Ratings and Reviews by Heli N.

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A Pirate's Life for Me, by Skyz_26
Filthy Pirate, June 4, 2024

Hazarding a guess without reading the reviews/comments, solely by inferring to the title, I expected to read a grimdark realistic depiction of the pirate's life or a fantastically adventurous one, yet in no way did I expect to play the role of an incompetent lucky bas**** of a captain, blessed with a competent crew to make up for his flaws 😂


As summed up above, the plot itself is about an incompetent pirate captain with a competent crew (surprisingly realistic depiction of most governments nowadays). The plot starts with an enemy ship being noticed and the choice between fight or flight is presented, which leads to some interesting and very different routes. Recklessness (stupidity) or cowardice are the sure way to your demise, one of them being a direct cause to your crew finally being fed up with you. Death by stupidity, crew mutiny and distrust or foolish "bravery": Take your pick😄

Surprisingly, there is quite a bit of lore in spite of how short the routes feel (talking about the escape route). From caves filled with traps to a dragon and from a forest to a temple, there are death traps galore. As for the "fight" route, well, you either fight like the filthy pirate captain you are and win, or encourage your crew from a safe distance and see where that will get you. But the fighting scenes are quite simplistic and entertaining.

If you are looking for the usual signs of reaching the epilogue as in, having a giant neon sign pointing out "Epilogue", then this ain't it.


Well, I did touch upon the branching a bit, but the main idea is that there is a fair amount of branching for a story of this size. The main branches (who don't intersect at any point)are linked to the very first choices, and further down, they have the next subbranches: Common sense/Coward vs Dumb/Reckless/Filthy pirate.


The captain: The protagonist. When I say he is one lucky bas****, I'm not joking. He seems to be dumber than a rock and an utterly inept captain, as narrated, but still manages to get out of sticky situation in the classic Jack Sparrow style, at least in the "win" routes.
The crew: Annoyed and grumbling with each decision the captain makes, seemingly at the end of their rope. If you wonder why they put up with the dimwit, it's because he manages to pull successful stunts once in a while, which makes them rich. What can you expect from a pirate after all.


The story is narrated through a second-person POV and the writing style is characterized by its witty narration and humorous tone, effectively showing how much the writer loves to make fun of the captain. The descriptions were concise, simplistic and straightforward making it easier and more fun to read.

Unfortunately, the transition between passages didn't feel smooth and there were problems with the pacing being too fast. The story, as it is, feels way too bare-bones for it to be called complete.

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A Prayer for Destruction, by hetero_malk
Heli N.'s Rating:

El Paso, by Will11
Heli N.'s Rating:

The Night Market, by Zinnia Demitasse

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
The wonders of the worlds' nexus, September 2, 2023

This review is about the released version of the Night Market.

1.Concept (10/10)

It's a high-fantasy interactive story set in the Night Market, the nexus of all worlds, where one, usually, can't enter easily without someone having invited them there. The main character however, finds themselves in this very nexus, forcefully pulled, and to make things worse: not remembering a single damn thing about themselves. By the end of this first book, this identity amnesia is over thanks to the help of several important characters, with whom you can build meaningful relationships, be it friendships or romantic ones.

2.Structure (9/10)

Aesthetically pleasing UI, dope-looking logo, good story pacing, interestingly complex characters, plot twists galore and multiple story branches that lead to a cliffhanger ending. What could anyone want more from a game of this genre?

The final version, released just yesterday, has a far better writing flow than before, on the first draft that most fans have read about.

There is one thing to be kept in mind for those players which are used to games having a stat page (stat-heavy IF games): This game doesn't have one. At least not in the traditional sense. You don't have stat bars for the relationships, as they are being tracked as hidden variables, though you will be able to understand your standing with the characters from the way they respond to your choices. But, it's worth noting, that the character sheet does hold the general information about you (the choices the player has made through the diverse list of costumization options).

As shown on the free demo and in the final version, there is a "Notable Achievements" page and a "The Barons" page which tracks which barons of the Night Market you have met.

The worldbuilding is astounding, beautifully shown rather than told by the writer in the form of a codex, by making use of the characters to reveal details of the Night Market, and of events where MC plays a crucial role in. This is what makes the narration engaging.

My sole dislike here would be how a poly route (Milo x Malcolm) and solo route (Belladonna) are being written, with two of the characters in this relationship being for open relationships. Alas, it's my personal dislike towards such relationships, but everyone has their own taste.

