House of Hell and other game-books
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  • HOH_iPad_07.jpg


    This is a lot of campy, nostalgic fun to have a run through on iOS. £2.99 well spent I'd say. 

    I played these as a kid and hadn't thought about seeking out digital versions until recently, after a podcast host I listen to started doing a Twitch reading of game-books, with listener participation: find it here and here

    House of Hell is a house of tropes, where you mustn't drink the white wine or get in to serious conversations with Dracula. It's fun to pick up for a few minutes, make a couple of juicy decisions and meet a sticky death, then try again later. 

    Do we have Fighting Fantasy fans here? If so what are your favourites?
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  • Firetop Mountain of course.
  • FranticPea
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    Deathtrap Dungeon and Starship Traveller. Ooh and Freeway Fighter. I still have all mine somewhere in my parents loft, unless they've binned them.
    Hairlo?
  • DD was the bollox. Need to get that one again.
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    I just need Knights of Doom for a complete original Puffin set. I should have just forked out £30 for it years ago, it probably costs the earth now.

    I've got a soft spot for Robot Commando, the non-linear one where you navigate a dinosaur-infested world with robots, although on a rational level it isn't the series at its best.
    "ERE's like Mr. Muscle, he loves the things he hates"
  • The quadrilogy was my favourite. The set of 4 that included City of Traps and the Seven Serpents I think. Loved them. 

    I also remember off the top of my head:

    Vault of the Vampire
    Keep of the Lich Lord
    Forest of Doom?
    "But enough talk. HAVE AT YOU!"
  • I known ERE is into them

    I used to have a bunch of them myself, yep. I liked Demons of the Deep and Scorpion Swamp of the original earlier run. Night Dragon was my favourite of the alex ones, because it was very weird - a bit Krull inspired as a massive mountaine houses not only the Night Dragon's sleeping corpse, but also a cornucopia of bizarre things like pocket forests and mirror demon lairs. Also if you finally kill the Night Dragon his head grows spider legs and attacks you again.

    I also had the Advanced Fighting Fantasy Source Books: Dungeoneer, Allansia, Blacksans, and Out of the Pit - basically books that turned the FF setting into a D&D style game with lots of background info.

  • Those latter ones sound amazing. I could do with added depth in an iOS port, gonna search for those.
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  • I went through quite a few of these as a kid. Certainly remember all the early numbers, up to about 13 or 14.

    I think I liked Scorpion Swamp best, perhaps because I found a way through it without much trouble, but also it had some interesting things to do with alignment - think you chose different objectives at the start or something.

    I got stuck on House of Hell. There was a part where I couldn't figure out how to avoid dying, so I just found a later section and skipped on to see how it ended.
  • I really liked Creature of Havoc as a kid, but was really frustrated by my inability to complete it.  I've subsequently discovered that the first print had a typo that made it impossible to complete if played to the letter of the rules, so I might have to try it again some day.  (There's apparently a debate about whether it was a mistake, or a test of lateral thinking.)

    It's a weird one, because initially it doesn't even allow you to make your own choices as you start out as a wild chaotic monster.  Decisions are made initially with dice rolls, then eventually you can become self determining, and then later still able to read and understand some of the initial gibberish.  Or at least, that's how I remember it...
  • Also, was it just me who after the first few attempts at one just thought fuck the combat and ditched the dice?

    If you win turn to 257.

    Yeah, let's say I won.
  • They were quite clever at dissuading cheating in Night Dragon. I remember that to use on of the items in the finale fight, you had to multiple the stripes on it by the spots and that have you the page number. Another required you to know the name of the previous owner and do a basic sum based on numbers subbed for the letters.
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    JonB wrote:
    Also, was it just me who after the first few attempts at one just thought fuck the combat and ditched the dice?

    If you win turn to 257.

    Yeah, let's say I won.

    Never.

    I’d also never keep my place when making a decision and turn back if it killed me. Nuh-uh, not me.
  • Yossarian wrote:
    JonB wrote:
    Also, was it just me who after the first few attempts at one just thought fuck the combat and ditched the dice? If you win turn to 257. Yeah, let's say I won.
    Never. I’d also never keep my place when making a decision and turn back if it killed me. Nuh-uh, not me.

    I definitely never did that either.

    (Though the later ones did a good job of making that much more difficult, but also fairer.  I used to think it was fair game to do the page turn check in books where death was entirely arbitrary and unpredictable - or at least, that's what I would hypothetically imagine thinking had I ever done such a thing...)
  • The iOS ones have a hardcore mode where you can't do this, which is nice. And yes, add me to the 'I would never have done that as a kid, honest' pile.
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  • Kow
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    The Sorcery ones are on Steam. I've been meaning to check them out. Used to love the books when I was a kid.
  • Kow wrote:
    The Sorcery ones are on Steam. I've been meaning to check them out. Used to love the books when I was a kid.

    Aha! That’s the 4 set series I was thinking of! My favourite. Gonna have to get them.
    "But enough talk. HAVE AT YOU!"
  • Yossarian wrote:
    JonB wrote:
    Also, was it just me who after the first few attempts at one just thought fuck the combat and ditched the dice? If you win turn to 257. Yeah, let's say I won.
    Never. I’d also never keep my place when making a decision and turn back if it killed me. Nuh-uh, not me.
    It's just easy mode and check points. All games should have them.
  • 220px-Wayofthetiger_book1.jpg

    Biting off your own tongue while hanging from a cliff to avoid capture FTW.  Death before dishonour.
    You have minecraft?
  • EvilRedEye
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    The Blood Sword series went a step further and had battles that were carried out in SRPG style on a grid. You could even play it with four players like a DM-less RPG.

    220px-Blood_sword_1_cover.jpg
    "ERE's like Mr. Muscle, he loves the things he hates"
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    The FunFax Secret Agent series came in exciting metallic pouches and contained a cassette tape - at certain points in the adventure you would be prompted by the text to press Play on your cassette player and voice-acted audio segments would play. Like all FunFax books, they could be placed in a binder, with the special Secret Agent one having slot to store your collection of cassette tapes.

    9781855978737-us-300.jpg
    "ERE's like Mr. Muscle, he loves the things he hates"
  • Oooh I remember those!
  • Cool. That would be a lot of fun to do now, actually.
    Kow wrote:
    The Sorcery ones are on Steam. I've been meaning to check them out. Used to love the books when I was a kid.

    Looks like they might be on iOS as well - does this look right?

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sorcery/id627879091?mt=8
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  • They are on iOS so probably correct
  • £16 for all 4 seems a little steep. Need a sale.
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  • Just lost a battle to 4 goat-headed cultists outside the house's dungeon. Re-roll time.
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  • Skerret
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    Demons of the Deep for me, Bone Demon was nightmare fuel for a ten year old.
    Skerret's posting is ok to trip balls to and read just to experience the ambience but don't expect any content.
    "I'm jealous of sucking major dick!"~ Kernowgaz
  • Kow
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    Cool. That would be a lot of fun to do now, actually.
    Kow wrote:
    The Sorcery ones are on Steam. I've been meaning to check them out. Used to love the books when I was a kid.

    Looks like they might be on iOS as well - does this look right?

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sorcery/id627879091?mt=8

    Yep, that's the one.
  • I used to get the Ian Livingstone Penguin ones out of the library, I was a bit young to ever get very far but I used to love staring at the artwork.

    Downloading House of Hell now.
  • I had all the livingston ones. Brilliant.
  • May pick some up for the kids.
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