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Review: Fallen London

Fri May 13, 2016 6:11 pm

Fallen London. Ah, yes. I was there when London was stolen by bats into the cavernous ‘Neath, the Fifth City bartered to the ancient Echo Bazaar and its petty, proud,...

http://www.pockettactics.com/reviews/re ... en-london/

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Js619
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Fri May 13, 2016 6:31 pm

Good review, but not sure when it was written - the app updated last week and fixed two of the issues Tof raises, specifically the long load time and lack of manual sync.

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geigerm
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Re: Review: Fallen London

Fri May 13, 2016 7:21 pm

Even with manual sync added, I still had issues with the app--I'd lose progress even after explicitly syncing. And I didn't find the load times to be consistently fixed on my 6S Plus. I'll tolerate long loading times when playing something graphically intensive like Deathwatch, but this game wasn't it.

I knew the game wasn't in my wheelhouse when I first read about it but figured I'd give it a try, given the few rave reviews I read in the comments here. Ultimately, those issues I mentioned, coupled with a lack of interest in grinding to unlock more interesting stories, were enough for me to delete the app.

acedout
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Re: Review: Fallen London

Fri May 13, 2016 7:26 pm

Agree with the review but if you need to play on an iPhone, I'd say it's better than using a web browser. Especially after the latest update. On a tablet, yes there is no point in using the app.

There is a manual sync. But they didn't seem to fix the loading times for the most part.

PickledGherkins
Posts: 4
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Sun May 15, 2016 1:05 pm

I tried to get into this game, only to find out that I already had an account and had apparently tried it before. I quite like the idea but I can't get past the cluttered interface - which has a lot of info but still not barely enough to keep track of all the information that is presented to you. I don't think any interface ever could :)

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SpiceTheCat
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Re: Review: Fallen London

Mon May 16, 2016 6:02 am

I picked this up at the weekend, and I'm enjoying playing it in brief snatches. I haven't run into any excessive slowdowns or sync issues (other than stabbing around to find the manual sync button at first). I haven't played th browser version, so I don't have a comparison, but the app is cleanly designed and fits nicely into the screen, if that makes sense.

/apprentice enquirer, acquaintance of the Honey-Addled Detective, connected to the Constables (but not entirely reliable, owner of a haunted dog.
the Starveling Cat! the Starveling Cat! look what it did! to your nice new hat!

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riotgirl
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Re: Review: Fallen London

Wed May 18, 2016 10:36 pm

I am still playing FL via iPad app. I will in all likelihood buy another month's pass in June as an 'Exceptional Friend'.

For all my enthusiasm, Geigerm is essentially correct: the actual mechanisms in play do not differ greatly from other F2P apps in as much you spend a limited number of daily actions that replenish over time, to accomplish goals in the game via storylets that can raise your statistics, provide items that can be used to obtain improved items (in transactions of diminishing returns), et al.

The major difference with FL is how the developers have used these common F2P mechanisms to create a deeply rich storytelling experience, and allowing players considerable freedom (or the illusion of) to explore FL and develop their characters in a variety of different ways.

Another difference is the lack of intrusion of arm-twisting you to spend cash to accomplish goals. No annoying pop-ups, ads, etc. Monetary transactions (buying Fate / subscribing) are neatly hidden away in the settings menu and rarely intrude upon gameplay. The odd storylet may require a certain amount of Fate (obtained via cash transaction), but these are few and far between and are highlighted to be obvious.

The one aspect that must be mentioned is subscribers receive double the amount of action points: 40. This is not insignificant because certain options in storylets may require a set number of actions depending on level of risk (risky options require less actions). In one storylet, the safe option required 5 actions! This isn't common but does occur at certain stages and is necessary to generate more storylets and increase your stats.

FL is an hauntingly evocative title that uses F2P mechanisms to create a wonderful storytelling experience. Just be aware that the mechanisms do exist. The difference is in how the developers use such mechanisms to hang on a world rich in atmosphere, rather than gouging their customers' wallets until they suck up lint.

