Gamebook Adventures 4: Revenant Rising in Review – To undead and back again…

Not sure how many of our readers remember the Choose Your Own Adventure-type books, but I certainly have fond memories of them. Leveraging the power of imagination back when a computer would take up about a football stadium just to match the processing power of the current iPhone, they provided hours of fun and enjoyment for kids all around the world. And the fact that this seemingly obsolete genre has found a home on the iDevice warms my heart and fills my soul with optimism. Especially with the release of fresh and original titles developed specifically for the iOS, like the latest creation by Tin Man Games – Gamebook Adventures 4: Revenant Rising.

Revenant Rising follows the classic rules laid down by the choose-your-own-adventure genre. The story follows the adventures of an adventure hunter, who is approached by an old acquaintance with an offer to ransack the treasure of an infamous necromancer. When they finally reach the much sought after artifact however, he is betrayed and killed… and resurrected several months later by the said necromancer to retrieve the stolen amulet, now used to rally an army and take over the whole of Orlandes.

In terms of gameplay the developer stuck to the tried and tested core of the first 3 Gamebook Adventures (GBA), though made a few nice additions. For readers not familiar with the premise of the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure genre I will give a short description: it’s almost like reading a book, with the exception that every few pages you are presented with a choice of how to proceed. To add a bit of a random element, sometimes the next step is decided by a dice roll, be it a simple fitness check against an attribute or a full blown battle.

As I noted, Tin Man Games decided to make slight changes to the rules in Revenant Rising. For one thing, a hit or a miss during the battle is now defined not only by the highest dice on both sides, but by the second highest as well in case of a tie. Also in addition to the yes or no fitness checks, some events may have multiple outcomes depending on the actual roll of the six-sided die. And the story finally makes the right choices a bit more obvious, making it possible to find the ultimate ending even on the classic difficulty (i.e. limited to only 3 bookmarks) on your second or even first playthrough.

The graphics are fully Retina optimized and the text looks crisp on my iPhone 4. Interestingly the devs opted to go for a colder paper colour, possibly to underline the fact that THIS time you actually play as an undead for most of the game. The fact that Revenant Rising is a universal app (works natively on all iDevices) is almost icing on the cake. I did find the artwork a bit sketchy, but on the other hand, it is probably just the chosen style. As to why the GBA series still do not support GameCenter achievements remains a mystery to me.

Arguably the best of the Gamebook Adventure series released so far by Tin Man Games, Revenant Rising combines polished gameplay mechanics with an original storyline, flinging you between the world of the living and the dead and back again. Stylish graphics only add to the atmosphere to be enjoyed both on the iPhone and the iPad. Despite being the latest title in the franchise, Revenant Rising is definitely the title I would recommend for any newcomer to the genre thanks to a less obscure and more forgiving design.

With this I declare Gamebook Adventures 4: Revenant Rising officially touched!

App Summary
Title: Gamebook Adventures 4: Revenant Rising Developer: Tin Man Games
Reviewed Ver: 1.5 Min OS Req: 3.1.3
Price: $4.99 App Size: 64.22MB
  • Nicely re-balanced and polished up gameplay
  • Involving and less obscure storyline
  • Excellent title for casual players
  • No GameCenter support


A project manager in a major telecommunications supplier, an iPhone junkie and lately - a TMA editor. Love long walks on the beach and my wife, who is the most beautiful girl on the face of this planet. You can also follow me on twitter for all things iPhone and project management (and some personal stuff as well):

Next ArticleblueSLR Wireless Camera Control in Review - Gotta have it iDevice camera trigger