New Heart's Choice Game! "Scandal Notes"—Glamor, gossip, and love in 1920s London!


We’re proud to announce that Scandal Notes, 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 25% off until Dec 8th!

Find glamor, glitz, gossip, and love! You and your friends are the talk of the town—but will a malicious journalist turn the tables?

Scandal Notes is a 108,000-word interactive romance novel by Evelyn Pryce, 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.

In the heart of London, flappers flap and the 20s roar! For an ambitious novelist like you, there’s inspiration everywhere. The nights are filled with fabulous parties where champagne flows freely and jazz plays in dance halls and smoky clubs. You and your friends—a group of Bright Young Things known as the King’s Road Crew—are at the center of it all, the talk of the town and the top of every society page.

Of course, love is on the horizon. Will you fall for Sybil Warwick, the fashionable and fun-loving star of the silent screen? Or Errol Sharp, the literary critic whose wit matches his name? Or Baron Sidney Norcross, the aristocratic host of the most fabulous parties in town?

But now, the author of the infamous gossip column “Scandal Notes” is starting to comment on secrets that your friends would rather not see the light of day—and secrets that only someone close to you would know. Can you unmask the traitor? Are all of your friends really what they seem?

• Play as a woman novelist in 1920s London
• Keep your friends together through thick and thin.
• Play matchmaker for a lovelorn jazz singer.
• Become a critical literary sensation or an underground pulp hit.
• Find love with a witty book critic, a glamorous actress, or a suave aristocrat.
• Obey the rules of society or throw caution to the wind
• Search out the villain whose nasty gossip columns threaten your friends

Dance the Charleston until dawn, write a novel for the ages, find true love - and above all, keep your name out of “Scandal Notes”!

We hope you enjoy playing Scandal Notes. 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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What a nice surprise! I’ve been excited for this game since I first heard of it, and I’d assumed it wasn’t coming out until next year.

It’s also really good to see how Heart’s Choice has started to thrive this year. Five games and two bonus story collections, if I’m remembering right - and so much good stuff still on the way. :blush:

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Congratulations on the release, the sparkle will liven up a chilly evening!

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Ooh I love me some roaring 20s goodness! I really hope this turns out a little more focused than Jazz Age, which lost its way badly in the latter half. Can’t wait to play! :smiley:

BTW, how spicy is this game?

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One pepper (sweet).

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Oh! This game definitely wasn’t on my radar, but just from reading the bio, I know it’s gonna be something I’m probably gonna enjoy!

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Ah dang it. Oh well. Thanks for answering!

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I would like to see another swing at prohibition era writing, because there’s a whole keg (pun intended) of inspiration one can pull from for a good story.

But that’s a topic for another thread, we’re putting on the ritz in here.

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Hi, I can’t seem to upgrade to ad free for this gamw on Heart’s Choice for some reason.

Edit: It’s working now. xD

Congrats on the release! Always love historical settings in the stories I read. xD

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I’m so excited to hear what you all think of my first game!

Thank you in advance for reading. I had a blast writing this, though at times it was difficult (through a pandemic, natch). I’m really proud of the end product, with many thanks to my long-suffering editor and my fearless beta testers.

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Hi!
I’ve just finished my first playthrough of this game, and even though I’ve never posted on these forums before, I felt I had to for this game. I’ve played many games published under this company before, and I’ve loved them all, but I have to say that this one was definitely one of my favourites out of all of those I’ve ever played.

The setting was so fun, but in particular, I adored the characters. Despite having a pretty large main cast, every character felt real, fleshed out, human and I felt connected to all of them individually. Also, the plot was super compelling and gripping, and without giving away spoilers, truly suprised me at points. I can’t wait to play through again, taking my character in a different direction this time and exploring the characters who I didn’t interact with as much more this time (I want to start it again right now, but I stayed up till 4am to finish this playthrough since it was so exciting, so I need to head off to sleep!).

