Game Reviews

Fighting Fantasy Legends Portal review - The game book reimagined as a dungeon crawl

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Fighting Fantasy Legends Portal review - The game book reimagined as a dungeon crawl

What happens when you take a dungeon crawler, a choose-your-own-adventure book, and a board game, roll them into one package, and then polish that package to a shiny mirror sheen?

Well, you get something like Fighting Fantasy Legends Portal. And if you like the sound of all those things being rolled up into one weird sort of sausage, then you're going to love everything about it.

But while there is a lot to like here, if you're looking for something with more of an action flavour, you're definitely better looking somewhere else.

Final fantasy

The game is based around three of the classic Fighting Fantasy adventure books - Deathtrap Dungeon, Trial of Champions, and Armies of Death. You pick a hero at the start, set your skill, luck, and stamina points, then set off into the unknown.

There are plenty of choices to make here. Almost every junction you come to on the map, you'll be faced with a decision. Turn left, jump down a hole, open a door, try and steal a rolled up scroll from the desiccated corpse of a knight, that sort of thing.

Fighting Fantasy Legends Portal iOS review screenshot - The start of a new game

You'll also face chance cards. These drop when you stumble across floating question marks. They might give you health potions, but they might throw monsters into your path that you have to fight.

Fights involve rolling stacks of dice. They have symbols on them representing attacks. The more you roll, the more damage you do. You can upgrade your dice as you level up, adding more symbols and giving you more chance to hurt your foes.

Fighting Fantasy Legends Portal iOS review screenshot - The Chaos Warrior gets in a fight

And that's about the shape of things. You wander through the branching dungeons, killing, finding, setting off traps, and making choices. If the game doesn't get you within the first hour or so, it's not going to get you at all.

There's a very deliberate pace to things here. Some people are going to find it plodding, some people are going to find it measured. Which of those two camps you fit into is going to define whether you love or meh Fighting Fantasy Legends Portal.

Portal out of here?

What the game offers is a new way to experience the Fighting Fantasy adventures of yore. And it's a fresh and pretty exciting way at that.

There's still reading, but not as much as you'd find in the books. And there's still random tragedies thanks to the dice, but you do feel a little more in control, even if that's just a feeling.

But what Fighting Fantasy Legends Portal does, it does really really well. There's a gloomy, slow-paced fun here, and if you're the sort of person that likes that, you're going to adore every second you spend with it.

Fighting Fantasy Legends Portal review - The game book reimagined as a dungeon crawl

Everything that Fighting Fantasy Legends Portal sets out to do, it does just right. And if you're into that sort of thing, you'll love it
Harry Slater
Harry Slater
Harry used to be really good at Snake on the Nokia 5110. Apparently though, digital snake wrangling isn't a proper job, so now he writes words about games instead.