London Was Stolen by Bats!

Game review of Fallen London by Failbetter Games.

I don’t know how I got here, and I’m not sure if I should regret coming down her in the first place. It started with mere curiosity at the delights of the Neath, before I even know what the Neath is. And now I’m staring at my screen, waiting until the timer strikes zero.

Fallen London is a free-to-play browser RPG of the wall-of-text-full sort. More an interactive book than the game most people are accustomed to, here there be words and choices and stories. And mysteries, intrigues, discoveries. And comedies from the dark side. In Fallen London, you are a person with choices and possibilities. You can be a saviour of Rubber Men. Or a person hungry for profit. Or a poet seeking fame. Or a consort of devils. Choices choices, so many choices.

The basic gameplay is that of pressing buttons. Choose what you want to do, read the things that happen, choose your appropriate responses, and see what happens. Along the way you raise stats, obtain Qualities, collect and trade items. And this is, apparently, what I’ve been searching for my whole life. A roleplaying game where you’re actually role-playing. It has stats and items, but Fallen London is mostly a narrative-based story. It has pictures and lively description, but most of the game develops in your head.

Who are you? What is Fallen London? A whole world for you to figure out, its details given little by little.

And, the darndest thing, it is addicting. And inspiring. The writing is creative and witty, and there’s a great deal many of them. I’m literally sitting in front of my computer, just staring at it waiting for the Action to refill (you need Action to do things. 1 is replenished every 10 minutes, it capped at 10. An annoying system, but understandable). Not really a good thing, the staring and waiting part, but it tell you just how lovely (and lively!), this game is.

Alright, so it’s a bit grindy. To be successful you’ll have to do the same things over and over again to increase your stat. Which cost Action. Which means you’ll have to wait for it to refresh. Getting through the game is slow, but I suppose that works as pacing. It might not do well for the impatient, however. But, it is the sort of game that you’ll keep in an open tab on the side, while you work on something else.

It’s free. It’s fun. And it’s really good. I don’t see why you wouldn’t just click on the link and try it out.


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