Hello from the Magic Tavern is a hilarious improvised fantasy epic in podcast form

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There are a ton of podcasts out there, but finding the right one can be difficult. In our new column Pod Hunters, we cover what we’ve been listening to that we can’t stop thinking about.

During last year’s New York Comic Con, a friend told me that I had to come with him to the live-taping of an improv-comedy podcast. I was … skeptical, but went along, as he explained the premise behind the show, Hello from the Magic Tavern.

Essentially, it’s an epic fantasy story created by Chicago comedian Arnie Niekamp. In it, his character (also named Arnie Niekamp) is getting food at Burger King when he suddenly falls through a portal to a magical world known as Foon. Fortunately, he has his podcasting equipment, and a weak Wi-Fi signal from said…

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16 new science fiction and fantasy books to read this April

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Last month, I picked up The Big Picture: The Fight for the Future of Movies, a new book by Wall Street Journal reporter Ben Fritz. Fritz looks closely at the rise of prestige TV shows like Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad, as well as mega-franchises like Disney’s Star Wars and Marvel properties, and what their existence means for the future of Hollywood. He also traces the downfall of former Sony chairperson Amy Pascal following a massive email leak from the studio, and provides a good look at her approach to acquiring and developing films, as the entire film industry grapples with the growth of streaming services like Netflix and Amazon.

The Big Picture is equal parts fascinating and horrifying — it suggests that even types of films…

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I Kill Giants director Anders Walter on making a likable fantasy with a hateful protagonist

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Originally, it seemed like any film adaptation of Joe Kelly and J.M. Ken Niimura’s 2009 graphic novel I Kill Giants would have to be animated. The book follows a troubled fifth-grader named Barbara who wears animal ears, engages in strange rituals, and dubs herself a giant-hunter. Her strange behavior makes her a pariah at her school, and especially draws the attention of some vicious bullies. But readers can see what the bullies can’t: that Barbara is surrounded by fairies and strange creatures, and that there’s a weird and threatening magic to her world. When she forges an awkward friendship with another young girl, Sophia, she slowly starts to drop her guard. But that proves dangerous to her equilibrium, given what she’s fighting.

D…

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A ‘Warhammer’ AR fantasy card game is coming to PC this year

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Gamers may know Games Workshop's popular tabletop game Warhammer: Age of Sigmar (the fantasy counterpart to Warhammer 40,000) is getting its own card game for PC later this year — and it'll benefit from augmented reality. Warhammer: Age of Sigmar Ch…
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A free anthology collects stories from 2017’s new sci-fi and fantasy writers

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Each year, the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer honors a new writer in the science fiction and fantasy field: an author who has professionally published a short story or novel in the past two years. Last year, Too Like The Lightning author Ada Palmer took home the award.

Last year, author Jake Kerr compiled The Event Horizon 2017 anthology, a massive two-volume, 400,000 word ebook which collected stories from 75 authors. This year’s anthology contains 59 stories, and like last year’s edition, it’s free for the taking in ePub, MOBI, or PDF formats, while you can pick up a print edition for $ 15 on Amazon. Both editions will only be available through July 15th, 2018.

Image: Jake Kerr

In his introduction to…

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Best New iPhone Games: ‘Fighting Fantasy Legends’, ‘Death Coming’, ‘Lost in the Dungeon’ and Loads More

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As I mentioned earlier this morning, this week and the following week are the busiest time of our year with GDC. We’re putting this list together a bit earlier in the day than we usually do, so it’s possible there might be a few games we miss in this roundup. Keep your eyes on our forums for any big releases which will undoubtedly quickly bubble to the top!


 

.projekt

iTunes Description

.projekt is a new minimalistic puzzle from creator of Evo Explores.

.projekt requires you to look at things differently. Playing .projekt is like taking a geometry lessons but in a fun and relaxing way.

Forum Thread: .projekt (by Kyrylo Kuzyk)


 

Casino Resort Slots & Poker

iTunes Description

Life is a gamble, so raise the stakes, take the leap, and roll the dice! Test your wits and fortune on a variety of casino games and build the BEST and BIGGEST resort empire that there is while you’re at it! Compete against players from around the world, and find out who’s the BRIGHTEST and the LUCKIEST!

