Old News – Fallen London

I remember the good old days when I had nothing to do but be in on the ground-breaking days of pointless internet games. One such was Fallen London, a browser-based game that I first played when you could only join through a Twitter account. I stopped playing for a few reasons. One, it got overwhelming–the game had a lot of “qualities” and stats to keep track of, like quests and connections to various factions. It was also really annoying trying to get any decent amount of game currency without teetering off the free-to-play region.

Those problems are still there, but I don’t care as much since I can only “play” once or twice a day. And yes, the word play does deserve air quotes in regards to Fallen London. And really any game that uses the Story Nexus system.

That’s not a bad thing. It’s like interactive fiction, with lots and lots of reading, as “gameplay” is basically reading things called storylets and then taking action based on how you want to play your character and what your strengths are. I’d like to have some kind of way to train skills without wasting a lot of time–in Fallen London you only get ten actions at a time, and a single action takes ten minutes to refresh. But oh well.

The best thing about Fallen London really, is its theming. The language and graphics evoke a very fun world, and although it can get obnoxious when you fail constantly, because you can only build up one or maybe two skills effectively in a short period of time, you really feel like you’re developing a distinct character as you play. Of course, you have to look at the skills and decide where to specialise before this can really happen. If you just try a little bit of everything at once, you’ll probably just get frustrated.

If you like the idea but don’t enjoy the game, there are others. My return to Fallen London also meant the discovery of the Story Nexus. Rather than just make their game available to those without Twitter or Facebook, they developed a sort of… well, it might not be an engine, but that’s what I’ll call it. A kind of game/story engine. Anyone with a Story Nexus account–whether you play Fallen London, Maelstrom, or The Annwn Simulation 1985–can make their own game world.

I haven’t played with that much, but I did tell Hubby about it, and if he takes a look at it, he’ll probably find out all its secrets. :)


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