Mini txt Review: Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf

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Time for another VG Armada Quickie, and what game gets the first honor? Well an interesting title I just downloaded called “Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf”, a game based off his own game book series. Players take on the role of Lone Wolf, and yes that’s his name, where after off screen adventures (the gamebooks 1 to 5) earned his own province as Fryelord. Unfortunately before he has a chance to enjoy it, the town Rockstarn has gone dark. Charged with its protection, Lone Wolf sets off to find what has befallen it – unaware that an ancient enemy has returned. The game in its self is both ‘choose your own adventure’ and a turn based RPG. When you first start the game players can choose weapon preference, personal tactics, and Kai (magical support) abilities for their lone wolf character. After that you begin the story, and those choices you made will either help or harm you during your journey. In battle too, because certain weapons may require more stamina to wield and hit harder; while others are easier to use but don’t do much damage.

 

 

Rating

While the game’s combat can be a little unforgiving at times, especially for players who very rarely play old school RPGs. And the resource management between Health, Stamina, and Magic be can be trying too. On the whole, Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf is a good game. The story’s interesting, yet familiar if you’re a big DnD fan (and who isn’t these days). The CYOA mode is the players reading the story from a tome with illustrations (and a map of course), but in battle it transition into 3rd person field with your character and the characters he’s fighting – which is the whole process is a nice touch. Despite not being able to change the look of Wolf, you can fully customize the way he fights and solves problems in the story, so no two Wolves will be the same. Finally – this game is available on the Switch, so if you’re looking for a somewhat challenging title, that you can play on the go, that is also under $20 then this title will throw it hat into the ring as your next gaming choice.

 

 

 

Mini Game Review: Zombie High Vol.2

Zombie High vol2

 

Jane Valentine is back baby! Bring the pain to VMs and winning cool points for the dude for her dreams Tommy. Yes – as you can guess Zombie High Vol.2, the latest FTP CYOA story written by Erin Foster Hartley is live and in living black ’n white text.  Like the first volume you play as teenager Jane Valentine, the daughter of a famous general father and scientist mother, who’s starting her first day at high school. However the catch is that this is thirteen years into the zombie apocalypse and what’s left of Humanity went into hiding. So in addition to trying not to be a lame dweeb, pull home straight A’s, impressive the ‘dreamy’ (her words, not mine – so technically I’m not saying again) Tommy Fernando, but you have to fight a random zombie horde from time to time AND not become one yourself. Yeah Vol.1 was a great game/story and Vol.2 continues from where that left off. The important stats points as always are: Infection, Bullets, Cool, and Humanity. Cool and Humanity points are gains by doing cool things (in the eyes of teenagers mind you) or not being a jerk. Those points will add to your final score at the end. Infection and Bullet points have a more active effect in the game where bullets allow you to use stronger attacks while if you get too many Infection points – then you’re a zombie and the game is over.  Vol.2 still has players killing zombies and mackin on Tommy, however we get to delve more into the universe of Zombie High and explore the mysteries of the VM Zombies themselves – there maybe more to them than meets the eye. This is another great game and good read in the series, the choices are challenging but players can usually make good choices if your pay attentions to the facts of the scenario. It’s a Pass and definite download today, just make sure you play the first volume before you do.

 

 

Rating

Pass-sign

Mini Game Review – Zombie High Vol.1

ZH vol.1

 