It doesn't have noticeable grammar errors nor does it have problems with pacing, but for some it might be a little too fast-paced, if they are a fan of those slice-of-life moments in between the chapters.

Characters (10/10)

As stated before, all the characters are interestingly complex. Not only their personality or their backstory, but the relationships they have created with each other too. So messy! Both their friendships and previous romantic ones, with the latter having been damaged due to the poor decisions one party or the other has taken. Take Gabriel and Belladonna for example, where the desire to protect him, but the cowardice of hurting him directly, led her to doing something that made Gabriel make the decision of distancing from each other, damaging their relationship permanently... or at least until MC arrives, who has the opportunity to help them repair their relationship.

Each and every character has been carefully crafted and written in such a way that they are fiercely independent and faithful to their desires/themselves. Unlike most choice-based games, where every single decision and reaction they make, revolves around pleasing MC, here, even if you are very close to each other, they will respond accordingly if you do or say something they don't like. For each of them, in a romantic relationship, healthy communication is key to everything.

I'd like for my dear Hazel to gain more popularity in the upcoming books though ):

Overall rating: 9.66 (5/5 in IFDB rating scale)

I'd recommend this game to anyone who is a fan of the fantasy genre (it has a free demo available if you want to give it a try) and those who have enjoyed romance games like Wayhaven Chronicles (in spite of my opinion on the third book). You can play the free demo and buy it on steam or itch.io. It's available for Windows, Mac and Android/IOS.

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Magium, by Chris Michael Wilson

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Deadly tournament adventure... or not?, August 31, 2023
by Heli N.
Related reviews: fantasy


"Magium" is an ongoing fantasy RPG text adventure game series, inspired by DnD, written and developed by indie game developer, Chris Michael Wilson. In the game, the player takes the role of a self-proclaimed regular guy, named Barry, who finds himself participating in a mage tournament on the continent of Varathia, pursuing his dream on becoming a mage.


The premise of the game, set in a fantasy medieval seems simple enough, if you rely solely on the oversimplified summary, yet as soon as the third chapter of the first book ends, the plot thickens.

The author has decided to structure the story like this: There will be 5 books as a whole, with each book consisting of 12 chapters. The chapters are released every 4-5 months, depending on the word-count and the branching routes. Here is a quick, non-spoilery summary of each book:

Book 1: Barry's group of unusual, diverse and powerful group is formed in the most unusual circumstances possible, with the exception of Kate. The book is battle-heavy, battles which are used to introduce new characters, both friends and foes of the group. Yet in spite of all this battles, the tournament goals are not announced until the end of of chapter 12, where an Uh-oh atmosphere is set. The group has to meet the king of the city-state like kingdom they are in.

Book 2: Welp! The group has found themselves in a predicament. They have to serve their sentence in the arena, similar to the gladiator arenas of Rome. The only difference is: instead of lions, bears or rhinos, this arena uses manticores, gryphons, ogres and many more fantastic beasts. After managing to pass this hurdle, after a difficult battle and a session of intellectually making fun of one of the sages, the God of Time appears during the time of the prophecy delivery to the group! Either make Barry look like a loser or defy that no-face so-called God!

Book 3: Congrats! Barry has managed to win the approval, alliance and teaching services of a 5000 years old evil elven spirit in exchange for the group's God assassination services. They are constantly insulted, called a circus troupe and overall weaklings-in-the-same-level-to-insects, yet that's but a small price to pay, for the God assassination teaching services of the great Arraka (she has a beef with the gods (≧▽≦). Oh, and remember, Barry is going to the rouge kingdom of Ollendor to wreak havoc (kill the mad king) in exchange for help in achieving the goal to pass the first round of the tournament. Towards the end, the group manages to get it, confront a plot twist and show their growth in skills against one of the increasingly beloved character, Eiden.


Romance is not the focus of this story.

But I have to say that there are romance routes/options in this game too: the main one being Kate (endgame romance with natural progression through the books) and the others being: Rose (her natural beauty is the first thing Barry notices. Acts more mature than Barry),Leila (suffers from mutism since birth. Gets along with Barry fairly fast due to them having similar interests), Melindra (arguably the most similar in character to Barry. You can only have a friends-with-benefits relationship with her).

