JUNE ROUND-UP: Gods, zombies and an angry island

It’s been another busy period since our last round-up, full of interesting news and new releases to report on from a broad range of interactive fiction. Our selection for this month includes some printed gamebooks (brand new and updated versions), a programmed adventure, text-based apps, and a role-playing video game.

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Choice of Games

The Saga of Oedipus Rex

The Saga of Oedipus Rex is an epic 100,000-word interactive fantasy novel written by Jac Colvin and published by Hosted Games.

Your name is Oedipus, Prince of Corinth: And you’ve just discovered your future has been cursed by the gods themselves. Travel back to a time of magic and monsters in ancient Greece. Can you successfully fight to free yourself? Or will you succumb to the fate that was prophesied?

  • Play as Prince Oedipus, heir to the rulership of Corinth.
  • Test your wits against the Sphinx.
  • Immerse yourself in ancient Greek life.
  • Remain in the country of your birth, or travel afar to Egypt.
  • Will you appeal to the gods, challenge their decisions, or let fate run its course?
  • With 8 distinct endings: Will you follow the future that has been prophesied or find your own way?

Psy High

A new version of Rebecca Slitt’s teen supernatural mystery game Psy High has been released in preparation for a sequel. This update includes some new features (including a nonbinary gender option), plus a save game function.

When the kids at your high school start developing psychic powers, you and your friends must team up to stop the principal from taking over the world!

Play as male or female; gay, straight or bi. Will you be a jock or a brain? Popular or ignored? Use your psychic powers to help others, or to take what you want. Win a coveted scholarship, star in the Drama Club play – or lose it all and spend your senior year in juvenile detention. How much are you willing to sacrifice to get ahead in the world?

Can you solve the case? Can you save the school? And most importantly, can you find a date to the prom?

The first three chapters of both The Saga of Oedipus Rex and Psy High can be played online for FREE, or the full game can be purchased for Steam, iOS or Android.

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Blood Sword 5: The Walls of Spyte

Following a successful Kickstarter to fund the printing of a revised, limited edition full-colour hardcover of Blood Sword 5: The Walls of Spyte, a black & white paperback version of this final book is now available from Fabled Lands Publishing, featuring various alterations and improvements to correct issues in the original 1980s release.

In the darkening sky above Krarth, five ominous stars have come into conjunction for the first time in two hundred years. Out of the vault of the sky they cast their baleful influence across the frozen landscape. They are the disembodied spirits of the last of the Magi, seeking the return to the mortal world at midnight and ushering in a new era of terror.

You wield the sole force in the world capable of destroying the Magi. The Sword of Life is mankind’s only hope but it is no guarantee of victory. The Magi have had two centuries of exile to plan their reincarnation. To stop them you will need greater courage and strength than ever before.

Blood Sword 5: The Walls of Spyte is available from Amazon (US & UK)

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Sunset at Silver Creek

Dark City Games has released a second title in their Legends of the Untamed West series of programmed adventures. Sunset at Silver Creek, written by Nick Gauthier, is playable solo as a gamebook or with a group (and a GM), and includes a printed book containing full rules and 238 narrative sections, together with a folded colour game board and numerous cardboard counters to use when engaged in strategic battles.

You are in Nevada, the year is 1895. Rumors of foul play in the mining town of Silver Creek have led the local marshal to hire you to investigate. With the amount of money available in town, and with the remote location of the town, you would hardly be surprised that something is afoot. But you have little to go on, save the accidental drowning death of a local manager, and the word that witnesses are missing…

Sunset at Silver Creek is available from the Dark City Games website, where you can also check out the various adventures in their Ancient World, Combat Boots and Time and Space series. FREE rules and sample adventures are also available to download.

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Lone Wolf Saga

The Saga is finally complete! Lone Wolf Saga, the Android app from GDV Games and Software, is now a complete collection, starting from the Kai levels of Flight From the Dark (Book 1), up to the final Kai Grand Master level of The Curse of Naar (Book 20).

The Lone Wolf Saga app makes use of the internet editions of Joe Dever’s highly popular Lone Wolf series, including the Kai, Magnakai, and Grand Master sub-series, as collected, edited, corrected and republished at Project Aon.

Lone Wolf Saga is FREE to download and play on Android from the Google Play Store.

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Midnight Legion: Portal of Life

The third and final gamebook in the Midnight Legion trilogy, Portal of Life, has now been published by Studio 9. This solo or 2-player cooperative sci-fi adventure series from Aaron Emmel and C. Aaron Kreader contains full-colour art and visual puzzles, and includes the short stories ‘The Last Mission’ (originally published in Empyreome Weekly Flash), ‘The Ancients Awaken’ (originally published in Every Day Fiction), and ‘Passing the Torch’.

