Judge Dredd: Countdown Sector 106 Review
- You're given quite a few options to take as you play through the story, many of them rewarding.
- Given who you're playing, combat is a lot more fair than it usually is in these games.
- Aside from a little intrigue starting out, a lot of the story is day by day, crime by crime with very little to pull the player along.
- More comic art would have nice, considering the source material.
Gamebook fans will probably enjoy playing Judge, Jury, and Executioner in this tale set in the popular dystopic comic property, but it carries many of the failings of the genre and casual players will probably either find the game too slow paced or the content too violent.
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We've reviewed a couple gamebooks here at AppSpy before. For those unfamiliar with the genre, think of it as a cross between a 'Choose Your Own Adventure' book and an RPG. In fact that's exactly what the Fighting Fantasy series was, having you make choices as you read, but also gaining stats and having to roll dice to get passed tricky situations or to win combat. Tin Man Games have been quite prolific in resurrecting this format digitally for the iPhone and iPad, with most tales being random adventures in interesting locations. With Judge Dredd: Countdown Sector 106, we get a gamebook based on an established and popular property, and for those who know Judge Dredd, you're probably already thinking that this title makes full use of stat rolls and combat, and you'd be absolutely correct in that assumption.
The story begins with Sector 106 being in need of senior Judges to pacify the populace, and being one of the most experienced Judges, you as Dredd are patrolling the streets, dealing with lawbreakers... but something is amiss. After a few shakedowns and arrests, you find the criminals are possessing little voice boxes that mimic your voice. What could this mean, and what repercussions does it have on Sector 106? Well saying anymore would be spoiling the surprise.
The story does take a while to kick in, as the first hour or so is taken up with patrolling and foiling the criminal element. Compared to other gamebooks played, there seems to be a nicer balance between dice rolls, combat, and choices made by the player. Perhaps it's the subject material that allows for so much action, and use of your lawgiver, but even though the first couple incidents leave plot crumbs that will pay off later, it feels more that rather than world building, the game is glorifying violence, hoping to appeal to more of an action game crowd than those that play gamebooks.
As with the rest of the genre, combat and stat checks are all done via virtual dice rolls. You can either watch the dice roll around, or turn on quick rolls and see whether you succeed or fail. You can also lay down bookmarks that allow you to return to pages if a choice or fight doesn't pan out, but you only get so many of these to avoid them being used as a crutch.
Seeing that Judge Dredd is a comic property, there are illustrations that accompany the text, but it feels like a wasted opportunity not to actually create a gamebook out of a graphic novel instead of just the text and occasional picture. Obviously this would change things immensely it terms of work load and design, but if this is trying to appeal to those who enjoy the source material, the extra effort may have been worth it. As it stands, gamebook fans might be split on whether they enjoy this or not. Dredd is a powerful character, and the dice rolls reflect that, giving you an easier time playing through, but there is a lot of violence, and the story itself does take a while to get off the ground. For those of you who have not tried a gamebook, this is actually a good title to jump into the genre with, it just might split fans of the genre, and its mechanics may still be a barrier to newcomers.
DescriptionDrokk! It's an adventure game. It's an interactive book. It's an RPG. You are Judge Dredd, the toughest judge to patrol Mega-City One, a vast futuristic city, set in the 22nd Century!
** REVIEWS **
“With a new Judge Dredd movie coming out, this Gamebook really fired me up and got me in the mood. And, because each time you read the book it has the potential for a different storyline and ending, Judge Dredd: Countdown Sector 106 is a steal” - WIRED
“With their latest release, Tin Man Games have proven that they can handle existing characters just as well as they do heroes of their own creation. Do yourself a favor – quit reading my words and start reading theirs.” – 4.5 out of 5 stars! GAMEZEBO
“Funny, rewarding, and pleasantly violent, Judge Dredd: Countdown Sector 106 replaces the rattle of gunfire with the rattle of dice, and it just works.” – 8 out of 10! POCKETGAMER SILVER AWARD!
“It all makes for a game that’s tough to criticize. As an adventure game book, Judge Dredd: Countdown Sector 106 succeeds very well and I suspect Judge Dredd fans will adore it all the more.” – 4 out of 5 stars! 148 APPS
“By Grud, its good.” – 8 out of 10! STARBURST MAGAZINE
You, the reader, control the direction of the story by making decisions for Dredd on each page, and choosing your path. Using a realistic dice-based battle system, you get to fight your enemies in exciting shootouts and roll your fate, as you use your array of skills against a variety of perps in an epic storyline.
"Sector 106 of Mega-City One is short of senior Street Judges and only the most experienced Judges have been reassigned to fill this shortfall…foremost among them yourself, Dredd! What begins as a routine patrol arresting juves and skysurfers, turns into a race against time, as mysterious "Voices of Dredd" find their way into the hands of the local perps. Riding your Lawmaster bike and armed with your trusty Lawgiver, you must pit yourself against Sector 106's brutal criminal underworld. Quick Dredd! The countdown has begun…"
• Newly written interactive story by Nick Robinson that takes the reader on an epic ride through Mega-City One.
• Custom built e-book interface, which is easy to use. As easy as reading a book!
• Universal app! You only need to buy this once to play on all your devices.
• Read in portrait or landscape. (iPad only)
• Dynamic page links that respond to your situation.
• Easy to change fonts and font sizes, to set up the book the way you want it.
• New gamebook rules and battle system using the Gamebook Adventures Engine. Judge's Handbook included so that rules can be accessed at any time during the adventure if you need to refresh yourself.
• Real-time 3D dice rolling with realistic physics. Shake the device like a dice shaker and watch the 3D dice bounce around the scene and off each other.
• Make skill rolls based on the weapons you use, your fitness levels, and your perceived authority.
• Accessible inventory sheet at all times during reading, which auto updates when you pick up an item, your stats change, or you gain valuable patrol notes.
• Difficulty levels - Hardcore, Medium and Novice. Play the book how it was meant to be played or casually read it in an easier mode.
• Use bookmarks to save your progress, helping you get past tricky sections.
• Achievements to collect throughout the book for those who wish to thoroughly explore all aspects of the story.
• Perp records sheets to collect during the adventure. Once a criminal is arrested or killed, their database updates with background information. Catch them all!
• Beautifully illustrated by German Ponce and other popular Dredd artists. Once found, each illustration is mounted on the achievements wall.
• High resolution artwork that takes advantage of the new iPad screen resolution and retina displays.
• Amazing soundtrack and sound effects accompany the story, which can be turned on and off if required.