Better Off — A fantasy noir story

Better Off is an interactive novella made for interact-if's non-ranked game jam, with the theme 'red herring'. It’s a noir story with a fantasy twist on the prohibition era.

The game is rated 16+ for violence and suggestive content.


You’ve been coming home to an empty apartment every morning for three days now. Roy Bailey isn’t the nicest person in the world, but he’s your partner in crime — literal crime — and your flatmate. Bills are coming up. You have to do something.

You decide to ask an old friend for help. You’ve lost touch with them, but Maria Reyes was always the better person out of your trio, and now investigating is their job. There’s no way they’ll refuse looking into Roy’s disappearance, however reluctant they are to dip their toes in the illegal magical scene.

Or so you think.

Your companion

Detective Maria Reyes used to be your best friend, or rather your only friend, when you were in high school. You went to college together, but when your natural mage status became known, you had to drop out both of college and of their life.

Roy offered you a job, working for Flint, a notorious crime lord and you knew you had to sever all ties with Maria for both your and their sake. As you investigate Roy's disappearance, you have a chance to reconnect with your old friend...


The game is about 50% complete. What's missing: some bonding scenes with your companion, the second investigation branch (interrogating Lonnie), and the different conclusions of the story.

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StatusIn development
Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars
(20 total ratings)
AuthorOscar Arcane
GenreInteractive Fiction
Made withTwine
TagsFantasy, Noir, Romance, Twine
Average sessionA few minutes
InputsKeyboard, Mouse

Development log


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The anachronisms are off-putting.  But, maybe it is supposed to be alt-history.  If so, it wasn't clear to me.


The mages weren't a big enough hint?

Can you romance either Maria or Roy?


You can romance Maria only! At the moment the romantic scenes aren't implemented, but there is some flavor text throughout what is available so far.

Deleted 307 days ago

Thank you so much for the nice compliment! ❤️ 

- Spoilers ahead -

It’s interesting to see people’s perspective on MC! I mean obviously murder is bad, but I still wrote MC as a sympathetic character, even after learning what they did, someone dangerous but who has their reasons (as opposed to Roy who, like you said, turns out to be very nasty lol).

Thank you again and good luck with your writing! 🙂



I did not see that coming. That was cool.


Thanks! Hope you enjoyed the little twist. :)


I really did!

Hey!, I really liked the atmosphere. Really cool stuff.

If you are looking to add some music or some subtle sfx, I would gladly help :)

Thank you! I’ll keep that in mind.

WoW! That's a great story if I ever read one!

Thank you!

No, but can I say I'm love with this story already? 

The overall atmosphere of the game is just enticing and rich. Looking foward to the next updates!


Thank you so much! I hope you'll enjoy it once complete!