Echo Bazaar is a free Internet-based game. You can sign in using your Twitter and Facebook accounts. One thing I like about Echo Bazaar is that it does not spam your social media accounts and does not give you points for recruiting friends. At most, the program will ask to tweet or post once per day to give you a refill on your ‘candle.’
The candle in question represents the amount of actions you may take. This candle refills with time. Once per day, you are able to tweet a story-based message about Fallen London onto Facebook or Twitter to receive a candle refill.
Echo Bazaar: Fallen London takes place in an alternate Victorian London. It’s an interactive role-playing game, reading much like a choose-your-own-adventure novel. The story has a dark feel to it and includes various elements such as social interaction experiences and dreams (or nightmares) which shape your character.
Currency and Clothing
Currency in Fallen London consists primarily of ‘echoes.’ You can achieve these by selling existing items for 100 pence. Like in “World of Warcraft” or “Diablo,” different wearable items provide you with additional benefits (or weaknesses). You can click on the ‘me’ tab to access your current inventory and to view the descriptions and effects of each item. The ‘bazaar’ tab allows you to buy and sell these items.
Story progression is at the center of this game. There are mysteries, clues and subplots to sort out. Generally, you just click on cards to accept certain missions, quests or experiences. Each available opportunity is unlocked due to your previous actions and progressions. You can select them from your story menu.
Fallen London takes place in an alternative Victorian London with gothic and steampunk overtones. It’s recommended for those who like story-based role-playing games (including LARP or live action role-playing), Sherlock Holmes novels and theories about Jack the Ripper.
You operate in this steampunk London world utilizing your qualities: persuasive, shadowy, dangerous and watchful. These qualities wax and wane depending upon your choices. You can also receive rare ‘fate’ points which allow you to purchase additional opportunities and resets (you can, of course, buy these with real currency using your credit card).
Fighting throughout the storyline is somewhat inevitable, though player versus player fighting is limited to those who select it. To participate, I suggest playing the game for a while first. If you aren’t amused, try fighting-but you’ll likely find enough to do with the story alone. To fight, click on the ‘fight’ tab.
Fallen London contains a social component. You may interact with your Facebook and Twitter friends in the game by inviting them along on certain adventures and activities. (This costs an action.) You can also accept invitations from your friends.
The Beauty of Role-Playing
Fallen London captures the true beauty of role-playing: it allows you to take risks and follow your desires without an real consequence. It’s especially wonderful for the curious who shy away from hack-and-slash games, so don’t be deterred by Fallen London if you aren’t the usual role-playing gamer. Fallen London is a casual game and I think it’s easier to grasp than similar games like Farmville and Mafia Wars.
Because the game is web-based, it’s easy to access from most locations. The game is addictive, but limits the amount of time you can spend on it per day if you’re not willing to fork out cash to buy more actions. Your actions per day are limited and your candle refills a bit (one action) every seven minutes. You can tweet or post about your game progress once per day to refill your candle.
Unlike games like Mafia Wars and Farmville, you don’t have to send friend add requests on Facebook to get others to play over at Echo Bazaar. Your participating friends are simply added to your list on the game and you are added to theirs. Having multiple friends in Fallen London doesn’t give you a bonus or advantage above others, it merely gives you the option to interact and achieve items you can get elsewhere in the story progression.
The game is relatively easy to learn on your own because it’s all about your choices and instincts. For an introductory walkthrough, see the Echo Bazaar Wiki.