Someone on Twitter once directed me to a paranormal steampunk Victorian story-based online open-ended game called Echo Bazaar and obviously it promptly ate my life and soul (though not as literally as souls can be eaten in-game). I definitely almost missed a fire alarm because I was waiting for my next action to be ready, although I’m not sure if that’s a selling point or not. It’s true, at least!
Some years and a game name change later, I’m somewhat inevitably back playing what is now Fallen London. It’s a browser-based Choose Your Own Adventure game and it’s one of my favourite things that the universe has given me.
When you start out, there are the usual character customisation options, but what got to me first was that these are the gender options:
Fallen London plays fast and loose with the conventions and tropes of Lovecraftian and gothic fiction, resulting in a world that feels familiar but unsettling at the same time. For example, I am currently working as an Enquirer, trying to learn from a distinctly Sherlockian Honey-Addled Detective, and also trying to raise my goddamn Watchful quality so I can solve the mystery of the spy codes written in tattoos.
This is a world that has Rubbery Men, alarming carnivals, Masters of the Bazaar of which no one speaks, a Great Game and all its players, and a host of other characters to meet and avoid at your leisure.
For the Valentine’s Day event, these were both options:
And here are some of the qualities I’ve received from making various game choices:
All of which look like spectacular game plots but also, you know, a little bit make me want to never sleep again. A fiction victory!
It’s been a couple days since I started playing again and already I am considering spending actual money on the in-game optional currency to unlock more stories. I AM WEAK TO VICTORIAN GOTHIC AND WE ALL KNOW IT.
If you already play, or have just signed up, find me here! Let’s be delicious friends.