MAY ROUND-UP: Choose your next IF fix!

We’ve compiled a bumper round-up article this month, featuring a wide assortment of printed gamebooks recently released or coming soon, a couple of online games that are FREE to play, some very interesting video games, a pdf D&D adventure, and an Advanced Fighting Fantasy sourcebook for fans of FF.

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Nemesis of the Nin Witch

After failing to find enough support in its earlier Kickstarter, Dave Sharrock’s Woven Paths gamebook Nemesis of the Nin Witch has quickly returned with a reduced funding goal and revised pledge levels in a second, less ambitious campaign. This relaunched attempt has easily surpassed its more modest total, so the project will therefore be published soon.

Nemesis of the Nin Witch is a Woven Paths fantasy gamebook and the second in the acclaimed Scythe-Bearer Trilogy, continuing the tale from book 1, Malice From the Middle Vale. Set in the wondrous realm of Yarnia, the hunt for the Nin Witch continues in another high quality, full colour, illustrated gamebook featuring 800 entries.

The Middle Vale – wasteland of Mortun Pandi – stretches before you and somewhere in the depths of the dusty plains, flowing hills and dark forests, the Nin Witch Malice Varicella-Zoster continues to press north. Your brother Mop is still alive. Your quest is simple – find the witch and save your brother. But the reality may not be so easy. There is still the question of why Malice abducted your brother in the first place. What do the crimelords of the Fell city want with one Anglian boy? And what connection is there between the Shabble Mump Infargo and King Prentice Gwelenbryal, monarch of your homeland?

This revised Kickstarter includes the option of purchasing a deluxe Collector’s Edition of the A4 paperback, featuring enhanced art and character sheets, journal pages, and a few extra features which delve into the background of the Yarnian setting and also the ‘making of’ both the books and the artwork.

The Nemesis of the Nin Witch campaign will conclude on June 7th. Head to the Forever People website for more information about the Woven Paths adventure gamebooks.

• • •
Midnight Arcade

The third gamebook in the retro-inspired Midnight Arcade series, Fantastic Fist / MowTown, has already been released, and the fourth (and final) title, Magician’s Gambit / Wild Goose Chase!, is scheduled for release in September. Written by Gabe Soria and illustrated by Kendall Hale, the Midnight Arcade series consists of play-your-way adventure tales, suitable for ages 9 and above, in which you determine the course of action, ultimately controlling whether you live . . . or die!

Presented with a magical game token, you select one of two games you wish to play: Fantastic Fist or MowTown. In Fantastic Fist you fight goons and crooked cops to rescue your partner, taken from you in the middle of your wedding. In MowTown you mow lawns with a vengeance, establishing yourself as the hot new lawncare mogul in town.

In Magician’s Gambit you battle rebellious magic rabbits and save yourself from being sawed in two. In Wild Goose Chase! you stop a gang of criminal waterfowl from ruining a small town.

Fantastic Fist / MowTown is available in hardcover and paperback, while Magician’s Gambit / Wild Goose Chase! is only available in paperback format with the redesigned cover. Previews and further information about both books can be found at the Penguin Random House website.

• • •
Stormspire Island

Stormspire Island by Torin Slik is an online interactive adventure inspired by the Fighting Fantasy series. It incorporates a simple choose-your-path adventure game with basic RPG elements to add a little spice. You make decisions by choosing different links in the passages, with some altering the unfolding storyline quite significantly. You also generate a range of personal statistics for your character at the beginning of the game, which are then used in certain choices to add some randomness to the gameplay: there are several different encounters to experience on your journey, including monster battles, which rely on these statistics.

In Stormspire Island, you play as a wandering adventurer travelling from a small port town to an island across the sea. After possibly having a few encounters in port, your attempt to cross the ocean is interrupted by an unnatural storm. Finding yourself on a strange island, you have to lift the curse on the island to set yourself free.

Stormspire Island is FREE to play at the Slik Thinking Media website.

• • •
The Oregon Trail

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has released two new stand-alone Oregon Trail adventures.

Alone in the Wild

It’s 1849 and you are at the halfway point on your journey west on the Oregon Trail. When a powerful storm separates you from your family, you must use all of your smarts to survive on your own. Along the way, you meet a twelve-year-old girl from the Shoshone Nation, who has the grit and smarts to help you both make it to Oregon Territory. 

With twenty-two possible endings, choose wrong and you’ll never live out your dreams. Which path will get you safely across the country and reunited with your family?

The Wagon Train Trek

Keep your wagon train alive in this choose-your-own-trail experience! It’s 1850 and you are leading a whole covered wagon train with your family on a 2,000-mile trek on the Oregon Trail. Wild animals, natural disasters, unpredictable weather, famine, fast-flowing rivers, strangers, and sickness stand in between you and your destination: Oregon City!

With twenty-three possible endings, choose wrong and you’ll never live out your dreams. Do you have the smarts and skills to keep everyone safe and together on the Trail?

