August ROUND-UP: Mystery, monsters and murder

Another bumper round-up this month, covering multiple genres, platforms and products, and diverse styles of adventurous play. Will YOU test your deductive abilities to solve a mystery, visit a steampunk Paris or participate in a live action thriller? We have news of games, tools, art and tomes of information – something to please anyone seeking an immersive experience.

• • •
Trap for Winners

Already available for PC and Mac via Steam, Prime Games’ gripping sci-fi thriller Trap for Winners is now also available for Android and iOS. Live the life of an undercover agent on an alien homeworld, trying to unravel the mysterious events surrounding a devastating war.

Trap for Winners is available at the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store. See our earlier news article for further information about this unique interactive adventure.

• • •
Four Against Darkness

A new Four Against Darkness ‘programmed adventure’ written by Erik N. Bouchard, Breachers of the Bone Belfry, is now available. This solo dungeon is set in the Netherworld city of the Bone Land, and will provide 4AD players with an unforgiving challenge.

Will you return from the dead?

“That is not dead which can eternal lie. And with strange aeons even death may die.”

The words of Alazhred are truer than ever as dead heroes, freed from the Netherworld’s suffering hordes, are offered a second chance at life by a succubus and her paladin companion.

The catch? To trust the bizarre prophecy of a demoness and survive through a tower of human bones filled with a thousand sadistic traps and the most fearsome demons imaginable.

Breachers of the Bone Belfry is a merciless horror mystery adventure set in a sinister demonworld. Have you ever wished your hero would get a chance at resurrection, however slim?

Now you have it. But within the Belfry’s walls lies a fate that may be much worse that death itself, for death is only the beginning…

Breachers of the Bone Belfry only requires the 4AD core book to play, and is compatible with Four Against the Abyss and Four Against the Netherworld. It also features three new classes: paladin of death, succubus and necromingo.

Now available in paperback, hardcover and PDF via Lulu, and in PDF only from Ganesha Games and Gumroad.

• • •
Night Call

Discover the true City of Lights through the eyes of over 70 passengers in the gritty neo-noir murder mystery Night Call. Created by indie developers Monkey Moon and BlackMuffin Studio, and published by Raw Fury, this investigative game features hand-drawn art, a non-linear narrative where encounters are random, and includes multiple endings and multiple killers: a guilty suspect in one playthrough may be completely innocent in the next.

Friend. Confidant. Therapist. Voyeur. As a cab driver working the Paris night shift, you are many things to different people. Your gift is getting people to talk; and in order to catch the serial killer who left you for dead, that’s exactly what you’ll need to do.

Night Call is now available via Steam, GOG, Humble Bundle and the Microsoft Store.

• • •
Comic Quests

The latest release in Quirk Books’ Comic Quests series, Iron Magicians: The Search for the Magic Crystals is an interactive, pick-your-panel graphic novel for middle grade readers, where you find items, cast spells, defeat enemies, solve puzzles, and play through new storylines again and again!

In a steampunk version of nineteenth-century Paris, magical mana crystals have replaced steam and coal to power the machines and gadgets that make the city tick. On the eve of the Universal Exhibition of 1889, France seeks to demonstrate its power by unveiling a new secret weapon: the imposing Eiffel Tower, built with magic by Gustave Eiffel himself. But then disaster strikes – the mana crystals needed to power the tower are discovered missing!

You are a talented student in technomagy, the artful blend of magic and science. You are tasked with the mission of finding enough mana crystals to operate the tower. It’s up to you to harness your intelligence, bravery, and skill to fulfil this secret mission.

Iron Magicians: The Search for the Magic Crystals is available in paperback and eBook format from various retailers, including Amazon. Visit the Quirk Books Comic Quests webpage to find out more about their full range of interactive graphic novels.

• • •
The Stranger: Interactive Game

An Interactive film game, The Stranger by Italian film-maker Giovanni Altrui is a psychological horror-thriller composed of live action cutscenes. Play as the protagonist of the story in a classic B-Movie style, deciding whether to go in one direction or another, to attack or flee, or to use deadly weapons. Featuring exploration and object location to unlock paths otherwise unavailable, instinctive countdown decisions, and multiple endings, The Stranger offers many complex alternatives, so you can play the adventure over and over again, for many hours of entertainment.

Your wife died in a boat accident. For months after the funeral you have been away from everyone and everything, and have retired to a farm in the middle of nowhere. But maybe… you’re not alone.

The Stranger is available for iOS on Apple’s App Store, and for PC & Mac via Steam.

• • •
The Morpheus Quest

An online browser game, The Morpheus Quest is an expansive CYOA-style flash-fiction game, with each playthrough taking only a few minutes. Accumulate over fifty achievements as you read through the 400+ endings; many achievements will unlock tools to enhance your experience, such as a diagram of possible choices or lists of endings.

As you’re drifting to sleep, a dream comes to you…

A pale face materializes out of the darkness. A body forms with it, shifting in and out of the void. The man gazes at you with eyes as deep as eternity.

‘Some call me Morpheus. Some say Oneiros. I am the master of dreams and keeper of stories. Everyone has their own story, and you are no different. I have come to you to ask that you accept my story of you, so that I might at last see how it ends.

‘So, mortal, will you be my theatre for the night?’

The Morpheus Quest can be played online for FREE.

• • •
Advanced Fighting Fantasy

Arion Games’ latest Advanced Fighting Fantasy product, Return to the Pit – their third FF monster compendium – is now available to purchase as a printed softcover or hardcover book.