Forum Thread: Casino Resort (by Animoca Brands)


 

Cat Tower – Idle RPG

iTunes Description

TAP TAP & UPGRADE.
Collect best items and fight!!!

How far can you reach?

Forum Thread: Cat Tower – Idle RPG (by 111%)


 

Cobalt Dungeon

iTunes Description

Welcome to Cobalt Dungeon! This is a turn-based Puzzle Roguelike game, so you can play at whatever speed you’re most comfortable with. As you descend to each floor in the dungeon you will encounter harder and harder monsters to fight. Along the way you’ll find shops where you can save your progress and upgrade your character, bosses which you’ll need to defeat, and a whole lotta procedurally-generated levels to beat. Can you make it to the 21st floor?

Forum Thread: Cobalt Dungeon (by Thomas Hunter)


 

Death Coming

iTunes Description

You Died.
Pure and simple, but death was not the end. You have become an agent of Death: a Reaper. You have the powers of Death, but there are rules in this supernatural afterlife.

The Reaper ends lives, but it cannot control humans directly due to the Free Will Clause. As the Reaper, you must plan and execute your killings by using the environment to your advantage. In the meantime, be wary of Minions of Light, who will try to save humans from their grim fate!

Forum Thread: Death Coming (by Sixjoy)


 

Fighting Fantasy Classics

iTunes Description

Fighting Fantasy gamebooks are epic text-based adventures! Originally published in the 80s, Fighting Fantasy Classics brings these old favourites into a digital format, complete with on-screen dice rolls, Adventure and Encounter Sheets, battle mechanics and more!

Forum Thread: Fighting Fantasy Classics (by Tin Man Games)


 

Hopper

iTunes Description

Hopper is an immersive platformer that is free-to-play with minimal ads & IAPs. There are 40+ intricately designed levels across 4 unique worlds: Blockworld, Clocktower, Cloud Castle & Neon Techno. Each world has it’s own distinct style and challenges for you to crush. Shoot for high scores and collect plenty of coins & gems to unlock new balls .

Forum Thread: Hopper (by Sweet Gaming)


 

Idle Gangsters

iTunes Description

Rise through the ranks of the mafia in this fun, addictive idle incremental match-3 game.

Start out as a low life punk and work your way up through the mafia ranks to Godfather using every manner of lie, trick and scheme possible.

Forum Thread: Idle Gangsters (Mat Hopwood)


 

Keep Combo

iTunes Description

In the year of 2009, A Jump game let mobile phone casual games be popular. Ten yeas past, though hip an hop games seem to be out of date, I still have a fondness for hip and hop games. With this specil affection, I make a game, KEEP COMBO, to pay my respects to all casual games which had touched my heart, also to pay my respects to the palyers and gameplatforms at that time.

Forum Thread: Keep Combo (By cassplay)


 

Keep in Mind: Remastered

iTunes Description

Keep in Mind follows Jonas, a tormented alcoholic whose life is falling apart. One night, he awakens to a shadowy mirror world where beasts lurk and the stars don’t shine. Lost and scared, Jonas must face all those twisted beasts if he ever wishes to return home and learn the truth about his darkness.

Forum Thread: Keep in Mind: Remastered (by Akupara Games)


 

Lost in the Dungeon

iTunes Description

Lost in the Dungeon is a dungeon crawler based on a card system.

The goal of the player is surviving to a series of increasingly hard dungeons thus being rewarded with the loot they need to get stronger and stronger.

Forum Thread: Lost in the Dungeon (by Eggon srls)


 

Master of Eternity

iTunes Description

A galactic war fought by a colorful cast of Pixies, Master of Eternity!

Enlist now to launch into a universe full of endless excitement!

Engaging narrative that explores the backstory of every Pixie, mechanics, equipment and suits that grow more powerful and complex as you progress, and SRPG combat that’s as simple to learn as it is hard to master!

Forum Thread: Master of Eternity (by NEXON)


 

Meteor 60 Seconds!

iTunes Description

Meteor 60 seconds! is a simple, fun, comic-like action game that simulates your life if there were a meteor heading towards Earth and you had 60 seconds to live. Do anything you want to do with your last 60 seconds, even if it’s illegal! What about planting an apple tree?

