Fairness of dice
There are a few endings beside victory or death. You could carry on living your life as a wizard or you could replace Melchion or you could win or there are many ways that you could die. The route to victory is not too difficult or too easy.
I had completed the game twice but I had still not explored all of the available pathways. You have a lot of choices on how to go about solving King Melchion’s predicament.
Puzzle solver appeal
The book involves a puzzle where you have to work out the recipe for a potion by paying attention to when the full Moon was and doing some maths. There is also a map based puzzle. You will do well with careful reading and some maths.
I loved the story to this gamebook. It begins with a mystery as to why the king is turning into a woman while you try to deal with it. When your original solution doesn’t work, the plot thickens and you have to deal with all the strange shenanigans that go on which are believable consequences of what happens in the book. However, the explanation at the end ties everything together.
It is a nice and simple system where you have a list of items and notes. I think this was a good move as a number based system would have distracted me from the great story and the exploration.
Who I voted for
This year, I voted for Peledgathol, the Last Fortress for its strategy system and having a story where you have to make difficult choices and A strange Week for King Melchion the Despicable for its puzzles and story with a great twist.
I loved reading all of the Windhammer entries and I found it very hard to make my decision. My vote is made purely based on which two I enjoyed playing the most.