Windhammer Prize 2015: Instrument of the Gods (SA)

The 2015 Windhammer Prize is now running, which means you can download and play any of the 16 PDF gamebooks entered; if you play a reasonable number of them, you may also judge the competition by submitting a list of your top three favorites. (Full details are at the judging site.)

(Disclosure: the following review is the result of a trade. SA asked me to review their work, and I agreed, if SA would in turn review a currently-running IF Comp game. SA responded with a review of the gamebook-like Kane County, which I will also post on this blog.)


Instrument of the Gods is set in a post-apocalyptic version of the Parisian sewers, which — thanks to five hundred years of nuclear winter — have become one of the few outposts of human survival. The first action you take in the story is to glance at your own reflection in a pool of urine, which does somewhat set the tone for what follows. Though you have your choice of character profiles, they are all variations of hitman or hired gun, willing to do more or less whatever is necessary in order to put together some money. One of them is a serial killer whose impulse to kill you cannot control, but the others are not exactly saints either. Their environment, meanwhile, is full of brothels, violence, and dealers in weaponry.

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