Forum Thread: Meteor 60 Seconds! (by Avocavo)


 

Monster Chef

iTunes Description

At first look, the world you see may seem to be nothing out of the ordinary. Look beneath the surface however, and you’ll find an unimaginable place filled with strange, dangerous, and delicious creatures.

The Society of Dark Cuisine is an ancient and mysterious organization comprised of brave adventurers willing to explore the unexplored and to taste the untasted. With the help of the mystical Sootsoot, they seek out and capture strange monsters in order to farm their divine ingredients.

Forum Thread: Monster Chef (by Coconut Island Games Limited)


 

Mowy Lawn

iTunes Description

The oh-so-satisfying Mowing game that you just can’t put down!

Welcome to lawnmower heaven – a Garden of Eden where lucky blade-spinners are set free on fields of glorious bushy overgrowth.

Forum Thread: Mowy Lawn (by PlayStack)


 

My Tamagotchi Forever

iTunes Description

Raise your very own Tamagotchi characters, and share your adventures with your friends! Your Tamagotchi character needs your daily care to stay healthy and happy. Keep it well fed, washed, and entertained, then meet other Tamagotchi friends in town for more fun. But don’t forget to put your character to bed!

Explore Tamatown in full AR (Augmented Reality), find your hidden friends and collect treasure and bonuses in the first ever AR-enabled Tamagotchi game!

Forum Thread: My Tamagotchi Forever (by BANDAI NAMCO)


 

Mystery Dungeon: Roguelike RPG

iTunes Description

This is a Roguelike adventure role-playing game which features classic Roguelike elements such as dungeon, questing, building and mining.

Forum Thread: Mystery Dungeon: Roguelike RPG (by ColorfulApp)


 

Pixel Plex

iTunes Description

In Pixel Plex you are in charge of building your Plex however you want!
Invite your friends to join your city, trade resources, and work together to build HUGE
CITY-WIDE projects.

Forum Thread: Pixel Plex (by Toast Mobile)


 

Rooms of Doom

iTunes Description

So you wanna be a hero, save your beloved and do all those zany and crazy things that hero’s do?
Welcome to the rooms of doom a collection of 80+ rooms designed for your doom, actually that’s not quite true;
Yes there are rooms in which your death is most likely unavoidable there are many rooms designed for some seriously fun platforming and puzzling action.

Forum Thread: Rooms of Doom (by Terry Gill)


 

Royal Blade

iTunes Description

Everything’s falling down!
▶▶ SMASH and SHIELD to SURVIVE.

How long can you last?

Forum Thread: Royal Blade (by 111%)


 

Runestone Keeper Final

iTunes Description

Runestone Keeper is a challenging roguelike to roguelite dungeon crawler that blends classic role playing elements and turn-based combat strategy.
Dive into the dungeon roguelite-ness and begin your very own epic adventure! Grab your rucksack, sharpen those dusty swords, step into the dark chamber and fight for glory!

Forum Thread: Runestone Keeper Final (by Cimu Co. Ltd.)


 

Runventure

iTunes Description

JUMP in to the action and EXPLORE mysterious lands in search of TREASURES. Avoid the DANGER, RUN through various locations. JUNGLES, TEMPLES, CASTLES and many other places loaded with deadly traps and hordes of enemies. Use your reflexes to jump over hot lava, or rope swing over piranha pools escape the deadly skeletons and hungry wolves.

Runventure is unique, beautifully designed mobile platformer. The first mobile platformer fully controlled with just one finger – thanks to completely new run-jumping-bar control! Build the team of experienced exploreres, level them up, complete challenges and unlock precious treasures. Now it’s time for adventure, it’s time for Runventure!

Forum Thread: Runventure (by DIGITAL MELODY)


 

Schemata

iTunes Description

Schemata is a fast-paced puzzle game based on digital logic diagrams. Race through logic circuits while organically learning how they work. The game is free with ads and has a $ 2 option to disable them. No other micro-transactions are in the game.

Forum Thread: Schemata (by Friendly Fish Games)


 

Seascapes : Trito’s Adventure

iTunes Description

Make a journey to legendary Greece where Gods and Heroes reign! And help Trito, son of Poseidon, to save his family and the entire underwater kingdom from the intrigues of sly Sea Witch. Wicked sorceress has charmed the Sea God, broke his trident and scattered its fragments across the ocean!

