Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tales from the Catacombs...

There's slowly been some feedback filtering downwards to my lair concerning Catacombs of the Undercity, my adventure for Tin Man Games' line of Gamebook Adventures for the various iDevices. Firstly, it's got nothing less than 5 star reviews at iTunes! Yay!

Secondly, this awesome review was posted as a comment to the Tin Man website:

This release got me into your games, thanks! I haven’t finished it yet, but I’ve played through to various bad ends more than a few times, and died countless times before even crossing the river… and I’m still finding new things to explore, and there are a few more achievements to pick up. The “roll three ones” one took the sting out of a nasty roll, and it’s been fun seeing which ones I get whilst exploring.

I also bought 2 & 3, which look awesome from the brief time I’ve spent on them. I am very happy with them all, except for the way they’ve filled my iPhone’s gamebooks folder and wrecked my beautiful organisational scheme. I guess I’ll just have to buy the rest when 6 comes out, to tidy things up.

So far, though, 5 (and perhaps the others) are among my favourite classic-style gamebooks. I can’t possibly compare them to Fabled Lands, as it’s a different style of game entirely, and Lone Wolf has the ongoing saga aspect with its pluses and (mostly, to me) minuses, but they’re better than every Fighting Fantasy game I’ve played, and my school used to have a shelf full of them. Keep up the excellent work!

Thirdly, Warren had a bash on the iPod Touch, and said:

I spent a couple of hours of unadulterated pleasure playing this last night, the perfect salve for a cold! I really enjoyed the atmosphere and the gameplay. I usually don't play gamebooks by the rules, but it was strangely liberating being made to, and not being able to flick back to the previous paragraph continuously (helped of course by knowing that you're not the sort of author who kills people for choosing one random option over another).

As for the dice, I loved them. I know it's just random number generation, but having dice on the screen made it seem less random than 'you lose/win'. And it seems to me, although I need to play a lot more to be sure, that the Tin Man system makes the most of random rolls, with players getting more random rolls the higher their stats are, so that the randomness comes down as you get better.

Looking forward to playing more. I have to work out how to power up without losing all my health and money...

Finally, a friend in Bangkok now has it on their iPod Touch, so I'll get to see my own adventure, plus all the hard work that Tin Man Games have put in, when I hang out with them at the pub tomorrow. The Undercity beckons...

[Remember, if you get stuck in the Catacombs and need some spoilers - let me know, and I'll dig out my flowcharts and see if I can help you out!]


  1. Further to this, I played Catacombs of the Undercity on my friend's iPod Touch and it is amazing! Things I liked on my brief play-through:

    Gameplay - very smooth.
    Orlandes background history - immersive.
    Unlockables - gives you extra goals to aim for.

    I had to stop playing after unlocking a bunch of goodies my friend wasn't too happy about! It's a total blast and Tin Man have done an amazing job putting it together from the rather
    scrappy manuscript I sent them a while back! Nice one!

  2. ridiculously easy, I can as a 1/1 with 7 fitness and 2 vita take out a 100+ vita 6/6. Damn silver weapons are far too difficult to find however.