Gamebook Adventures Make Fantasy Reading Interactive and Fun (Plus a Big Giveaway)

Geek Culture

The story of my life.

You pull away the debris until there is enough space to crawl through the blockage. On the far side of the barricade you find a chilling discovery. It is the corpse of a roughly dressed man, whose dessicated form looks like it has been dried and left here for generations. The hide and leather worn by the corpse show little signs of age and this does suggest the corpse has been here a much shorter time. The face of the corpse, although difficult to tell, is twisted as if they were in great pain or great fear when they died.

If you want to head past the corpse and up the stairs , turn to 264.

To leave the tower as fast as you can, turn to 406.

That’s an early choice that readers are forced to make in the sixth Gamebook Adventures book, The Wizard from Tarnath Tor, released last week by Tin Man Games. Gamebook Adventures are compelling fantasy stories with a twist. Readers get to choose the destiny of the main character, similar to the Choose Your Own Adventure book series, but different in a couple of key ways.

First, where Choose Your Own Adventure books were aimed squarely at early readers, Gamebook Adventures are targeted at readers who are a little bit older because of descriptions of mild violence and themes. (But they aren’t overly intense – mostly on par with what you might read about in Lord of the Rings.) Second, the books integrate a game mechanic into the stories that will really appeal to RPG fans. They are devilishly fun and well worth checking out.

At the beginning of each adventure, you choose a level of difficulty and then create your character, rolling dice onscreen for your vitality that also generates other characteristics like your fitness and offensive and defensive ranks. The difficulty you choose not only dictates the handicaps you are granted, but also the number of bookmarks you can use to retrace your steps through the story.

As you progress through the story, you have to make frequent decisions. Some select the path you take, others choose the type of gear you will gather for your adventure, all will mold the outcome with the choices you make. There are frequent fights and they are enjoyable. You roll for both your attacks and defenses and also your enemy’s. As a nice little twist, as the dice settle on the screen if you spy a low number coming up, you can shake your device and the dice will take a second roll before settling. The final outcome does not always benefit the cheater reader.

Throughout the adventures there is original artwork that really adds to the story. As you progress, the artwork is added to your gallery and you can look at it later. While the books work well on the iPhone and iPod Touch, they really shine on the iPad, where the details of the artwork find a canvas to shine. The gamebooks also have achievements for each adventure, and a gorgeous map and history for the world of Orlandes. All of the Gamebook Adventures take place in Orlandes so as you progress from book to book, there is a common thread in the story, not to mention creatures, locations and characters. Each book has a subtle soundtrack and a variety of sound effects that add to the ambiance; both are options that can be turned off. Readers can also affect the font size and style.

Gamebook Adventures are fun to read – not just because the RPG mechanic draws you in and engages you in the story, but also because the stories are good fantasy fiction. The artwork is great and there is a great deal of replayability in the application, especially when you consider the hundreds of choices that can be made and the various difficulties.

Tin Man Games has given GeekDad a bunch of codes to giveaway – three for each Gamebook Adventures gamebook. If you’d like to win a code, just visit the iTunes store or the Gamebooks Adventures site and tell us which book you’d like to win. We’ll pick three winners for each book and email you a code.

Gamebook Adventures sell for $4.99 (the sixth book is on sale for $2.99 now) at the iTunes store and can be played on the iPad, iPod Touch or iPhone.

Enhanced by ZemantaEnhanced by ZemantaDisclosure: GeekDad received review copies of these apps.
Liked it? Take a second to support GeekDad and GeekMom on Patreon!