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A writer, dying alone...

A base at the end of the world, sinking deep into ice...

A digital ghost lost in a labyrinth of shifting stories...

The Ice-Bound Concordance is an award-winning interactive narrative game where story pieces are as fluid as building blocks, and where endings are discovered with the help of a physical printed art book, The Ice-Bound Compendium.

Shape stories. Find secrets. Descend.

“[I]nteractive fiction's gone some daring places in the last few years... [this] is one of the most ambitious projects I've seen.”   —Rock Paper Shotgun

“An unmissable narrative game... brilliant... fascinating.”   —EuroGamer

“...pushes the limit of what's interactive in interactive fiction.”   —PocketGamer

You'll need both the Compendium and The Concordance to complete the story!


buy the book

Animation showing pages flipping from the Ice-Bound Compendium book

A gorgeous 80-page full color book of strange transmissions, unsettling lacuna and mystifying desideratum. You’ll need it to unravel the story of KRIS’s past, revealed through augmented reality.

The Ice-Bound Compendium

get the game

The Ice-Bound Concordance game is available for iPad The Ice-Bound Concordance game is available for Windows PCs with webcams.
Animation showing maps as stories in the Ice-Bound Concordance.

Download the free game to start your journey. Our combinatorial narrative system allows your decisions to sculpt the game’s story, from thematic content down to even word choice.

The Ice-Bound Concordance

The Story

Kristopher Holmquist died an unknown, struggling to write stories in an unheated New York apartment. But years later, his work was discovered, gradually becoming incredibly popular. With millions of fans wondering how his final, unfinished novel would have ended, a clever publisher commissions an artificial intelligence "simulacrum" of Holmquist, called KRIS, to find out.

Holmquist's unfinished book—a novel called Ice-Bound—centers around a remote polar research base, eternally sinking into ice. With successive owners over years and decades building fresh new layers on top, the station became a vertical labyrinth of forgotten histories. Each level (and each chapter) moves farther back in time, deeper into the ice.

Who were the people who lived here? What stories lie buried beneath them? And what's at the bottom, the deepest level down: the enigmatic foundations of Carina Station?

The Book

The Ice-Bound Compendium is a full-color 80-page art book filled with Kris Holmquist's personal files, unfinished chapters and alternate drafts, collages of research, and strange, distorted transmissions. When viewed through the game's camera, the pages change, revealing a new layer of story and changing how the game's narrative unfolds.

  • A professionally printed art book, two years in the making
  • Custom printed to work with the game's augmented reality
  • 80 full-color pages, each with a secret overlay
  • 7.5 x 9.25 softcover, layflat binding
  • Control the game by choosing what pages to show the camera
  • Only available until copies run out
  • Find it here!

The Game

Descend through seven levels of remote, mysterious Carina Station, each with its own story of people at the edges of civilization: psychopathic maintenance crews, haunted soldiers and time-shifted explorers. Rearrange pieces of procedurally assembled stories to find the version you like best. Your choices affect which pieces you'll see in the next story.

While you play, chat with your virtual collaborator, the "digital ghost" of the book's original author. These stories mean something to him. Will you respect his intuitions, or follow your own instincts? Will you tread carefully, or make him face his demons?

Animation showing text shifting and customizing in the Ice-Bound Concordance
Story symbols in the Ice-Bound Concordance
  • Winner, 2014 IndieCade "Best Story" Award
  • Over 100,000 words of potential story and conversation content
  • Co-created by the author of Blue Lacuna, named one of the Top 10 Interactive Fictions ever written
  • Full soundtrack
  • Thousands of explorable variations for each story
  • An experimental new genre of interactive storytelling (based on cutting-edge academic research!)
  • Story pieces become customized to your preferred themes
  • 3-8 hours of gameplay per playthrough; play again to discover new story fragments
  • First two stories are free; unlock others with the Compendium
  • Download it here!


More movies and trailers on YouTube

The Music

The Ice-Bound Concordance features over an hour of original music by N.J. Apostol. By turns brooding, ethereal, magical, and haunting, the gorgeous soundscapes will draw you even further into Carina Station. Sample or buy the soundtrack here!

The Team

Ice-Bound co-author Aaron A. Reed

Aaron Reed has been creating ambitious experimental stories for over a decade, including Blue Lacuna (2009 IndieCade) and 18 Cadence (2013 IGF Nuovo Honorable Mention; 2013 Kirkus "Best Book App"), and served as the lead writer on the ambitious AI-driven storygame Prom Week (IndieCade 2012; IGF 2012). He is the author of the book "Creating Interactive Fiction with Inform 7."

Ice-Bound co-author Jacob Garbe

Jacob Garbe is a writer and new media artist working with augmented reality and procedural narrative. He was the recipient of the 2010 International Aeon Award for short fiction, and has shown work in the ZERO1 Biennial, as well as other exhibitions. He is currently pursuing his PhD at the Expressive Intelligence Studio at UCSC.

Ice-Bound composer N.J. Apostol

N.J. Apostol is a Game/Audio designer and Composer from the UK, best known for his work on ether one, the first title from indie developer White Paper Games. NJ has also worked on titles such as: Project Zomboid And Cotton Pops.