"Heart of Battle"—Battle for love as a gladiator!


We’re proud to announce that Heart of Battle, the latest in our “Heart’s Choice” line of multiple-choice interactive romance novels, is now available for iOS and Android in the “Heart’s Choice” app. You can also download it on Steam, or enjoy it on our website.

It’s 33% off until August 18th!

Battle for love as a gladiator in this epic romance of swords and sandals!

Heart of Battle is a 255,000-word interactive gladiator romance by Fay Ikin, where your choices control the story. It’s entirely text-based—without graphics or sound effects—and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

As a prisoner of Coritan City, you had two options: rot in a dungeon or battle in the gladiatorial arena. You chose to fight—and as a star gladiator, you have the power to sway public opinion as nobody else does.

The city is divided, ruled by the glittering Illustrious who use their wealth and status to maintain their power over the struggling masses. A lucky few have access to magic as well: it can be used to heal, but it can also be used as a weapon, or to reinforce the bars of prisons.

Below them, rumors of revolution simmer—and nowhere more strongly than among the gladiators. Former soldiers, political prisoners, and prisoners of war now bide their time, plotting to rise up. Some just hope to escape to their own freedom; others want to bring down the entire oppressive system. Yet others seek to work within the hierarchy, currying favor among the Illustrious in the hopes of having their freedom bought by a wealthy patron.

In this treacherous web of alliances that you must navigate, the one certainty is your own heart. Will you find love with a gentle healer, haunted by a tragic past? A wealthy patron who could promise you a life of luxury? Or even one of your fellow gladiators, whose muscles and martial skill you admire through every battle: a fervent ex-revolutionary now condemned to the same servitude as you, or a bold daring warrior who seeks fame and glory.

What skills will you bring to the battlefield: domineering strength, agile cunning or force of personality? Will you accept your fate and build a reputation as a respectable, honorable fighter, relying on the aristocrats to free you? Or will you throw in with the rebels? Victory can mean a better life for you and your beloved—but what will you do if you find yourself on the opposite side of a gladiatorial match from the one you love? Or on the opposite side of a revolution?

  • Play as male, female, or non-binary; trans or cis; gay, straight, bi, demisexual, asexual, or aromantic.
  • Romance a gentle healer; a glory-hound gladiator; a wealthy patron; or an ex-revolutionary.
  • Choose your weapon: fight with sword, mace, bow, daggers, or bladed gauntlet.
  • Negotiate your way through relationships with your superiors, walk the balance of power between gladiators and guards, and clash with a bitter rival.
  • Win battles with honor, or scheme and cheat to take down your enemies.
  • Incite a riot—or even a revolution!
We hope you enjoy playing Heart of Battle. We encourage you to tell your friends about it, and recommend the game on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and other sites. Don’t forget: our initial download rate determines our ranking on the App Store. The more times you download in the first week, the better our games will rank.
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Congrats on the release @FayI

I am happy to be able to play the entire game in full.

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Have fun, everybody!

While I didn’t end up making a specific Heart of Battle playlist to listen to while writing (unlike with Asteroid Run), this album holds a special place in my heart as Unofficial Soundtrack!

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Happy day! I hope you will celebrate tonight or this weekend.

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Oh, I’ve been looking forward to this!

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Congrats on the release! Getting to beta test this story was an absolute joy, and I’m excited for others to get to experience it for the first time.

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Congratulations on the release! Looking forward to playing this again over the weekend. And being bros with Remi and Eryx xD

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I’m almost as excited to hear what everyone thinks about this story and these characters as I am to add this game to my permanent collection.

Heart of Battle may not be my single favorite Heart’s Choice game - it’s a three-way tie with A Player’s Heart and Freshman Magic - but it’s already the one I’ve recommended most, and the one I think has the most potential to appeal to readers who don’t normally go for romance novels.

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Alright, let me preface this by saying I actually quite enjoyed the story. The characters all feel very different from each other, which can be a real issue with romance based games and I enjoyed the setting and world building quite a lot.

