I've been following Jay Is Games for years, and I'm proud to say The Nightmare Maze made it to their Link Dump Friday last week. 

Nightmare Maze - This odd choose-your-own-adventure style text adventure reminds me a bit of movies I've seen based on the novels of Clive Barker; it's kind of cool, but nobody knows what's going on, and there are a bunch of people in art-house berets watching it with me. There's some interesting imagery to be had as you try to navigate the series of nightmares the game throws you into, but everything is a bit too abstract to be really scary. Throw a barefoot Asian girl with long, obscuring black hair or some stone angels in and we'll talk. Actually, no we won't, because I'll be hiding under the table crying and hugging myself.

A full walkthrough for 100% Lucidity can be found in the comments as well.  Which is neat.
Curious to know more?  A sample scene from the stage play as been posted on the site. 
Oh to live in the world of immediate rewards!  Stats and reviews of the game are making their appearances in various places, answering my most pressing questions:

#1 - Is anyone playing it?

FB and Twitter are great for this, of course, but only for those within a few Kevin Bacons of myself.  Topappcharts.com offers app rankings for the iphone/ipad versions:

#35 in Role Playing Games (iPhone) on Jun 20, 2010
#2 in Role Playing Games (iPad) on Jun 21, 2010
#53 in Adventure Games (iPhone) on Jun 20, 2010
#7 in Adventure Games (iPad) on Jun 21, 2010
#70 in Top Games (iPad) on Jun 19, 2010

These rankings are based on number of downloads, so it looks like it's getting some play at least.

#2 - What do people think?

The reviews on the itunes site vary broadly.  A lot of folks really dig it, and a lot really hate it.  For a piece like this, that comes as no surprise.

Neither of these sources give any insight into the non-stevejobsian universe, but can perhaps be viewed as a general indicator of the response at large. 

Interactive fiction is an odd beast.  It can make for a very  moving connection between the reader and a work (I'm looking at you, Photopia) or can also be used simply for the gaming enjoyment of puzzle-solving, and sometimes both.  Building The Nightmare Maze as part of a larger series of creative content allowed me some flexibility when it comes to story-telling.  I wanted to make the game an episode in the events of the larger world, keeping with the themes and general timbre of the Waking Cassandra series, as opposed to a strictly stand-alone object.

The game is a departure from the sort of pieces Choice of Games has released before -- if you haven't played them, do yourself a favor and do so forthwith -- in that the player has a specific goal in mind: to solve the mystery of the nightmares.   One of the beta-testers said the game was like a recurring dream, that you had to get through it several times trying different actions to figure it out.  I found this comment quite rewarding, as that was one of my goals. 

The approval process went quickly, and The Nightmare Maze is ready to play.  Click here to check it out.  I'd love to hear your thoughts, so please comment below.
Tune in tomorrow (June 18th) for the multi-platform release of The Nightmare MazeThe approval process went very quickly, which is sure to reduce my heartrate.
Head over to the Choice of Games blog for the latest on their growing community of developers. 

"We also have some great games in the Hosted Games pipeline–we expect to release our second hosted game soon".

That second hosted game being The Nightmare Maze.
The beta testing period for The Nightmare Maze has started, and we're hoping to have the game ready for play in a few weeks.  If you are interested in participating, email me.
This blog will keep you posted on the latest developments in the project.