There's a LOT of lore and worldbuilding which the player has to read and keep in mind, not skip, if they want to solve the mystery of what the Magium is, before reaching chapter 11 of book 3.

The player engages with the story and sees the world through Barry's eyes, getting to feel everything that he feels, making use of the first-person narration. In the first two books, the pacing is just right, though in the third book, things feel a little rushed, especially in the chapters 5 to 8. There are no grammar errors to be reported.

The game's narrative is immersive and does not feel formulaic or cliche. The stakes of the game continue to rise as the story progresses, leading to a satisfying cliffhanger ending of each book, that feels both earned and surprising.


1.The game is downloadable for free on google play store. If you want to unlock book 2 and 3 for free, you can try to complete a number of achievements required, or buy the whole book for less than 2$. There is a dedicated section in the main menu the player can access to check their progress and hints provided from the writer. Credits to him for the hilarious names of those achievements.

2.You will need to make some calculations for the stat points that are granted throughout the books to pass or fail stat checks in different scenes. A failed stat check doesn't always lead to Barry's death. Don't worry! They lead to a major character's death instead :). The stats are part of a stat device Barry owns which enhances his physical, then his aura skills in Book 3, and makes use of the mages' magical energy. The stat device gets a "hard reset" in Book 3, either due to Barry's unrivaled stupidity at that moment, or by Leila's father, who makes the aura stats available. By the end, the stat device is used as a tool for Barry to cast spells like a true mage, albeit in a limited capacity.

3. Several save slots are available for the player to save the game whenever he wishes to, similar to the ones used in dashingdon.

4. You don't want to restart the whole game? There's no problem. There is an option for you to restart from Book 1, 2 or Book 3 specifically.

Replay Value:

Extremely high replay value due to the vast branching routes. You'll have to replay all three books at least 20 times in order to find every single dialogue, text flavor, combat scene available in it, by combining it with the different stat combinations and complete each achievement.

Final thoughts:

I had a blast playing this game! I recommend this game to fantasy and adventure genre fans who like a good challenge and achievement hunting.

Rating: 5/5 in IFDB rating scale

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Sabres of Infinity, by Paul Wang

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Infinity Recruit, August 31, 2023

Sabres of Infinity is the first book of the popular Infinity series, written by Paul Wang and published through Hosted Games. As a reader and a player, you will directly follow and experience the protagonists' first stage of military life, the enlistment and quick adjustment to it (maybe even earning yourself a promotion), right in the middle of an upcoming brutal war of conquest.

Storywise (5/5)

The author is a huge history nerd, for that nobody can have any doubt. He has managed to incorporate all of his knowledge of military history in this series and continues to do so even in his most recent release of the series: Lords of Infinity.

You follow the life of an enlisted soldier who chose to go to the military not for the glory of war, but for a more simple reason: to pay the debts of his baron family. It's interesting reading through it, especially if you choose that he was enlisted at the age of 14, since you can clearly see the metamorphosis of their character when thrust in this brutal war. They can be promoted to a higher rank than Coronet either by buying the title (be careful with the money calculations!) or by merit. You'll be rewarded war medals if you are successful in certain battles.

There are real social issues addressed in the books, but in this one, two stand out: blood purity obsession of the aristocratic families (Banebloods) and the discrimination of the Deathborne. The player can choose how they treat Caius, the Deathborne: to act like all the others or to choose to have a friendly relationship with him. They can also choose the route they want their soldier protagonist to go down to: honorable and merciful or brutal and a vile war criminal (for more information on the lore and characters you can take a look at the dedicated wiki page for the infinity series)

Gameplay (5/5)

You can choose the age of the protagonist at the moment of enlistment (from 14 to late 20s) which will change in some ways how the character interacts with the story in the long run. While you start out less skilled at 14, when the character ages, the one at the late 20's in the Lords of Infinity has reached the age of 40-50, and is feeling the hardships that come with age.

You can also choose where your protagonist comes from which will play a role in the skill stats and later in Lords of Infinity, when the character goes back to their lands.

Pay attention to the stats because they, along with the tactic you choose are what decides the tide of battle and survival of your teammates/squadron! The training scenes are there for a reason: to raise your skill stat/s so take them seriously without skipping them.

Even if you don't understand much of the world, there is a codex and glossary to explain them, don't worry. Along with some sort of history archive where you follow how the war is going.

