You’ve cast your votes and chosen five underrated games that haven’t (yet) gotten the attention they deserve! These “Hidden Gems,” selected by a highly scientific poll conducted on our forums, are on sale this week! Pick them up for discounts up to 40% off until February 29th on the platform of your choice–Android, Android Omnibus app, iOS and iOS Omnibus app, the website, and on the Amazon Android Marketplace! Relics II: The Crusader’s Tomb is also available on Steam.
The 2024 Choice of Games Hidden Gems Sale is here!
Shhhhh! It’s our super secret special sale!
Thanks to a very scientific poll conducted on our forums, we’re proud to announce that our “most underrated” games, aka the Hidden Gems, are on sale all week! Pick them up for discounts up to 40% off until February 22nd on the platform of your choice–Android, Android Omnibus app, iOS and iOS Omnibus app, Steam, the website, and on the Amazon Android Marketplace!
You’re trapped in a malfunctioning virtual reality with no memories. No memories, except of every video game you’ve ever played. Jack into a wild night in a virtual world you’ll never remember.
Don’t Wake Me Up is a 400,000-word interactive novel about love in video games, where your choices control the story. Entirely text-based, and driven by your imagination. It is written by Baudelaire Welch, a professional game screenwriter currently working as a companion character designer for RPGs.
Armed with puns, pop culture, and a sharp dose of sarcasm, can you muddle your way through levels of satirical video game pastiches, back to reality?
Adventure through virtual worlds alongside a delusional gamer, an actual emo vampire (who really wishes he wasn’t an emo vampire), a poet from outer space, and a dashing princess in shining armor, among others! And perhaps, just perhaps, learn a bit too much about the kind of person you are when the real world isn’t watching.
A satire of the trapped-in-a-video-game genre, and a tragicomedy on the theme of dating sims.
Play as nonbinary, male, female, straight or queer.
Travel through 6 worlds inspired by different video game genres
Wield a weaponised top hat
Rack your brains in a spaceship escape level inspired by old-school adventure games
Compete in a classical music-themed monster truck rally
Lose yourself in a cyberpunk casino
Date the Ultimate Video Game Fanservice Vampire
Or, date the Ultimate Video Game ‘Best Girl’ Waifu
A period piece honed in early 2010s internet cringe
Bifurcates entirely halfway through the game based on your love interest.
Baudelaire developed this game using ChoiceScript, a simple programming language for writing multiple-choice interactive novels like these. Writing games with ChoiceScript is easy and fun, even for authors with no programming experience. Write your own
Amitabhilia, the world of infinite light. The kingdom of Lebenswasserheim is recovering from an insurrection instigated by the now-defunct Weiliwubisky clan, and the restoration of peace and order means people are now free to achieve their own dreams once again. Falrika Marmont is just one of these people, and she has her own simple dream: To become an alchemist. Through a series of events expected and unexpected, and with the help of people who will guide her along the way, her journey will be one that is out of the ordinary.
Falrika the Alchemist is a feel-good 173,000-word interactive novel by Benedict Villariaza. It’s entirely text-based, without graphics or sound effects, and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.
A light-hearted, slice-of-life, narrative-driven adventure where you play as a cute female alchemist owning her own atelier.
An episodic story format, where each chapter is mostly self-contained.
You can pat cats and dogs! (There will even be an achievement for petting all of them!)
Four romantic options (2 female, 1 male, 1 nonbinary), all with their own endings.
A comprehensive codex that tells everything you need to know about the world of Amitabhilia.
Benedict developed this game using ChoiceScript, a simple programming language for writing multiple-choice interactive novels like these. Writing games with ChoiceScript is easy and fun, even for authors with no programming experience. Write your own
One year later, you’ve set sail on a state visit to Teran. Will you scandalize your family, or do them proud? How have your post-college plans been proceeding, and is there a royal wedding—or a shocking elopement—in your future?
We’re making these changes today because our ability to reliably drive sales has improved, and because the US dollar has experienced significant inflation in recent years. Our authors deserve a larger advance, and we’re happy to provide that.
We’re proud to announce that Lies Under Ice, the latest in our popular “Choice of Games” line of multiple-choice interactive-fiction games, is now available for Steam, Android, and on iOS in the “Choice of Games” app.
Lead the first settlement on Jupiter’s frozen moon, Europa! What alien life lurks beneath the ice? Who is sabotaging your mission? Who can you trust?
