Cardboard Children: Blood Of The Zombies

By Robert Florence on August 12th, 2012 at 10:23 am.


Hello youse.

During the week I hunted across Glasgow city centre to find a shop that was stocking the new Fighting Fantasy gamebook “Blood of The Zombies”. I think most places that sell books have cleared out all of their stock to make room for a thousand copies of 50 Shades of Grey. Which is fine. But I wanted to get fucked by dice, not by riding crops, and so was delighted to find a single copy of the book in the Sauchiehall Street Waterstones, in the kids department, where I looked like a paedophile.

DO YOU DARE READ ON?

BLOOD OF THE ZOMBIES

Christian Grey had never played a Fighting Fantasy book before, so he was quite taken with the whole thing when I showed him it over lunch.

“So it’s not a book?” he said.

“It is a book. It’s a game book.”

“That’s very interesting, Ana” he said, and then fixed me with a concerned look. My breath caught in my throat. I knew I was about to be reprimanded for something, and Christian can be very commanding. When he’s angry at me he calls me “Ana”, which is short for “Anal Sex”. I bit my lip and sipped at my water nervously.

“Ana,” he said. “I want you to sign a contract. It forbids you from playing these silly games, and gives me the rights to hit you with a variety of objects and also push some of them up your arse.”

I told him I had to think about it, because I was keen to get home and play Blood of the Zombies at least once. I settled the bill (Christian never pays for lunch, because he finds spending money “unerotic”) and hailed a taxi.

Blood of the Zombies has been released to celebrate 30 YEARS OF FIGHTING FANTASY and that’s a capitalised string of text that makes me feel really old. I’ve spoken about FF before on these pages. In fact, I even spoke about them in PLAYABLE ADVENTURE FORM.

Ian Livingstone’s back with this one, and as he’s the writer of my favourite FF book “City of Thieves”, I was excited just to hold this thing. I was also prepared for it being rock solid hard, because Livingstone is known for dashing the skulls of his readers against the walls for fun, like some deranged escaped gorilla. Livingstone is a powerful man, a major player in the games industry. I like to think that when he has those big power meetings at Eidos, he sends his employees keys with numbers on them. The employees think that the keys unlock a door into the meeting room, but actually it leads them to a room filled with MUTANT RATS. Only if they survive can they listen to Livingstone telling them about sales projections for 2013.

Blood of the Zombies has a modern day setting. And it’s about zombies. And neither of those things are really my cup of tea. I would have liked to have returned to Fighting Fantasy with a wander around a fantasy setting, just for nostalgia’s sake. And I understand why zombies are in there. It’s an attempt to pull in those modern gamers who love zombies. But, my goodness, zombies are all played out. Zombies are finished. The Walking Dead TV show? Awful. The World War Z movie? Well, from what I have heard (INSIDER INFO ALERT) it’s currently in horrible shape. Day Z? Okay, you got me there. Day Z is amazing. But the zombies in Day Z are barely zombies. They’re weird little hopping and crawling men of nightmares.

But then, there were always zombies in Fighting Fantasy books. House of Hell, that masterpiece, had plenty. And I’m sure you encountered a few in the environs of Port Blacksand and such. So I’m going to allow it. Someone tell Ian Livingstone that I’m allowing it. (I met him once. He won’t remember. He was a lovely man.)

MY SPOILER FREE PLAYTHROUGH OF BOTZ

That’s quite funny isn’t it? If we call Blood of the Zombies “BOTZ”. It sounds like the name of some terrible new toy. Plastic robots that dance to chart hits. And it also sounds like bums.

In BOTZ, you have been kidnapped and held prisoner in a castle. That’s the first big relief. While it’s a modern day setting, you don’t have to run around Asda or Tesco or anything. Can you imagine the horror?

“You search desperately for the Walkers Sensations and the salsa dip. You turn up the crisps aisle. There, in front of you, is an ATTRACTIVE ALMOST CERTAINLY LEGAL TEENAGER. She is wearing short shorts and kneehigh socks. She notices you and gives you a smile. You are 35 years old. If you want to pick up two packets of Walkers Sensations like a fat old greedy crisp-eating prick, turn to 176. If you want to smile back and walk straight through the crisp aisle to head off in the direction of the fresh fruit department like a 35 year old hunk MMA fighter looking for healthy smoothie ingredients, turn to 322.”

Yeah, so it’s a castle. That’s nice. I like castles.