Lastly, since there IS a currency system in the game, you'll have to be careful with how you spend your money because the main reason the protagonist even accepted to be enlisted, was to help their family with the generational debts. Higher rank means higher salary, yes, yet the title costs a bit too much and they will be on half-pay as long as they aren't fighting.

Choices (5/5)

Every choice matters here. Be mindful of the choices you make or you'll suffer the consequences.

2. Which sort of players would you recommend it to?

I'd recommend this game to history nerds, especially to ones who are military history enthusiasts as the firearms/tactics used are based on real life battles/wars.

Overall Rating: 8/10

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A Mage Reborn, by Adam Alamsyah

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A Mage BBQ, August 31, 2023
by Heli N.
Related reviews: Romance, Choicesript, Fantasy

A Mage Reborn Book 1 is written by Adam Alamsyah and published by Hosted Games, one of the platforms where you can find some of the best choice-based games in the community. As for book 2, it's still in the process of rewriting. With that out of the way, let's continue with the review.

1. How would I rate this game storywise, gamewise and it's choice-based system?

Storywise (5/5)

Differently from what you'd encounter from other HG games, this one starts it's story by making the fate of the mage known from the very beginning. It makes use of the flashbacks the mage is recalling during their stasis state, in order to show to the player how things ended up this way. The romance and friendship moments are very satisfying.

Gamewise (5/5)

From the first flashback, the player is presented with the customary aesthetic customization options along with the magic area proficiency choices in the form of the gift they are given by the good old woman of the inn they are staying in.

While the relationship stats do exist, they don't play as much of a role in the way the other characters interact with the mage, as much as the choices you decide to make during the dialogues between them.

On the other hand, the "Other abilities" and "Magical Abilities" stats, do play a role on the combat scenes and "help scenes" where if you don't meet a certain threshold, some options will not be available for the player to choose. "Other Abilities" stats play a major role on the flashbacks where the mage is in the Parami court, deciding on how the mage is perceived by the other nobles.

Due to the nature of stories of the fantasy genres which include magic, each with their own take on it, there's a "Magical Codex" section which explains, in detail, the magic types/abilities along with the "World History" explaining the lore and worldbuilding.

Choices (4/5)

While there are choices which will increase or decrease the stats, there is a lot of "fake choices" too, of which I'm not fond of.

2. Which sort of players would you recommend it to? Those that have read my reviews, will have an idea of who I'm going to recommend this game to: fantasy genre lovers! I'd also recommend this game to those who seek good romance routes with an angsty ending (you will be reunited in book 2 don't worry).

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Hastings, 1066: Aftermath, by TheWriterInTheDark

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Long live the .... wolf? Martyr, Humiliated dog or Wolf of Freedom, August 31, 2023

A must-play game for history genre (nerds) players.


"Hastings, 1066: Aftermath" is a text-based interactive fiction game that belongs to the historical genre. Written by "TheWriterInTheDark", the story depicts the famous battle of Hastings and what happens afterwards, though it does take liberties in making use of real historical/legendary characters.

Story and Narrative:

One of the most remarkable aspects of the game, is how vivid and alive the battle and it's consequences feel, in spite of the writer using the "2nd person POV". I'm a sucker for the fantasy and historical genre, so it was the perfect choice for me to try next, right after playing "Rouges".

The story makes you play as Aethelwulf (some of the Vikings show fans should recognize his name), one of the nobles fighting for king Harold Godwinson and a good friend of his too. As is historically known, the English side is defeated by king William, Harold dies, and you, Aethelwulf are imprisoned along with your soldiers. When brought in the audience of king William, you have three choices: swear fealty and be humiliated, try to kill the king and die with him or show yourself as the true wolf of England and free the country from the conqueror's chains. If you are not dead, you can enjoy some slice-of-life moments with Aethelwulf's family, exploring Aethelwulf's own personality too.

It's pacing is great, though there are some grammatical errors here and there in the story, I'll have to admit. As for the endings, there are more than 52 endings. So it has a high replay value.

Gameplay Mechanics: Well, it is a branching story, which can be followed clicking the choice/links you want to, but beware of some of them: You can die sometimes. There is a go-back option for you to undo the wrong choice you clicked.

Rating: 9/10

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Clarence Street, 14., by manonamora
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Entre-d’œufs coquilles - An Eggcellent Preparation, by manonamora
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