Blood & Laurels

by Emily Short profile


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Number of Ratings: 6
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1-6 of 6

- TheAncientOne, August 6, 2017

- doppioslash (UK), October 11, 2015

- Juhana, March 8, 2015


The tale here is one of choosing how to act in the face of an unalterable destiny, and not one of how actions can come to affect oneself, and othersóat least not in ways beyond, you know, blushing profusely, or being poisoned. Blood & Laurels is a cunning bit of Ancient Roman pulp, with a few fair things to say about notions of power and responsibility, though with little follow-through. Rather, the greatest theme here is fate, that of both Marcus and, by extension, the reader.

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Itís an interesting direction to take interactive fiction in, ensuring that one feels more in control than simply choosing from two arbitrary options. At times itís a little staid given the visuals are very much focused on text with a small mixture of illustrations included, but for avid readers thatís hardly going to be a problem.

In terms of sheer content, Blood & Laurels easily feels worth the asking price for those keen to explore a slightly different world than what interactive fiction ordinarily offers.

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The future of reading is in ancient Rome. Blood & Laurels is an interactive storybook written by Emily Short that uses the Versu platform, which allows it to go far beyond the branching decision tree of Choose Your Own Adventure books. Play as Marcus, patron poet of Artus. Move through an immense world by making constant dynamic choices, which allow you to exchange dialogue, shoot subtle body language cues at other characters, observe the settings around you, and even eat the olives laid out on a banquet table. It's an incredibly rich experience, and I'm told a single playthrough will result in less than 20% of the available storyline being revealed.

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