Forum Thread: Seascapes : Trito’s Adventure (by FredBear Games)


 

Siege of Dragonspear

iTunes Description

Experience the Siege of Dragonspear, an epic Baldur’s Gate tale, filled with with intrigue, magic, and monsters. Lead your party of heroes into deep dungeons filled with tactical battles and magical traps in this 30-hour Dungeons & Dragons adventure that expands the Baldur’s Gate saga.

Shortly after the conclusion of Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, we return to the Forgotten Realms caught in a time of strife. A crusade marches from the north, seizing supplies, forcing locals into military service, and disrupting trade along the Sword Coast. A charismatic warrior known as the Shining Lady leads this army, her background shrouded in mystery.

Forum Thread: Siege of Dragonspear (by Overhaul Games)


 

Sushi Tycoon – Idle Game

iTunes Description

Kanpai! Welcome, sushi lovers all over the world, to Sushi Tycoon Clicker! World’s best sushi simulator!

Have you always dreamed of owning a Sushi Restaurant with Michelin 3-star or 5-star? Dreamed about being a sushi chef or a sushi master? Forming your own sushi restaurant chain all over the world in New York, Paris, London and more?

Forum Thread: Sushi Tycoon – Idle Game (by Family Play Pte Ltd)


 

Teenage Crush Love Story Games

iTunes Description

Hello, teenagers! Are you ready for an awesome love story adventure? Are you looking for high school games with high school love storyline? Are you willing to help an attractive heroine win the heart of the boy she likes? Download the brand new game Teenage Crush Love Story Games and create your own love story with the most attractive characters, excellent visuals, and tricky choices. This interactive story presents you with a deciding choice – once you choose your own path, there’s no turning back!

Forum Thread: Teenage Crush Love Story Games (by Midva Games)


 

To The UltraViolet

iTunes Description

You’re Ultra, a little violet square lost in all the colors.
Your goal is to reach the UltraViolet color by passing through 70 unique levels, in one go.

Be careful of the nine dangerous enemy types along the way, each offering a unique challenge!

Forum Thread: To The UltraViolet (by Bryan Schuller)


 

Twos!

iTunes Description

Twos is a puzzle and strategy game requiring quick thinking and efficient use of powerups to keep your board clear and generate higher matches and swipes.

The goal is to match and swipe your way to the Ultimate Goal. A three way swipe involving the highest number in the game. Can you manage to swipe three 2048 tiles? And if you manage it, can you do it quicker and in less moves then anyone else?

Forum Thread: Twos! (by Slyddar Studios)


 

Wiggle Whale

iTunes Description

A simple, but addictive shooting game: Wiggle Whale! Destroy pirates to gear up. Stack more items and become the ultimate whale. Show who’s boss. Rule the ocean!

Something Cool
◆ Collect items to shoot new patterns
◆ Meet ocean friends that will help you
◆ Collect over 20 unique whales (and others)
◆ Mix ’n Match skins to create your own whale(?)
◆ Rank your score on leaderboard

Forum Thread: Wiggle Whale (by 111%)


 

Wizards of Brandel

iTunes Description

You wake up and notice… that your house is gone!

The young wizard Darius loses his house after he fails to make a loan repayment, and ends up living for free in the house of a wanted sorcerer!

He meets a female swordsman who has absolutely no sense of direction, and a young demon girl who shrivels up immediately if she doesn’t drink enough water. Fate decrees that they end up traveling together.

Where will the quarrels over differing principles lead to?

Forum Thread: Wizards of Brandel (by KEMCO/EXE-Create)


 

2 Knights

iTunes Description

Tap to jump and stay alive as long as possible !

Forum Thread: 2 Knights (by Laurent Bakowski)


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Turn-based fantasy dungeon crawler, Rogue Hearts, is available now on iOS and Android

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Seamlessly melding dungeon crawling, turn-based battles, and rogue-lite elements might seem like a tough task, but that’s exactly the kind of experience players can look forward to when playing Ninetail Games’ new Fantasy RPG: Rogue Hearts.

Rogue Hearts seeks to capture the same dungeon crawling greatness popularised by classics like Baldur’s Gate and Diablo, with players traversing from room to room with their party, battling monsters, collecting items, and leveling up along the way.

