In the real world, it’s 2027 and disgruntled, lone-wolf data analyst Adam Harker works for a corporation he hates.
In this dystopian future many seek to lose themselves in virtual reality games, but Adam is dead set against playing Darkworlds, designed by mega-corporation Miskatonic Games, until he's tempted by two quite different people for two wholly different reasons.
In the game, it's 1927 and Adam Harker is in London battling against the minions of Cthulhu, but then come hints and suggestions that something else stirs, something wicked and secret, something new, rising up and replicating itself within the code and taking on the form of ageless evil.
Hidden knowledge leads Adam through a series of terrifying revelations as he searches from London to Glastonbury and into the Dreamlands.
Join Adam as he fights to save his friends, and maybe even the world itself, from the horrors that lurk in the game.
Download Darkworlds London for the first episode in this exciting LitRPG world.
My Opinion: 348 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
The cover art for this novel does not do it justice. I’ve read a few LitRG stories that attempt to combine a period piece setting and/or use a Lovecraft theme. This is the best one that I’ve read so far.
The game mechanics aren’t hidden, rather both the reader and player learn about them in the first few pages of the story. Specific stats like health and mana are there but so are Lovecraft game ones like sanity and reputation. Additionally, the story takes a note out of tabletop experiences and part of character creation involves creating a backstory for your character that determines the type of profession the character can have. Trainable skills provide a wide variety of character builds as the characters gain levels and skill points to spend. You can have a priest with healing powers and gun specialization or a Private Eye with a knowledge of ancient artifacts and german. The combos are endless.
Whenever you write in a specific time period your risk losing the interest of anyone not into that time period. Thankfully, there are more than enough supernatural elements in the story to make this feel like a 1920’s London urban fantasy vibe. The Lovecraft elements are there in spades and even bleed into the real life parts of the story.
The real life parts of the story are the least interesting part of the novel but that doesn’t mean they’re boring. That part is set in 2027 London and there are themes of dystopian corporate exploitation as what happens in the game effects real life, including death and loss of sanity.
Overall, a really good story that does a great job incorporating game mechanics into a creepy Lovecraft story.
Score: 7 out of 10