Fighting Fantasy: House of Hell Review
- Perfect adaption of the FF: House of Hell novel; retains the original feel for fans of the series.
- Alternative 'casual' focused rules to help curb cheating your way to the end.
- Re-rolls add a lenient risk-reward element, especially in combat.
- Action sequences come off as tedious, killing any tension built up by the narrative; no quick-roll or quick-resolution options to get you back in to the novel as soon as possible.
- Limited appeal as an Adventure title thanks to the otherwise harsh penalties and lack of self-determined actions; a general concern of the genre.
Fighting Fantasy: House of Hell plays exactly as it should and that's a boon for FF fans, but it's a weaker follow up to the excellent Blood of the Zombies.
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I was never a Fighting Fantasy sort of person - I was, in fact, more of a Choose Your Own Adventure kid - but regardless, the same is true of all of them. You'd play along for a few rounds and some kids would take far more seriously than others, but inevitably you'd give up and 'bookmark' your way to the seemingly impossible ending (possibly ignoring dice rolls in the process).
House of Hell is the second of Tin Man Games' adaptions of the Fighting Fantasy series by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone. The first, Blood of the Zombies, featured a modified system to get down and dirty in the action, however this release returns to the tried and true dice roll system; that means you'll be rolling actions for yourself and for your enemy.
It's a double-edged sword, especially if you make use of your 're-roll' ability (players are afforded a chance to re-roll the dice and have to accept what comes up), but more importantly it's a tedious system that divorces you from the action. Thankfully players are afforded an unlimited number of 'bookmarks' regardless of the difficulty you choose, so you can always replay events if they don't go your way.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with Tin Man Games' adaption of House of Hell, in fact it's as close to the book as holding it in your own hands, but as a follow up to Blood of the Zombies it falls flat; the 'horror' element comes off as Hammer-esque, which may appeal to some, but there's less immediacy to the action elements and unless you're a serious fan you'll quickly revert to cheesing your way through the novel.
DescriptionFighting Fantasy, the world famous interactive gamebook series is back! Steve Jackson and Tin Man Games present House of Hell on iOS!!
"Taking refuge in the infamous House of Hell has to be the worst mistake of your life! The dangers of the torrential storm outside are nothing compared to the blood-curdling adventures that await you inside. Who knows how many hapless wanderers like yourself have perished within its gruesome walls? Be warned! Tonight is going to be a night to remember..."
** REVIEWS **
"This is a faithful port to an electronic format, and it is also packed with features. Old fans will love the nostalgia, and those who have never played this sort of thing before are in for a treat." - STARBURST - 9/10
"If you have any appreciation for choose-your-own adventure games, you’ll love this app. Fans of the original Fighting Fantasy series of books will absolutely love the iOS version." - PADGADGET - 4.5/5
"All the other hallmarks of the Tin Man treatment are also to be found in House of Hell, including an atmospheric soundtrack, good use of multimedia and smooth and easy usability." - GAMEZEBO - 4/5
"The extras, like the achievements, art gallery, background material, and the retro look, are features that the developer didn’t have to do, but went that extra mile." - BOARD GAME GEEK - 4/5
"House of Hell is very engaging; it manages to produce a compelling story that transcends the realm of young adult fantasy game books. It’s also a trip down memory lane for gamers who grew up reading the Fighting Fantasy paperback series. Here’s to Tin Man Games for a job well done." - PIXEL PERFECT GAMING - 5/5
** FEATURES **
House of Hell is a digital Fighting Fantasy gamebook, an interactive adventure in which YOU are the hero! You can only win through by choosing the correct path, finding equipment, avoiding traps and surviving combat.
Exclusive new features in the app:
• Make the gamebook as easy or hard as you like and even turn on a special cheat mode to read it old-school!
• Atmospheric new visuals which can be turned off to make the gamebook look like it came off the printing press in the 80s!
• Tim Sell’s classic illustrations colorised for the app, making full use of the high-resolution retina displays.
• Ian Miller's famous cover animated and brought to life.
• Fantastic new cover artwork to unlock!
• Achievements to find throughout the gamebook with full Game Center connectivity.
House of Hell has been brought to iOS using Tin Man Games’ critically acclaimed Gamebook Adventures Engine featuring:
• Universal iOS support. Buy the app once and it works on all your devices!
• Read the book horizontally or vertically on your iPad.
• An automated Adventure Sheet to keep track of stats and inventory.
• Realistic physics based dice rolling. Shake your iPhone or iPad!
• Artwork gallery. Find an illustration in the gamebook and be able to access it full-screen forever.
• Bookmarking system which saves your position in the gamebook, much like putting your fingers between the pages to remember your previous page when reading the paperback!
• Specially composed soundtrack and sound effects.
Tin Man Games have signed a licensing deal to release the Fighting Fantasy series on iOS, so expect to see more of your favourite adventure gamebooks appearing on the App Store!
Also available: The Forest of Doom, Island of the Lizard King, Starship Traveller, Caverns of the Snow Witch and Bloodbones!
Coming Soon: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain!