I did something over the weekend I haven’t done in a while. I played no MMOs. I did played several hours of the Torchlight 2 beta, but I spent a lot of my gaming time reading gamebooks. I played through Tin Man Games’ Gamebook Adventures 1: An Assassin in Orlandes and started on Michael J. Ward’s Destiny Quest: The Legion of Shadow.
Torchlight 2 was lots of fun. I think they’ve improved quite a bit over the sequel, but it’s been years since I played it so my memory if the first game is fuzzy. There seems to be more customization for your character and there’s definitely more for your character’s pet. Combat still feels great, and advancement is open enough that each of the four classes can be played very differently.
I played about five hours as an Embermage and another four as an Outsider and had a blast with both. Luckily the beta “weekend” runs through Tuesday, so I’ll get some more time to play tonight. I plan try out the Engineer so I can see what a melee focus is like.
My gamebook kick started with an email about my hard backed copy of the Destiny Quest Book 1 re-release by Gollancz. That got me to pick up the original self-published edition that I have, and that got me wanting to read (or should I say play?) some during lunch breaks last week. DQ1 is a bit massive to haul around with me, plus it’s signed by the author, so I’d rather not get it too worn out or drip ketchup on it. Instead, I checked on the Android market and found that Tin Man Games has started porting their game books from iOS to Android, so I bought their first book, An Assassin in Orlandes (store link).
Assassin is more of a classic style gamebook. Its a linear story but still interesting and fun, and it is also much easier to come to a bad end or die. Dieing while reading a gamebook in an app has been a new experience. With paper gamebooks, I usually go back a section when I come to a bad end. It is cheating, but it saves me time and hassle from starting over and making all of the sale choices again until I get back to the spot I wanted to be in. Fortunately, Tin Man Games accommodates this a little bit by allowing multiple modes and offering bookmarks.
In the Classic mode, you’re allowed three bookmarks which you can return to at any point. You can’t move a bookmark though, so once one is placed that’s it. Bookworm mode is identical to Classic as far as character creation, but you’re allowed ten bookmarks. The only difference is finishing the book on Classic unlocks the ability to cheat on dice rolls (which is nice for exploring all of the plot branches). There’s also a Beginner mode forward readers new to the genre. It allows ten bookmarks and also changes the character creation process to allow for more powerful characters.
Assassin was well worth the $4.99 for their app. Of course that might seem expensive for an app, but that’s what a paper version would cost, and the app adds the convenience of tracking combat and inventory for you, which I think is well worth it. Tin Man Games has app added in some extras. There’s a nice map, some additional background info on the setting, and even achievements.