available for Fighting Fantasy Fest 3, the third dedicated Fighting Fantasy Convention featuring Guests of Honour Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone. To be held on Saturday 31st August 2019 at the University of West London, Ealing, notable attractions and attending guests include: FF artists Russ Nicholson, Ian Miller, Duncan Smith, Malcolm Barter, Pete Knifton, Tony Hough, Alan Langford, Les Edwards and Robert M Ball; FF authors Jamie Thomson and Jonathan Green; Andi Ewington (Ian Livingstone’s Freeway Fighter), PJ Montgomery (Steve Jackson’s The Trolltooth Wars), Fighting Fantasy Audio Dramas, The World of Legend (House of Hell LIVE), and John Robertson’s The Dark Room.

Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone will present a talk and sign books on the day, along with other talks and shows, gaming sessions, signings, a Fighting Fantasy exhibition, a selection of traders and numerous other special guests. A range of exclusive merchandise will also be on sale.

Food and drink will be available on the day from an onsite cafe and bar. Price of entry includes a collectable programme and autograph book, as well as entry to all talks and a special performance of John Robertson’s The Dark Room – the world’s only live-action videogame where the audience doesn’t just watch… it plays!

Note that entry to Fighting Fantasy Fest 3 is only possible with a pre-purchased event ticket available from Eventbrite.

2 thoughts on “APRIL ROUND-UP: notable news in IF”

  1. Talking about conventions, Narrascope will also be held this year in Boston. Maybe more geared towards writers, but quite a few of the Choice of Games and Hosted Games authors will be attending…

  2. Pingback: KICKSTARTER: SKALD: Against the Black Priory – Gamebook News

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