Rec: Fallen Hero: Rebirth

Title: Fallen Hero: Rebirth
Author: Malin Rydén
Format: Online text-based Choose-Your-Own-Adventure game
Published/Free: Published
Length: 380,000
Status: Complete
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Possible mentions of past abuse, suicide, alcoholism
Link: https://www.choiceofgames.com/user-contributed/fallen-hero-rebirth/
Summary: Become the greatest telepathic villain Los Diablos has ever known! Once you were famous; soon you will be infamous. That is, unless your old friends in the Rangers stop you first. Juggle different identities and preserve your secrets as you build new alliances and try to forget the friendships you’ve left behind.

Review: In terms of interactive fiction, Fallen Hero: Rebirth may be the best one out there. The intricate and seamless writing introduces a world where superheroes are more than simple ‘do-gooders’ and where everything may not be as it seems. The characters you can romance are fully fleshed out and are truly living and breathing in the city that you may very well destroy…

Rec: Sacrifices

Title: Sacrifices
Author: Rachel Lynn
Format: Oneshot
Published/Free: Free
Length: 12,149 words
Status: Complete
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Suicide mention, violence
Link: https://www.fictionpress.com/s/2055356/1/Sacrifices
Summary: Tam has been raised to die. But when death opens new doors, he has to figure out how to live a whole new life.

Review:If characters discovering the world and quiproquos are the kind of things that you truly enjoy, I got you.

Rec: The Stars of the Pack

Title: The Stars of the Pack
Author: N.J. Lysk
Format: Series
Published/Free: Free with coupon code SLASH
Length: 35k book 1 (300k+ series)
Status: Series complete
Rating: Mature-Explicit
Warnings: M/M/M/M/M/M, mpreg, dubcon, heat, instincts, a/b/o, depression, complicated situations with people trying their best and sometimes failing, later books contain some noncon and graphic violence.
Link: https://www.njlysk.com/the-stars-of-the-pack
Summary:
Five alphas.
One omega.
The fate of their pack is in their hands.
But what about the fate of their hearts?

When Ray presents as an omega instead of an alpha, his life changes forever. As a male omega, he’s expected to mate with a select group of alphas and start a pack of his own. 

The five men selected for him are as different as they are keen. And one of them is his best friend, Josh, who Ray was sure could never return his feelings. But now they all must deal with the mating instinct that the power of the Moon brings out in them; and after that… Ray will have bigger problems than a crush. 

Can Ray become the submissive omega his pack needs him to be? Will the alphas understand how hard it is for him, or demand more than he can give?

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7avAz_ds4w

Rec: Last Night in Tokyo

Title: Last Night in Tokyo
Authors: Andrea律 and Kurara
Format: Kinetic visual novel
Published/Free: Name your own price/free
Length: one hour?
Status: complete
Rating: everyone
Warnings: abusive behavior ment
Link: https://andrearitsu.itch.io/last-night-in-tokyo
Summary: Tindra has spent a week in Tokyo with her friend, Emil. Sadly, she didn’t enjoy it as much as Emil hoped. Her last day is her chance to have the time of her life.

Review: It’s probably a good thing I didn’t read the summary given on the download page (which is different from the one above) because there’s not much more than that to it? I like the way it’s been written, but the game is very short and has hence not much of a plot. I feel like the whole game was just character exposition, so it kinda leaves you hanging. The “what do you mean it stops here I want more this is so mean” kind of hanging. Which is why I would play the second part if Tindra’s life was to be made into a game again. All in all, I’m slightly disappointed (probably the kinetic part plays into it, because I’m not used to that), but looking forwards to the team’s next works.

Rec: Can’t A Guy Visit A Friend?

Title: Can’t A Guy Visit A Friend
Author: TheCaliMack
Format: Short Story
Published/Free: Free
Status: Complete
Rating: Teen/Mature (depends)
Warnings: mentions of suicide
Link: AO3 | GayAuthors.org
Summary: Miguel comes to visit his friend Tristan, but notices something is amiss when the man opens his door to him.

Intuition has never failed him before, but it never prepared him for what he’d see.

Review: I’m sharing my own work, but reviews so far mention it as moving and heartbreaking and one of the most emotional writings they have ever read. I felt honored and I thought I’d share it some more with the rest of you.

No one dies. That’s all I’m saying.

Rec: Strings of Fate

Title: Strings of Fate
Author: rez-zie
Format: Webcomic
Published/Free: Free
Length: ~50 pages currently up, will be several hundred by the time it’s finished
Status: WIP
Rating: Everyone
Warnings: Depressed character, illness mention
Link: Tapastic: tapas.io/series/StringsofFatecomic 
Tumblr: stringsoffatecomic.tumblr.com
Summary: STRINGS OF FATE is an angsty story about a naive boy who tries to find his place in the world. His fated path is a long one, where he experiences the joys of first love and adventure, but some aren’t so keen on where it’s taking him.

Stay with him as he unravels the bittersweet truths of the world.

///

This story focuses on a POLY ship! But there will be many twists and turns, seeing as life can throw you in unusual directions.

