Saturday, April 16, 2016

April A to Z - N is for the new gamebook wave

Hello all! Today, I thought I would show you around some of the great works that have arisen since the gamebook rennaisance of the late naughties. For Z, I'm going to show you some free ones you can get, but today, I will show you all the new gamebook series that incorporate original ideas and use 30 years woth of lessons to improve them, homage them, parody them or do all three at once.

Original physical Gamebooks

Chooseomatic books

These books written by Matt Youngmark are surreal, humourous parodies of gamebooks, or pop culture, or both. Excellent in every way.

Killing Hitler with Praise and Fire

The only book so far in the Choose Your Own Horrible Histories series, but still very good. You play a time traveller in the far future. Your computer has calculated that most of the world's problems stem from Hitler and you have to go back in time and stop him.

Explore-A-Quest 

A series of gamebooks covering a range of genres by Anthony Lampe. Something for everyone.

iHero

A series by the Two Steves that covers a huge range of  settings and stories. Have a look at them.

2 Fisted Fantasy adventures

Dangerous Worlds gamebooks -book 1 and book 2

Road Less Travelled books

These are excellent gamebooks by Jeffrey Dean, set in a post apocalyptic world, but there are plenty of twists in both the story. The books also get very meta about gamebooks.

Maelorum

An excellent series set in a world of dark fantasy and magic. Book 2 is in progress, so keep your eyes peeled.

Shinte Warrior

An excellent martical arts series, which reminded me of Way of the Tiger.

The Frankenstein Wars 

A new app by Paul Gresty, currently in development. Check out its kickstarter page for more details.

The Good the Bad and the Undead

A book being written by Ashton Saylor and based on notes from the Fabled Lands guys. It also got funded on Kickstarter and features wild west and undead. Good times.

Arcana Agency

An excellent book written by Paul Gresty based on 1920s paranormal investigators - wonderful story and mystery.

Heavy Metal Thunder series - So it's a Kindle (or app series), but it still counts as a new series. Currently running at 2 books by Kyle B. Stiff (not a pen name), this series follows a human super soldier in the far future who is trying to help reclaim Earth from some invaders. The story is fast paced, funny and sometimes poignant. There is plenty to go as the second book is mainly on Pluto, so look out for more. Book 1 is here and book 2 is here. You can also buy them as apps from Cubus Games.

Original gamebook app makers 

Choice of Games

This offers a huge number of apps along with its own script, Choice Script. Choice of Games apps are very narrative and character driven and all have a wide range of stories from playing a dragon to a superhero to an estate agent. Check them out.

Tin Man Games

This app company offers an excellent range of gamebooks from its original fantasy world Orlandes (where my own book Asuria Awakens is set) to doing rmakes of Fighting Fantasy books (some with new twists like Starship Traveller and Appointment with F.E.A.R) to pop culture parodies (like Vampire Boyfriends) to jsut about anything else.

Inkle 

This offers a relatively small number of apps, but they really push the boundaries of interactive fiction. Its works include Frankenstein, 80 Days and the Sorcery! series, but with a lot more material than the original gamebooks.

Cubus Games

Company that makes very pretty and lovely gamebook apps. So far, they have made the Sinister Fairground, Kyle B. Stiff's Heavy Metal Thunder Series and Dave Morris's Necklace of Skulls.
Gamebook rereleases

There are also rereleases of old gamebook series which have been given new art, had their inconsistencies tidied up or had new books in the series made (or all of these).

Way of the Tiger

This excellent martial arts series set on the magical world of Orb had massive funding on Kickstarter and now David Walters cleaned up books 1-6 and wrote a prequel, Ninja! and book 7, Redeemer!, which finally sees Avenger getting out of a massive spider web. 20 years was a long time to hang around.

Fabled Lands Book 7

The wonderful Paul Gresty is currently writing the first book in the second half of the Fabled Lands series. In case you don't know, the Fabled Lands gamebooks were supposed to be a series of 12 gamebooks that spanned an entire world that could be explored. Only 6 were written in the mid 90s (just as gamebooks declined in popularity), but finally a kickstarter has funded book 7. Also, Paul Gresty has just appeared next to me in a puff of smoke. It must be because I mentioned him 3 times in this post.

Crypt of the Vampire

This is book 1 in the Golden Dragon series that is also being cleaned up and expanded by David Walters.

So there we have it, my lovelies - the gamebook genre is alive and kicking!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.