Game Reviews

Fighting Fantasy: The Forest of Doom

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Fighting Fantasy: The Forest of Doom

The Fighting Fantasy series of books was what young boys used to do for excitement before video games allowed them to visit mystical realms without having to use their imaginations.

We've already seen digital versions of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (by Big Blue Bubble) and Blood of the Zombies (by Tin Man Games, which is responsible for the series these days).

The Forest of Doom is the next book to get the update treatment, following on from House of Hell. It's something of a nostalgic step into the past for many players, as The Forest of Doom is in fact the third novel in the series, originally hitting store shelves back in 1983.

Age has done little to dim the power of the book, and its new digital clothing allows it to shine brighter than ever before.

Elf and safety

Following the ghoulish Blood of the Zombies and House of Hell, The Forest of Doom offers a more traditional fantasy setting, packed with orcs, goblins, and dragons.

Malcolm Barter's original illustrations have been lovingly updated and colourised for this new release, lending the adventure a sense of freshness - so much so that it's hard to believe that these drawings are 30 years old.

Given that Tin Man Games's previous two efforts were quite similar in tone, the change of scenery in The Forest of Doom is very welcome indeed. It's also encouraging to see the developer adding content to its already-robust Gamebook engine - you now have an auto-map, which records your progress and makes your choices that little bit easier.

Bookmarking

Common issues with Fighting Fantasy books remain, however - death can often come suddenly and without warning, but Tin Man Games has done what it can to lessen the blow by including a Free Read mode, which is the digital equivalent of the old "bookmark" method we all used to resort to with the original books.

Add some lavish helpings of fan service - such as series creator Ian Livingstone's explanation of how the story of The Forest of Doom came to be - and you've got an incredibly attractive package, and one which more than justifies the somewhat steep asking price.

Fighting Fantasy: The Forest of Doom

Whether you're a long-standing admirer of the original books or a complete newcomer, Forest of Doom is role-playing adventure at its finest, and comes back with delicious fan service to boot
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