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Best iPhone Game Updates: ‘Pac-Man’, ‘Zen Pinball’, ‘Final Fantasy Record Keeper’, ‘Gangstar Vegas’, and More

Hello everyone, and welcome to the week! It’s time once again for our look back at the noteworthy updates of the last seven days. It’s a bit of a short list this week as far as interesting updates go, which might be fortunate since I’m sick as a dog at the moment. While I’m a little loopy from my cold medicine, I think I found some interesting game updates to look at. Either that or I found a bunch of pictures of alpacas. Of course, you can keep an eye out for updates yourself using AppShopper or by participating in the TouchArcade forums. This weekly summary is just here to fill you in on the things you might have missed. Let’s dig in!

Sky Gamblers – Infinite Jets, $ 4.99 Alas, poor Sky Gamblers! I knew it, friends; a game of Infinite Jets, of graphics quite fancy. References to ill-fated Danish princes having been done and excised from my system, I can now move on to this rather nice update. It includes 12 new airplanes, 8 new weapons, a new San Francisco mission for the campaign, and some improvements to the multiplayer system based on feedback from players. Oh, and bug fixes. The rest is silence.

FINAL FANTASY Record Keeper, Free Record Keeper has done quite a few cross-overs in its time. One might argue that the game’s very premise is built on game cross-overs. At first, it largely kept within the main Final Fantasy series, which then bled out to side games before giving away to games that barely had any connection at all. Thus, it was really just a matter of time before the game dove right into a cross-over with Square’s other huge worldwide franchise, Kingdom Hearts. Recruit Sora and Riku, battle Ansem and company, get Kingdom Hearts costumes for characters like Cloud and Tyro, and scope out the brand new backgrounds inspired by the Kingdom Hearts games. Everything is Sora, and now so is this game.

Candy Crush Soda Saga, Free Yes, this game is still plugging away with new levels. The update notes rarely say anything specific, and that’s again the case here. So basically, you can look forward to 15 more levels of matching candies and filling the play field with soda. Are there any new gimmicks? Maybe! But maybe not. The only way to find out would be to play through hundreds of levels, and while I would do anything for these articles, I won’t do that. No I won’t… do… that.

Gangstar Vegas, Free Gangstar Vegas sure is a Gangstar game set in Vegas, alright. That means sometimes you win big, and sometimes you lose bigger. That’s Vegas, baby. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. In update terms, that means new cars, new costumes and character customization options, new weapons, and some refinements to the UI. This new version also improves compatibility with newer devices and features. Does anyone have any more Vegas cliches I can trot out? I’m having trouble stretching this paragraph out.

Faily Brakes, Free Apparently, Faily Brakes is two years old now. Was the Flappy Bird craze really that long ago? Probably longer, I guess. I’m not going to look. Anyway, to celebrate this momentous occasion, the game has gotten a pretty nifty update. The hero, whose name is Phil, heads back to the 1980s because we’re not done with that decade yet. What you get is a new level with some secret cars hidden in it, an improved store, and a new Retro Future theme. Don’t worry, though, you can still play on the Classic themes if you want. The brakes may have failed, but the game has done anything but.

Zen Pinball, Free The dinosaurs have arrived in Zen Pinball with its latest update. Three new tables based on the Jurassic Park franchise have been added to the game via IAPs. The first table is based on Jurassic Park and tries to incorporate famous scenes from the film. Next, a table based on Jurassic World, the hit movie that revived the franchise. Finally, an original table called Jurassic Park Pinball Mayhem that is free to just go wild with whatever dinosaur-related shenanigans the good folks at Zen could come up with. I love dinosaurs and I love pinball, so this is an easy choice for this week’s coveted UMMSotW award.

PAC-MAN, Free Pac-Man and Sonic. At one point this might have seemed a monumental meeting, but both of these guys have seen better days. I even saw them slugging it out with each other a few years ago while Mega Man and Diddy Kong just stood there shaking their heads. The hatchet seems buried, however, as SEGA’s speedy mascot is now guest-starring in Pac-Man. Sonic-themed tournaments, a limited time Sonic maze, and more fun stuff await. If you like Sonic, I’d recommend checking it out just for the novelty factor.

