Fighting Fantasy: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain Review

Known for their second-person narratives and dice battling, gamebooks like Warlock of Firetop Mountain were some of the most exhilarating “choose your own adventure”-style books ever written. It was always a thrill to discover your fate when you turned to the instructed page. Thirty years later, the digital port of this book still holds up well on the iPhone and iPod Touch.

If you remember the original, you can expect the same great storyline, top-notch writing, and dice battles against monsters. This gamebook sends you on a quest to Firetop Mountain, to find a treasure guarded by an evil warlock. He has neighbors, though, including giant sand worms, skeleton warriors, trolls, ogres, and other fantasy creatures, and you must be ready to fight if you make any wrong turns. The safest route leads directly to the warlock.

Gamebooks: the original RPGs.

After reading each short segment, you will be given a choice of which path to take. Sometimes you will need to roll the dice to sneak past enemies or gauge your success at a task. This extra element makes the game different every time you play.

If you die, you can either pick up prior to engaging in battle, or start a new adventure. Due to the lack of extra save files, though, this deletes previous save data. We hope extra save slots are added in future updates.

Before each new game, you must roll the dice to determine three stats: skill, strength, and luck. Skill is what would generally be known as strength in an RPG, and serves to boost your die roll number in battles. Strength is your health. Luck is used to decide the outcome of certain situations. Each time luck is used, it depletes one point. Occasionally you will get boosters and items to replenish these stats, but the they will never go above their initial starting points.

Why hello, it’s a pleasure to meet you!

The dice battles are like the card game War: whoever has the higher number ‘wins’, and gets to attack the other combatant. Much like the gamebook, you roll for yourself and the enemy. You also have an option to use your luck in battles, allowing you to attempt to lower the damage dealt to you or raise the power of your attacks.

Some nice additions have been included, like impressive color illustrations that blow up to full-screen glory. Also, for nostalgic kicks, page numbers have been included.

In the options, you can select from an array of fonts. When you click on a button to move pages, an animation depicting this is briefly shown. This runs at an oddly low frame rate, but we were able to look past this.

If this digital gamebook makes you nostalgic, buying Fighting Fantasy should be a no-brainer. Otherwise, this game offers a good few hours of fun as you discover new paths and try to find the elusive warlock.

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