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SpiceTheCat
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Re: Review: Fallen London

Mon May 23, 2016 11:05 am

The iOS version was hanging on the 'checking for content updates' screen for me, so I used the browser version this weekend. Blimey, that's an ugly and clunky experience. I was pleased when the app started working again so I could go back. The design and appearance is so much better. Yes, there are rough edges, and the notifications/red dot numbers seem a bit random, but it's a much nicer experience. I appear to have stalled out on major storylines at the moment, however, so I'm being louche around Veilgarden and hoping that boosting stats or possessions opens something up.
the Starveling Cat! the Starveling Cat! look what it did! to your nice new hat!

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Js619
Posts: 104
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2016 9:46 pm
Location: NJ, USA

Re: Review: Fallen London

Mon May 23, 2016 2:17 pm

The iOS version was hanging on the 'checking for content updates' screen for me, so I used the browser version this weekend. Blimey, that's an ugly and clunky experience. I was pleased when the app started working again so I could go back. The design and appearance is so much better. Yes, there are rough edges, and the notifications/red dot numbers seem a bit random, but it's a much nicer experience. I appear to have stalled out on major storylines at the moment, however, so I'm being louche around Veilgarden and hoping that boosting stats or possessions opens something up.
Failbetter tweeted that they were having some server issues this weekend, but they're all resolved now. I like the app better too, but for certain things like trading in items for higher tier items, the browser interface is better.

I drank all the Kool Aid on this one - it's literally consumed all of my gaming time lately. I've secured my boat, set to Zee, joined a Club, and secured a bicycle (cooler and more involved than it sounds, I know). I've also boosted my profession to Licentiate and am now working on getting my Dangerous to 200... talk about a long road. Thank heavens for the action limit!

If there's nothing much open in Veilgarden, you may have to move to a different area or boost your main stats - if they're around 60 you might benefit by moving to the secondary or tertiary areas for that stat...

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Js619
Posts: 104
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2016 9:46 pm
Location: NJ, USA

Re: Review: Fallen London

Mon May 23, 2016 2:19 pm

I am still playing FL via iPad app. I will in all likelihood buy another month's pass in June as an 'Exceptional Friend'.

For all my enthusiasm, Geigerm is essentially correct: the actual mechanisms in play do not differ greatly from other F2P apps in as much you spend a limited number of daily actions that replenish over time, to accomplish goals in the game via storylets that can raise your statistics, provide items that can be used to obtain improved items (in transactions of diminishing returns), et al.

The major difference with FL is how the developers have used these common F2P mechanisms to create a deeply rich storytelling experience, and allowing players considerable freedom (or the illusion of) to explore FL and develop their characters in a variety of different ways.

Another difference is the lack of intrusion of arm-twisting you to spend cash to accomplish goals. No annoying pop-ups, ads, etc. Monetary transactions (buying Fate / subscribing) are neatly hidden away in the settings menu and rarely intrude upon gameplay. The odd storylet may require a certain amount of Fate (obtained via cash transaction), but these are few and far between and are highlighted to be obvious.

The one aspect that must be mentioned is subscribers receive double the amount of action points: 40. This is not insignificant because certain options in storylets may require a set number of actions depending on level of risk (risky options require less actions). In one storylet, the safe option required 5 actions! This isn't common but does occur at certain stages and is necessary to generate more storylets and increase your stats.

FL is an hauntingly evocative title that uses F2P mechanisms to create a wonderful storytelling experience. Just be aware that the mechanisms do exist. The difference is in how the developers use such mechanisms to hang on a world rich in atmosphere, rather than gouging their customers' wallets until they suck up lint.
Agreed on the F2P aspect - it's not intrusive at all, which is nice. I've bought some Fate, mainly to explore some of the storylets and I purchased some of the older Exceptional Friends storylines. I'm waiting for my EF to run out and I'm pretty sure I'll do the 12 month subscription - it's significantly less expensive than purchasing month to month, if you're sure you want to commit to it for that long.

Thanks for all the Coffee at Caligula's, btw! :)

    

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