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Well, it started with The Warlock of Firetop Mountain and ended with the console game, but is anyone else still longing for that long-dissipated thrill of the choose-your-adventure/fighting-fantasy-style game book?
Well, with the advancement of mobile phone apps, they are making a comeback in a big way and a new generation is enjoying the retro thrill of an adventure where the star of the show is.
But that’s not what I want to talk about here. Yes, they were funny at the time, but they had their day. It’s not like that?
Apparently not, as there is a new explosion of writers who have reopened pandora’s box in the belief that, despite the new polygon-thrusting processors in our HD screens, a console with such complex and capable wiring still doesn’t exist. of imagining palpable science fiction. like our own brain. Well, most of our brains.
I searched the internet for a high-score game book that I could hold in my hands (yes, my real hands, not the other end of a gamepad) and found a plethora of options. The best of which was from Sandboxer Books who are new to the game and boy was I happy I picked it up! The original Fighting Fantasy Books were an open pit into which I poured hours of my childhood, each spanning 400 ‘chapters’, but this one is 530 long passages. It’s huge. I enjoyed it a lot. I spent a lot of time with it. Now I need more.
It’s called RED DOG and it’s from author Chris Young, apparently his first exercise in this genre (at least that I could find). Now this is a ‘choose your adventure’ with a difference. Did you ever sneak under the cloak of darkness to your childhood and take another bite of the Fighting Fantasy cherry? Well this adventure is better written, longer and free of roaming. You heard it here, folks. This time you are not forced down the garden path in a linear adventure. You can go wherever you want. It really is like having another world in your pocket. That is if you have clown pockets because if you want a copy you better have a tall bookstore. Its 9 by 6 inches!
Here are the specs:-
”This is not the Earth you remember. Drawn from the present into this dark and dangerous future, you are free to discover the hidden secrets of Earth, the space station ‘Eden’ and the mysterious Blackbird Facility. Discover a certain threat to the freedom of mankind and take part in the revolution. The future is in your hands. RED DOG: A complete fantasy RPG. Free roam * 530 huge passages of text * An expansive universe set across three worlds * Detailed illustrations, maps and plans * No dice – rely on your wits and courage * Search every corner of the RED DOG universe * Deeper interactions – talk to Anyone Knows * Get an edge and upgrade with Bio Implant technology * A new generation of RPGs for a new generation of gamers.”
Give it a try and help me pressure these guys into writing another one! This is my review on Amazon:
I bought this because it used to be in the Fighting Fantasy ‘Choose Your Adventure’ books and thought I’d give it a try. The mecha on the front is great. The book totally blew me away. I really didn’t expect to get that involved, it’s a really deep experience and I like the way you start off without remembering how you got there and everything is explained along the way.
Compared to the books I read as a kid, it’s much more challenging and much bigger too. It’s a big book. The visuals are great, although I would have liked to see more and the gameplay is quite different from the FF books, but I think it’s for adults.
There are no words. I never used dice anyway, so I didn’t miss that. It uses a kind of code system, so you will need a pencil to write them down. For example, at one point I had a ‘Stealth’ chip implanted in my brain so I could wear it anywhere and basically disappear. The way you can go back to places you’ve already visited and use it is great. You add the code to the page to use ‘Stealth’, which means you are not limited in how or where you use it. This gives you a lot of freedom and means you can do whatever you want.
There is much more freedom instead of being linear. I just wandered around, looking for things. There are books hidden everywhere that are all one story and are fun to find and read. Everything is connected and makes it rewarding to look around. And another thing I liked was that they didn’t kill me for something that wasn’t my fault. The wick is great. You have to learn to control it, which is a great idea, but I don’t want to mess it up, so I’ll just say try it.
Overall, I highly recommend it. Definitely a big jump from the old school books. I wanted to get another one but this is the only one I could find from these guys hopefully they will release another one I would definitely play it.”
So there you have it guys. I’ll email Sandboxer if I can find them and order a second book. Read this and you will be doing the same!
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