Fighting Fantasy: House of Hell Mixes Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Books with RPG Gaming – iPad App Review

FF House of Hell LogoFighting Fantasy is a series of books from the eighties that combines choose-your-own-adventure stories with role-playing game elements. The original creators of the popular fantasy books have teamed up with Tin Man Games to bring the original House of Hell title to iOS.

Players, or readers, start by choosing a level of difficulty. If you’ve never played a Fighting Fantasy game book before, it is probably best to start with the easiest level so you can familiarize yourself with the concept. Once you’ve gotten through a small portion of the book, you can reset it and start over with a harder level.

FF House of Hell 7   FF House of Hell 8

At the beginning of the game, you’ll be asked to role for your statistics. The app does this for you. All you have to do is tap the die button. You’ll generate stats for Stamina, Luck, Skill, and Fear. Each stat is used throughout the adventure. If you run out of any of them, you loose and the story will end.

To start the game, simply begin reading the book. After a few pages, you’ll be prompted to make your first decision. Don’t worry. You won’t be killed off right away. Just go with your gut and choose what you might in real life. Or, go the complete opposite and choose what you would never do in real life.

FF House of Hell 2   FF House of Hell 1

Eventually, you’ll end up in sticky situations where you will gain Fear points, which will eventually drive you insane, or lose Stamina, which will eventually kill you off. If you end up making enough poor choices along your adventure, you may find yourself in a fight with the undead.

Your adventure sheet shows your current stats, like total stamina and fear, and lists the things you have learned along the way, like which wine you should avoid drinking and what items you have found.

FF House of Hell 5   FF House of Hell 4

When you are faced with a monster, you can either fight or flee. If you fight, your character’s statistics will be pitted against the enemy. When you tap the “Fight” button, you and the monster will simultaneously roll a set of six-sided dice. If the enemy manages to reduce your stamina and skill stats to zero before you reduce his, then you’ve been defeated and must start the adventure over. If you win, then you can continue your quest.

The entire book is based on a series of decisions on your part, combined with the strategic battle tactics of role-playing games. In the House of Hell, you either defeat your foe, or die trying.

FF House of Hell 6   FF House of Hell 5

What I Liked: The game’s graphics are perfect for this type of adventure. The illustrations are based on the original artwork by Tim Sell. You can even set the game to “retro” to make it look exactly the way it did when it first came out in print in 1984.

What I Didn’t Like: I’d like to be able to roll for my own stats and attacks. I suppose the pre-generated virtual dice keeps people from cheating, but it would be fun to be able to roll your own fate.

To Buy or Not to Buy: If you have any appreciation for choose-your-own adventure games, you’ll love this app. Fans of the original Fighting Fantasy series of books will absolutely love the iOS version. Tin Man Games is promising many more Fighting Fantasy titles in the future so keep an eye out.

About Lory: Writer of all things app related, traveler of the space-time continuum, baker of really great cookies. Follow me @appaholik