As you all know, I’m a fan of the ‘choose your own adventure story’ games, especially the ‘Wizard Choice’ smart phone games written by Sam Landstrom. Well while we all wait for Chapter 6 of the series you might want to try a new CYOA story written by Erin Foster Hartley produced by Sam himself – it’s called Zombie High Vol.1. Since the story is set in a post-apocalyptic future where zombies infest the earth (isn’t that always the way); you know players will take on the role of a B.A., no non-sense, road warrior that’s set to purify the land one zombie at a time right? Well you’re close. You actually step into the shoes of Jane Valentine, a teenage girl who about to start her first day of High School… Now before you click to something else hear me out, the story and game is not that bad. The format is very similar to Wizard Choice: to read a column of text and at the end of it make a choice out of a number of choices. Depending on what you decided, you can come out ahead or be zombie chow, seriously. Because not only to you have to fight the forces of the undead, but navigate the social pitfalls of  high school life. Will you become a jock, a nerd, a teacher’s pet, an outcast, or will you excel with every clique and impress the dreamy Tommy Fernando (and yes I’ll never say ‘dreamy’ again)? On the whole, I’ve enjoyed the read and the choices aren’t too tough if you reason it out. The only thing that bugged me about this title is that is can get a little wordy sometimes, but hey I rather have it be too long then too short. So yeah download this title and enjoy the adventures of Jane the zombie slayer today.

 

 

Ranking

Pass-sign

 

 

 

Game Review – Wizard’s Choice Complete + Chapter 4 & 5

 

Update (8/11/13): Guess what people, the Wizard Choice walkthroughs are now available! Follow the links below:

 

Wizard’s Choice Walkthrough: Volume 1

Wizard’s Choice Walkthrough: Volume 2

Wizard’s Choice Walkthrough: Volume 3

Wizard’s Choice Walkthrough: Volume 4

Wizard’s Choice Walkthrough: Volume 5

Wizard’s Choice Walkthrough: Volume 6

 

 

Well, well, well… It’s been a full year this I did the review of the Window 7 Phone game Wizard’s Choice. I found it an excellent old school ‘choose your own adventure’ gamebook that, despite its sharp difficulty at times, was a great find for any bored role playing gamer on the road.  Sadly the Microsoft marketplace hasn’t made much gains in the gaming department. Fortunately Sam Landstrom, the creator of the Wizard’s Choice books, is picking up the slack by not only creating a new gamebook app (Wizard’s Choice Complete – which has chapters 1 through 3 in them) but releasing two new chapters for your gaming pleasure. Let the Fall of Games continue.

 

Before I go over the story this time, I must warn readers that this will contain spoilers, so for those who haven’t read ch.1-3 and plan on doing so please close your eyes, count to 60, and meet me at the next paragraph.

 

*Ahem*

 

Things are not going to hot for our Wizened Hero: first he barely escapes certain destruction at a malicious castle, then his best friend is murdered and he was pined with the crime, he discovered a demonic plot for a city wide take over in which their ring leader was freed by you back at the castle, and in order to survive and save the day you had to become a vampire (alone with your not-girl friend cleric). So yeah, suck times. Now in chapter 4 & 5 players must risk it all to do something no one in the land has never done before: find a cure for vampirism. In order to do that the duo must go to unknown lands, do battle with horrors of every shape and size, and make difficult choices that will determine if their fates continue or are sealed.

 

Wizard’s Choice Complete plays just like the separate Wizard’s Choice games: you still read from a passage & you’re given choices on how to proceed. Its outcome good or ill will affect the player’s stats, which was health, mana, gold and morale. However in ch. 4 & 5 they added a few new caveats this time around. For one you’re a vampire so that means super strength, enhanced health, and becoming a terror that flaps in the night (bonus points for those who get that reference). However that also means killer sun, constant need to suck blood, get sent to a extra dimensional reality when you sleep (that’s a new one), and everyone’s out to put a stake in your heart. Another thing is that in 4 & 5 they do away with the gold stat (you’re pretty loaded after your 1 – 3 adventure) and enhanced the morale stat. Morale not only multiply your overall score at the end of a chapter but if you lose all your morale points throughout your adventure – then you’re dead. So yeah, make decisions that color you as an inhuman monster and you’ll pay the price (sorry renege players). Finally they ramped up the difficulty to 11 in the new chapters; every choice could cost you big time and if not now then down the road.

