You come to the City with dreams of being a writer. Will you pen a bestseller? Find love and riches? Or starve alone in a garret? A point-and-click game, Adversaria lands players in the publishing world of late-nineteenth-century London, a time of woe and intrigue, of “sellouts” versus “pure artists.” Male and female novelist avatars face bantering dandies and scheming editors on a choose-your-own-adventure-style quest for literary fame. Quirky hand-drawn animations and a score by DJ Spooky set an atmospheric mood as players roam lamp-lit alleys and famous sites, from the British Museum to the docks of the Thames.

At the heart of Adversaria is a “literary machine” filled with real nineteenth-century detective, science-fiction, and gothic short stories. As novelist avatars move through the game, players remix these texts to change gender and setting and create new versions of old stories. Adding to this meta quality, desires for mass popularity that emerged during in the nineteenth century predict today’s social-media concerns. Based on the novel “New Grubb Street,” Adversaria is a game for unconventional gamers.

Adversaria is now available for iPad on Apple’s App store.

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