Monthly Archives: December 2010

Summation Review: The Gamebook Adventures Series 1 to 4




I’ve always been an avid reader of any kind of book that contains at least three of the following elements: suspense, action, mystery, logic, or and extremely well written plot. That’s when I stumbled across the “Gamebook Adventures” series on the App Store. My interest was piqued when I found that not only did the gamebooks seem to contain all of the aforementioned elements, but it also allowed me to make my own choices, had a multitude of different endings, beautiful illustrations, and a unique combat system. I had my doubts of whether these gamebooks would really be the perfect blend of an RPG and a book, but I’m glad to say that none of my doubts were justified.

The iteration of the Gamebook Adventures series has its own unique plot, including stopping a necromancer from destroying the continent to escaping from a vicious gladiatorial arena back to your homeland or Orlandes. Each gamebook’s plot is fresh and exciting, and full of twists and turns. To keep the plot going, you just select what you want your character to do next. If you are unsure whether a decision is good or not, you can place one of your limited amount of bookmarks on that page and it will act as a save point you can come back to should you do something that is detrimental or leads to your demise. There are usually two to four options to choose from, and some actions your character can do (in the right context) include buying items, doing detective work, and hiding in the sewers. What an interesting aroma.

There are three difficulty levels: Novice, Bookworm, and Classic. Each of them has their own set amount of bookmarks and conditions regarding Health and Fitness, which are randomly determined before the game starts. Novice is the easiest, Bookworm a bit harder, and Classic is the way the game was meant to be played – with caution and quite a bit of luck. Needless to say, these three difficulty levels provide quite a bit of replay value. In addition to the difficulty levels, there a lot of achievements and art that you can unlock, which also adds to the gamebook’s replayability.

In each gamebook there are a multitude of endings, some of them happy, some of them sad, and quite a few of them ending with your death. Only one of these is the “Ultimate Ending,” which is somewhat akin to the “happily ever after” endings in fairy tales. The ultimate ending always fills me with a sense of accomplishment, and is extremely satisfying to attain.

The Gamebook Adventures series also has an interesting combat system system relies on randomized dice rolls. The number of dice you roll depends on your weapon and armor rating, and if you win the roll the total of all your dice is the amount of damage you do. You can also tip things in your favor by using your Fitness level. Fitness is also using in context in the gamebooks during dangerous events such as avoiding traps or escaping from guards.

Each of the gamebooks in the Gamebook Adventures series are great interactive, pick-your-own-path books. It’s hard to recommend any one of the current four, as they all have their own plot merits; however, if I had to pick the most enjoyable one it would probably be Gamebook Adventures 3: The Slaves of Rema, as it was the most suspenseful and action-packed of the four. Overall, all four gamebooks in this series are heartily recommended and worthwhile purchases if you are the least bit interested in books or an interesting new take on an RPG game.


Zombie Crisis 3D Review

I’ve always wanted to be able to play one of those light gun games I see in arcades on my iPod Touch, but so far most of them have been half-hearted attempts (like Time Crisis) or just downright horrible. However, KongZhong Corp. has changed my view on this matter by bringing Zombie Crisis 3D, an on-rails shooter a la House of the Dead. Zombie Crisis 3D promises many levels, simple and linear progression, three different weapons, and quite a few boss fights. It delivers everything it promises, but there are a few points in which it can improve.

Zombie Crisis 3D contains traditional light gun gameplay, and it never really deviates from that formula. This makes for a game that pays homage to House of the Dead extremely accurately, and a blast to play. The gun that you would use in a light gun game is swapped for you finger, which you can use to tap anywhere on the screen to fire. There’s also a knife ability for when you don’t want to waste any of your precious ammo. Zombie Crisis 3D controls beautifully, and there are no problems at all with the control scheme. It’s easy to pick up and easy to use, which makes it playable for almost anyone from the get-go.

The graphics in Zombie Crisis 3D aren’t bad either – as the title suggests, it uses fully 3D character models. The character models and environment all look great, but the animations are somewhat lacking. The blood effects look out of place compared to the good character models, and the knife swipes in the same direction no matter what way you swipe. Other than that, the graphics and animations work well.

Gameplay consists of going through a multitude of rooms and environments eliminating whatever zombies you find with either a pistol, shotgun, or minigun. The story behind this is the cliche “something happened in a lab, we need to check it out” kind of thing, but you can’t really judge Zombie Crisis 3D by its story, as it is meant to be an arcade zombie shooter and not a fully narrated, beautiful RPG-shooter game. Movement is done automatically as you progress and shoot through the levels, so all you really have to do is concentrate on the aiming.

Zombie Crisis 3D also has some pretty cool boss fights, but the fights can easily become a chore to go through as they are somewhat anticlimactic, and the boss takes ages to kill. However, they’re a pretty cool addition to the game, and the only problem I have with the boss fights are how slow-paced they are.

All in all, Zombie Crisis 3D is an enjoyable arcade shooter a la House of the Dead, and though it may have a couple problems with its boss fights and animations, it’s a game that all arcade shooter fans should have on their iPhone or iPod Touch.

A Look Back in Time – Inotia 2: A Wanderer of Luone

A year ago Com2uS released their champion RPG, Inotia 2: A Wanderer of Luone. It was met with outstanding praise from iPhone/iPod Touch gaming sites, and I myself enjoyed it immensely. It was the first App Store RPG that had a complex 4-person party system along with all the other trappings of an RPG such as tons of items, weapons, armors, skills, and more. I’ve decided to take another look at this RPG, a year after its release, to see how it still holds up.

After firing up the game again, the first thing I noticed was that there was a new class that I had never noticed before: the Ranger. Com2uS had updated the game with a completely new kind of character to play with, and this further increased my conviction that they were a developing company dedicated to the games they created.

I played for a while, traversing through the expansive world of Inotia, and the gameplay is still as solid as it was before. Leveling up, hiring new party members, and finding great loot is still a satisfying experience. There’s just so many things to buy and collect that I doubt that I’d manage to finish the game fully even once – it’s just that mind blowing.

However, the graphics aren’t held in as high esteem as they were before, since newer 3D games have crisp character models, shadows, textures, and more. That doesn’t mean that the graphics in Inotia 2: A Wanderer of Luone are bad; they just weren’t as good as they once were.

Overall, if you’re an RPG enthusiast, Inotia 2: A Wanderer of Luone will still definitely capture your interest and keep you playing, but it’s not king of the hill in the App Store RPG category anymore. However, it’s still an extremely enjoyable experience and one that will last you for hours and hours as you get lost in the huge world of Inotia.

If you’d like to read how my previous review of Inotia 2: A Wanderer of Luone, please see here.

Zombie Crisis 3D Giveaway

It’s been a long time since I’ve actually posted a review other than the recent one on Dark Lords, but now that I’m back in gear I’d like to celebrate with a promo code giveaway! This is the first time I’m doing this on my blog, but it definitely won’t be the last.

I currently have a couple codes for Zombie Crisis 3D, which is a great light gun-esque game for the iPhone and iPod Touch. I should also have a review of the game up in a few days.

If you’d like to win a promo code, comment on this post with your view on zombie games on the App Store – fun, getting old, or does the genre never die? Leave an interesting/creative response below in the comments section, and I’ll pick the ones that I like the most to win codes for Zombie Crisis 3D!