Lies Under Ice is a 200,000-word interactive science fiction novel by Joey Jones, where your choices control the story. It’s entirely text-based—without graphics or sound effects—and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.
The year is 2079. Your mission is to build a settlement, explore Europa’s treacherous oceans, terraform the moon, and send findings back to Earth.
But political factions within your colony vie for dominance, constantly on the brink of open conflict. While they are technically collaborating on this mission, each one has their own goals for Europa. Will this colony be a site for new trade? A home for Earth’s ever-growing population? A clean slate where humans can break free of older social models? How far will each side go to get what they want?
With the most advanced science at your disposal—massive terraforming systems, gene splicing, AI therapy-bots, nerve-connected bionic prosthetics, and more—you can venture from the safety of your spaceship out into the hostile frozen world. Descend beneath the ice of Europa, pilot a submarine through frigid waters that no human has ever seen, and uncover ancient secrets of an alien world.
There’s definitely alien life here. But does it pose a danger to you and your fellow settlers, or is it the greatest opportunity that humanity has ever known?
Play as male, female, or nonbinary; gay, straight, bi, or aromantic; poly or monogamous.
Choose among six distinct professional backgrounds: diplomat, aerospace engineer, arcologist, asteroid miner, pilot, or marine biologist.
Manage the complex needs of an extraterrestrial base: prioritize the comfort of the workers, maximize scientific output, build luxury domes, dig mazes of ice tunnels, or engage in terraforming.
Navigate the treacherous politics of Earth’s squabbling factions from millions of miles away!
Interact with Europa’s alien ecosystem: will you release fish as a sustainable food source, bring along cats for companionship, or rely on synthetic creatures to avoid introducing invasive species?
Run for office in Europa’s fledgling government!
Delve beneath the ice, and reach for the stars!
We hope you enjoy playing Lies Under Ice. We encourage you to tell your friends about it and to recommend the game on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and other sites. Don’t forget: our initial download rate determines our ranking on the App Store. The more times you download in the first week, the better our games will rank.
Congratulations on your second title for Choice of Games! Obviously, the setting for Lies Under Ice is vastly different from your first game: Trials of the Thief-Taker was set in eighteenth-century London, and this one is in twenty-first-century Europa! How did the different setting and genre affect your approach to writing this game as opposed to your first one? Were there any unexpected points of similarity between the two settings?
Thank you! For both stories, I started with a period of research, but that looked quite different for each one. Trials of the Thief-Taker, I holed up in a library for a few days poring over history books, plays and stories on the early 18th century England to provide a wealth of details and situations that I wanted to include. I read up on highway-robbery, masquerade balls, smuggling, prison breaks, and, of course, the institution of thief-taking. I clearly couldn’t take the exact approach to writing about the future, but for Lies Under Ice I also began by reading around the subject. I read an excellent book on Europa itself, Richard Greenberg’s Unmasking Europa, which gave me a grounding in what the moon was really like, and what scientists were arguing about (like the academic dispute over how thick the ice really is). I was inspired by recent social and technological trends, and I imagined how they might be taken further. I read up on artificial therapists, gene-editing, next generation 3D printing, and the theories of xenobiologists on the conditions for life outside of Earth. The settings were quite distinct, but one point of similarity is having a pressure-cooker environment. Both old London and the moon base environments are places where a lot of different people from all over are thrown together; people with conflicting goals and few avenues to escape.
What about the process of writing your second ChoiceScript game? What did you find different about that?
I learned a lot from the first work and had a list of things I wanted to do different the second time over. (If I made a third, I’m sure I’d come up with another list entirely.) Lies Under Ice is much bigger, perhaps twice the play-length, and there are a lot more world-shaking outcomes of player choice to account for. I had to use a different plot structure too. In Trials of the Thief-Taker I could organise the plot as a series of cases. It was always straightforward to add another case if I felt it needed it (and in the years since release I’ve had a lot more ideas for other cases I’d love to put in if I have the time). In Lies Under Ice, the base faces a series of challenges, crises, and discoveries, but the player is also pro- actively shaping the direction of their settlement, so I had to think of new ways of framing the scenes. Where the game takes place over a ten-year time span, I ended up having short interlude chapters between the main chapters to help smooth out the passage of time.
