Game Reviews

Fighting Fantasy: Blood of the Zombies

Star onStar onStar onStar onStar half
Fighting Fantasy: Blood of the Zombies

Blood of the Zombies is a pretty big deal. Not only is the book a celebration of the 30th anniversary of the birth of the series, but it's also the first time Tin Man Games has taken on the digital version.

Throw in the return of Ian Livingstone, co-creator of the series, on writing duties, and you're left with something that should be rather special.

And that's exactly what you get. The match between Tin Man's gamebook system and the violent tale of escape and slaughter in an eastern European castle is one made in play-as-you-read heaven. This is gory, entertaining digital gamebook play at its very best.

Club dead

The story begins with you being held prisoner in the bowels of an ancient castle, eating slop dished out by a fat guard who takes great pleasure in kicking you in the ribs.

After an escape and a thin slice of exposition, you're left to explore the castle, kill the zombies that stalk its halls, and figure out the dark conspiracy that lurks behind it all.

You choose your route through the castle, deciding which way to head when you come to a junction, and whether or not to open doors when you're presented with a choice. Searching often rewards you with new weapons, med-kits, or other useful items to slip into your bag.

Combat is a swift and satisfying game of numbers. You roll a digital die, it rattles around the screen, and then the game adds some bonuses depending on what weapon you've got equipped and tallies up the number of zombies you've sent back to hell.

Full stamina

There are multiple ways to play through the game, and secrets you missed the first time round can be discovered in your next play-through. It's tough, as well - especially on the hardest of its three difficulty settings - and sometimes seemingly innocuous actions can lead to gruesome death.

But starting again never feels like a chore, and choosing a new way to head is as simple as tapping one option instead of the other. There are bookmarks, too, which act like checkpoints and let you skip back to before you made a decision.

Blood of the Zombies is a hugely enjoyable, brilliantly presented, hilariously violent romp. If this is your first gamebook or your 30th, you're going to have a whale of a time.

Fighting Fantasy: Blood of the Zombies

A wonderfully presented mash-up of game and book, Blood of the Zombies is every bit as entertaining as you'd expect