Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Return to the Catacombs of the Undercity!

Wow! How long has it been? I'd talk about why it's been a while, but frankly it's just tedious real life nonsense that may be of personal importance but has nothing to do with this blog. It would be good if there was now an improvement in my blogging output, but I start a Masters in August, so there may well be an ongoing struggle between what I want to do, and what I should be doing...

In the meantime, (and how is it my pageview stats have essentially doubled even though I have posted absolutely nothing?) my entry in Tin Man Games "Gamebook Adventures" series, Catacombs of the Undercity, has been accumulating some very promising and awesome reviews (and no, I didn't pay anybody - I'm flat broke!).

Firstly, Tim Harvey gave it 4 out of 5 over at Proxholic, noting:

"In many ways, the gamebook really emphasizes the game aspect, since it's all-in-all a very interactive experience. The book part of the equation is really well-done too, however, with a very well-written story and some interesting and compelling characters."

Tim also notes that the gameplay is:

"An excellent mix of compelling story, branching choices for exploration and replayability, fun RPG elements and lots of random outcomes to keep you on the edge of your seat!"

Secondly, Andy Boxall at iPhoneFreak said that it was the best in the series yet (although Al Sander's The Wizard of Tarnath Tor has since been released to some deservedly fantastic reviews)!

Andy's review went on to say:

"If you’re an experienced role-player, then the thought of battling through dimly lit tunnels will probably appeal, and it certainly did to me!  Thanks to the descriptive writing, it’s easy to lose yourself in the story and even without the help of those excellent illustrations – from the same artist who worked on An Assassin in Orlandes – mentally visualizing your world is easy and very rewarding. 

I’m not going to bury the lead here, Catacombs of the Undercity is the best entry into the Orlandes series I’ve played yet.  It’s exciting, atmospheric and even amusing at times, plus there are plenty more beasties to battle too."

Lastly, Digitally Downloaded gave it 4.5 stars out of 5, saying:

"What makes this gamebook if anything better than Tarnath Tor is the story itself. Within the first passage of the book your character finds himself thrown down a deep, dark well, with no equipment. The goal? To survive and escape. This means the book is a classic dungeon crawl in its truest form, which is incidently a perfect fit for the form.

Given the quality of the story, this is the one of the best gamebooks I’ve ever played."

What can I say, other than I'm really happy that the amount of work I put into planning and writing Catacombs of the Undercity, and all the effort the amazing Tin Man team put into getting it into a publishable format, has been duly recognized!

You can find Catacombs of the Undercity here.


  1. All well deserved reviews. It's great!

  2. Thanks Warren! I was going through the .doc version of it a few days ago for some spoilers for the Touch Arcade forum and it reads well. Personally I think Tin Man should write up a pen and paper version of their rules so they can flog these as PDFs on Lulu or RPGnow, for those who lack iDevices.