Back in the 80’s, videogames were nothing more than simple arcade-style adventures with pixel-heavy models. But before videogames had any of the required components to for telling compelling story, including realistic graphics, voice acting, and solid writing, adventure seekers with an active imagination could jump into an interactive story anytime they wanted to via gamebooks.
One of the most beloved series of the genre, Fighting Fantasy, turns 30 this year, and Tin Man Games — the creators of the popular mobile Gamebook Adventures series –want to do the franchise justice. They’ve just announced they’ll be bringing Fighting Fantasy gamebooks to mobile devices using their already successful gamebook engine.
For many adults, this series was the first time a generation could experience anything close to an interactive fantasy realm, and the series’ popularity for licensing has shown. Big Blue Bubble (makers of Burn the Rope) adapted a handful of Fighting Fantasy books for iOS back in 2010. More recently, Epic Games’ “Make Something Unreal” contest challenged developers to relive a Fighting Fantasy adventure through a modern engine.
The new Tin Man title, however, won’t be a remake of an old classic, but will instead be a new adventure that’s also destined for bookshelves, Blood of the Zombies.Helping them recapture this essence is one of the original authors: now 62-year-old Ian Livingstone himself.
“I almost forgot how much fun it is to write a Fighting Fantasy gamebook, especially designing fiendish ways of luring readers down the wrong path! When I started writing Blood of the Zombies I wasn’t sure whether I should be aiming it at the 10 year-old readers of 1982 or the 40 year-olds they are now, not to mention the young adults of today!” said Livingstone. “But it has been a lot of fun, and the positive comments I received from people whilst writing it really spurred me on. I hope Blood of the Zombies is a worthy addition to the series.”
If Ian’s writing is even close to its mystical charm in the 1980’s, we’re positive that Tin Man Games can make it great. Their acclaimed gamebook engine includes animated page turning, an automated skill tracker, and physics-based 3D dice that are rolled by shaking your mobile device. We’ve loved their gamebooks in the past, and they’ll be pulling out all the stops to make these new versions extra special.
The powerful alliance between old and new doesn’t stop there, however. The other half of Fighting Fantasy, Steve Jackson, will be represented in Tin Man’s second release: the 1984 classicHouse of Hell. Classic Fighting Fantasy fans will be able to relive the experience, while modern-day role players will be able to try the gamebook medium for the first time through untold tales.
Blood of the Zombies is due for release this August, for iOS, Android, and old-school book form. Whether you have a shiny mobile device or not, gamebooks are back in a medium that everyone can enjoy.