If you’re familiar with me, at least when it comes to my reviews, you know that I’m a big fan of Tin Man Games and their Gamebook Adventures. I remember this sort of thing when the books were actually printed and you had to use real dice for combat and pen and paper to keep track of your inventory. There are clearly so many advantages to an electronic version of this form of entertainment, and to date Tin Man Games has one of the best interfaces available. It doesn’t hurt any that their stories are generally quite interesting as well. So far The Forest of Doom has been no exception to the rule, though I will say that as a whole this one seems much harder than any of the ones I’ve played in the past. I guess that means I’ll just have to put more effort into beating it.
One sign that you’re getting older is when things you remember from your childhood start having their 30th anniversaries. Such is the case for me and the Fighting Fantasy gamebook series. Granted I was only 10 when the first one debuted, but you get my drift. In this year that marks the third decade of the series’ existence the man himself, Ian Livingstone, has penned a new entry called Blood of the Zombies. Thanks to Tin Man Games we can enjoy this milestone adventure on our iOS devices, and enjoy is being quite conservative. I’d say this is probably one of the best electronic gamebook adventures yet.
The Gamebook Adventures are among some of the more underrated gaming experiences on iOS in my opinion. The choose-your-own adventure style of play, great writing, and Tin Man Games’ excellent gamebook engine have helped make each installment a satisfying one. And the latest entry into Tin Man’s growing catalog is none other than the all new Fighting Fantasy: Blood of the Zombies, written by the legendary Ian Livingstone himself. This comes 30 years after he and Steve Jackson co-authored the first Fighting Fantasy gamebook, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain.
“Insane megalomaniac Gingrich Yurr is preparing to unleash an army of monstrous zombies upon the world. He must be stopped and his undead horde defeated. In this life-or-death adventure the decisions YOU make will decide the fate of the world. Can YOU survive or will YOU become a zombie too?”
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.
Amazingly, the age old Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style gamebooks are having a surprise resurgence on the iDevice platform. We’ve seen both a re-imagining of the classics, like Steve Jackson’s Fighting Fantasy titles (i.e. Fighting Fantasy: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (TMA Review)) and original titles developed exclusively for the platform in the Gamebook Adventure series - Gamebook Adventures 3: Slaves of Rema (TMA Review). The creative folks over at Agni Studios feel there is room for more and have recently released their own interactive gamebook; this time set in space and titled Star Breed – Episode 1
The Gamebook Adventures series is quite an interesting franchise. In the wake of the re-release of the classic Fighting Fantasy series from Steve Jackson himself, Tin Man Games dared to enter the market with their own title, originally developed from the ground up for the iDevice. I have reviewed the first two titles Gamebook Adventures 1: An Assassin in Orlandes (TMA Review) & Gamebook Adventures 2: The Siege of the Necromancer (TMA Review) and found them very compelling. They’re very well written and more focus on the adventure than combat part of the process, though when it comes to finding the best endings, they can be a bit too difficult for the uninitiated. In their latest release - Gamebook Adventures 3: Slaves of Rema – they vowed to fix the latter issue, making the games accessible to both casual and die-hard gamers.
The adaptation of the Choose Your Own Adventure gamebook genre to the iDevice had truly exploded earlier this year, with the release of both the tried and tested classic Fighting Fantasy: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (TMA Review) by Steve Jackson and an original Gamebook Adventures 1: An Assassin in Orlandes (TMA Review) written exclusively for the iDevice by Tin Man Games. The former was not a big surprise in terms of content, being a port of original paper gamebook. The latter, however, turned out to be truly a bold re-imagination of the genre for the platform, with some interesting design decisions. And it seems this bold step has only been the first one with the long awaited release of Gamebook Adventures 2: The Siege of the Necromancer.
Fighting Fantasy: Deathtrap Dungeon (FFDD) is the second in the long series of the Choose-your-own-adventure type gamebooks, released by Steve Jackson & Ian Livingstone, that has been adapted to the iPhone by Big Blue Bubble. When I reviewed Fighting Fantasy: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (TMA Review) a couple of months ago I found several areas the developers could improve on. Did they read my review? Did they take the problems into consideration? Let’s find out! Feel free to discuss this review of Fighting Fantasy: Deathtrap Dungeon in our forums.
Some time ago I reviewed Fighting Fantasy: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain – a rendition of the classic Choose Your Own Adventure Book for the iDevice and was quite satisfied with it. Just recently Tin Man Games released a similar title in Gamebook Adventures 1: An Assassin in Orlandes, but it is completely original and developed exclusively for the iPhone. How does it match up against the series, written by Steve Jackson & Ian Livingstone? It seems it is actually better! Feel free to discuss this review of Gamebook Adventures 1 in our forums.
*For the promo code giveaway, please refer to the comments area after the review for details (Closed).
Back in the late seventies, when a computer was something out of a sci-fi movie and RPG was associated with pen-and-paper geeky games like Dungeons & Dragons a couple of British writers got together and started one of the most famous series of interactive gamebooks ever – Fighting Fantasy. These gamebooks allowed the reader to take part in the story that affected the course of it. And now the first one of the series – The Warlock of Firetop Mountain – has found its way to the iDevice.