Both Alone in the Wild and The Wagon Train Trek are available in paperback, hardcover and eBook formats. Visit the HMH Books website for further information.

• • •
Second Coming

Seen in a Dream Studio’s sci-fi adventure game Second Coming, featuring XCOM-style turn-based 3D battles and a choice-based narrative, is now out of beta. Explore a vast alien ship that has landed on earth, and uncover its secrets and the intentions of the aliens inside. Second Coming will appeal to gamebook enthusiasts, readers of imaginative fiction, and more traditional gamers who enjoy a good story – extending the gamebook format with digital effects and narration.

Second Coming is currently available for PC via Steam. Further information about the game can be found at the Seen in a Dream Studio website.

• • •
5e Solo Gamebooks

The Dread Vault of Tgozur

5e Solo Gamebooks has released The Dread Vault of Tgozur, the first in a series of short solo adventures for players wanting to squeeze in a bit of gaming whenever the opportunity arises. This Adventurers Wanted! series has been created with the intention of providing rapid fire and often high-level quests for solo players.

The Dread Vault of Tgozur is suitable for 1 x Level 10 PC, or 2 x Level 6 PCs, and should provide 1.5-2 hours of challenging playtime. However, as the quest is shorter, the peril is necessarily quite a bit higher, so be prepared for some lethal encounters. In all likelihood, it will take a couple of playthroughs to defeat, so don’t expect an easy stroll through this adventure!

Your PC starts in the village of Woodholme, where they learn of an undead infestation in the tomb of a revered local hero. There is half a page of backstory to give you an excuse to go and kill some bad guys, and then you go and do just that! In the spirit of AD&D, the quests in the Adventurers Wanted! series will not concern themselves with complicated adventure hooks. They will be simple, noticeboard like quests that solo PCs can pick up between adventures.

The Dread Vault of Tgozur, along with many other 5e Solo Gamebooks adventures, is available from Dungeon Masters Guild.

The Death Knight’s Squire

Paul Bimler’s first D&D 5e solo adventure The Death Knight’s Squire is now available in print. This 118-page Forgotten Realms adventure features over 350 separate narrative entries, as well as varied combat encounters, so there are innumerable paths your quest could take!

It is the year 1349 DR, in the month of Deepwinter, as you make your way towards the town of Orlbar at the foot of the Greypeak Mountains, following rumours telling of a horde of treasure.

A mysterious knight has accosted an elderly, aristocratic couple travelling along a lonely highway, and their young son, Darek, is kidnapped by this towering warrior – an undead Death Knight living in nearby Weathercote Wood, who has chosen Darek as his squire to help him on his quest.

Lord Brewmont offers you gold as a reward to find his boy – 2000 pieces of it, to be exact…

This softcover version of The Death Knight’s Squire is also available from Dungeon Masters Guild.

• • •

Singaporean comic book artist and graphic novelist Troy Chin has recently released the interactive browser game O. A collaboration with musician Charlie Lim, O is a choice-based visual novel about a troubled physicist.

This could be the shortest (or longest) Sunday in Phoebe Su’s life…

Featuring multiple endings, all choices in O contain some amount of weight and will carry over to the next time you click ‘Continue’. Think carefully about the choices you make and observe the subtle changes that take place; everything occurring in the game can be solved by the information you’ll find within the story. Can you find a way for Phoebe to reach Monday?

O is FREE to play at Chin’s Dreary Weary Comics website, where you will also find his previous interactive novella, Forgetting.

• • •
Star Wars: Choose Your Destiny

An Obi-Wan & Anakin Adventure

Disney Lucasfilm Press recently released Cavan Scott’s An Obi-Wan & Anakin Adventure, the 3rd gamebook in the Star Wars: Choose Your Destiny series.

An Obi-Wan & Anakin Adventure is an interactive tale straight from the Prequel era starring everyone’s favourite master and padawan, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. As with the two previous books (A Han & Chewie Adventure and A Luke & Leia Adventure), Elsa Charretier again provides excellent cover and interior illustrations.

Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker are on a mission for the Jedi Council, but they need some help! With over twenty possible outcomes, readers will have to think like a true Jedi to keep Obi-Wan and Anakin safe from Separatist threats, bounty hunters, and much, much more! With so many different story paths, the adventures never end!

An Obi-Wan & Anakin Adventure is available online from Amazon (US & UK), Book Depository and other retailers.

A Finn & Poe Adventure

Cavan Scott and Elsa Charretier will team up once again for the 4th title in the Choose Your Destiny series. A Finn & Poe Adventure will feature characters introduced in The Force Awakens: renegade stormtrooper Finn; resistance fighter pilot Poe Dameron; and the astromech droid BB-8, Poe’s spherical utility robot.

Join Finn, Poe, and BB-8 on a dangerous-but-necessary mission for the struggling Resistance. With over twenty possible outcomes, readers will have to choose carefully in order to keep Finn, Poe, and BB-8 safe from the evil First Order.

