Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Gamebook Goodness

Friends on Facebook will have noticed my triumphant cheer at finally reaching and killing the infamous Balthus Dire after a thirty year relatively unfocussed comings and goings from my copy of Fighting Fantasy Citadel of Chaos.  On this occasion it involved rapid play and a few cheaty back-tracks on the iPad version of the game.  Finally, not only did I get by the deadly Ganjees but I also knew the code for the tumblers on his door.  Now, Citadel of Chaos is by no means a difficult gamebook to play, and blind luck will allow some players to succeed in one run, but I suspect that when given the choice between left or right, or continue onwards or go down stairs, that I kept choosing "right" and "down" no matter how many times I'd played, so perhaps this time applying some meta-gaming "beat-the-book" logic, like I had to with Deathtrap Dungeon - silly missing gems.  This sort of thing is somehow easier in an electronic medium if there's a "back" button - as with the iPhone/iPad version.  When playing by pencil and dice I can barely remember the page I'm turning to, never mind the page I've just arrived from!  The nice thing about the iPad version is the fact that you can't cheat with the dice in combat and Luck rolls, which makes victory that little bit sweeter, especially if the game has insisted that you start with "Skill 8" and a Luck of "7" - sheesh, with values like that I usually re-roll - I mean, in real world terms, I'd consider my limitations and not start life as a "foolhardy adventurer" and stay on the farm, milking BoviYaks (or some such fantasy equivalent of grazing cattle...  ENRAGED BOVIYAK -SKILL 4, STAMINA 10). 

Well, I had a delightful surprise today!  Upon confessing that I had yet to properly play Destiny Quest The Legion of Shadow (possibly due to my sojourns into the Fabled Lands 1-4 which I procured at the same time), and so, I explained, was hesitant in buying the newer improved edition, Stuart Lloyd (of Lloyd of Gamebooks) had a copy despatched to me via Amazon, clearly because it's very important to own the very latest the solo game book world has to offer in entertainment!  By this I mean actual "paper" books.   Us "old-schoolers" love the smell of a dead tree.  We are living in interesting times with regards to solo game texts, but it's important to let authors and publishes know that short term file format ebooks are not the only way forward (even if print-on-demand one-copy-per-customer is the alternative).  Fabled Lands author Dave Morris discusses the future of series here and to be honest, he sounds like he's turned his back on real books.  

New, improved, with more sections!
Anyhow, here's the new book DestinyQuest The Legion of Shadow by Michael J. Ward, on the right, in "C" format paperback, next to the smaller original - the thickness of which I originally measured with the height of a Lego stormtrooper.  It's a truly mighty tome - and there's an advert in the inside cover for Book II The Heart of Fire, coming out in Winter 2012 - which should be spiffy.  I'd love to tell you more, but at the moment all I can say is that the dice system is very RPG-like and customisable to the player's tastes with regards to equipment, objects, spells and so forth.

A monster of a quest!  Highly collectable.  It is your destiny...

Paperback and hardbacks on Amazon UK and US:

See also the author's site: destiny-quest.com for more information and free downloads.

(Thanks again, Stuart!)

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