Seventh Sense is a gamebook reader by David Olsen of the Project Aon, a Lone Wolf gamebook fan volunteer group. Seventh Sense uses Project Aon's digital depository of Lone Wolf gamebooks and adds rich features such as bookkeeping, savepoints, dice rolling, commentaries, and more. As you recall Lone Wolf is an award winning which-way gamebook series by Joe Dever. After winning the 1982 Advanced Dungeons & Dragons tournament at the Origins Game Fair in Baltimore, Dever left the music business for gamebook design and writing. He wrote Flight from the Dark in 1983, which would become the first out of 28 Lone Wolf gamebooks, spanning more than 14 years. Flight from the Dark sold 100,000 copies in the first month, while the entire Lone Wolf series sold over 9 million copies in 18 languages until it went out print in 1988. However, the entire Lone Wolf series is available online via Project Aon with Dever's blessings, and books 1-17 are being reprinted by Mongoose Publishing with bonus materials.
Tabletop Tuesdays: Lone Wolf Gamebook Player
|Submitted by sebastian sohn on Tue, 07/17/2012 - 13:10.|
Excellence Through Boredom
|Submitted by costik on Mon, 05/28/2012 - 18:48.|
Unmanned is a boring game. This is not a criticism; it's part of the point.
In Unmanned, you play Kirk, a USAF missile operator assigned to drone duty. While the game does partly involve missile attacks on what you believe to be hostiles, the larger point of the game is the distancing that drone warfare involves; the discontinuity between its effects -- large explosions and death on the ground; and the nature of the "warriors" who control the craft, sitting in a remote structure someplace safe, staring at a screen.
Apollo 18 + 20
The IF Tribute Album
|Submitted by costik on Sun, 04/15/2012 - 17:07.|
They created one short (5-10 minute) interactive fiction game per track, plus an additional 21 "fingertips" -- one-move games. They are, as you'd expect with a project of this kind, of varying quality, but it's an interesting experiment in reflecting the medium of music in the very different medium of interactive fiction.
All games are web-playable at the People's Republic of Interactive Fiction site, and also downloadable independently.
Armor Attacks: The Tank Platoon
Tabletop Tuesdays: Military Strategy Gamification Gamebook
|Submitted by sebastian sohn on Tue, 03/13/2012 - 16:16.|
Armor Attacks: The Tank Platoon is a serious gamebook created as "An Interactive Exercise in Small-Unit Tactics and Leadership." The designer and author is colonel (retired) John F. Antal, the former commander of a tank battalion in South Korea. He is better known in the game industry as the Executive Producer at Gearbox, responsible for historical accuracy for the Brothers in Arms series.
Temple of the Spider God
Tabletop Tuesdays: All Digital Gamebook
|Submitted by sebastian sohn on Tue, 12/13/2011 - 16:11.|
Temple of the Spider God is a gamebook published as an iOS universal app, seventh in the Gamebook Adventures series by Tin Man Games. They are setting a new trend of publishing gamebooks solely as digital books, rather than as digital reprints of paper gamebooks. Designer and author Jonathan Green, while new to the Gamebook Adventures series, has authored several Fighting Fantasy gamebooks. Temple of the Spider God (TOTSG) centers around discovering the source of parasitic mind control spiders that threaten to invade land of Orlandes. You battle pirates, sea monsters, spiders, and other fiends in the search for the source of evil. The gamebook uses a light RPG system similar in complexity to the Lone Wolf series. Thus you have stats like hit points, combat strength, and an inventory system. Furthermore the system uses standard six-sided dice for random number generation.
DestinyQuest: The Legion of Shadow
Tabletop Tuesdays: Biggest Gamebook Ever
|Submitted by sebastian sohn on Tue, 11/22/2011 - 03:24.|
Gamebooks are back! Since we reviewed the Lone Wolf and Fabled Lands series, they are both back in print. Furthermore, at the Apple app store, there are around ten gamebook apps, over half being new gamebooks, others being digital version of classic gamebooks like Fabled Lands and Fighting Fantasy. What really convinces me of the second coming of gamebooks is that a major British publisher, Gollancz, is publishing Destinyquest: The Legion of Shadow (Book One) by Michael J. Ward. At 534 pages, Destinyquest: The Legion of Shadow (LoS), is the biggest gamebook in history and Book Two will be even bigger. It is as thick as a phone book, roughly four or five times longer than the average gamebook. The first 1,800 copies are self-published but Ward is working with Gollancz to get a second print of Book One with bonus materials printed, while simultaneously writing Book Two for the fourth quarter of 2012.
Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set
Tabletop Tuesdays: The Best RPG Tutorial Gamebook
|Submitted by sebastian sohn on Tue, 10/25/2011 - 01:44.|
Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set, or commonly known as the Red Box, is a revision of the the Dungeons & Dragons Set 1: Basic Rules printed in 1983. The Red Box is a complete kit with rules, dice, maps, counter and everything else one needs to play a basic version of 4th edition Dungeons & Dragons (D&D).
What I am primarily reviewing is the the Players Book, one of two book in the Red Box. The Players Book is a solo pick-your-path gamebook that is designed to teach character generation, combat, skill checks, and the UI of D&D. The gamebook plays like the first adventure of a computer RPG, designed to show the player the environment, basic rules, and the UI.
Night of the Nazgul
Tabletop Tuesday: Intense Time
|Submitted by sebastian sohn on Tue, 08/09/2011 - 10:59.|
Night of the Nazgûl is a unique gamebook. Along with Lone Wolf and Fabled Lands, it stands out as being forwarding thinking and plays more like a computer game than a gamebook. The Night of the Nazgûl (NotN) is the first in what was a planned series of thirteen Lord of the Rings gamebooks; because of licensing issues only seven got printed.
Warning: It Doesn't End Well
|Submitted by EmilyShort on Wed, 06/22/2011 - 19:26.|
Bonehead is the story of Fred Merkle, a player from the early days of baseball whose small mistake cost him a key game and haunted him the rest of his life.
It's one of those rare games that tells you up front you're headed for disaster. Interspersed passages from an unidentified narrator sketch in poor Fred's later life and all the humiliations that lie ahead of him, while you the player just try to get him through the day.
The Warbler's Nest
The gap between you and "you"
|Submitted by EmilyShort on Mon, 11/29/2010 - 02:15.|
The Warbler's Nest is an interactive fiction about perception: what seems to be going on may or may not be what is actually going on.
But many of the other games that explore the same territory do so in order to talk about the nature of mental illness, self-deception, or confusion about one's own identity: that is, they're presenting the crisis as one that occurs within the protagonist.
In The Warbler's Nest, the double vision is about what the protagonist knows vs. what the player knows. The game reports something in the protagonist's voice, but there are enough signals to the player to encourage him to at least consider the situation based on a 21st-century understanding of reality.
Having the player understand more than the protagonist has been used for humorous effect a few times: Grunk in Lost Pig reports experiences that the player is better able to interpret than the protagonist, and one of my favorite moments in Treasures of A Slaver's Kingdom involves intentionally letting the protagonist fall into a trap he's too dumb to notice.
But this time around, the dissonance isn't a joke, and the point isn't about people being slow-witted. Instead, it's about the importance of the world views we apply to everything we see, and how much tragedy may be in the mind of the onlooker.
The Warbler's Nest also uses the textual nature of the medium to full advantage. Every description, every atmospheric detail deepens the ambiguity of the protagonist's situation. The protagonist's own thoughts become a source of subtle menace. What's more, the words you choose to talk about the things in your environment affect how the game plays, because they express what you think is going on.
[If you've never played any interactive fiction before, you may like this condensed guide for help with command types.]