By Graham Smith on June 18th, 2014 at 12:00 pm.
It’s 2014. Despite the creative rennaissance enabled by the likes of Twine, text adventures and interactive fiction are one of the few genres yet to experience a commercial revival from the rise of new funding models and digital distribution. There’s still hope, though. Choice Of Games, one of the few companies trying to make a living from making such games, have just announced that their Heroes Rise series is coming to Steam. They’re the first text adventures to join the platform.
So what’s your plan of attack?
i) Head straight to Steam to buy Heroes Rise: The Prodigy and Heroes Rise: The Hero Project, perhaps as part of a discounted set. You like superheroes, and you like games which offer you the choice to be who you want to be.
ii) You’re curious. Intrigued, even. But you don’t have money to throw around on whims and you know that strong writing is required to keep you engaged over the long haul of a text adventure. You visit the Choice of Games website to try out the demos, which offer the first five chapters of the game. You start with the original, Heroes Rise: The Prodigy.
iii) You’re a miserable contrarian and other people’s fun serves only as fuel for your own embittered heart. You point out that slavish devotion to old genres is nothing more than techno-romanticism, and the limited audience for text adventures is because people have quite reasonably moved on. Isn’t Steam already full of visual novels, and aren’t those conceptually identical but with greater flair? These Choice Of Games games don’t even seem to have a parser, the main differentiating detail that might make the genre worthwhile. I mean, when you thi–
iv) Skip to the comments before reading this far; you’ve just thought of a good pun.