A downloadable game for Windows, macOS, and Linux

Buy Now£1.99 GBP or more

The Pawn is a text based adventure game released by Magnetic Scrolls in 1985 to wide acclaim.

Remastered by Strand Games for 2017, 2019

Set in the mythical world of Kerovnia, it is an amusing and complex tale. You, the player, are there by total accident. The adventurer is meant to rescue his Princess, not you. Can you escape, back to your own world? If so, not easily and certainly not without leaving an indelible mark on the history of Kerovina and its somewhat unusual inhabitants.

Magnetic Scrolls was a British video game developer active between 1984 and 1990. A pioneer of audio-visually elaborate text adventure games, it was one of the two largest and most acclaimed interactive fiction developers of the 1980s.

The original game has been remastered and improved by Stand Games (with
permission) and adapted for modern PCs and mobiles, with a vastly improved UI.

Features include:

  • Touch-Text Commands
  • Tap "links" in the text to perform commands without typing.
  • Game specific word suggestion
  • Tap suggested words from the word bar during input to save time.
  • Sidebar Inventory
  • All your things are conveniently listed in a sidebar. Drag and drop to use them or to apply them to things in the main text.
  • Dynamic Map
  • No need to draw out the map, we do it for you. As you explore the game, the map page will expand. Tap any previous room on the map to "fast-goto" that location.
  • Compass Rose
  • Quickly navigate with a handy compass gadget. It shows the available exits at all  times, simply tap to move.
  • Ambient Sounds
  •  Some locations have background sounds, making them more realistic.

The new facilities make the original game fun and entertaining to play on modern devices. No more dead ends; the remaster has multi-level undo, save/load game and automatic undo from dying!

There's also the original artwork and newly remastered music from the original arist John Malloy  (thanks John!).

Find out more at Strand Games

See also:


System Requirements

  • Windows Vista or later.
  • Mac OSX 10.12 or later.
  • Recent 64bit Linux desktop

Support the Remastering Project

After fees, we get only about £1 from each sale. We're working to restore original game content, source code and documents and hopefully to develop and share new IF technologies. See our blog for details of our progress.

Thanks for your support!
The Strand Team

PlatformsWindows, macOS, Linux
Rated 4.9 out of 5 stars
(10 total ratings)
GenreAdventure, Interactive Fiction
TagsFantasy, magnetic-scrolls


Buy Now£1.99 GBP or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of £1.99 GBP. You will get access to the following files:

ThePawn-win32- 41 MB
ThePawn-win64- 42 MB
ThePawn-linux- 94 MB
ThePawn-osx- 67 MB

Also available on

Development log

View all posts


Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.

(2 edits)

Just discovered your remastered games after watching a let's play of Legacy Realm of Terror and looking up whether there were other games by the same dev. I like IF classics like Zork so this might be up my alley.

However I must point out that the upscaled images you described here look terrible, you can just see the algorithm, ugh! I tried using this kind of filter in emulators and quickly went back to the original graphics. It's like pixel graphics leave the details to the imagination, while the upscaled ones just show you ugly details. I much prefer the originals.

Hope you make available the original graphics with a pixel-perfect upscale version, i.e. one pixel becomes four pixels of the same color at higher resolution, pretty much what the Integer Scaler free program does.

Perhaps AI repainting might provide better results these days, as stuff like Stable Diffusion is able to work from a base image and a prompt including a description and style, and pretty much produce a new painting that's very close to the original but doesn't look like a cheap upscale. Just don't ask it to draw accurate hands or axes.

Edit: I had missed this at the bottom of the blog post "all these enhancements are done in realtime on your device (we're not changing the images actually stored)" - definitely breathing a sigh of relief here. I think it needs to be a big disclaimer in bold at the top.

Hi there,

You can disable the upscaling algorithm in the settings. Then you will get all the blocks you desire :-)


Wanted to play Magnetic Scrolls classics for a long time now, but inteface always got in the way. This version makes it much easier to play. Thanks for this one !

Hi ! I have the AppImage on Fedora 64bits. When I try to launch it says :

This application failed to start because it could not find or load the Qt platform plugin "xcb"
in "".