I just wanted to say thank you so much for creating this game, I enjoyed it so much and can’t wait to play it again <3

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So, I loved almost all of this, but the ending left me cold. Specifically, the romance with Sybill. I took every opportunity to spend time with her, I lead with empathy and benevolence, asked her to be my date to the fancy dress party and ended the game with a 92% relationship with her and what felt like a solid partnership. And then I was given the Wan Solo achievement for making it to the end without a relationship.

Maybe there was a stat check I failed or a decision I made near the end of the game that closed the relationship, but I was never told that had happened. The relationship never ended, and if the game needed an event to occur to tag it as a relationship, that was never made clear to me. I made kind, supportive choices that I felt good about, but ended up with a really unsatisfying conclusion.

It’s frustrating, because I was really enjoying it, but a romance without a HEA feels like a tragedy, which wasn’t what I was hoping for. The writing was very good, the characters distinct and enjoyable. But it left me feeling sad.

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Similar here for me, but with a different character. It seemed to be a certain thing, 92% as well and then, well… Not sure what happened, but I got Wan Solo as well, despite doing my best to not do so, to my knowledge. Just left baffled and a tad sad at the end.

Loved the setting, characters and the whole game, though. Wonderfully written, I think, easy and fun to get into.

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I really enjoyed this game! Easily my favorite in the hearts choice repertoire. I have to say I felt as shocked as the MC did at the end reveal! As someone already mentioned, the characters were so well written that I actually cared about their plights in a way I normally don’t except for the romance option. Speaking of, Sybil’s path was really fun and you really do feel like you get to have this secret romance amongst your friends that is just between the MC and Sybil. The conclusion of her romance left me feeling satisfied in a “happily ever after” kind of way. More than worth the money, I wish I could read it for the first time again! Very well done!

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So sorry to hear – something must have glitched in my coding. Especially sad since the reader below you had the same problem, and I really want you to get your HEAs!

Hopefully we can look into this and fix.

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I very much enjoyed this one! Really fun setting, and I loved the characters; there’s a really great sense of each individual character and also their relationships to each other throughout. Not to mention the very sweet romances! Also appreciated that the skill checks were pretty forgiving!

Weirdly, as someone who generally does not like poly options, I found myself rather disappointed there wasn’t a MC/Errol/Norry route! I mean, dressing up as Mary Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Lord Byron together—such a tease! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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Same here! I think my relationship was in the high 80s rather than the low 90s, but I spent a lot of time with Sybill, she was my date to the fancy dress party, I spent the night with her, and then at the end I got Wan Solo. Bewildering.

Hi all! Thanks for catching that achievement bug! I’ve just done a patch that (I hope!) will take care of it. We’re working on pushing it out now.

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I maybe shouldn’t tell you this, but that was my first instinct too. I can see it and honestly, it would be my canon-run had I written it that way. Errol and Norry as your polycule? Honestly yes please.

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I feel most vexed that I didn’t catch the subtle hint about the identity of the author.

Massive spoilers, don't read if you haven't beaten the game yet

Scandal Notes. Scandal. Notes. Written by Sidney Norcross. I’m so mad. I didn’t catch on to that until the last chapter. And I read whodunnits!

Apart from that, some minor critiques:

