As I’m getting nearer and nearer to the point where my FL character will have nothing left to do, I thought I’d try out some of those other games built on Storynexus…
Winterstrike is a relatively small game I just played through in a single sitting. It was written by Sci-Fi author Yoon Ha Lee.
TL, DR: Interesting play-through for a lazy afternoon. Good writing, some mechanical flaws in the second half.
The game is set in a city called Iria which has been "winterstruck" - from one second to another, the whole city has been covered in ice and snow.
As in Sunless Sea, you can choose a past for your character (though that’s more for your headcanon - no in-game effects). Next, you choose an allegiance - there are four factions in Iria: police, scientists, thieves and a gunslinger dueling society (real deaths). I chose the scientists but lost most of my Connected quality midway through, was too lazy to rebuild it and switched to thieves. ;)
You’ll probably spend the longest part of your game in the first (of three) chapters: getting acquainted with the setting and the lore is great. Opportunity cards provide you with enough possibilities to build up rapport with the various factions (scientists seem the hardest to find, though). The writing is very good - very evocative and compelling, I’d like to read more stories set in this world!
After consolidating your allegiance to your favorite faction, you progress to Chapter 2. By now, the other factions are closed to you, meaning you can have four slightly different play-throughs. (You can reset your character at any time during the game)
Here the RNG gets in the way of fun, a little. You keep all the cards from Chapter 1 in your deck - but most of them are now pretty useless. The same happens when you progress to Chapter 3 - by then your deck is so cluttered that you’ll have difficulty finding useful cards. Though in fact you hardly need them anymore now: the end of the story can be unlocked pretty sudden via the "fixed" cards at the bottom of the page. So, it’s up to you how long you actually spend drawing cards in Chapter 2 and 3 - I’m sure there are some I haven’t seen as I was pretty fed up with the RNG by that time.
I’m not sure whether there are different endings available - it didn’t seem that way. Overall, it was an enjoyable experience, slightly marred by a feeling of imbalance within the game - most of the actual gameplay seemed to happen in Chapter 1, and the ending felt slightly hurried. Some interesting bits of lore seemed to go nowhere, but it’s entirely possible that I was just too impatient by the end to wait for the necessary cards to turn up.
Late edit: actually, there seem to be 7 possible endings!
edited by phryne on 1/2/2017