The first thing I had to do was generate my character. That meant I had to roll a couple of dice to find out what my STAMINA would be. And then – No, wait. Actually, that was all I had to do. No LUCK or SKILL. Just STAMINA. Much like myself in reality. Then I read the combat rules…

This is a streamlined Fighting Fantasy book. Instead of fighting enemies on a one-on-one basis, you’re dealing with packs of zombies. Most of these zombies have 1 STAMINA and do 1 DAMAGE. In every combat round you roll for whatever weapon you’re using (A crowbar is 1D6) and you kill that many zombies. Then the remaining zombies damage you for 1 STAMINA each. It’s a very simple and fast-paced way of dealing with combat, and fits with the theme of the game. You will mow down a lot of zombies in BOTZ, particularly if you find some of the better weapons. It’s also a combat system that makes the game really deadly. A bad roll can have you overwhelmed by a massive group of zombies, and they will hit you hard. It’s exciting, but very luck heavy.

I missed the LUCK rolls. For me, “TEST YOUR LUCK” is one of the key components of Fighting Fantasy, and I was sad to see that it was gone.

I should also say that, in my first play, I died after about three paragraphs. Ouch. It was a stark reminder that Fighting Fantasy (and particularly Livingstone’s Fighting Fantasy) is always happy to boot your arse early doors. To be fair, I had died for doing something STUPID, so the game’s lesson was that I was no superhero in BOTZ. I was a weak, starving man in a castle, with no luck and no skill.

The positives – I love Livingstone’s clean writing style. I always have. He writes perfectly for his young audience, and has a knack for describing horrible things without it seeming distasteful. It feels like a pair of warm, loving hands pushing you off a cliff. The adventure feels very Fighting Fantasy. It’s all hidden doors, and keys hanging from hooks, and crates that you dare not look inside. It also feels like one you could map, if you’re into that kind of thing. I’m not saying I am. I’m not saying that I used to make maps of the Forest of Doom on graph paper, okay? So fuck off. Also, Kev Crossley’s art is great throughout. And the cover, by regular Magic: The Gathering stand-out Greg Staples, is a striking thing.

You want to know how I died in my most recent play, right? I died on a staircase, overwhelmed by a pack of 12 roaming zombies. I blasted them with a shotgun before I went down, lamenting the fact that I had used both of my grenades in the sewers under the castle. As they started eating me, I had this thought:

This only works as a book.

I’m convinced of it now. Over the past few years, I’ve downloaded many Fighting Fantasy adaptations in “app” form. I had them on my iPhone and now I have some on my iPad. And I’ve barely touched them. What’s the point? If you want an interactive adventure game, play a video game. Why strip away everything that makes a game book special? My five year old daughter saw me playing BOTZ, and she asked me why I was writing on my new book. I told her that it wasn’t just a book. It’s a game too. And I explained to her that you fight the baddies in the book using dice. And that when you decide what you want your character to do, you turn to a special page that tells you what happens. And she was amazed by this. That novelty still works. There is still a magic in the concept. In fact, the concept might be getting more magical, more special, now that the world is retreating from the printed page.

I think, with a proper push, Fighting Fantasy could still appeal to kids. I think a whole new generation could be won over by them. But you can’t do it digitally. That shit is covered. And kids love books. Kids still love something they can hold.

Fighting Fantasy needs a push. And I hated the fact that I had struggled to find a copy of the book in Glasgow city centre. That’s not going to help get it into new hands. What can we do? Is there anything we can do? Is there anything we can do to push it? Blood of the Zombies, and all those books that came before, deserve to be pushed. They’re still magical.

And, hey, I still dream of writing a FF book some day. I would drop everything tomorrow to do one if I was asked. I’m personally invested in all this. Is there anything we can do?

NEXT WEEK

I may talk to you about Libertalia, if I’m allowed. And we’ll add another game into our list of Some Games. Stay dicey! (It’s growing on me.)

, .

64 Comments »

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  1. Quine says:

    Time to kickstart the adventure game book vanity publishing industry, I guess. It would give all those other publishers something to do.

    Warlock Of Firetop Mountain and the early Lone Wolf books did it for me. Wow- thirty years…

    • ColOfNature says:

      Given the relative ease of self-publication these days I’d love to see projects like this on Kickstarter. Come on Florence, you know you want to!

      For me the beginning was the Legends of Skyfall series. I never completed one of them, although I played all four many, many times. I suspect I still have them somewhere. They used coin tosses rather than dice for their randomisation – one of my first forays into programming was a multiple-coin-toss simulator for my dad’s Casio FX702p (it’s not just 50-50, there were various calculations too)!

