Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
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Since the 1980s, Fighting Fantasy adventure game books have done a fantastic job of encouraging reluctant readers to dig into some entertaining fantasy fiction. Incorporating gaming elements within a regular fictional story was an inspired move back then and it's continued to flourish, even despite the growth of more conventional gaming.
The latest book to be released in the series, Blood of the Zombies, has recently been released in physical form and so too has this iOS version, courtesy of game book experts Tin Man Games. It's a great example of the genre, too, even if the price may put some fans off slightly. Make no mistake though, it's worth it.
The story follows the tale of a student who, while travelling around, is kidnapped by an evil megalomaniac set on turning people into zombies and creating his own army of the undead. It's down to the player to escape and stop the horde from killing everyone. Predictably, with any zombie tale, there's plenty of violence to partake in!
Following typical adventure game book tropes, players are given the options of pursuing certain paths, potentially leading to success or failure. Those who aren't keen on reading might not enjoy Fighting Fantasy: Blood of the Zombies as much, purely because all action is dictated through descriptions and prose rather than any graphic scenes. There are a selection of images to convey such action, however, and these stick to the classic art style of the book series.
Along the way, the player picks up items that can be used to solve certain problems such as a key to unlock a particular door or a hacksaw that can cut apart an obstacle. Keeping track of what's going on, the player can enjoy the story rather than have to remember what items they've already accrued. Combat is simpler than in other instalments also, with a series of straight forward dice rolls helping the player defeat the hordes of zombies.
That's not to say that Fighting Fantasy: Blood of the Zombies isn't challenging though with the inclusion of three difficulty modes helping players immensely. I found it took numerous playthroughs on Hardcore mode to beat it and even then, I didn't see the "best" ending of the game. These multiple endings extend replayability immensely. Newbies might enjoy the "cheat" mode that's available but it's worth checking out Hardcore for the full and pure experience.
For fans of the series, there's an enjoyable extras section to dive into, offering a place to store all the stunning artwork as well as a very interesting history of Fighting Fantasy section. Such classy touches exude throughout the game, with a great traditional interface that's reminiscent of the books as well as a spooky soundtrack to accompany matters.
Fighting Fantasy: Blood of the Zombies won't entrance twitch gamers but for those looking for an interesting storyline and a delightful walk down memory lane, it's a sterling effort and one that very much deserves its asking price. I'm already looking forward to other Fighting Fantasy/Tin Man Games collaborations.