In this interactive story, you play the mercenary Sardak, who suddenly gets caught up in the ancient war between the kingdoms of Rivaan and Morghul. The future of the kingdom depends on your courage, your wisdom and above all on your decisions.
Your mission will first take you to the tranquil village of Stoneville, near which there is a monastery of the mysterious order and which is plagued by bandits. But soon it turns out that not everything is as simple as it seems, and that some answers lie hidden far deeper in the past. And so begins not only a long journey, but also an adventurous and hilarious story for you.
You will meet friends and enemies, you will solve puzzles and fight battles, and you will discover secrets from ancient times. Quite a lot for one hero alone? It’s a good thing that you won’t have to go through this adventure alone. Because you will have a faithful companion by your side, who will encourage you in your decisions and help you through difficult times. You will love her! Well, or not. Maybe she will just drive you crazy!
Iron Falcon is an interactive story suitable for both beginners and fans of classic gamebooks. The gameplay is easy to learn and offers many plot options as well as entertaining features such as random encounters, hidden plot options, puzzles and long-term decisions that affect later events. This creates a great incentive to play the story multiple times and, together with an exciting storyline, many laughs and surprising elements, makes for a lively game world. You’ll thus be able to play the free interactive story multiple times to learn about other events or experience a different ending.
Iron Falcon has a playing time of 60 to 70 minutes and a total of over 90 audio minutes. You can play the interactive story as an Alexa Skill or as Google Action via voice control. The texts are written pictorially and vividly, and audiobook narrator and actor Michael Che Koch has skillfully set the scenes and dialogues atmospherically, so that you quickly fall into the maelstrom of this epic fantasy world.
“This game was engaging, exciting, fun and very entertaining!!! Very much looking forward to more of this!”
“I rarely write reviews but here I just have to give kudos, the adventure is terrific and entertaining! Thank you so much for this.”
“Really good game. Can’t stop playing at all. I hope there will be a sequel to the clay dove soon.”
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Tips and tricks (attention spoilers!)
You find the beginning too slow?
Then you should definitely play until the point where you can choose your weapon. Just let yourself be surprised by the twist of the story.
The solution to the sound puzzle in the dungeon cell
There are several ways out of the dungeon cell. One of them is the secret passage that you can discover in the wall. At the end of it you will reach a sound puzzle, the solution of which has three correct combinations:
- Left, Right, Center.
- Center, Left, Right.
- Right, left, center.
The shortest way to the throne room
Especially for replayers, a shortcut in the prequel can be interesting. If you want to get to the king the fastest way, you should simply “wait” in the dungeon cell and then plead “innocent” to Erendil.
The shortest way through the labyrinth
Okay, the shortest way through the labyrinth is, of course, to take the “shortcut”. But if you still want to venture into the dark caverns, this solution will get you there the fastest.
- East, South, South, West, South, East, South
- West, South, South, East, South, East, South
There are also two other, slightly longer paths that lead out of the maze. Originally, there was only one correct and much more complicated path. But after the first hints from players that the maze was just too auditory complex, we simplified it accordingly.
Winning the final battle
The battle against Granor takes place according to the rock-paper-scissors principle. In the game, you get up to three clues to defeat him:
- When Granor lowers his sword, don’t attack, but dodge and quickly take a step back!
- If Granor lunges from above, it’s just a feint. Then just attack right away!
- When Granor backs away, aim for his right leg!
Easter Eggs (Attention spoilers!)
You get the first bump when you “offend” the three bounty hunters at the beginning. If you “wait” in the dungeon cell afterwards and then “force your way free”, you will receive another bump. The number of bumps leads to correspondingly different reactions of the king in the throne room to the sight of the hero.
The rat hole
If you pay close attention when you wake up in the dungeon cell, you will get the hidden clue that there is a rat hole in the dungeon cell. This option is not offered to you in the next scene, where you can choose whether to examine the wall, the door or the window, but you can still choose it by saying “corner”, “rat” or “rat hole”. Afterwards, you are rewarded for your efforts with some background knowledge about the legendary sword Angarosh.
The stone at the window
When you examine the window in the dungeon cell, a stone breaks out of the wall and falls down. This stone slays the captain of the guard passing in front of the walls, which makes the king suspect later in the throne room that the kingdom of Morghul has made an attempt on his life.
The sword in the stone
Whoever – against all advice – tries to pull the sword out of the stone, not only disgraces himself in front of the king and his court, but also triggers a small special event at the harbor. Yes, so much ignorance must be rewarded accordingly.
The man in the river
Whoever tries to throw the branch to the man in the river must realize that a throw can be a matter of luck. Whether and how successful the throw is, is decided by chance.
First place in the Amazon Alexa Games Skill Challenge 2018.
The Iron Falcon was written to participate in the Amazon Alexa Games Skill Challenge 2018. And with considerable success, after all, the interactive story convinced the Amazon Alexa jury and reached the first place!
Of panic and night shifts
What we didn’t mention in the interview about our interactive story as an Alexa Skill, however, was the night and fog actions that dragged on for several weeks and were necessary to complete the decision story on time.
The escapades with the technology and the recording studio alone were an experience in themselves. Amazon only allowed 90 seconds of text between a user’s decisions when using audio files at the time.
However, the fact that our story tool sometimes had several text fields hanging in a row, which were then output as one audio file, meant that the total length of the files produced by the sound studio was 90.1 to 93.4 seconds in many places.
We only noticed this the night before the submission deadline. Nothing helped, with dozens of energy drinks and a panicky night shift, almost all files had to be shortened manually or the speed increased.
And testing the story, which consisted of over 150 text fields, was an experience in itself. Well, it was worth it in the end!
Of course, the first place made up for all our efforts, and we’ll gladly keep the turbulent phase in our memories!
A tribute to the books and games of our youth
Those who remember the Lone Wolf game books by Joe Denver will immediately notice that The Iron Falcon is a tongue-in-cheek tribute to those game books that gave us so much fun in our youth. There is, for example, the raid on the caravanserai at the beginning, which the hero is the only one to survive, the mysterious order of warrior monks, and also the two hostile kingdoms.
The humor and breaking the fourth wall are borrowed from great text adventures like Monkey Island and Kings Quest, both of which are just delightfully stupid. You should definitely have played them!
Of sarcasm and irony (warning spoilers!)
During the triumphal processions, the laurel-wreathed generals of Rome were assisted by a slave who whispered in their ears to remind them that they were mortal.
Well, on your journey to heroism and immortal glory, in the Iron Falcon you have Alexa at your side, who sarcastically comments on your every decision, constantly tries to throw you into misfortune with useless and confusing tips, and likes to remind you that you are just a fool.
How to come up with such an idea? Not at all, you have to have experienced it yourself. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the real-life person who, during an award ceremony, laid the basic idea for Iron Falcon with her half-whispered “Embarrassing, embarrassing, embarrassing” comment and a superior grin to go with it.