Review: Very upbeat and gay, so there’s no shortage of fun, but there are hints of disabilities and issues that will greatly impact the series later ! I wanted to give a face to depression and abandonment issues to give the reader something to relate to, but also happy themes like security and friendship. Strings of Fate is an LGBT+ coming of age story that i’ve dedicated well over a year to and i hope that people find comfort it !

Rec: Can’t a Guy Visit a Friend?

Title: Can’t a Guy Visit a Friend?
Author: TheCaliMack
Format: Short Story
Published/Free: Free
Length: 2779 words
Status: Complete
Rating: T
Warnings: Mentions of Attempted Suicide (though not graphic at all)
Link: AO3 link  GayAuthors link
Summary: Miguel comes to visit his friend Tristan, but notices something is amiss when the man opens his door to him.

Intuition has never failed him before, but it never prepared him for what he’d see.

Review: Reviewing my own story seems sort of moot, but the comments and reviews I got from the websites all tell me that my work was quite the tear-jerker. It’s a cathartic piece that is a great blend of sweetness and angst, ending on a heart-warming note. Read and you’ll see what I mean.

Rec: Blossoms Bloom Brightest

Title: Blossoms Bloom Brightest
Author: Reine Works
Format: Visual Novel (Windows/Mac)
Published/Free: Free/Name your own price
Length: 2-3 hours
Status: Complete
Rating: Teen
Warnings: murder, abuse
Link: https://reineworks.itch.io/blossoms-bloom-brightest
Summary: Three strangers are thrust into an unexpected situation together—they awaken only to find themselves on a spaceship called the Blossom.A mysterious journey lies ahead of them; what misadventures will they experience over the next two weeks?

Review: The best aspect of this game is probably the universe. Sadly, most of it isn’t explored since the game is very short. I also felt like the romance was a bit forced at the beginning, but my curiosity kept me playing nonetheless. What bothered me the most in the game was the way jealousy was portrayed. I felt like the author validated (in my eyes already quite extreme) jealousy as a normal, inevitable expression of love and it made me feel uncomfortable. I know this is not an unusual trope in monogamy oriented works, so that might be just fine with you. The designs are neat and the characters are interesting, funny and attaching. Various endings are available (still trying to get one of them, so more warnings might apply). Additional bonuses and a guide can be bought for a few bucks. The game itself is going to be published in October 2017 as a remake under the name ‘Galaxy Girls’, which will be more mature, so if you thrive for more than fluff, maybe wait until then.

Rec: Once on a windswept night

Title: Once on a windswept night
Author: Ebi-hime
Format: Visual Novel (Windows/Mac)
Published/Free: Free
Length: 40k
Status: Complete
Rating: Teen
Warnings: dissociation, death
Link: https://ebihime.itch.io/windswept
Summary: A lost traveller almost gives up hope until they stumble upon a mysterious church.

Review: It’s not a very complicated game, since it’s pretty short, and there aren’t many different graphics. But the designs are cute, the music is perfect and the story is so worth it. Surprising, funny, sweet, full of suspense, original, sometimes tragic. I’ve seen some people complain about the fact that the traveller (who is the player) is being referred to as ‘they’ quite a long time. If being referred to as ‘they’ breaks your immersion, then I guess this is not for you. If you like mysteries or use they for yourself, this might be on the contrary exactly what you’re looking for! The universe of the game is really interesting and well-built in my opinion. The characters might be a bit stereotypical, but it’s nothing too exaggerated. In any case, this game will stay a long time on my mind, and for positive reasons!

Rec: The Viper’s Scheme

Title: The Viper’s Scheme
Author: TheDancingCrow
Format: Novel
Published/Free: Free
Length: 162k so far
Status: WIP
Rating: Mature
Warnings: slavery, rape, abuse
Link: http://archiveofourown.org/works/5540954/chapters/12782114
Summary: Sylves Tevenra is a powerful mage, said to have been born with the ability to subdue humanity’s mortal enemies once and for all. Esares is the demon who was sent to kill him and has been paying the price ever since. And then there is Anereth Laverien, who Esares knows is unkind and treacherous, but who is the only person his master would trust with his treasured slave.

Esares holds the key to his master’s destruction, but he will have to decide whether using it would bring him and his people closer to freedom, or merely turn him into another dangerous man’s pawn.

Review: Came for the power imbalance, stayed for the characters and worldbuilding. Could be your thing if you like hurt/comfort, fantasy and slow paced stories and have an interest in slavefics. You’ll find a lot of focus on the two main characters and the gradual progression of their relationship as well as on the power dynamics, with the main plot (the planned murder of the “Chosen One” Sylves) moving along much more slowly.

Chapters 2&3 where Esares is with Sylves are the darkest (at least of yet) and where the rape warning is especially important. One thing that got me is that at a glance Sylves has many more traits of a good person than Anereth, but his dehumanisation of slaves is where that all falls apart and he reveals himself a villain. Whereas we know Anereth has an ulterior motive for being nice to Esares yet it’s clear he at least approaches him like a person and not (only) a possession. Esares himself has been pushed nearly to breaking point but remains beautifully angry at his predicament and the oppression of his people, and continually struggles with being grateful to Anereth for things he knows shouldn’t elicit gratitude.

An engaging story with nuanced characters and a very slow burn! Be aware it’s a WIP.