October ROUND-UP: Geats, famous historical figures and a Syrian refugee

This month we bring you news of interactive adventures set in different times and places: 6th-century Scandinavia, fantasy lands featuring marshlands and winter storms, Zanzibar in the late 19th century, an Australian small town, and war-ravaged Syria.

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Beowulf Beastslayer

Jonathan Green’s 4th title in his ACE Gamebooks series, Beowulf Beastslayer, has now been published in paperback by Snowbooks. Featuring fantastic illustrations by Russ Nicholson, this 500-section adventure is a brand new take on the Anglo-Saxon epic, re-imagining the events described in the poem as an interactive gamebook.

King Hrothgar’s great golden mead-hall Heorot is under a curse, subject to attacks by the mirth-hating night-stalker Grendel. None are capable of destroying the monster, although many have tried, until Beowulf and his company of Geatish warriors cross the sail-road and land on Danish shores…

Beowulf Beastslayer is available from Amazon (UK). Visit Jonathan Green’s website for further information about his ACE Gamebooks series.

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Saving the Princess

Saving the Princess by Wolf Games is a short, text-based adventure developed from a story by a best-selling Ukrainian writer. Previously only available in Russian, Saving the Princess has now been translated into English.

In the near future, doctors are treating mental conditions by taking journeys into the patient’s inner world to fight their demons. Vlad, a young Psychosurgeon Assistant, must do that to bring back the girl he once loved. Will he find her inner dragon and defeat it before her true self is lost?

Saving the Princess features hundreds of choices and five different endings, and takes roughly 30 minutes to play. It’s available to download for ‘Name your own price’ via itch.io.

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Stuart Lloyd has released a second ‘Small SCRAWL adventure’, Deathswamp, for his solo RPG SCRAWL.

There are still people alive who remember the land around their village as a lush, vibrant forest. However, in the last few decades, some of the forest has died to be replaced by a decaying, life-sucking marshland. The marsh continues to grow, casting a shadow over the plants and animals in the area. Crops are dying. Animals are becoming twisted, aggressive, mutated versions of what they used to be, and the rest of the forest continues to succumb to its cloud of decay. Many who enter the marsh never return. The people have called it Deathswamp.

Maybe you will succumb like those before. Maybe you will survive. Maybe you will even discover the secret of the Deathswamp.

PDFs for Deathswamp and SCRAWL are available for ‘pay what you want’ from DriveThruRPG.

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Omen Exitio: Plague

A new version of Tiny Bull StudiosOmen Exitio: Plague, a narrative mystery set in the world of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythology, has now been released for the Nintendo Switch.

Zanzibar, 1896. Dr. Jake Huntington enlisted in the army to forget the loss of his wife. Yet something sinister and ancient is about to overturn his life forever. Shadows that inhabit the confines of reality seem to converge all in one point: a terrifying disease that threatens to exterminate the entire human race.

However, the disease is just one of the pieces that make up a vast mosaic, and discovering its design may not be that easy. Intrigues, machinations and subterfuges hide the truth, tearing it away from the doctor’s understanding. To connect all the dots, Jake will have to cross a threshold beyond which many before him have lost the way of reason. Are you willing to open this door?

  • Encounter famous historical figures based on real events
  • Your choices and chosen skills affect the way the story unfolds
  • Hundreds of hand-drawn visuals to set the scene
  • Hauntingly beautiful soundtrack and sound design
  • Unlike most interactive adventures, you will not meet an early demise
  • One playthrough takes 4-6 hours, but it will take many more to experience everything

Published by Forever Entertainment, Omen Exitio: Plague is available from the Nintendo eShop (US & UK). Visit the Tiny Bull Studios website for further information.

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2019 IFComp

The 25th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition, IFComp, is now open, with a record number of entries (82) to download, play and judge. The games submitted for 2019 include a wide variety of styles and choice- or parser-based gameplay techniques, covering genres such as Comedy, Supernatural, Heist, Cyberpunk, Mystery, Romance and many more.

You have until November 15th to vote for at least five games for your ratings to be counted. Visit the IFComp website to peruse the games and rate your favourites.

