Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad Mini Retina
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Blood & Laurels is a fairly meaty piece of interactive fiction. For once there really are multiple opportunities to replay it, as there's plenty to see and discover. Does it tell a good story along the way? Yes and no. It's not Shakespeare but it does make for a pleasant thematic change from the usual motifs.
Players control Marcus, a poet living in Ancient Rome. He's keen to keep his patron, Artus, happy but that's not a particularly easy job once forced into various conspiracies and complex political issues. Along the way, expect violence, sex, and plenty of relationship building with other characters.
It's a fairly interesting tale and one that's certainly willing to leap about in terms of developments. As a piece of interactive fiction, there are often numerous choices that can be made. Many situations offer 5 or 6 different options, each potentially affecting much of what can happen next. At all times, a bar at the bottom of the screen signifies what mood the other characters are in, giving some clues as to how best to deal with them.
Given that Blood & Laurels is in two parts, decisions made in the first part can easily change what happens in the second. Deaths can also affect how things play out, with the chance to also unlock new character moods.
It's an interesting direction to take interactive fiction in, ensuring that one feels more in control than simply choosing from two arbitrary options. At times it's a little staid given the visuals are very much focused on text with a small mixture of illustrations included, but for avid readers that's hardly going to be a problem.
In terms of sheer content, Blood & Laurels easily feels worth the asking price for those keen to explore a slightly different world than what interactive fiction ordinarily offers.