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03-28-2012, 03:34 AM
Celebrating the launch this week...

Last edited by Ninievre; 03-30-2012 at 08:10 AM.
03-30-2012, 08:12 AM
The Keep of the Lich-Lord app (iPhone or HD) by Megara Entertainment, remake of the well known Fighting Fantasy title, launched this week, and is temporarily discounted to 2,99 USD for this week-end! For adventure/RPG/Gamebook lovers.

04-04-2012, 10:47 AM
New reviews just in!

Review - Touchapps.com

I have been a huge fan of the electronic “RPG novel” genre. This latest variant is actually based on the Fighting Fantasy book of the same name. This update to the classic novel has been lovingly crafted by the folks that produced the iOS version of the Fabled Lands gamebooks. More than a reprint, the iOS version contains new twists and turns to the original story. It also employs the same rules and battle system that exists in the Fabled Lands apps. An epic score, immersive sound effects and hand drawn, hi-res art bring the world to life. Welcome to the new age of interactive fiction.

Review - Appadvice.com

The story is well written and fits perfectly within the gamebook genre! Much of the artwork is beautifully rendered.
04-09-2012, 07:52 AM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,803
Game Impressions

After finally getting ample time with this gamebook, I have to say I am impressed overall. I'd probably score it at something like a 4/5 overall if I were reviewing for a site, but for the Appstore with its rating scale a bit weighted toward the top, it's a 5/5 for me.

There is something different about the way Megara does its gamebooks than other companies we have seen which I have to admit, concerned me a bit initially with regard to this particular book. Whereas most of the other great gamebooks out there strive to recreate a flawless reading w/dice rolling experience, Megara seems more interested in immersion. This means that, for example, instead of a nice loop of music playing constantly in the background, there are ambient noises such as the din of a barroom which occur depending on the setting and the occasional music that is used for dramatic effect. I happen to think this approach works a bit better in the open world that is Fabled Lands, (the outstanding Megara gamebook port) than in a Fighting Fantasy book, but it's only because FF tends more towards a book experience in terms of design, which is entirely linear, whereas FL is more like what you might call a sandbox-design, and probably just feels inherently more modern and immersive.

Other aspects where the immersive vs. book-emulating design comes through: instead of being able to turn pages (within each section per decision, of course), you can only move forward, and you'll have to make use of save points as well, which makes this feel more like a console-rpg experience than a book or mobile RPG. This does impact the decision-making process, however, and I am undecided whether the save point system and lack of back-paging is a net positive or negative. In any case, it may require the player to get accustomed to the different style of play, but once you've adjusted, I don't think it is something that detracts and, for a more hardcore audience it might be preferable. (You do get to start at your last save point, and these are provided pretty liberally throughout so don't despair if you are seeking a laid-back experience).

I mentioned that Fighting Fantasy is linear, which is true. Some people take "linear" as synonymous with "bad," but really it just means a more focused experience. You can certainly replay the game multiple times, although most often if you choose to do so it will be because of a death. There are some different paths, however, to the end goal, although I am unsure if there are more than one "positive" ending. I don't believe so as I haven't experienced this in other FF gamebooks.

Where this series shines is in the excellent sense of tension that Jackson and Livingstone can build. Most of the time this is done with the introduction of new character and quests that are often extremely perilous and the outcome is never likely. The prose really glows in descriptions of gruesome beasts and this is an area in which FF outstrips other gamebooks. Even if the visual cues are always based in high-fantasy tradition, (like everything else about the writing after all), tropes, settings and especially monsters, are always offered in a way that is noticeably creative in some regard.

The previous ports of FF gamebooks were brought to us by Big Blue Bubble, who definitely took the tack of preserving the reading-sort of experience rather than the immersive, RPG-type that Megara has here. This is particularly noticeable in the way the characters approach random events. Since there are two playable classes, paladin and rogue, the characters will be more or less suitable for different situations. This in itself doesn't seem to affect gameplay all that much, as you will simply find it easier or harder to pass different events depending on which character class you're using, but it's fun to be able to view your stats, which can be powered up or effected negatively throughout the game and gives the experience more of that RPG flavor. The inventory also makes this feel more like an RPG, as gaining different weapons is expressed in terms of things like, "+3 attack." You can also view a map at any time in the game, which helps to keep you feeling situated.

The art in the original FF gamebooks is really second-to-none, and while I have to admit that I'm not familiar with David Gallagher's work, (he seems to have done the cover for the original Lich-Lord, if not the interior artwork as well), I miss the customarily incredible illustrations that this series offered in its original form. The art here does a nice enough job, however, and what's particularly nice is that every moment of the story is accompanied by some sort of visual art. There is some unevenness in terms of the overall art, but generally it is quite good, in my opinion.

So overall, you're getting a different sort of gamebook experience here--one that is both immersive and linear, well-written and presented with intention, full of art and a variety of cleverly used sound. If you like your gamebooks, it's certainly recommended, and if you're an RPG fan who'd like to dip your toe into this genre, you'll find this one of the best places to start.

Current obsessions: Bug Princess 2: Black Label, Neuroshima Hex, Pinball Arcade, Final Fantasy Tactics, MacGuffin's Curse, 1112, Dangerous, 100 Trials, Ascension, The Quest
Anticipating: Spirit Hunter Mineko, Rogue Touch EX, Fargoal 2, Cursed Realms
04-09-2012, 08:22 AM
Joined: Mar 2012
Location: BBC Studio
Posts: 195
medianotzu,thanks for those impressions.I will try this game.
04-12-2012, 03:53 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 10,763
On sale for a buck!

A must-have at this price for gamebook fans!

Originally Posted by NickFalk View Post

Worst idea ever!
04-13-2012, 07:52 AM
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: Forge World
Posts: 6,310
I'm a huge fan of the "choose your own adventure" style games and own all the gamebook and fighting fantasty series and a few others too.
So I just picked this up and I have to say right from the start it's put me off a little that the text is absolutely tiny (I'm using an iPod 4G) check the screen shot.
Well it going to carry on reading/playing anyway, it's just good I'm sitting in the house to play because I don't think I could sit and read this on the bus etc like I could with the other game books.

Anyway I'll post back with some better opinions after I've finished it.

Well I just discovered that you can press the little book in the corner of the screen to make the text full screen which helps a lot,
On another note though the battles are not as fun as the gamebook series where you have actual dice being rolled. Here you just get things like (5+7=12. =2hits).
On the up side though it's a good enough fantasy story and I can see me atleast finishing it. But I can't see it having the lasting appeal that other iOS adventure games have.

Last edited by oooooomonkey; 04-13-2012 at 08:18 AM.
10-24-2013, 11:17 AM

I'm Ninievre (Mikal Louys, GM, Megara Entertainment) who developed with my company Megara Entertainment the iOS gamebooks Fabled Lands, Arcana Agency, Keep of the Lich-Lord.

Just an update on what we're doing now! We're currently running a Kickstarter to revive the popular Way of the Tiger series, now in print, but next year there might be apps for that series as well!

If you want to help us revive the series until then, it's here and it's got 8 days remaining:

Thanks friends!