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Grekgun series

Tammy Badowski’s Grekgun series is a trilogy of gamebooks based on a search for the orb of death, which the hero must find and vanquish before it destroys the continent.


The world of Grekgun is in mid-summer and winter storms are threatening the land. You are a forn picker, a villager from Khale, not a skilled swordsman but when this deadly spell arrives you are forced to set out to find out what’s causing it. It’s not only the cold weather that plagues your homeland but creatures of the undead, ice dragons and giant spiders, which have come out to wreak havoc. You must find weapons, armour, and learn spells for your adventure. Will you live long enough to discover the riddle behind all of this or die from hypothermia?


Armies have stolen the orb and have taken it to Blacksky. You must venture into wild terrain, face dangers, and go on side missions. You are in unfamiliar territory and your only hope is getting the orb of death back. The fate of the continent lies in your hands. You put on your armour and grab your sword and set out on your quest, which will take you far away from Grekgun.

Grekgun and Blacksky are now available from Amazon for Kindle, featuring hyperlinks for easy navigation. The third and final book in the trilogy, Demon Wall, is currently nearing completion and is planned for release in 2020.

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Hosted Games

Death at the Rectory

Felicity Banks’ Death at the Rectory is a 87,000-word interactive magical murder mystery.

You’re enjoying a writing retreat held in an Australian small town when one of your fellow writers is killed, and all the rest are suspects – including you. The ancient rectory grants you curious supernatural powers, and it’s not clear if the magic is benign or malevolent. Can you figure out who the killer is before they take another victim? Is the rectory the real killer? Or is this the ultimate chance to find out for yourself what it feels like to murder another person – and get away with it?

Are you attracted to the vivacious Muslim woman or the charming American man? Do you dare to fall in love when the object of your affection might be a murderer? Will your word count survive the stress of being a murder suspect? Will you ever get a turn in the shower?

  • Choose from three genders, and whatever sexuality suits your mood.
  • Pay attention to the clues, as the murderer is not the same in every playthrough.
  • Who do you suspect, and who do you trust?
  • Pick a genre, hero and ending for your own novel outline.
  • Gather clues to make your case to your fellow writers.
  • Can you get away with murder?

The Parenting Simulator

A light-hearted 189,000-word interactive slice-of-life novel by Matt Simpson, The Parenting Simulator is a story where you do something more terrifying than entering a haunted house, more dangerous than assaulting an alien horde, and more important than ruling a fantasy kingdom.

You, and you alone, must turn your newborn baby into a functional adult. Will you be a tiger mom or a helicopter dad? Can you raise a child through eighteen years of humour and heartache with nothing on your side except a little patience and a lot of love? It’s a fun and unique experience designed for potential parents of all ages!

  • Experience over 60 scenes designed to touch on events both major and minor in your digital offspring’s life.
  • Overcome potty training, bullies and the dreaded driving test!
  • Live the wild emotional rollercoaster of raising a child as you go from birth to high school graduation.
  • Be the main role model in their life, as every little thing you do can have consequences that reverberate through the years.
  • Maintain relationships with friends and family or burn your bridges to spare you and your little one further heartache.
  • Watch your child grow and change from the choices you make.
  • Find out who they become through numerous possible endings!

The first two chapters of Death at the Rectory and the first five chapters of The Parenting Simulator can be played online for FREE, or the full games can be purchased for Steam, iOS or Android. Visit the Hosted Games website for full details.

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Bury me, my Love

The Pixel Hunt’s interactive game Bury me, my Love was inspired by real-world people and events and told the story of Nour, a Syrian woman who tries to reach Europe and safety. The game received public and critical acclaim, with two BAFTA nominations and a fair share of awards. But even before it was out, independent documentary filmmaker Danny Fonseca heard about the project and loved it enough to start working on a movie about how the game was made.

The result, Bury Me My Love – A Split/Screen Documentary, is currently available on YouTube, with full English dubbing and subtitles. It’s a faithful account of the creative, political and ethical questions that were faced when creating the game, making it a valuable addition to the general discussion about what interactive video games are – and can be.

Visit YouTube to watch Danny Fonseca’s 50-minute documentary, or read our earlier news article about the game.

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