The interactive fiction section of the App Store has grown quite a bit since our original post on both the Fighting Fantasy and Gamebook Adventures series of RPG eBook apps. If this is the first you’ve heard of them, these game books are an evolution of sorts on choose your own adventure books that you may or may not have read as a kid. Instead of simply choosing between two forks in a book and turning to that page, they have you roll dice to determine the outcome of the story. For instance, the main character might lose his footing, at which point you’re faced with a dice challenge to see whether or not you fall in to some treacherous pit or manage to grab on to something and pull yourself out. The random nature of these game books make them a lot of fun, and give them quite a bit of replay (reread?) value as the story forks a different way with each reading.
These game books all play similarly, but I’ve found myself leaning towards Big Blue Bubble’s adaptation of the Fighting Fantasy series, as they’re universal and look great on the iPad as well as existing previously as published game books. Definitely look in to Fighting Fantasy if you’re planning on playing the books on an iPad, as pixel doubling works on the others, but isn’t a very good experience.
Fighting Fantasy: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, $2.99 Deep in the caverns beneath Firetop Mountain lies an untold wealth of treasure, guarded by a powerful Warlock – or so the rumor goes. Several adventurers like yourself have set off for Firetop Mountain in search of the Warlocks hoard. None has ever returned. Do you dare follow them?
Fighting Fantasy: Citadel of Chaos, $2.99 The Citadel holds a dark and dangerous peril for anyone foolhardy enough to venture through its gruesome gates. And yet venture you must for your mission lies at the heart of the Citadel, with the dread sorcerer, Balthus Dire!
Fighting Fantasy: Deathtrap Dungeon, $2.99 Countless adventurers before you have taken up thee challenge of the Trial of Champions, but not one has survived. Devised by the devilish mind of Baron Sukumvit, the labyrinth is riddled with fiendish traps and hideous creatures of darkness to trick and test you almost beyond the limits of endurance!
Fighting Fantasy: Creature of Havoc, $2.99 You begin this adventure not knowing where you are or who you are. All you know is that you are some kind of creature of instinct, understanding little. During the course of the adventure, it may be possible for you to begin to control your bestial nature, to find out more about yourself, and even to learn your destiny. But even if you know all this, success is by no means certain, for the traps and terrors of Trolltooth Pass are many … Are you ready — to become the Creature of Havoc?
Next are Gamebook Adventures by Tin Man Games, a completely original series written by S.P. Osborne and illustrated by Pirkka Harvala. I like the presentation of the Gamebook Adventures series a lot, and I really hope they’re eventually updated to be universal.
GA1: An Assassin in Orlandes, $5.99 Set within Orlandes City, nobles are being systematically murdered by a ruthless assassin no-one seems able to catch. Finding yourself thrust in the middle of a large conspiracy, you must make decisions that may put yourself and one other most precious to you in great danger. Can you locate the Assassin in Orlandes before it is too late?
GA2: The Siege of the Necromancer, $5.99 Set in the coastal town of Myr, you have returned home after a long Summer in the mines of Durath Tor to find your hometown besieged by strange creatures. A dark presence has taken over the town and you are the only one who can rid the stronghold of Erid Buul, the mysterious new Lord and his ghastly cohorts.
And last but not least, Bright AI brought the first installment Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! series to the App Store. Jackson is one of the original authors of the Fighting Fantasy books, and wrote the Sorcery! series along side them targeted at an older audience as they’re much longer and more complex, even offering a choice of class to play while reading the book. Unfortunately, this isn’t universal either.
Steve Jackson's Sorcery! The Shamutanti Hills, $13.99 The Shamutanti Hills is Book One in Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! series. Your epic quest will take you across the mysterious hills to the cityport of Kharé, but only if you outwit the creatures, traps and wizardry you encounter along the way.
Since all of these game books basically play the same, you can pretty much just choose whichever one(s) sound interesting to you based on their description as reading previous installments in the series to enjoy later ones isn’t required either. As mentioned, if you intend on reading them on an iPad, I’d gravitate towards the Fighting Fantasy books, but any of them will be highly enjoyable to any fan of fantasy fiction.