      (Which reminds me: you’re supposed to say “Quine”)

      • Ross Angus says:

        That is an excellent idea, ColOfNature. I’d love to see another video made by Rab. In face – if Rab does a Doublefine style product / documentary deal, I’ll be all over that sucker.

  2. DAdvocate says:

    I’ve been a long time RPG fan going back to the 80s but somehow these type of books escaped me, and after reading this I’m eager to give them a try. Could anyone be so kind as to recommend a few?

    • Premium User Badge

      Lacero says:

      Avoid Creature of Havoc. It’s too hard.

      Forest of Doom and City of Thieves as mentioned in the article are good starting ones I think.

      • Jorum says:

        Problem with “Creature of Havoc” is early parts some decisions you make are random – as in you have to roll a dice and do what it says, regardless of what you want to do.
        Which is awesome thematic element, but can make it hard at start.

    • Mitchk says:

      I can vouch for City of Thieves too! It was my first FF book – given to me by my Nan from a charity shop when I was a wee boy – and it’s my favourite. I still have the copy and read it occasionally!

      • Jorum says:

        another +1 for City of Thieves.

        Port Blacksand is one of my favourite fictional places ever.

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      Anthile says:

      My favourite is Rings of Kether. It’s a science-fiction one.

    • Spacewalk says:

      Well, the first one that I ever read was Deathtrap Dungeon which sounds much cooler than it is I’ll admit, even if I have a soft spot for it. It’s good for first timers and has a name that sent my eleven year old imagination ablaze but I usually found myself going back to Seas Of Blood more than a couple of times so I’ll recommend that one instead. Piracy! Seedy gambling dens! Danger on the wide oceans and you get to wrestle a cyclops by reading through paragraphs instead of rolling dice which was a breath of fresh air at the time.

    • DAdvocate says:

      Thanks for the recommendations, I’ll give them a try.

      • Bioptic says:

        Oh, and whilst I’d still recommend actual paper books for ‘the experience’, one of the larger and better-written series (Lone Wolf) has been fully transcribed into a html format and published for free on the web with the author’s permission. It’s different from the above FF books in that every instalment is part of a larger narrative with player continuity – you keep and build on your skills and inventory from one adventure to the next. It’s certainly worth a look if you fancy poking into these things instantly and for no pennies.

        http://www.projectaon.org/en/Main/Home

    • Nick says:

      Robot Commando, Space Assassin, Moonrunner and Starship Traveller are all good as far as I remember. Pretty much any of the first 59 are worth a go in fact.

  3. Bioptic says:

    Gamebooks as actual books do have an advantage, being the most insidious vector for getting some early violence into the hands of children with well-meaning parents. My first experience with FF was on the shelf of my first school’s ‘library’ – about 40 books on the theme of Just William, Jennings & poems about dragons. Within minutes of ‘Trial of Champions’ starting, you’re having your feet sliced off by rotating blades blades or gutting a fellow dwarf slave. I was 8, and this was pretty unprecedented.

    They share a certain amount of the traits of videogames, in that a fairly basic story told with clean language is both easily comprehensible and instantly much more engaging for a pretty wide range of ages. I might not harbour the same love for Dogtanian that I once did, but I can still appreciate a run through House of Hell or Mario 64.

    Also, as a Tube user in London I’d argue that digital Gamebooks still certainly do have a place! Many’s the time where you have one hand free and about 5 inches of space in front of your face, and it’s a godsend to have something that’s both interesting and requires a single thumb… The ‘Gamebook Adventures’ series by Tin Man is probably the best I’ve come across – different authors means a heavy variation in style and quality (much like FF), but I think they’ve been improving with each release – Spider God is especially nice.

    Oh, and I’d like to profess a deep love of the Way of the Tiger series (and Talisman of Death, in the same world) for being a short, self-contained series in a meticulously-crafted setting which constantly threw new ideas and challenges at you. And which is bloody impossible to find.

    • Seboss says:

      One day when I was around 8, one of these books forced me to drink “panther milk” aka dirty dishwater. I still haven’t recovered :D

    • Shadowcat says:

      Oh, and I’d like to profess a deep love of the Way of the Tiger series

      I was a big fan of that series, eagerly picking up each new installment. For the most part it was great, but the last book? WTF was that? I could only speculate as to the reasons, but the final book was an incredible insult to everyone who spent money on it.