Any help ?

ldd the file says : it's not a dynamic executable.


(1 edit)

Okay, after fixing the libs problem (pointing to the right ones), the AppImage just crash with a segmentation fault. The last shared library it loads is "calling init: /lib64/libresolv.so.2" then seg fault/core dumped.

I think I can't do anything more without the code...

The msi works good on wine 4.7 !

Hi, sorry for the trouble. Can you perhaps contact me via the strandgames website or via PM in the strandgames forum. The problem is probably caused by library conflicts between the Fedora system libs and the old Qt version.


Please @strandgames, provide a flatpak or publish on Steam

(1 edit)

It is possible to make available for download the android apk file for those who bought the game at ichio so we dont have to buy it again at google play. Personally I prefer not to use app stores so an apk file even with no support whatsoever is far preferable!



Interesting idea. 

I've created a secret "The Pawn for Android" project, that hosts the APK. You're going to have to manually side-load it into your device. But it should work. Let me see if i can PM you the key...

hmm. can't a way to PM people here? drop me an email on hugh@strandgames.com, and i'll send you the APK download key.

Let me know if it works!

(1 edit)

I have send you my email.
Thank you for your effort!

Thanks alot – extra tip for Linux version!

Thank you for making these games available again, and including Linux versions, very happy to have them digitally.

Would love to also see them available on Steam if you ever get the opportunity to put them up there.

We would very much like to put them on Steam at some point. Thanks for your feedback!

It plays really, really well. 

It would be nice if there would be a setting to display the images at 1:1 scale or at least use nearest neighbour scaling (so the images stay crisp). I could also do with an option to show the c64 version of the images as well :)

There's only one rather annoying point from the settings: Scale, getting it back to 1 is next to impossible without try and error, a "reset scale" button would help a lot.

(2 edits) (+1)

good point about scale reset. In general, try not to mess with scale. Almost always you can get the same thing by changing the font size. The scale feature was added originally in case the buttons were too small or large - mainly for laptops with touch screens.

To make the images more like the original, switch off "image pixel scaling" (which is on by default). This removes the XBR scaling algorithm, but even so the pictures are still scaled to fit the window.

The original pictures are only 256 pixels wide, so they would be _really_ tiny on any modern device. It could just pixel double/tripple/quad etc, but they would be quite blocky indeed.

checkout this blog entry for more info on the pictures, https://strandgames.com/blog/magnetic-scrolls-pictures-enhanced


I might try to track down the C64 versions of the pictures too.


I played Pawn/Thieves/Jinxter on the Amiga and the c64, so the c64 images would be a real bonus. (2x blocky scaling of the images as well ;) )

btw any plans for Thieves and Jinxter as well?


Absolutely, Guild of Thieves is running here, but it needs more testing. We're hoping to make a beta soon(ish).

(1 edit)

Having some options for integer scaling/nearest neighbour/pixel doubling or whatever other name exists for that would be great. Sure the pictures are gonna be "blocky", but that just means they'll look like the original looked on a screen at the time, minus CRT screen blurriness. I find this better than straining my eyes on a tiny image or dealing with atrocious upscaling algorithms that change an image from "imagine the details" to "look at these ugly distorted details".

Does the Pawn work on mac os 10.10.5 ? I don't think so (I can not install the game)

It should do! If you can't get it to work, email me at contact@strandgames.com and i'll help out.

is there a plan for an iOS release?

Yes, we are currently finishing the remaining bits for the iOS build. It just takes a little more time, but it is in the works.

Fantastic news! :)

iPhone & iPad version submitted to Apple for review...

Bought! Thanks for the bump. :)

Lovely seeing this remaster! Any idea why Paypal purchases aren't supported though?

Good point about PayPal, I'll look into it. Thanks!

Thank you :)

(humbly bows)


Another vote for PayPal here - hope it's added as an option soon as I'd love to buy this.

I remember playing it on my Sinclair QL! (and then on Amstrad CPC and Amiga too).  Guild of Thieves was probably the finest of the series, but the Pawn was wonderful too.

Paypal now suported!