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Mobile IF That Is Good?

one year ago
I know we had a general phone games recommendation thread before, but here we are now with something a bit more focused. I've been wanting to search for some things to review that aren't the typical fare on the IFDB. And well obviously since many of us (allegedly) like to read, this should be a topic useful to all. The "choice based" genre on Google Play is filled with many cancerous pits: vile assaults on the intellect like Choices and Tales spewing their spastic ADHD gibberish, all the sort of general degeneracy one would expect from Japan and its admirers, and now I'm seeing clones of AI Dungeon popping up. Those by the way are even more of an incomprehensible garbage Mad Libs generator, only minus all of Endmaster's games which were the only things that made AI Dungeon worthwhile. Some help in navigating this nightmare-scape would be appreciated, as it's so bad it makes even the presence of CoG games a comfort and a breath of fresh air. It doesn't have to be a pure interactive novel or anything easily recognizeable as traditional IF, in fact as far as this thread goes, I'm more interested in hybrids or things a bit off the beaten path. But it should be obvious whether the focus is action or 'gameplay' and reflexes, or if it's aimed at people who like reading their games and being able to make decisions. Free games, paid games, whatever. When it comes to mobile I've actually started to vastly prefer the ones that cost a few bucks, they seem so much more likely to recognizeably be a real game rather than a soulless pretender designed to siphon your money off a dollar at a time. Rules of the thread: 1.) Don't link to anything pirated. Stealing from writers and small devs is scummy. And if you're going to be ripping them off for your own personal reasons, don't tell us about it. 2.) Nothing NSFW. 3.) Recommend games that you yourself have played, or at least seen someone else play, and that you have something to say about. We don't need the thread spammed up with the results of your two minute Google search, we're all capable of making our own. End has already done reviews of 80 Days, Out There, and Seedship, all good places to start. For that matter, most of the games on the IFDB are free and playable online, but if you find something you like from there it would make more sense to talk about it in the IFDB Outpost thread.

Untold RPG

one year ago
This game is the main reason I went ahead and made this thread. Untold is a pretty straightforward text based fantasy adventure RPG that stands out in a number of ways, it's got a nice smooth interface and enough plot and setting depth to keep me intrigued. At the time of writing this I haven't yet completed it, but after the substantial demo there is a SUBSTANTIAL amount of plot to come. Several hours for $5 seems entirely reasonable.

This game just happened to be exactly what I was in the mood for at the time I picked it up, but I'm only going to discuss the demo here to avoid spoilers. There are stats you can add to as you level up, and you just start off washed up on a beach with the classic amnesia. All pretty standard stuff initially, but from there you start looking for other survivors and get swept up into the plot. The writing itself mostly concerns itself with short descriptions of the places you explore, not breaking new ground or anything but it's perfectly serviceable.

Now the amnesia thing, it turns out there's a little more to that and figuring out who's responsible and why is set up like it'll be the main point of the overall plot. But as far as the demo content is concerned, you're just exploring your surroundings and surviving. And looting. Always looting.

As for the interface, the inventory system and all the menus are nice and sleek and intuitive. There's lots of loot to be found and it's all neatly categorized for you. And one detail that really won me over was that the armor you use actually matters to the NPCs, to the point that there's a few puzzles that essentially involve switching out disguises.

Combat is the only thing I'm kind of meh on, it's just timing/reflex based spamming of a button, which is difficult to make exciting. I'd have rather had some fight scenes written out. But I will say that the game doesn't just randomly throw casual encounters at you, they were fairly rare and felt significant, usually guarding some new area.

You'll quickly learn that there are two factions fighting it out on the island, and as you explore you'll be able to learn more about the history and religion of one of them, which seems pretty involved. Then after you learn all you can about this complex and fascinating culture, you can kill them, rob and desecrate tombs, and so on. You know, all that good classic adventurer stuff, and it's completely their fault becuse they always attack first.

There's also a ln extensive collection of lore books and journals and so on to be found, something I personally can never get enough of.

The music is well done, moody and atmospheric, and while this is essentially what we'd call a linear game, there are lots of little choices as you explore. Puzzles are built in as a natural feeling part of the plot, and managing your money and equipment and stats and all that keeps you occupied.

King of Dragon Pass

one year ago
(Reserving this space because I'm extremely late for work.)