      • Sentinel Red says:

        @ Shadowcat

        I don’t know, at the time I hated it but looking back, it teaches its young readers a valuable lesson in life – no matter how much you try to get around it, life is always going to fuck you over and there’s nothing you can do about it except face it and accept it…

        ..and die horribly to a giant spider bitch queen in the dark at the centre of the world.

        I wonder if Glavis and Dore ever made it out.

  4. arrjayjee says:

    Any chance you’ll review the Doom Board Game in the future?

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    Jubaal says:

    I loved the FF books as a boy. I remember the first time I came across them was when a kid at school brought in “Forest of Doom” on the last day of term where everyone was allowed to bring in games and stuff to play with. He let me read it and I spent the entire day sat in a corner of the classroom consuming the whole thing in awe. I even ignored the Big Trak with trailer someone had brought in!

    I still recall playing “Starship Traveller” with my Uncle and we just couldn’t complete it. We got owned every time, but we loved it!

    I went on a nostalgia trip about these a few years ago following another RPS column and ended up finding and buying “Warlock of Firetop Mountain” and “Starship Traveller”. In the UK you can pick most of them up on Amazon second hand for under £3 including P&P. In fact in the middle of writing this I just sneaked over there to buy “City of Thieves” all in for £2.81.

    I’ve tried to get my eldest into them but he’s not that keen at the moment, which seems strange as he loves reading and board games. I haven’t given up hope yet… maybe he just needs to wander round “City of Thieves”.

    By the way are there any adult ones people can recommend…… no not that type of adult!

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    Lambchops says:

    Ah Fighting Fantasy. Thanks for linking to that old post which I missed out on first time round, perfectly nailed the silliness/brilliance of them

    Fond memories of going through my local library’s tiny collection of them when I was a lad. Then going through them again because they didn’t have any more. As such I probably never played any of the most famous ones.

    The one that stuck most in my head was “Appointment with F.E.A.R.” I think that with a lot of cheating and so on I might even have eventually read every last bit of it!

    • Chris D says:

      I remember three main things about apointment with F.E.A.R.

      One. It was where I first learnt how to pronounce the word macabre, though I resent that word because I still think my way was better.

      Two. It suffered perhaps more than most from the perennial Fighting Fantasy problem of “Do you go left or right. One of these will mean you will die just before the end of the book but you won’t find out for another hour or so.”

      Three. Up until I realised it was constantly going to kill me like that I was lost in a world of fascinating villains and it was the closest I ever got to being both Batman and Spiderman at the same time. For that I will forgive it a lot.

      • Savage Henry says:

        All the books authored by Steve Jackson were like this. He was very fond of killing you off for a mistake you made 50 paragraphs beforehand. His 4-book Sorcery series was even worse for it. I remember getting killed off halfway through the third book because of something I did in the first.

        The funny thing is that it’s exactly the sort of cheap tactic that we find ourselves lamenting the loss of in video games.

  7. Chris D says:

    Too many years have passed for me to make any kind of objective comparison but my first one was Island of the Lizard King. From the moment I walked into the supermarket and saw him glaring malevolently at me from the cover I knew I had to have it. I read the back cover. A story that was also a game. Surely this was the greatest thing in the world!

    I remember the brief confusion until I realised that provisions meant food, the disallowed dice rolls until I got a 12 for my skill score as was only right. But then it started. My first death came, slightly prosaically, from falling off my raft and being eaten by a crocodile. By that point it was too late, I was already hooked.

    We talk about computer RPGs as being descended from pen and paper RPGs and while that’s true I think the more direct comparison is to the fighting fantasy books. A story that is also a game. Surely the greatest thing in the world.

  8. mechabuddha says:

    So this is slightly off-topic, but I got Mage Knight in the mail yesterday. It is AWESOME. The rulebooks are terrible, but the gameplay is so much fun that I can look past that. The most surprising moment was when we scored the game – even though I had killed the most monsters, I lost because I didn’t spend as much time building my deck. A game that gives you more points for building your deck than for how many baddies you kill? A+ in my book.

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    Ksempac says:

    Libertalia is a great game, that’s one of the two games that stuck in my mind after one week of gaming during the FLIP, a game festival in France. I’m probably gonna buy it on Day 1.

  10. hirkyflobble says:

    I know it’s not the same, exactly, but on Desura and iPhone (I believe) was released the first Gamebook Adventures title. Gamebook Adventures 1 : An Assassin In Orlandes. It converts nicely in a digital form, handling the rolls and rules for you in a Duels of the Planeswalkers-type fashion. Saving you pencil and paper work, and making it more streamlined.

