Interactive Fiction Game of the Year Runner-Up 2013: The Fleet16 Dec 2013 0
2013 was a year of extraordinary mutation for interactive fiction and gamebooks. Bold game studios make radical attempts to reinvent the genre with offerings like Lone Wolf that interspersed the reading with 3D-rendered action sequences that might have felt at home in a Final Fantasy game and Inkle's Sorcery!, a game as complex and involving as any PC RPG.
But amongst all of those strivers seeking to change the IF world, Choice of Games is content to not rock the boat and just make great choose-your-own adventures in a style not that far removed from the paper gamebooks of the 1980s. Of all the games they came out with this year, my favourite was The Fleet (also on Android) back in January -- a straightforward gamebook that takes advantage of its mobile platform by tracking stats, but otherwise earns its keep through just being a good yarn.
As I noted in my review, The Fleet nods so hard to source material like Battlestar Galactica that it practically breaks its own neck, offers the reader exactly one picture in its entire length, and features the occasional bad science head-scratcher -- but I was happy to forgive all those foibles. It's a great ride with fun characters, tremendous latitude for your decisions, and a web-like plot that offers a slew of different endings. In a world full of increasingly high tech cars, you can still appreciate a good horse.
To see all the games recognized in the Pocket Tactics Best of 2013 Awards, visit the awards index page.