Hello, and welcome to a new edition of Of Stories and Dreams!
Tonight, I want to show you a game reliant entirely on story and text. Well, almost entirely.
Eldritch Abominations, set in the late XIX century!
Join me and let's explore...
Fallen London is a unique kind of game, as in it is a browser game, and it has almost everything a social game has, but doesn't have much interaction with other players. At least not mandatory one.
The game feels like a "Choose your own adventure!" story, in which instead of going to page X, you slowly rack up progress in whatever venture you choose, and based on your progress, what choices you can take, called storylets.
The way it goes is you are given a set number of actions, which you can take in many different opportunities and "storylets". More on these in a moment. You have a maximum of 20 actions, and actions take 10 minutes to refresh once you're out of the tutorial.
Now, your main attributes are Watchful (intelligence, keen of eye, wisdom), Shadowy (Guile, dexterity, ability to do illegal things with ease), Dangerous (Physical strength,combat prowess) and Persuasive (Social skills, charm), and depending on your level on each, what actions you can take in the different areas of the game.
The game is set in London, only a group of otherworldy beings known as The Masters has bought it (or stolen, depending on who you ask) and it is now underground, a short trip downriver to hell, and a long hike back to the surface.
Like many social games, there isn't any actual end line (yet), but the player can choose an Ambition (such as the blue Storylet in the screenshot), which represents an overarching goal that the player might want to achieve, or not. Stealing a diamond as large as a cat? Playing a game where you can win your Heart's Desire? A rivalry spanning the aboveworld and the 'Neath? It's up to you, after all, you choose your story.
All the stories held within are intriguing, fitting with the time period and how the people would react and acomodate to this new way of life, and how someone with lots of potential might seize the situation (aka the player).
The gameplay can feel a bit slow, particularly if you're not one for games where you do lots of reading, but the setting truly sells it.
If you enjoy Lovecraftian horror, subtle and not-so-subtle humour, and having a world for you to explore on your own and find out its secrets as you explore it, this game might just be your next favourite browser time waster!
Be wary of wells though...
Have a good night, delicious readers, and see you next week!