Impossible, she thinks, but she has to be sure. Margot moves to the door and peers out into the raging blackness. Sheets of rain rattle hard against the windshield. She thinks she sees someone out there for a moment before a wave crashes over the ship. She cups her hands around her face and presses her nose against the cold glass. A flash of lightning illuminates the deck, and she can see the man clearly. He is someone Margot saw die.
A World on the Brink of War
The year is 1936. The Golden Gate Bridge is under construction, Hitler's Third Reich is hosting the Olympics, and The Great Depression strangles the world economy. Another Great War approaches. And amidst all this, an unlucky few souls stumble into a web of dark secrets that they must unravel before it's too late.
A Multiplayer Interactive Fiction Series
Harrowing Adventures is a cooperative, multiplayer, interactive novel and role-playing game for mobile platforms in the style of the pulp serials of the 1930's and 1940's. The game borrows elements of both interactive fiction and role-playing games. Harrowing Adventures is both a novel and a game.
Each player chooses one of three characters and decides on that character's actions as the story develops. The story you experience will change depending on what your friends do. You work together cooperatively with your friends to save the world... and each other. In Harrowing Adventures, you either fail or succeed as a team!
Fists, Wisdom, or Savvy
Which hero will you choose?
• Frank Valentine, a tough-as-nails private eye who is dragged inexorably down a bloody trail of clues
• Arthur Lloyd Burroughs, a renowned archaeologist solving a historical puzzle with unfathomable ramifications
• Margot Wyrd, an astute journalist whose budding career hinges on cracking the biggest story in history
Guide your hero through a fast-paced adventure. The beginning of the story, your available decisions throughout, and even the tone of the story depends on who you choose. Each character has a unique perspective during their joint adventure.
A New Experience Every Time
The game adapts intelligently to your decisions. Like a great tabletop GM, Harrowing Adventures responds to your style of play and then provides you with even more ways to direct the story just where you want it to go.
Character reactions and the situations you encounter will change from game to game. In one game, the heavy you're trailing might hop in a car, causing you to flag down a cab to give chase. In the next game, the thug may instead decide drop into an open manhole and lead you on a dark and winding hunt through the sewers.
Harrowing Adventures is highly replayable, offering you a uniquely exciting adventure each time you play.
Immersive Serial Adventures
Harrowing Adventures transports you to another time and place, the era of the pulp novels. Meticulously-researched and period-appropriate lingo, maps, prices, and news headlines put you right in 1936.
Harrowing Adventures is also a sophisticated tale of intrigue. The mysteries and puzzles in the story have roots in real mythology, linguistics, and archaeology.
True to the 1930's serials, the adventures continue through several installments, each ending with a cliffhanger that will leave you anticipating the next episode. Furthermore, your hero develops and grows from episode-to-episode carrying you through an epic adventure.
The pulps earned their name from the cheap "wood pulp" paper they were printed on. Serialized pulp novels originated in the early 20th century with authors like Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, Raymond Chandler, and others. The plots of pulp fiction often feature a gritty hero on a globe-hopping adventure racing to solve a mystery and stop an evil mastermind.
Franchises such as Star Wars and Indiana Jones were inspired by the pulps as were the original comic book superheroes like Batman and Superman. Hard-boiled detective stories, film noir, games that use the Lovecraft Mythos, like Call of Cthulhu and Eldritch Horror, are all products of pulp fiction.
Harrowing Adventures taps directly into the spirit of those original pulp adventures. If you enjoy that kind of storytelling, Harrowing Adventures is right up your alley.
A Role-Playing Game at its Core
A tabletop role-playing game (RPG) is a form of cooperative storytelling in which each player decides the dialog and actions for one character. An extra player serves as the "Gamemaster" (GM) and the GM describes the setting, sets the challenges, and takes on the roles of all the supporting characters that the players encounter.
In Harrowing Adventures, the computer takes on the duties of the GM. And like other RPGs, Harrowing Adventures has an underlying set of rules that, combined with virtual dice, help determine the outcomes of events in the story. The random component adds another layer to change the adventure each time you play.
You can dive into your character's stats or you can just read and make decisions and not worry about the inner mechanics of the game. Harrowing Adventures has different modes that can be adjusted on the fly: story, game, and hybrid modes. Each gives you access to all of the story's possible outcomes, but you can "turn the dial" to choose how much you want it to feel like a more traditional RPG and how much you want it to feel like an interactive novel.
Interactive fiction has existed in many incarnations from gamebooks like Choose Your Own Adventure, Lone Wolf, Fighting Fantasy, and Give Yourself Goosebumps, to computer text-parsing games like Zork, Galatea, and multi-user dungeons (MUDs). While Harrowing Adventures embraces the nostalgia of those games, we at 4th Wall Games are expanding the boundaries of the format with new approaches and innovative software to deliver a more immersive, interactive, and dynamic experience.
Episodes of Harrowing Adventures are due to begin release in 2018 for Apple and Android devices, and a demo of the single-player prologue will be up on the website soon. Stay informed on its progress by signing up for our mailing list.