My main criticism is that this is player-sexual focused design at its worst. I’m on record as being for games that have all love interests be potentially available to the MC, but in this instance it feels very artificial, almost to the point of the MC being a bit of a Mary Sue. I just finished my first playthrough as a captured prisoner of war. I was forceful and independent and, whenever possible I tried to stay out of the politics and interpersonal drama that seemed to be occurring (look, I know its a romance game, this just felt the realest reaction for the first playthrough, I’ll game the system on subsequent playthroughs). Despite my taciturn nature, and general ruthlessness and open contempt for pretty much everyone, I still found all the characters practically throwing themselves at me. Even when I constantly rejected them to only pursue one LI it seemed everyone was way too nice to me, intimating how special I was and how different to the normal fighters I was.

I think a big chunk of the problem is the difference in tone between the setting (a ruthless arena where criminals and scum are forced to fight to the death) and the actions of the characters in that setting. It seems like, apart from a few villain characters, the author wants all of the characters to be likeable to everyone, despite their participation in a system that is personally harming the MC.

Once again, in the end I did enjoy the story, and perhaps playing a different type of character will have me feel less of that cognitive dissonance. I do recommend people pick it up and try it.

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Looking forward to playing this! Question to those who already played: does ROs gender change with MC sexual preference or are they of a set gender?

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You pick their gender :slight_smile: I don’t remember if there was a sexuality choice.

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There’s a conversation with Eryx where you define your sexuality (demisexual, asexual, or allosexual). I think there’s also an aromantic option?

Oh yeah I forgot to add, the characters are fine with having a non-sexual relationship with you, but Eryx has specific boundaries about having sex with other people.

Unfortunately no, Petra is monogamous and if I remember correctly Ferrado doesn’t want to get between MC/Remi/Eryx. It’s not a harem romance, haha.

The poly relationships you can pursue are Eryx/Remi, Eryx/Ferrado, and Remi/Ferrado.

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At the beginning of the game, you get to decide. You can either choose one gender for all the ROs, or you can have all the RO genders randomized, or you can decide at the time you first meet each RO what gender you want them to be.

You never specify the PC’s sexual or romantic orientation, although you do get to decide if you experience sexual or romantic attraction. For the most part the ROs aren’t given a defined orientation; they’re all interested in the PC no matter what, and those that are open to poly relationships are willing to accept a third partner of any gender. Eryx is canonically pansexual.

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I think it’s fair to say that this kind of thing is very much up to player taste, and it’s totally fair that it’s not to yours.

I’ve had some pretty frustrating experiences in games where I’ve been locked out of the vibe I want because of a genderlocked romance. (Things like: I want to romance X, but they’ll only go for Y, and I don’t like the voice acting for that gender.)

Romance novels to me should have an element of wish fulfillment, so I would never have a gender-changeable MC where not all romances are available in one run. I don’t want people to have to worry about accidentally locking themselves out of a path, and it’s too branchy besides!

However, it was only when looking back that I realised that I’d enjoy including more exploration of what that NPC’s gender identity and sexuality means to them within the construct of having all MC genders able to romance all NPC genders. That’s definitely something I’m bringing forward into my next project.

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maybe it’s a bit of a weird question but can MC be polyromantic/in a poly romance with all four? xD ((sorry, it’s only because I love all of them xD))
I really love the game, it’s really satisfying to help and nuture friendships and relationships.

My issue isn’t with gender. My issue is that it seems (I say seems because I haven’t played a huge amount yet so it could shake out differently) that the PERSONALITY of the MC doesn’t matter. Highly vicious and eager to kill every opponent in the arena? Gentle Petra still wants you to be their one true love. A highly efficient and reserved person? The flashy and high maintenance Eryx will still throw themselves at you.

In reality, sure people fall in love with different types of people all the time, but in the context of a game it makes it seem as if your chosen personality doesn’t matter.

EDIT: You are correct that it is very much a personal preference kind of thing.

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awww, I really hoped for something like that lol
thank you so much for the information :smiley: that only means I need to play the game a few times to get all the endings punches air I can do that xD

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No, Petra is monogamous.

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Wait… Remi/Ferrado is a viable poly option?! Bless you for letting us know! I was torn between these two so I’m thrilled this is possible. Now I know what endgame I want to pursue for my first playthrough tomorrow. :relaxed: I can’t wait, playing the demo alone was heaps of fun.

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You’re welcome! It’s a bit of a late-game thing, but it was a really nice route, especially knowing the history between Remi and Ferrado.

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