Sonic Dash, Free That cross-over isn’t just in one direction, however. Gaming’s original icon has seen fit to visit Sonic’s world, and he has chosen the bafflingly successful original Sonic Dash as his host. Anyway, the usual rules apply here for guest characters. There’s a special reskinned boss, a playable character that is available for a short time, and gobs of stuff to collect if you want to keep that guest character around. It’s interesting that in spite of this game having two newer sequels, it’s this one that keeps getting the interesting new content added to it.

That about wraps it up for last week’s significant updates. I’m sure I’ve missed some, though, so please feel free to comment below and let everyone know if you think something should be mentioned. As usual, major updates will likely get their own news stories throughout this week, and I’ll be back next Monday to summarize and fill in the blanks. Have a great week!

TouchArcade

Tin Man Games Announces the Starting Line-Up for the Upcoming ‘Fighting Fantasy Classics’

A few months ago, Tin Man Games announced the upcoming release of Fighting Fantasy Classics, an app that serves as a sort of hub for Fighting Fantasy gamebook releases. It’s a great idea as it not only puts all of your Fighting Fantasy adventures into one convenient app, it also makes it easier for Tin Man to update the whole line should they need to. When the project was announced, Tin Man expected to release the app in February of 2018. Well, the days are running out on this month, but the good news is that Fighting Fantasy Classics will be coming soon. So soon, in fact, that Tin Man has decided to fill us in on what to expect in the first wave of releases.

If you didn’t read our earlier story about this app, the basic idea is that you download the main app and can then pay to unlock new gamebooks that you want as they are released. You can enjoy one gamebook for free, however. Bloodbones, once known as the lost Fighting Fantasy book due to its cancellation in the original Puffin publishing run, will be ready and waiting for everyone to play at no added cost. Written by Jonathan Green, this one was released before on the App Store by Tin Man and is still available, but hey, ghost pirates aren’t the worst way to tickle the imagination for newcomers.

As we had guessed earlier, a more traditional adaptation of the book that started the whole series back in 1982 will be part of the initial line-up. The Warlock of Firetop Mountain was released a long time ago on the App Store by the previous holders of the Fighting Fantasy license, and Tin Man themselves did a fascinating board game-style version of it themselves early last year. Those who want to have the original in their pockets again can look forward to what is sure to be a faithful mobile version via the Fighting Fantasy Classics app.

Bloodbones isn’t the only returnee from Tin Man’s older Fighting Fantasy releases. The Forest of Doom, Island of the Lizard King, and Caverns of the Snow Witch aren’t new to iOS gamers, but they’re putting on their newest coats and hats to join the Fighting Fantasy Classics. All three of these games were among the initial releases in the book series as well, so it’s only fitting that they are following a similar pattern here. They’re tough challenges from one of the series creators, Ian Livingstone, so you’d best hope for a lucky roll of the dice or ten if you take these ones on.

But what if you’re a dedicated Tin Man fan? What other new releases are waiting for you apart from Warlock? Worry not, friends. Tin Man has you covered with much-requested mobile conversions of Steve Jackson’s The Citadel of Chaos and Ian Livingstone’s City of Thieves. These are both stone-cold classics that are beloved by many a fan of Fighting Fantasy, and it will be great to have them among the rest of the games in the app.

This is just the starting wave, of course. Tin Man will be following up with a second wave later in the year that will likely fill in a few of the missing holes that some of you may be wondering about. This initial bunch should keep gamebook fans busy until the next lot comes around, though. We’ll have more information on Fighting Fantasy Classics, including pricing and a more firm release date, when we get it from Tin Man. It shouldn’t be too far off now.

 

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Imaginary Worlds is the slick, deep-dive podcast sci-fi and fantasy fans need to hear

There are a ton of podcasts out there, but finding the right one can be difficult. In our new column Pod Hunters, we cover what we’ve been listening to that we can’t stop thinking about.

A couple of months ago, the members of my science fiction writer’s group were talking about podcasts, and one suggested a show that we had to listen to: Imaginary Worlds. After discovering and listening to an episode, she went and binge-listened to the entire run up to that point, sucked in by its deep dives into science fiction and fantasy culture.

Imaginary Worlds is a podcast that takes a deep dive into the world of science fiction and fantasy — both the people who create them and the fictional universes they design. Creator Eric Molinsky covers a…

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