A Finn & Poe Adventure will be released October 4th.

• • •
Your Future Self

Your Future Self is a 1-2 hour long story-driven experimental text adventure with unique conversational mechanics, time loop based gameplay, and an emotionally gripping time travel mystery set against the backdrop of a darkly realistic vision of our world ravaged by climate change. It harks back to the aesthetics of text-based adventure games whilst deliberately bending the genre into something unique.


  • Mind bending, yet personal story: You are stuck in a time loop with your future self, and are told you have to convince them of the wrongness of their actions for a crime they committed in the near future. What was their crime? Who trapped you in this loop? And, most importantly, how can you escape?
  • Gameplay mechanics as a puzzle: There is no tutorial. You need to be as convincing as possible when talking to your future self, but figuring out the mechanics of how to achieve this (and figuring out how the time loop affects gameplay) is a puzzle in itself, and an inherent part of the game’s challenge.
  • Unique aesthetics: The game visually harks back to the aesthetics of retro text adventures but repeatedly breaks out of genre norms to shock and surprise.
  • Atmospheric soundtrack: Varied and memorable chiptune soundtrack. A moody, modern update on 8-bit soundtracks of old.

Your Future Self is created by indie game developer Andrew Hirst from Contortionist Games, and is available for Windows, Mac and Linux via or Steam.

• • •
The Good, the Bad, and the Undead

Ashton MacSaylor’s and Jamie Thomson’s western/horror adventure, The Good, the Bad, and the Undead, is now available in both hardcover and paperback formats from publisher Fabled Lands LLP. Featuring evocative cover and interior art by Callie MacSaylor, The Good, the Bad, and the Undead is an immersive character- and story-driven gamebook, telling the interactive tale of three people: the renowned lawman, US Marshal Josiah da Silva; the hardened killer Walter Korse; and the tough and smart Diana James, an independent trader who has travelled the length and breadth of the west.

Texas, 1870. The small, dusty mining town of Affliction, alone and isolated in the middle of the Badlands, is the town Marshal da Silva helped build years ago. Now it’s the place he is taking his captive – the brutal outlaw Walter Korse – to be hanged. Affliction is where Korse grew up, where he made his first kill, where it all started… and where it will end.

Diana James is a spurned woman. With all her hopes and belongings packed into a trail wagon, she is on the road in search of the man who said he would return, a road that will lead her to team up with Marshal da Silva.

But when they arrive in Affliction, prisoner in tow, the town is strangely deserted. The wind moans through the streets and dust devils dance where the townsfolk once walked.

And when the night comes, so do the vampires…

The Good, the Bad, and the Undead is available from Amazon (US & UK), Book Depository and other retailers.

• • •
The Ghosts of Craven Manor

A paperback version of Joseph Daniels’ time-travelling interactive adventure The Ghosts of Craven Manor is now available. Featuring multiple paths and six different endings, with many different ways to complete your tasks, Craven Manor gives the player complete freedom to go where they want, and helpfully includes a time reversing mechanic (providing five opportunities) to go back to a previous passage when a choice results in something bad.

You are Dave Ingram. When you and your fiancée are given a chance to move into Craven Manor, you think that you have just been given the deal of a lifetime. That is until you discover the house is haunted. When your fiancée is possessed by one of the spirits inhabiting the house, you learn that the only way to free her is with the aid of a time travelling amulet. In an attempt to remove the ghosts from the house, you must travel through time and learn the truth about what happened there, so that you can either fight the threat in the present, or possibly attempt to prevent it in the past. The choice is yours.

The Ghosts of Craven Manor can be purchased from Amazon (US or UK), where it is also available for Kindle or the Kindle app (US or UK). A FREE trial version containing just the first part of the adventure can also be downloaded from Smashwords.

• • •
Rough Guide to the Pit

Arion Games has released a Print on Demand (POD) version of their Advanced Fighting Fantasy sourcebook Rough Guide to the Pit. Written by Andrew Wright (author of Beyond the Pit and Titan Herbal), Rough Guide to the Pit describes the nether planes of Titan in great detail, including new Demon types, random tables, and a Gazeteer of the Pit.

Adventurers always seem to be dealing with demons and monsters coming out of the Pit. Isn’t it time we go back into the Pit to see what all the fuss is about?

For the first time ever, we bring you the definitive guide to the Pit; the realm of Demons and the Undead, and scourge of all that is Good upon the world of Titan. Dare you open this loathsome tome and discover:

  • Descriptions of the 8 Demonic Planes
  • 12 brand new Demon types
  • A random Demonic Plane generator
  • 12 new Encounter Tables; including 1 for each Plane
  • 22 new Evil Gods to worship
  • New rules on Demonic Familiars
  • A new and expanded Demonic Hierarchy, featuring all the Demons and Undead from this book, Demons of Doom, Out of the Pit, Beyond the Pit, and the forthcoming Return to the Pit

Rough Guide to the Pit is available from DriveThruRPG in softcover, hardcover and pdf.

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