“Which hero will you take into Firetop Mountain this time?”
These words will now greet you on your iPad or iPhone when you launch the Warlock of Firetop Mountain app! Since the game launched last year, I’ve thought that it would be well-suited to tablets and phones. After all, choose-your-own-adventure-style games, with their frequent pauses to make decisions, are great for picking up and putting down when you’re on the go.
I wrote about the gameplay in my original review of the desktop release and it’s all still there. The isometric perspective, tabletop-like figurines, maddening Maze of Zargoz, everything is still intact. It’s an absolutely perfect port of the desktop game and ran smoothly on my iPad Pro and iPhone 7 Plus. This time, though, Tin Man Games gave me access to the add-on heroes that you can purchase, and it changed how I saw the game. Rather than just give you different character traits and attacks (which they do), the extended stable of characters provides you with completely new ways to experience the story.
For example, during my first playthrough as 23, the Rhino Man (because, why wouldn’t I play as the rhino man), I noticed that my options became rather limited. Being an illiterate legionnaire with limited linguistic skills, he couldn’t read any of the notes or signs scattered throughout the mountain and was in no position to negotiate anything with anyone. Due to his large size, there was no slipping into cracks or blending into anything. At all. Essentially, it upped the difficulty considerably. And due to his deep well of Stamina, I found myself blundering into fights more often than I should, which left him dead on the banks of the underground river, watching sand worms pick at his corpse.
Playing as the martial artist, however, there was an entirely new story. Now I had a brother to avenge and every glint of gold, every tricky twist of the mountain was noticed by my keen eyes. A room of orcs? Not a worry, I could slip past them as easily as a shadow.
But what about if I played as the half-orc? There I got different takes on every scene. Sure, there were orcs and I loathed them, but I understood their motivations and could bluff my way into a (disgusting) meal or two. I could even ply characters for information about my lost father (and his pet dragon?), who I’d ventured into the mountain to seek my revenge upon.
These add-on characters and the extensive rewriting of the core story make Warlock of Firetop Mountain really shine when it comes to replayability. Even if you’ve conquered the desktop version, it’s worth your time to download the iOS version and unlock a few new characters with that iTunes credit you’ve had sitting in your account since Christmas and haven’t known what to do with.
A nice touch in the mobile version is the addition of dyslexia-friendly fonts. If the default font doesn’t work for you, you can easily switch it to something a little less flowery that should assist in reading (and considering that, like, 85% of the game is reading, this is important).
But no matter who you take into the mountain, or how you view the adventure, Warlock of Firetop Mountain will punish you just as readily on iOS as it did on the desktop, which means you’d better keep a spreadsheet of your choices somewhere or you’re going to be seeing this woman quite a bit:
Download Warlock of Firetop Mountain from the iTunes store today and have fun!
Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of the game and access to the add-0n characters for this review. Opinions and bad, branching decisions are my own.