    I was fascinated by the idea of this, and had never seen them until then. In the states all we realli had were “Find Your Fate” books which I used to read religiously. So I gave this game a quick fiver and played for about an hour until I died violently of a disease I contracted along the way. But I loved every bit of it, reminded me of being in my youth again.

  11. Vicho says:

    My god some of those were hard. Starship Traveller and Slaves of the Abyss come to mind.
    As to which book did was the most worn out, Warlock#1 looked like an ancient tome, yet somehow the pages never fell out…
    Havent played one since Night Dragon

    • Jorum says:

      Starship Traveller was stupid hard in places.

      “do you want to beam down to planet”
      – um yes
      “the whole planet is water, everybody drowns. The end”.

  12. Reapy says:

    First I missed out on these, did they never make it oliver to the us? We had choose your own adventures, but I didn’t see ones that had the dice rolling and fighting. Either way these sound pretty awesome, when my son is a bit older would love to do some these with him, keep track of who went in and died where ala a good rogue etc.

    Second I think it’s an interesting point about what works as a book vs CPU game. I’ve noticed this a lot as I got more into board games. A great board game has to sit where there is just enough to do manually to be interesting, but not stray over to the point that I wish I had a computer doing the lifting.

    But it gets worse because as you get to the pc you now want it to do way more, which is like the problem when a simple ff book gets to the computer. Even something that was tedious to maintain on the board is now too simplistic and you have a lot more expectations for the game.

    I guess it is proportional to how you interact, nice clean optimized board game like systems are still good on the pc but I think they need to demand a lot more interactivity out of the player.

    En anyway thanks also for the above recommendations, might try to find a few of these in the future.

  13. YogSo says:

    “…in the kids department, where I looked like a paedophile.”

    Again? ;-)

  14. Jorum says:

    Came across this today in a local book shop and bought it on the spot.
    I still have dozens in the attic (and photos of all the covers that I took and saved on PC)

    Some of my favourites went actually fantasy at all:

    Rebel Planet – undercover resistance agent against lizard aliens who have conquered the solar system. Amazing atmosphere of constant tension and fear of cover being blown and who can you trust.

    Freeway fighter – be a Mad Max road warrior – awesome

    Robot Commando – basically battletech – big stopmy robots. Finding a new awesome mech was the best fucking thing ever.

  15. Underwhelmed says:

    I played a lot of these gamebooks when I was a kid, I loved the Fighting Fantasy series. The Lone Wolf series was another amazing standout with a great long storyline stretched over the whole series of a dozen plus books.

    My all time Favorite series though was the GrailQuest books by J.H. Brennan. They were similar in lethality to the FF books, but had a little bit of a more intricate combat system (you had an array of spells, special items and the like) and it had a absurd sense of humor that permeated everything (a recurring character was a terrible poetry composing demon)

    • Jorum says:

      Had a couple of Grailquest and they were great and genuinely funny.
      And had ridiculous things like this “map”
      https://dl.dropbox.com/u/21766882/DSC00942.JPG

      • Underwhelmed says:

        Oh yes the deadly Vorpal Bunny. The Savage Chickens are another favorite of mine.

    • Mosh says:

      I remember GrailQuest. Wasn’t it the same guy who did the “adult” books? I think the lead character was “fire*wolf” or something (you would know him by his asterisk, apparently).

      *quick google*

      Damn yeah. Sagas of the Demonspawn (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Herbert_Brennan#Gamebooks)

      • Underwhelmed says:

        In all fairness, Brennan does seem like a bit of a loon, but his GrailQuest books at least were amazingly good. I have never read anything else he has written, but most of it seems to be new-age and quasi-Wicca magic. No idea if it is supposed to be serious or not, almost nothing of his outside of the 1st 6 GQ books was published in the states. I had to order the 8th book second hand from a bookstore in the UK and I have never found a copy of the 7th.

  16. Jorum says:

    When Kickstarter finally makes it to the UK, seems ideal thing to try a new range of FF type books on.

    Not sure what vanity publishing costs nowdays, but probably financially feasible.

    Or if enough of us got together KS a RPS community publishing house for adventure books :)

  17. Mosh says:

    Big huge whacking *LIKE* for this story, partly just for reminding me that the book’s been released. I’ll likely just get a copy on Amazon as a) I’ve got vouchers to use and b) I’ve been into Glasgow three times in the last fortnight which is three times more than I usually go in each year. Enough’s enough.

