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Tag: Interactive Fiction »

It’s Killing Time Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on August 5th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: POWERFUL DECISIONS
It’s Killing Time is an enticing novel of contract killers and moral choices.
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Champion of the Gods Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on July 27th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: COMPELLING TALE
Champion of the Gods is a compelling Choose Your Own Adventure story.
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Sons of Uruzime Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on June 7th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: SPOOKY
Sons of Uruzime is a creepy tale with a Lovecraftian vein to it.
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Sorcery! 3 Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on April 23rd, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: PURE MAGIC
Sorcery! 3 demonstrates just how wonderful interactive fiction can be.
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Cosmic Explorer: Redshift Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on March 23rd, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: LACKS SPARK
Cosmic Explorer: Redshift is an adventure game full of decisions, but it lacks emotion.
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The Bedsby Tales Review

iPad App - Designed for iPad
By Jennifer Allen on March 22nd, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: SPOOKY GOINGS ON
A spooky tale for youngsters that should intrigue adults, too.
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The Hero of Kendrickstone Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on March 17th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: GRIPPING YARN
The Hero of Kendrickstone is a gripping and intriguing adventure gamebook app.
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Mayday! Deep Space Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Thomas on February 10th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: SEND HELP
While Mayday! Deep Space has ambitious goals as a piece of interactive sci-fi, the final product could use a bit more power to the life support systems.
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Sol Invictus Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on January 9th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: INTRIGUING STORYTELLING
Sol Invictus is a pretty enjoyable sequel to Cubus Games's Heavy Metal Thunder, which was itself a similarly fun adventure game book.
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Creatures Such As We Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on December 18th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: INTERESTING DISCUSSIONS
Taking a more sedate approach to interactive fiction, Creatures Such As We proves to be quite thought provoking.
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Necklace of Skulls Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on November 17th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: FANTASY EXPLORATION
Delve into a world of Mayan intrigue with this interesting adventure gamebook adaptation.
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This Is Not a Test Goes Free, Permanently

Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 31st, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: COMIC BOOK DECISIONS :: Read Review »

This Is Not a Test, the survival RPG comic by Jon Richardson, recently went free. Players can now experience the comic though the addition of banner ads and limited lives that regenerate slowly.

If you want to remove the ads and recover your lives faster you can upgrade to the pro version for $2.99. The pro version also adds optional color background art, so if you've already purchased the previous color upgrade you automatically get pro.

You can check out This Is Not a Test for free on the App Store.

Thieves’ Gambit: Curse of the Black Cat Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on October 28th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: GRIPPING STORYTELLING
Thieves’ Gambit: Curse of the Black Cat offers some intriguing storytelling, even if it does lack the finer features we expect from an iOS adventure.
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The Sagas of Fire*Wolf Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on October 3rd, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: PLENTIFUL ADVENTURE GAMING
Offering four adventure game books in one, The Sagas of Fire*Wolf is some serious value for the money.
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A.R. Witham on Black Jack - The ‘World’s First Moving Novel’ and How it Came to Be

Posted by Jennifer Allen on October 2nd, 2014
iPad App - Designed for iPad

iBooks and the Kindle app do a great job of ensuring that there’s always something new to read while you’re on the move. They work well in complementing the traditional physical book. There’s still room for more interactive and animated fare though, such as in the case of Black Jack - an app that declares itself the "World’s First Moving Novel." Released in episodic chunks of new chapters every Monday and Friday, it’s an interesting new direction to take for the medium. We took the time to chat to its Emmy-winning author, A.R. Witham, to learn more.

148Apps: Why not release the book at once rather than chapter by chapter?
A.R. Witham (ARW): It’s an old-school method of building suspense; Charles Dickens released A Christmas Carol in installments, and I thought that was an interesting way to tell a story that isn’t done much in the 21st century. Black Jack has a very vintage feel to the texture of the pages and animations... a vintage release schedule felt perfect for the story.

148Apps: What’s the reaction to the episodic content been like? Has it been as warmly received as hoped?
ARW: The response has been amazing. People love Jack, but for me, their enthusiastic reaction to the side-characters has been the most unexpected surprise. People love Django and Fuji and Valerian and the villains far more than I expected. I’ve gotten drawings of characters from fans, and that kind of reaction is something I really never anticipated.  

148Apps: What challenges have there been in converting the novel to a more interactive format? Has it affected how the novel has been written at all?
ARW: There were 3 Big Rules to building the Black Jack app: 1) The story had to be good enough to pack a whollop without the animations and effects. 2) None of the animations could interfere with the text; if they didn’t help the readers immerse themselves in the storytelling, they were cut. 3) The book had to feel completely unlike any reading experience anyone has ever had. Once I established those guidelines, it became a great puzzle to solve.

148Apps: Do you think this is the future for novels? Or is there still a place for the traditional format?
ARW: I pray traditional novels never die. We all have loved them too much to let them go away. If paper-and-binding is on the decline in favor of screen-reading, I’m okay with that, but a pure tale constructed only with words is the foundation of storytelling; it will always exist, even if it’s just an old man sitting at a campfire telling ghost stories. Digital formats such as the iPad offer a playground for artists to explore the edges of the map and that’s what we are doing with Black Jack. Once you read the first two chapters, you begin to realize there are incredible moments waiting for you. Nobody’s done a book like this before – that’s the fun part.

148Apps: Do you think it’s a method that would work for all genres or does it particularly lend itself to fantasy/sci-fi?
ARW: Oh, I could see Divergent, Hunger Games, Neil Gaiman, or Harry Potter working very well with the Moving Novel format, but I think also think Raymond Chandler’s detective thrillers, Cormac McCarthy’s Southern Gothic style or Stephen King’s horror stories could all be a fun ride with a little emotional push at the right moments.

148apps: What’s next after Black Jack?
ARW: By day, I’m a Creative Director, and currently working on launching the brand-new CBS affiliate in Indianapolis in 2015, so that may take a bit of time. For Black Jack, I’m working with the next story in the series, tentatively titled "Red Rover." And at night, I’m just reading new stories. It’s always fun to find something new.

Thanks to A.R. Witham for taking the time to answer our questions.

Black Jack: A Moving Novel is available now on the App Store for the iPad. It’s currently priced at $5.99 for the full novel, with the first two chapters available for free.