 

 

Ranking

 

Like the first three chapters a year ago I’d enjoyed the new chapters of Wizard’s Choice; and thanks to the Complete version you can get new chapters as easy as a update. They’re still as hard as ever (even more so actually), but the chapters are still entertainingly written and the solutions to each of the choices are very logical so pay attention to the details. However this time around the game gets a perfect score because Wizard’s Choice Complete, which comes with a total of five chapters to enjoy, is completely free in Microsoft marketplace. So to recap: a good story, interesting characters, logical problem solving elements, decent reply valve, and all completely at no cost to the players. Best deal in town right here people; get it while it’s free. Keep up the good work Mr. Landstrom, I can’t wait for chapter 6.

 

 

 

Mini Game Review – Wizard’s Choice

Update (8/11/13): Guess what people, the Wizard Choice walkthroughs are now available! Follow the links below:

Wizard’s Choice Walkthrough: Volume 1

Wizard’s Choice Walkthrough: Volume 2

Wizard’s Choice Walkthrough: Volume 3

Wizard’s Choice Walkthrough: Volume 4

Wizard’s Choice Walkthrough: Volume 5

Wizard’s Choice Walkthrough: Volume 6

 

Role playing games have come a long way hasn’t it? Modern gaming, in one way or another, is a role playing experience where your choices have consequences either good or ill. A lot of people would credit Dungeons & Dragons as the role playing originator, and it’s true in many ways, but actually RPG roots are found in books. Some call them ‘Gamebooks’; others call them ‘Choose your own adventure’ (or ‘CYOA’) books, but whatever they were called they would ultimately give the reader the ability to take on the role of the main character AND choose his or her own destiny.  A nice bit of history but what does that have to do with this game review? In a world of super phones and e-readers Gamebooks can not only make a return to the forefront of personal entertainment – but can reinvent the wheel thanks to the new technology available: The Wizard’s Choice series (by Sam Landstrom) is a perfect example of this.

 

Basically you play as a nameless male wizard (sorry ladies) who’s personality will be defined as you play through the stories. He starts innocently enough hunting in the woods with his friend, but as you progress he discovers the world is in dire straits from demons, necromancers, and more. In order to set things right (and get rich doing it) the wizard must gain allies, acquire knowledge and most of all make wise choices; every turn you make or person you confide in may either give you an edge or an edge at your throat. Wizard’s Choice, as mentioned, is a gamebook so the game play is simple enough to learn: you read a passage & you’re given choices on how to proceed. Whether it was a good move or a fatal error is determined by the player’s stats, which are health, mana, gold, and morale, and how they’re affected.

 

Health is needed to live (duh), once reduced to zero you’re dead (again duh). Mana is needed for your special attacks like fireballs, illusions, and controlling spells; they can protect you from harm or obligate your enemies, but mana doesn’t regenerate easily (sorry no blue mana potions here) so pick and choose wisely. Gold, like mana, can help you out of a sticky situation but generally is use to buff your total score at the end. Morale won’t help you in the stories, but you gain them by being chivalrous or getting past problems like a true wizard (intelligently). Like gold however Morale points help in your final score, in fact, Morale points act as multipliers so if you want that high score you might have to act like a goodie-good. So in order to survive smart players must know when to take it, when to give it, when to paid for it, or just let it go.

 

 

Ranking

 

Almost a month ago I got the Window 7 phone, a great piece of tech by all accounts, but the salesman did warn me the app department was a little weak. He wasn’t kidding either but in my need to find at least one good game app I kept searching until I was awarded for my diligence. The first Wizard’s Choice story was free so I had nothing to lose, but it didn’t turned out as I thought – it was better. Challenging, a good read, and a nice use of game stats made me want to buy the other stories (two others in total, at a dollar a pop) – they were longer and more satisfying by tying the other stories together. I’m not sure if this is available on iPhones (iTouches or iPads) but for WP7 owners for a pension for role play there’s no reason not to get this gamebook app. Sure it could use some customizing (I’d rather be warrior than a wizard) and some of the choices are deceptively hard – at the end of the day the Wizard Choice was the right choice.