    I loved the originals and I’m gutted to find that they’re no longer in my “box o’ books” in the loft. I’m hoping I gave them away to a deserving cause as I now have a 4 year old son, 11 year old daughter and a freshly popped baby. At least the legacy lives on! Anything that will get kids reading is good and I completely agree that the interactivity offered by these books was always a draw for me, even though I was already a bookwork at that age.

  18. wodin says:

    I remember buying the first ever Fighting Fantasy Book. Wish I could remember it’s name now. I bought a few of them in the end. Great fun.

  19. Mitchk says:

    Just went and bought this after the post brought back waves of nostalgia.

    I asked where I might find it at the counter of Waterstones, to which the man replied ‘”Hmm, I know of one Ian Livingstone, but that won’t be the one you want, he does kiddies stuff.”

    *Sad face*

    Anyway, off to America in a week so this will be my treat for on the plane!

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    AlwaysRight says:

    When I was a kid I read/played about a hundred of these books. I cheated on all of them except maybe two. I have no regrets.

  21. Jorum says:

    Results of my first play of botz. http://db.tt/qWmjQqkg

    Had shotgun, loads of cash and gadgets, feeling confident. Then fought 17 zombies, needed 6 to survive, rolled it! Then next room got killed by a trap.

  22. MadTinkerer says:

    “This is a streamlined Fighting Fantasy book.”

    I almost rejected it on that basis alone, until you mentioned grenades and a shotgun. FF is pretty dang streamlined as it is, with AFF barely counting as having enough rules for an RPG (which I subsequently modified for my own purposes: mostly giving players more options while keeping the number of stats as few as possible to preserve the simplicity, and adding a better variety of common items for inventive players to use). Streamlining the basic FF rules is practically heresy, but as long as it’s not too dumbed down, I’ll give the new books a try.

    I hope they reprint Allansia some day. My only copy got ruined and I really don’t want to shell out $100ish for the only AFF book I’m missing.

  23. Atrak says:

    Of course the most important thing is, does it have that lovely green spine to fit in with all the other books on my Fighting Fantasy Shelf?

    • Shadowcat says:

      The first seven books all had different colours. I was quite sad about the introduction of the ugly green. Bookmarking the series with another colour might be a nice touch (albeit a pretty irrelevant one).

  24. Shadowcat says:

    While it’s a modern day setting, you don’t have to run around Asda or Tesco or anything. Can you imagine the horror?

    Kind of; but only because you’ve already told us about Mall of Horror.

  25. Daave says:

    Oh Rab,

    I would tentatively suggest Risk: Legacy as a must have game, but the finite lifespan and the divisiveness of the Risk mechanics are points against it sadly. Maybe it’s a must play, but not a must own…

  26. Dusk777 says:

    Damn you, just went to my local waterstones to see if they had BOTZ in stock. They didn’t but I ended up bying one of the newer FF books and ordering BOTZ in. Why do you make me spend so much money Rab???!

  27. Sentinel Red says:

    Of all the various gamebooks of the 80s, my favourite series was a tie between the delightfully silly Grail Quest saga (Merlin! Excalibur Jr! The Poetic Fiend!), and the Blood Sword saga, which managed to be both complex (a solo adventure/solo team/several players and classes) nicely combined mythical tropes and aspects from all cultures fairly respectfully, and has one of the best final boss sequences in any game medium to date (including a rather ingenious solution to avoid it).

  28. Kefren says:

    Rab – just write it. Then if necessary self-publish it on Lulu or a site like that. It will get distribution to Amazon and other sites plus an ISBN for free. Job’s a good ‘un.

    • Kefren says:

      I wrote one as a teenager, a sort-of follow up to City of Thieves. Hand-written in a hard-back book. Only one copy exists. It is pretty shit to be honest. 500 passages of silliness.

  29. Kefren says:

    By the way, people still use this format as a genre. I critiqued the start of one the other day at http://www.scribophile.com/authors/lee-delarm/works/choose-your-own-adventure-zombie-apocalypse/

  30. McDan says:

    I’m basically in love with you Rob, your writing at least. And I remember being young and going through the fighting fantasy books like (speed adjective here), I do remember city of thrives as being particularly great. It’s good to hear they’re coming back.

  31. malkav11 says:

    I would recommend a new gamebook series, DestinyQuest. The first book, Legion of Shadow, is out now in the UK, and it is a monster. Several hundred pages of well written questing using a semi-open structure where you pick quests on a world map, a new map available for each of three acts of the storyline. Surprisingly deep combat and loot, with a variety of special moves to use. And there are additional quests and such on the website. I was very impressed.