Lately there’s been a lot of Choice of Games popping up on Steam. I’ve been eager to try out some of the most beloved titles, but as they’re purely text-based, I chose to use my mobile phone to read them while laying in bed, instead of spending yet more time sitting in front of my computer screen.
Fatehaven was my first Choice of Games title ever, and the first interactive novel since some of those Steve Jackson’s make-your-own-adventure books published in the 80s. I dove in open minded and was not disappointed.The story is funny and engaging, and I very much enjoyed the ending, which has received a somewhat mixed response. A life story, an adventure, magical powers, a romance, all tied together with a bunch of giggles. It took me a couple of nights to play through, so it isn’t too short either.
I am not a huge fan of basic fantasy elements but I really didn’t feel overwhelmed by the fantasy tropes. The story is good enough. There isn’t much replay-ability though, the changes in the story are rather subtle – or at least seemed so with my not-so-thorough poking around. But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be playing the game again. I’m sure I will, when the dust has settled a bit.
I appreciate that the game gives the player the choice of their gender and sexual orientation, but on the other hand I am somewhat disappointed that the gender mostly just seems to be a matter of pronoun. But I get it. The trouble to write all those characters again would be humongous. (It would also “force” people to play against their orientations to experience all the content, though I am not completely sure if this would be a plus or a minus.)
And the characters are fun. They are quite distinctive types, somewhat cliched but still very lovable, and have enough fault to them to feel more real. The player character itself has some abilities that change according to the player’s answers, including different type of magical powers. As I already said, the differences didn’t seem huge, but it is really nice to get your own kind of flare to the story anyway.
The first three chapters are available free on the Choice of Games website and the full price of 2-4 euros is not much for an entertaining adventure like this.