Once again, we have traversed the wild and dangerous Fighting Fantasy world of Titan to bring you the most up-to-date reports of the monsters and creatures that inhabit this adventurous death-world. Within the pages of this book are details of hundreds of monsters drawn exclusively from the full range of Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, for the elucidation of Directors and Heroes alike.

Written by Andrew Wright, this 247-page illustrated tome is packed with information for enriching your AFF role-playing adventures, including:

  • More than 250 monsters
  • 35 Encounter Tables
  • A new Treasure Table
  • Rules for riding animals
  • Rules for Familiars
  • A new skill: Monster Lore
  • 6 new Hero Archetypes
  • New rules for daily magical fluxes

Return to the Pit is available in print and PDF from DriveThruRPG.

• • •
The Moonlight Bizarre

Decay of Fundy’s short interactive twine game The Moonlight Bizarre takes place in Saint John, New Brunswick, on the week of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.

In the city of Saint John, there echoes a legend. A legend held dearly uptown that tells of an investigative reporter.

A reporter who, after staring down the moon and saving the city of Saint John, disappeared into obscurity in the very city that made them a legend.

The Moonlight Bizarre is FREE to play via on desktop and Android.

• • •
Choice of Games

Test your detective skills in Hosted Games’ latest user-made title, One Minute Mysteries: a collection of fifty-five short, challenging puzzles by Michael Gray, author of The Courting of Miss Bennet: A Pride and Prejudice Game and Cat President: A More Purrfect Union.

Join Andy Carson and Sandy Crewe as they tackle hidden clues, tricky puzzles, wacky suspects and relentless riddles! Each mystery is under 300 words long, so you can read it in under a minute!

  • Follow the detectives as they investigate crimes
  • Confront liars, cheats and kidnappers
  • Meet fun and interesting characters
  • Test your wits against a wide variety of difficult puzzles
  • Who did it? Only YOU can figure it out!

You can play the first chapter of One Minute Mysteries for FREE online, or purchase the complete game for Steam, iOS and Android. Visit the Hosted Games website to access all playing options.

• • •
The Awakening

8BitUndead’s zombie survival game The Awakening is a classic apocalypse story, where disease runs rampant, ‘Infected’ roam the streets, and the greatest danger may not be the Undead.


  • Original story
  • Multiple ways to die
  • Integrated RPG statistics that you can train, which will impact the direction the story takes
  • Multiple story branches, with different locations to explore
  • ARG elements offering real-life integration with the story, giving the reader a chance to immerse themselves in the story world

As The Awakening is in early stages of development, it will be constantly updated as new content is added; in-app notifications will announce content updates. Player feedback is most welcome. 

A FREE Alpha/Beta build of The Awakening is available to download for Android via

• • •
5e Solo Gamebooks

The Dead Don’t Sleep is a new Toolbox Solo Adventure for D&D 5th Edition, designed for one PC of level 1-20 or 2 PCs of level 1-15 without a DM. Using a collection of quest-specific random tables to provide rich adventuring rather than a fully fleshed-out scenario, The Dead Don’t Sleep contains tools to generate multiple paths through its cemetery location. A system of clues, discovered throughout the adventure, leads to the uncovering of five possible resolutions to this mystery, with multiple possible final encounters.

Noises from the local graveyard have everyone spooked. In addition to that, graves and tombs have been found emptied, the corpses missing! The mayor asks you to go and investigate. He asks that you do this out of the goodness of your heart – he may have a lead on another quest for you, should you succeed.

The PDF of The Dead Don’t Sleep is available to download from the Dungeon Masters Guild website.

• • •

Michael Coorlim’s Adventurer is a brief choice-based interactive fiction game created for his Minigame Marathon project, where he rapidly prototypes small-scope, simple games. Adventurer is a short prologue segment from, potentially, a much longer game (if there is sufficient interest in the project) built in Unity using Ink and inkle’s integration plugin.

Some adventurers come to the profession out of desperation or a desire for thrills. Not you, though, you were born to it. Molded by it.

The FREE public release of the Adventurer 0.2 prototype can be played online or downloaded for Windows from

• • •
Fighting Fantasy

Publisher Jambô Editora has added O Porto do Perigo (The Port of Peril) to their catalogue of Brazilian editions of Fighting Fantasy gamebooks. Author Ian Livingstone has recently shown off a few of the internal illustrations by Róger Goulart, created in a classic old-school pen & ink style, which would certainly please the many fierce critics of the illustrations seen in the original English editions published by Scholastic.

Translated by Vinicius Mendes, the book also features cover art by Ricardo de Sa. O Porto do Perigo can be purchased from the Jambô Editora website.

• • •
The Fantasy Trip

TFT Helper is a FREE mobile app from Steve Jackson Games that makes your phone a potent accessory for playing the ‘old school’ RPG The Fantasy Trip.

In TFT Helper you can:

  • Create characters interactively, with the app keeping track of attribute and Talent totals, skill prerequisites, etc. and text your GM your character ahead of the game
  • Play your character at the table, a digital character sheet
  • Use the die roller with customizable dice
  • Look up Talents, Spells, Weapons and Armor in the reference tables
  • Take one of your characters into the arena, learn the combat system, try out different tactics
  • Run your character through the built-in the mini solitaire adventure, starting out as the prisoner of a malicious faux-aristocrat and probably dying the sewers of Kald

Use TFT Helper to enhance your tabletop game. Use it to learn and teach The Fantasy Trip. Use it to have a quick battle anywhere!

Created by Andrew Walters, TFT Helper is available from Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store. Learn more about The Fantasy Trip at the Steve Jackson Games website.

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