I took a break for about a year and a half from CoG and Hosted games, what are some recent-ish releases that you would recommend to start again?
A Mage Reborn: Book One and The Sword of Rhivenia are two that released not too long ago and I’d defintiely recommend
A Crown of Sorcery and Steel is an excellent fantasy game coming out tomorrow.
The Dragon and the Djinn is a delightful adventure with the flavor of Arabic folklore.
If you’re comfortable with m/m romance, check out Freshman Magic: Spellbooks and Tangled Sheets from Heart’s Choice for an excellent magical-school story. Or try Heart of Battle for an exciting romance in which the PC and the ROs can be whatever gender you prefer.
If you’re a fan of Crème de la Crème, try Noblesse Oblige, which is by the same author and set in the same world.
The Play’s the Thing and Siege of Treboulain are just well-made all around and richly entertaining.
If you have any interest in “Vampire: The Masquerade,” look up the World of Darkness Humble Bundle, which includes all four CoG VtM titles as well as lots of other content for as little as $10.
I second The Play’s the Thing, as well as Siege of Treboulain - I had tons of fun with both of them.
The Golden Rose: Book One is currently my favourite recent release and has a lot of choice variety for varied play-throughs. If you’re interested in romance I would suggest playing as a female character in order to interact with each LI.
The Soul Stone War 2 is another favourite of mine, but that’s due mostly to the secret-route romance with the main villain that I’m a sucker for. And the author narrates in a more comedic way than serious. It’s great to pass the time with.
Another great book is A Mage Reborn! How could I forget that one? The author has already posted the second demo to this site as well, so you’re able to continue the journey. I’m a major fan of putting my loyal and good mc’s through hopeless situations and this story is exactly that. Definitely check it out.
My ultimate favourite is a title currently updated and locked behind a Patreon wall, Shepards of Wayhaven. SoH is a bloody masterpiece that actually brought me back into IF. I could quite literally kiss the knuckles of the author like a kindly gentleman just for blessing my eyes with their craft. It doesn’t focus solely on romance, but there are plenty of LI’s to choose from. What makes this story for me is the rich histories of your team, the deep lore and world-building and your ability to truly dive deep into your own character growth. I just— ugh! 100/10, for real. If you have money to spare, check it out.
Also don’t forget that itch.io exists as well with their own IF titles. Some of which are even from authors who went from here, to there.
Honourable mentions are:
• A Tale of Crowns.
• When Twilight Strikes.
• Superstition season one and two (the first episode for s3 was released yesterday!).
• The Nameless.
• The Kings Hound.
• Throne of Ashes (Ruben’s route is complete).
Seconding the recs for A Mage Reborn and The Sword of Rhivenia! They’re great if you’re looking for fantasy and drama, though Sword of Rhivenia is more on the low fantasy side with lots of court intrigue. For another work in this genre, I also recommend Arcadie Second-Born (recently moved to itchio).
If you’re into romance, some of the recent-ish releases I enjoyed were Heart of Battle and Belle-de-Nuit (genderlocked female). Also, check out Nikola Tesla: War of the Currents if you like alt-history/sci-fi.