Fighting Fantasy: House of Hell Review

By , on February 6, 2013

Fighting Fantasy: House of Hell
  • Publisher: Tin Man Games
  • Genre: Books
  • Released: 30 Jan, 2013
  • Size: 387.6 MB
  • Price: $5.99
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4 out of 5


  • 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.


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