Mobile IF That Is Good?

one year ago

Here's an app I came across recently. Pathbooks

Afraid I haven't found anything on it yet that strikes me as immensely good, but the ones I've seen so far are at least decent. The main thing is that unlike most of the "interactive fiction" games I stumble across, these games are actually text based. They seem like the very old-school "Choose Your Own Adventure" books where it's literally just a set of paths that lead to different endings. A personal turn off is that they tend to favour third person POV, which I don't think works particularly well with IF, but other than that, I'd say it's worth checking out. ^_^

Mobile IF That Is Good?

one year ago
I'll check it out, thanks. Let me know if you come across anything specific there that does grab you.

If we're talking traditional CYOA style branching, it's not necessarily the focus of the thread (I mean we have an entire site for that!) but I'll go ahead and dump a few here.

Most notably, a bunch of the Kai Chronicles/Lone Wolf books are free now and available as apps thanks to Project Aon. (And of course Joe Dever for releasing the rights.)

Then there's the Delight Games guy, who is living the dream running basically a one man show. You might remember was extremely cool and gave out a whole bunch of free keys for his games in Android and iOS. If you have a Kindle, they're all free there too, or at least used to be. He gets paid based by Amazon based on how long you're looking at the app or something like that.

His games are basically gauntlet style or with short branches that immediately fold back in to the main one, but the mana and HP management and so on add an element of long term strategy. I'd recommend at least checking out the first one...the tone is kind of all over the place, but it plays around with a lot of expectations as to how what seems a pretty typical fantasy adventure set up is going to go.

And finally, while it's just for the computer, I gotta plug the Java Fabled Lands project on SourceForge. The Fabled Lands books were basically like an early Elder Scrolls, just a big open world you could travel freely between in any order, doing adventurer things. The digital versions makes stat and inventory management a lot easier of course, and I'm hoping these really will be available as apps someday.

I guess I'll mention to this oddity I dug up. Found this site, Fighting Fantasy Project many years ago and recently stumbled across it again. They don't have anything to do with the actual Fighting Fantasy books, but they're all fan projects created with the same combat and skill engine. The site seems to have stopped being updated in 2004, and it all appeared to be run by one guy going 'send me your CYOA stories and if I think they're good enough I'll use super secret programmer technology to add variables and dice.

Mobile IF That Is Good?

one year ago
I love Seedship!

I'm going to go back to the IFDB site soon and start rating everyone's comments up and reviewing a few games.... but I haven't touched my contest story since the extension so I really have to focus on that right now.

Mobile IF That Is Good?

one year ago

I strongly recommend the game Ghost Trick. Here's the trailer for the game. Mild spoilers for the early- and mid-game. At its core, it's a puzzle game with a heavy narrative component, but to call it a puzzle game really undersells what it is. (Warning, spoilers below.)

 

 

You play as the ghost of a murder victim with no memory of who you are and why you were killed, and your goal is to find out the answer to those two questions. To do this, you have to travel all around the city, meet various corpses, and save their lives. Therein lies the core gameplay mechanic. To save each person, you travel back in time to 4 minutes before his death and manipulate various objects using your "ghost tricks" (hence the name of the game) to prevent the person from dying. The puzzle component is figuring out the correct sequence of objects to manipulate in order to succeed. For instance, you might manipulate a gun to shoot a would-be murderer, but to do this you also have to manipulate a bunch of other objects to get the murderer to walk into the path of the gun. As you progress through the story, you'll slowly unravel a massive conspiracy, but I won't get into what that is. All the events of the game happen over the course of a single night, so it's nice and compact. I believe my playthrough lasted about 12 hours probably less. The music is great, the story is rich and involved, the atmosphere has a very theatrical feel to it (especially with the frequent use of spotlights), and there's a cute red-headed damsel in distress. What's not to love? I played this game back in 2017, and I still have fond meomories of it.

The game was developed by the same lead developer as the Ace Attorney series, Shu Takumi, so if you're a fan of that series, you should definitely enjoy this as well, and even if you didn't enjoy Ace Attorney (you heathen!), this game is a lot less tedious in places, so you might enjoy it anyways. It's available for Nintendo and iOS*.

*Apparently, it was removed from the App Store just 4 days ago for compatibility issues. That's some unfortunate timing, but I still highly recommend getting the game when it comes back. I recall the full game being around $15, though I can't confirm since the store page was pulled.

 

Another much shorter and simpler game I recommend is Re:play. It's a choose-your-story romance game with cute graphics and some pretty dark themes. It's a free app on iOS, and I believe it took about 1.5 hours to go through all the paths.

Another short game is Able Black. It's an atmospheric storygame about escaping a storage unit as a sentient AI, and you have to solve various puzzles that were all unique enough that they never got tedious, and some of them were quite challenging. My only complaint is that the ending did leave something to be desired though I saw on Twitter that the creator is writing a novel based on the story. It's available for $1 on Steam and free on iOS.

Mobile IF That Is Good?

one year ago
Ghost Trick is fantastic, I had it on the DS. Just such a stylish game. Parts of the soundtrack have a permanent place in my play lists.

Mobile IF That Is Good?

one year ago
Commended by mizal on 1/29/2021 10:48:57 AM

I'm going to give a review of all of the Delight Games series here. I've finished all of their published books. Some of their series have many books (each book is like a chapter), some only have a few books, and some series have only one book. Many of the series are complete, while some are still ongoing. As a reference, a 6 on the 8-point CYS rating scale would probably correspond to a B on my rating scale.

 

Wizard's Choice- complete

The Necromancer of the Delight Games fantasy universe called the Ring City Universe (RCU), Wizard's Choice is the original Delight Games offering, and your standard fantasy wizard RPG fare. Enjoyable, if not memorable, with some thrilling twists and turns, and the writer's skill is evident. You play as a mage who teams up with fighters, paladins, and other classes while fighting against everything from standard fantasy enemies such as goblins and skeletons to more boss-like enemies as the series progresses. Each book has a slightly different feel, much like the Homo Perfectus series. You won't be repeating an experience from one book to another, though they do follow many of the same characters. Your player character, like that of all of the Ring City Universe series, goes through much development and transformation throughout the course of the series. My rating: B+

 

Rogue's Choice- ongoing

If Wizard's Choice is the Necromancer of the Ring City Universe, then Rogue's Choice is the Death Song. You play as an irascible rogue, who prefers to use much more colorful language and gets into much more salacious situations than the Wizard does. You basically see the major events of Wizard's Choice from said rogue's perspective, as well as the rogue's unique own backstory and aims, while making your way through the game using the skills that rogues are particularly known for. You also get to play with a mage and a cleric in your party, among others. The Rogue's gameplay is appropriately more trickery-based than the Wizard's. The artwork in Rogue's Choice is also particularly good, in my opinion. My rating: B+

 

Demon's Choice- ongoing

Yet another perspective on the Ring City saga, but this time from a villain's eyes. Whereas the Wizard was mostly Good and the Rogue mostly Neutral, the succubus player character in Demon's Choice is mostly Evil, and this manifests itself in a drastically different gameplay style. You'll basically want to figure out how to be as evil as possible in this story. The PC is also the only one in the Ring City saga that is unmistakably sexy, can shapeshift, and has a host of other supernatural powers that the Wizard and Rogue, being humans, don't have, and these unique attributes play greatly into the story as well. Also, lots of violence and sex in this one. Rating: B

 

Ranger's Choice- ongoing

There's not much to say about Ranger's Choice so far except that you play as yet another common RPG class- the Ranger. There's only one book so far, and it's a refreshing departure from the darkness and gloom of the other RCU series to play as a purely Good character (at least so far) this time. It's also supposed to be a part of the Ring City Universe, but I don't recall seeing any elements from the other stories in this series yet. This story does not have anything that particularly stands out compared to the other series yet. My rating: C

 

Zombie High- complete

Finally, a completely different setting. Part Sixteen Candles, part Walking Dead, Zombie High has all of the elements that you could want in a zombie story. The player character is a high school girl in a world where zombies have overrun the surface of the world and humanity has taken refuge in underground bunker complexes called sectors. She, like the rest of her sector, are not zombies, but they live in constant fear of the zombies breaking through and infecting everybody, all the while she and her peers try to navigate the already stressful world of high school. A creatively developed world weaving together coming-of-age stories, horror movies, rom-coms, science fiction, action movies, suspense thrillers, and some other genres whose appearances can be considered spoilers, there is something for everyone in this series, and the difficult genre-bending act is done tactfully. The writing can be uneven at parts, as the first two books were written by one author while the rest were written by another, but the uniqueness, juicy characterization, gripping action, and touches of real depth make this one of the most memorable Delight Games. My rating: A

 

Detective's Choice- complete

A hard-boiled detective story. Lovers of modern adventure will enjoy this one. It has more mature themes- not more explicit, just more grown-up- than the other stories, which seemed written for teenagers, whereas this one feels like it's written for grown-ups. Has the atmosphere of a Dick Tracy movie, but with a dark twist. The writing quality is average. My rating: B