  1. The way Errol is written seems pretty heavy-handed towards him being the culprit, just for it to turn out that he’s not. In all honesty, I feel like any one of the King’s Road Crew could have had that same light of suspicion cast upon them, including and especially us, but it seems like the lion’s share was thrown on Errol and everybody else was just kinda… there. Sybil, Ruby and Alma all got nailed by Scandal Notes drama, sure, so it makes sense to rule them out as possibilities because they all got thoroughly wrecked by the article, but that still left well over half the group, including the player, who could have been suspects, if for no other reason than because their respective articles were small, lukewarm things that were annoying but otherwise easy enough to brush off, and instead it was all just sorta heaped unfairly on Errol. I was thinking to myself the whole time how each character had their own suspicious habits that could have easily drawn an accusation - Alma hiding out at the Dragon’s Den, being drugged up and maybe writing up a storm under the influence; Ruby thinking everybody’s issues were so minor and meaningless even as they were actively tearing her friends apart, would fit the bill for a vicious author out to tear down the KRC; Sybil’s lust for attention and praise, and her crippling gambling debts, might be incentive for her to burn her friends at the stake for promise of greater fame and greater coin; Colin’s frustrations about his love life might drive him to lash out unfairly at his friends; Israel, in turn, might be so in love with Colin that he might see our group as miscreants endangering his love life and choose to strike out before we can do any lasting damage to his lover; we, the player character, are “writing a book” by our repeated claims, which is true, but that’s all we tell anybody about it throughout the whole story until it publishes, and how we choose to behave in the meantime could spur suspicions of us on - and it simply never happened. That, I feel, is the plot not being quite as fleshed out as it could have been, but I understand that with only ten chapters to work with, you have to make sacrifices, so I don’t begrudge it too badly.

  2. I always hold fast to the rule that fancier words don’t automatically make a more compelling narrative. That sort of happened here, with me having to stop and parse out the meaning of certain words and sentences because I didn’t immediately catch what was being said, or because it’s a word that I had never heard before in my life (“frippery,” in particular, I thought I was being trolled until I looked that one up). It’s understandable to try and write like it’s a piece of the times, and I encourage that, if an author is capable of pulling it off. But even then, like how too much glitz and glam can overwhelm rather than impress, sometimes smaller, simpler words carry much more of the weight when it comes to setting scenes and building emotion. The narrative was still fine, I would just tweak it a little bit in the future, that’s all.

  3. This one’s gonna be a big ol’ spoiler blob, sorry. Like how it seemed Errol held too much spotlight, the villain of the story ironically didn’t have enough. Depsite being one of three romance options, and the main villain, if you don’t make a point of romancing Norry, you just… don’t learn hardly anything about him. He’s rich. He’s titled. His family has a country estate. He hosts dinner parties. He insists on treating his friends. Errol shares his flat during the Season. That’s it, that’s all we get about him. When it comes out at the very end that he’s the one dunking on everybody with Scandal Notes, it’s so hard out of left field that I, like the rest of the KRC, am left dumbstruck and confused, and not really in the way of, “damn! This guy got me good!”, but more like, “Wait, when did this happen? This guy seemed so straight and narrow up to now, how was I supposed to guess this?” On the one hand, it’s demonstrative of how cool he was able to keep himself up to the very end, that even the narrative didn’t give any hint as to his duplicity, but on the other hand, it makes my character’s detective work feel cheap and superfluous, because at no point in time did it feel like I was latching on to Norry as a suspect. I would’ve written him off wholesale if I hadn’t suddenly picked up on the clue in the initials of both his name and the name of Scandal Notes, and that was a lucky break where my brain decided to turn on and hone in on an otherwise meaningless detail. That’s just how I work, it’s unreasonable to expect everybody to be able to catch that. While him flying under the radar so smoothly would be great in a crime drama where the audience isn’t expected to actually solve the crime, one of the big plot points in this story is finding and stopping the culprit, so having zero clues, apart from the name “Rawlings” which doesn’t show up until the penultimate chapters and a tiny detail that I wouldn’t fault most people for overlooking, to track Norry with until the very, very end of the story is actually counterintuitive to the objective of solving the case. I suppose it could be argued that this is proof of how little the group seems to care about him, as is his stated reason for acting as he did, but on the other hand, even if you shower him with attention, he gives you nothing to work with.

Apart from that, I enjoyed this story. The Heart’s Choice docket is ironically becoming my favorite category to peruse for new games, lately, even though they’re all heavily or strictly romance-focused and I’ve been on record multiple times as not being terribly interested in romance. It’s also good to see that the second of precisely two stories set in this time period went over better, because I still feel bad for how lukewarm Jazz Age turned out to be.

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