July 4: Independence Day (U.S.)

Stars and Stripes

by Don Henderson

Flag down your friends and show them this beautiful puzzle—or enjoy it all by yourself! The answers to each numbered clue pair below go in the 12 spaces surrounding the correspondingly numbered red star

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New Hosted Game! The Daily Blackmail by Mary Duffy

Hosted Games has a new game for you to play!

Something is rotten in City Hall—can you uncover it and…win a Pulitzer? When the mayor unexpectedly resigns, it’s up to you, the rookie reporter on the City Desk to find out the real story and get it into print. Right away you smell a rat. As you track down sources and information, your reporter’s instincts, brains, heart, or impeccable writing will lead you to the truth.

“The Daily Blackmail” is a 33,000 word interactive fantasy novella by Mary Duffy, where your choices control the story. It’s entirely text-based—without graphics or sound effects—and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

In The Daily Blackmail, you’ll get all the news that is (and isn’t!) fit to

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New Hosted Game! Paradigm City by James Rhoden

Hosted Games has a new game for you to play!

The Golden Age of heroes is over, but you’re just beginning. Will you use your powers to help the world or help yourself? Set on a near-future Earth that has been irrevocably altered by the arrival of superhumans, the world has been dealing with a radical shift in the nature of humanity. For thirty years, those with world-altering powers – referred to as capes – have been at the forefront of the world’s media. There has been heroes, there has been villains, and there has been world-shattering confrontations when those two groups came into contact. For a time, those individuals walked the world like modern deities. For a time, it was good.

But things change. Given

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How We Judge a Good Game—Part 3

As part of our support for the Choice of Games Contest for Interactive Novels, we will be posting an irregular series of blog posts discussing important design and writing criteria for games. We hope that these can both provide guidance for people participating in the Contest and also help people understand how we think about questions of game design and some best practices. These don’t modify the evaluation criteria for the Contest, and (except as noted) participants are not required to conform to our recommendations–but it’s probably a good idea to listen when judges tell you what they’re looking for.

If these topics interest you, be sure to sign up for our contest mailing list below! We’ll post more of our thoughts on game design Read the rest

The Eagle’s Heir — Defend the heir of Napoleon’s steampunk France

We’re proud to announce that The Eagle’s Heir, the latest in our popular “Choice of Games” line of multiple-choice interactive-fiction games, is now available for Steam, iOS, and Android. It’s 20% off until April 6th!

Defend Napoleon’s heir in this steampunk alternate history game of political maneuvering, airship adventure, and romantic intrigue! Will you bring liberty to France, or plunge Europe into bloody war?

“The Eagle’s Heir” is a 200,000 word interactive novel by Amy Griswold and Jo Graham. It’s entirely text-based, without graphics, or sound effects, and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

Since Napoleon won the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, seventeen years ago, Europe has enjoyed an uneasy peace. While the great empires of Austria, Russia and England have … Read the rest