Developer: Tin Man Games
Price: $5.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Rarely putting a foot wrong in the past, Tin Man Games has continued that trend with an exceptionally enjoyable adventure game book conversion of The Forest of Doom. The third book in Ian Livingstone’s Fighting Fantasy series, it’s also one of the most well known and popular amongst fans. In this instance, Tin Man Games has done a fine job of transferring it to iOS, with some great fan service thrown in for good measure.
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The story tells the journey of an adventurer attempting to traverse the Darkwood Forest in order to find the two crucial pieces to the legendary Warhammer of Stonebridge. Find the Warhammer pieces and the Dwarves of Stonebridge are saved. Fail and, well, it’s not good. As in the case of all other Fighting Fantasy games and books, the reader is the hero and it’s down to them to choose what paths to take, what monsters to fight or run from, and what items to collect along the way. Fighting Fantasy: The Forest of Doom isn’t one for those wanting plenty of action, but those enjoying role playing and reading will savor its every moment.

That’s not to say that interactive moments aren’t plentiful, there’s lots to do here. Besides choosing from various routes through the forest, combat is also important here. A series of dice rolls define what happens next with players able to tap on screen to re-throw them. It’s simple but satisfying to work through, with the ability to test one’s luck offering the means in which to inflict extra damage. Auto-mapping features also play a role here, proving useful for those trying to understand where they are and what their next route will be. It’s an excellent new addition to an already sturdy game engine.

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There’s a choice of different game modes, such as the cheater friendly Free Read, allowing players to reheal as much as they want, as well as go back a page if they don’t like the result. Excitingly, for the Fighting Fantasy connoisseur, there’s the Hardcore mode, offering a much harder experience as well as a different ending. Combined with plenty of different achievements, there’s huge incentive to play the game more than once.

It’s the storytelling and artwork of Fighting Fantasy: The Forest of Doom that shines through the most, however. There’s an Artwork gallery to browse through if one so wishes, and it really is quite attractive for those keen on such things. Similarly, it’s possible to read about how The Forest of Doom came to be, courtesy of Ian Livingstone explaining all.

Such fan service is the icing on the cake, on an already highly enjoyable title. It’s the kind of experience that reminds one what fun interactive fiction can be, as well as making the promise of new Fighting Fantasy titles from Tin Man Games soon, all the more exciting.

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