The big writing difference is where the variation comes in. In Trials of the Thief-Taker, the player often engages in challenges that test their skills, and often there would be gradations of success, with around five different outcomes based on skill level, to reward different ways of roleplaying through the game. Such variation only becomes obvious to players if they replay a lot. When I came to writing Lies Under Ice, ChoiceScript had actually improved in a number of ways, and one of which was the introduction of ‘multi-replace’, which made varying text within a passage much easier. So now, in Lies Under Ice, almost every scene has a high degree of internal variation based on the player’s earlier choices, giving the player a much more direct and constant reflection of their choices. Both games were quite branchy, but Lies Under Ice takes it to a whole new level.
This game includes a lot of science fiction, but it’s clearly informed by present-day science fact, especially the idea that there may be life under the ice on Jupiter’s moon Europa. What’s the one thing you most want readers to know about the real science that’s included in this game? Were there any facts that you had to leave out that you’re just dying to talk about?
Some people have asked me why I picked Europa over, say, Ganymede. Europa is the best candidate for life outside of Earth. Like our own planet, it has a rocky core and a salty tidal ocean. Europa is covered in a layer of ice at least a few miles thick (possible much thicker). It’s comparatively smooth (there are no real mountains or valleys) and unlike the dead surface of our own moon, Europa’s ice surface steadily remakes itself through tidal pressures. Still, it’s a dramatic and alien landscape, and not just endless flat ice sheets some people might imagine when they think of an icy-moon. The features of the moon all make an appearance in Lies Under Ice: the cracks that interlace it with a series of parallel ridges (the lineae), the spires that surround the craters, the chaos terrain. Probably most things I was interested in make an appearance somewhere in the work, but one thing didn’t. I recently discovered that some researchers think that instead of protecting us from asteroids, Jupiter has actually been flinging them towards Earth!
Your academic work also focuses on branching narrative. Can you tell us a little more about that? How did your research inform the process of creating this game, and vice versa?
That’s right, there’s a considerable overlap. Working on games like these informed my research, as did speaking to other writers. I’m interested in the strategies writers of interactive fiction use to manage the scope with long projects. In an interactive medium, there’s a tendency for the workload to keep expanding the longer and more complex the work gets. Choice of Games have a good house style for keeping a lot of this in check: breaking the work down into more-or-less self-contained chapters that always happen in the same order helps a lot. I’m interested in these kinds of structure-based approaches. Throughout Lies Under Ice, I tried a few different techniques to give the player a lot of options that really change the outcome of the game, while not increasing the workload exponentially. I don’t recommend doing a PhD while also making a huge game, everything takes much longer, but it has given me an opportunity to write about the process of actually making something real, and not just a proof of concept.
What’s next for you? Do you have any other games in the works?
In the short-term, rest and recuperation, and then finishing my thesis! In the longer run I’m definitely going to keep making games. I’ve got a few smaller projects in various states of completion, including a game where you’re trying to build a coalition of animals for a revolution in a zoo, and an urban fantasy puzzle game where the protagonist has the power of psychometry. But the next game in the pipeline is a much overdue rerelease of The Chinese Room, a philosophy thought experiment text adventure I made with Harry Josephine Giles nearly half a lifetime ago.
Sorcery is forbidden and punishable by death. These punishments are summarily handed out by the Witch Hunters, a powerful organization of inquisitors.
When a group of corrupt witch hunters comes to your village, accusing your brother of sorcery and wrongly accusing you of abetting him, your life takes a violent and abrupt change for the worse. After you’ve suffered more than you can bear and endured terrible tragedy, perhaps your only option left is to become the very thing that your enemies fear and despise so much.
The Nascent Necromancer is an epic, 238,000 word interactive fantasy novel by Samuel Young, where your choices control the story. It’s entirely text-based, and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.
Play as male, female, or nonbinary. Romance men, women, both, or no one at all.
Embark on a perilous journey, facing witch hunters, trolls, and goblins as you seek to gain the terrible power that will bring you revenge on your persecutors.
Romance the cold, aloof Tozi; the sarcastic, charismatic Tanno; the shy, sweet Kenda; the kind, easygoing Meylor; or even the idealistic witch hunter, Lonnie.
Read approximately 100,000 words per playthrough!
Choose among three kinds of spells; mental, physical, or conjuration. Cast torture spells; summon flying, undead hands; control the minds of your enemies, and much more.