Recently I’ve come across fanart on tumblr of an interactive novel Fallen Hero, and let me tell you, when nostalgia strikes, it goes for below the belt. In 2015 my cousin introduced me to a lil’ ole company Choice of Games and I was hooked immediately. I probably got like 20 of their novels within days of each other and for weeks kept myself entertained with choices that made my homo little heart bleed, in a good way. So for this blog I figured I’d introduce you to my favorite one, a novel that kicked my ass over and over again.
In the Heroes Rise trilogy you play as an up and coming hero who must navigate a playing field fraught with not only danger, but politics, relationships, and a deeper mystery that spans the entire length of the games. And the best thing is, unlike some choice-based games *cough cough life is strange cough* here your choices truly matter. Decisions that I made in the first installment dictated the choices I picked in the later ones. Relationships that I built influenced me in ways that were surprisingly touching, and their effect was lasting on my love of consuming and crafting stories.
It’s been about four years since I played these, the last saved game was in 2015, but after replaying them, I find that they didn’t lose their potency or skill with which they beat my soul up. While the first game is your basic “a hero is born” scenario, the second one deviates into the realm of reality TV and competition, where we are thrust into the world of cameras and audience, and must navigate through betrayals, drama, and challenges that are actually kinda really challenging (I haven’t won the competition in game two even once yet, damn you game!). The third game really feels relevant to today’s society. It deals with persecution of a people based on who they are, and since this is superhero stuff, those with powers are on the cusps of getting hunted down so they can be controlled and their powers dampened and taken away. Ya know, the usual.
And there’s a spinoff series The Hero Project that has two installments as of now, which I just started to play and, yep, still fun.
I know that a lot of y’all are readers and writers, so I figured this can be a cool thing to try out. The company makes a lot of these novels, and it also hosts those made through their software, which I believe is free. There are cyberpunk games, historical games, sci-fi and fantasy games, romance games. Last there’s at least four different pirate games, and like eight detective ones, and like a billion fantasy variations. I’m certain you’ll find a genre you like. All of them have the options to play queer characters (at least I’ve yet to encounter one without that option, I think it’s built in) and the later ones have more diversity, like trans and nb options for the player.
So if you have some free time on your hands, I suggest trying Heroes Rise out, or finding another one of their games that you might enjoy more if super heroes aren’t your thing. And if you’re really into these, why not try your hand at making a game yourself?