 

Witch Saga-complete

A teenage girl discovers that she has witch powers and abilities and has to fight supernatural enemies. This series is supernatural fiction in a modern setting. It reads a lot like a conventional teenage coming-of-age story, but with superpowers, a la a Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The writing is not the liveliest, and the characters are a bit on the flatter side out of the Delight Games series. My rating: B-

 

Oregon Trail-complete

Another coming-of-age story starring a teenage girl, this one is set in the historical fiction setting of the titular game that many of us played and loved as kids. It feels more like an edutainment game than the earlier games on this list. The player character is a scrappy, tough-nosed, takes-no-crap-from-anyone girl who nevertheless cares deeply for her family. A bit simple and easy to beat, but I think that the difficulty and reading level are appropriate for young teens. My rating: B-

 

Bionic Bikini- incomplete, but no longer being added to

An underrated modern adventure/sci-fi series. You play as a private investigator in a future world where robotics and computers have advanced greatly from now. An original, well-written story in a fully-developed world where the main plot device is the invention of a bikini imbued with superpowers through robotics and circuitry. It's zany, imaginative, and fun. Sadly, it's only two books, as, although the series was originally meant to consist of many more, it does not appear that the author will be writing any more books for this series. My rating: A-

 

Monster Myths 1: Bigfoot- complete? (it seems like there are plans for more Monster Myths books in the future, but the plot to the first book is already pretty neatly wrapped up, and I don't remember the plot demanding continuation like some other books do)

A conventional monster-hunting adventure where you get yourself into dangerous situations in the outdoors. Reminds me of the Riddle of the Sasquatch, an older game on this site that actually used to be Featured here I think. An above average story, but not particularly memorable. My rating: B

 

Pirates Never Die-complete

A nice change in setting, as you enter the world of high-seas pirates in this single-book series. The player character is a pirate captain known for her ruthlessness and looting, but secretly deep-down has a heart of gold. An enjoyable adventure that gives off Pirates of the Caribbean vibes. My rating: B+

 

Deep Space Huntress- complete

Feels like a combination of Star Trek and Star Wars, with a roguish space bounty hunter player character, but all too short in its one single book. A fun little adventure- it's hard to go wrong with such a beloved setting. My rating: B+

 

Superhero's Choice-complete

Not as good as Homo Perfectus, but still a perfectly fine superhero story. Another single-book series, it doesn't break any new ground in the superhero genre, but will entertain and make for a pleasant read. My rating: B

 

Ghost Hunter: JJ Jones- complete

A cute little story written for kids. It's short and easy to beat if you're an adult, but still enjoyable as an example of good-quality writing whether you are an adult or a child. My rating: B

 

Apprentice Musketeers 1- ongoing, but it doesn't seem like anyone is going to finish it

The better of the two children's stories, it is longer and has much more potential for continuation. A group of kids at a reading group (reading the Three Musketeers, if I remember correctly) are mysteriously transformed into the actual musketeers from the books and have to fight and think their way out of danger. My rating: B+

 

Bonus review: I was able to read the entire Noble Man gamified novel before it became a Premium-only story (I am not a Premium member; I think it used to be available in its entirety for free). It is a story about human trafficking from the perspective of an ex-secret agent who is pretty much the stereotypical action movie good guy. There's some 80's action movie cliches in this story, which was not really written to be interactive fiction, and not written with much technical skill either, but it still felt good to reach the ending for some reason. My rating: B

Mobile IF That Is Good?

one year ago
Thanks for the overview! I need to get back into finishing these. Might go for the pirate one next since it's a standalone.

Mobile IF That Is Good?

one year ago
If you enjoyed Untold then I highly recommend Conscientia, the Eighth Continent and Westward Dystopia. All series are ongoing (albeit very slowly), well-written, neatly illustrated and decently coded. There are official free versions but a full purchase is worth it, in my opinion.

Mobile IF That Is Good?

3 months ago
For any of you that liked Untold, just mentioning that the sequel, Eldrum: Red Tide is nearly complete and entering beta now.

You can sign up for a chance to get in on testing it here:
https://forms.gle/HHqfAzhVG9Rf7ptw5

But, since the slots are limited, please don't do this unless you have time to play it thoroughly and are willing to give real feedback on any issues you find. (I unfortunately cannot commit to this at the time with a massive backlog of reviews and storygame edits staring me down and making me feel bad.)