Your world is gone. The world that has replaced it is alien and savage, but filled with wondrous new life. In the last remaining Midnight Legion base, a computer controls technology that can destroy this life – or help it to thrive.

If you’re strong enough, you can defeat the agent who betrayed your mission. If you’re clever and skilled enough, you can solve the base’s puzzles and outwit its traps. But even then you will still need to confront the sentient, possibly deranged computer itself. What it can tell you depends on how much you are willing to sacrifice to regain the memories you have lost.

Midnight Legion: Portal of Life is now available to purchase from Amazon.

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Dead City

Dead City is a real-time interactive chat game from German indie game studio Everbyte.

For Sam, you are the only contact outside of the evacuated area. Live up to the trust placed in you and guide Sam through this post-apocalyptic adventure game in real-time. Make your choices carefully, as they will have severe consequences.

Sam needs the help of a good friend. Without you, Sam will not survive the next few days! Will you meet this challenge?

Dead City incorporates an interface based on a chat messenger app (similar to Telltale) representing your connection to Sam. It’s not necessary to answer all messages immediately nor have the game open permanently, as you will be notified about new events even if the app is closed, and you can decide yourself how things should be run.

  • Updated 2019 edition
  • FREE to download (purchase the No Ads version in-game to skip all ads)
  • Interactive real-time chat text adventure game
  • Breathtaking story
  • Your decisions can change everything!
  • Several days of play time
  • Statistics: Learn about the decisions other players made at the end of each day (an internet connection is necessary for this feature)

Dead City is available for Android from the Google Play Store, and on iOS from Apple’s App Store.

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ACE Gamebooks: NEVERLAND – Here Be Monsters!

Jonathan Green’s latest title in his ACE Gamebooks series, the ‘Treasure Island meets Jurassic Park’ adventure NEVERLAND – Here Be Monsters! has now been released after recently being launched at the UK Games Expo.

On the 15th April, 1912, during her maiden voyage, the RMS Titanic sank after hitting an iceberg. 1,503 people died, including passengers and crew. But 706 people survived, among them Wendy Darling and her dog Nana…

Separated from the rest of her family, Wendy’s lifeboat is washed up on the shore of a mysterious island – a place lost in time – home to creatures long thought extinct, a forgotten tribe, and a boy who can never grow up. But the notorious pirate Captain James Hook and his crew have also found their way to Neverland, and the island is angry…

Play as shipwreck survivor Wendy Darling, automaton avenger Peter Pan, heroic hunter Tiger Lily, or plundering pirate Captain James Hook. But be warned – whether you succeed in your quest or meet a dire end will be down to the choices YOU make. Will you manage to escape from Neverland?

NEVERLAND is available in paperback from Amazon (US or UK). Visit Jonathan Green’s website to find out more about all of his numerous gamebooks.

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Fighting Fantasy

We’ve already featured details of Ian Livingstone’s new Fighting Fantasy book, Assassins of Allansia, in an earlier news article, with a note that Robert Ball would be producing both cover and internal art. It has since been revealed that Ball is creating new internal illustrations for all of the upcoming Scholastic releases, and two pieces of art have already been released:

Shown above (left) is the Yeti from Caverns of the Snow Witch, and on the right is the Sulphur Ghost from Sorcery! 2: Kharé – Cityport of Traps.

• • •
Sunless Skies

Failbetter Games has announced the next major update to its choice-based narrative adventure Sunless Skies: the Vagabond update, which will allow you to recruit a new officer, the Amiable Vagabond.

A gentleman of the skies (and no fixed abode) who will take you to the abandoned quarters of the sky. Experience a tale of fortunes lost, found, and lost again. Meet the ‘skylarks’: the community of ragged wanderers who rove the heavens, and help them find the way to the Sugarspun Garden – a place surely too good to be true…

The Vagabond update will also include:

  • Stories at more of the great Horrors and Wonders of the Skies, such as the Xanthous Moon and Regent’s Tears
  • New agents and discoveries to encounter on your voyages
  • Something new in the mists of Worlebury…

This follows the previous Wayfarer major update (released in April), in which the game’s second region, Albion, was fully reworked. Additionally, numerous other enhancements were made:

  • Many new story events for the gods of the sky
  • Officer secondments
  • New story content for spectacles
  • Consequences for some attacks outside of battle
  • Petrichor, the food of the Dead
  • Balancing adjustments to Terror and Crew recruitment
  • Many small fixes and improvements

Sunless Skies is available for PC, Mac and Linux on Steam or GOG. Visit the Failbetter Games website for further information.

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