Freeware Garden: The Price of Freedom – Innocence Lost

Illustrating posts on text adventures can be infuriating. Please, devs, make some cover art! Please?

Created for the latest Spring Thing compo, The Price of Freedom: Innocence Lost is a choose-your-own-adventure styled piece of interactive fiction that, somehow, wasn’t created in Twine and, rather emphatically, went on to win this year’s competition. Also, it’s very, very good.

As you’d expect, The Price of Freedom is both substantial and a really verbose and well written interactive story. An engrossing story, actually, grounded in ancient Greco-Roman history, but also one that’s complex and playable enough to come packed with its very own walkthrough.

Briar Rose, the author, has taken great care to not only pen an excellent tale about two children sold off into slavery, but to also make this a game worth playing. You’ll have to play your cards right and chose sensibly if you are to gain the approval and trust of NPCs and to, crucially, build up your speed and strength stats. This, you see, is a game in which death is a constant possibility and even more so after you become a gladiator.

The arena battles themselves are almost tactical, breath-taking affairs with choices that can instantly spell your doom. Will you go for the net, the spear, save a friend, stay with your group or just try and defend yourself? Yes, that’s excitingly interactive interactive fiction.

Not that I would have minded a less branching or dangerous story, mind you. Following Alexios and Andreas from their home to a hellish slave transport ship, to Rome’s markets, to the arena makes for some great literature. For a tale about human brutality, the horrors of slavery and those rare glimpses of hope we all live for; only slightly harsher and more desperate.

Oh, and do keep in mind that The Price of Freedom is the first part of a trilogy and there are more hopefully great installments to follow. To play it follow the link to chooseyourstory and, maybe, create an account there for only this will allow you to save your progress.

5 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Lexx87 says:

    This was great!

    I’m a little dubious though, can you actually die in the gladiator fight?

    I gained no strength, and manged to gain and then lose my speed bonus but still managed to get through!

    Either way a lovely little tale.

    • Konstantinos Dimopoulos says:

      Yes, you actually can. If you attempt to pull a net and are not strong enough for example, but shhhh…

  2. Eukatheude says:

    Very nice, looking forward to the follow ups.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    That was lovely. I lost one in the arena, and now I’m a bit sad.

  4. Wowbagger says:

    It was very good, but i’m a little sick of fiction depicting gladiatorial combat as always fatal, There’s a lot of evidence to suggest the contrary, as raising and maintaining a stable of gladiators was very expensive.