Gamebook store

Friday, 22 July 2016

All four Critical IF books reviewed



I came across this video by Marco Arnaudo in which he reviews the Critical IF books and, not being entirely indifferent to praise, I figured I'd post it here. My only quibble is that in the books you create your character by choosing four out of a list of twelve skills, not ten as stated in the video. You know me; there had to be one quibble.

Normally Mr Arnaudo reviews boardgames on his YouTube channel, but judging from the shelves there I'd say he appreciates a good book, so maybe he'll look at more gamebooks in future. And I see he's got Douglas Wolk's Reading Comics there. Good choice, sir.

And in case you haven't yet read Heart of Ice and you're swayed by the review (from 19m 45s in), don't let me stop you:



Meanwhile the rest of the Critical IF series can be found here.

8 comments:

  1. Ah, the technique of the multi finger. Guilty as charged m'lord!

    He didn't mention the brilliant ending/s to Heart Of Ice, but spot on review.

    That's it, Dave. No more praise for these books until you write another one!

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    1. I bet they said that to Van Gogh, Andy. "Sunflowers is good. Now how about some hydrangeas?"

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    2. Ah, but Van Gogh ran out of time didn't he (however self-inflicted)? I'm sure you could bash out Heart of Ice 2: The Returning in a weekend Dave. :)

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    3. He did actually produce Sunflowers 2, of a fashion. Though if it means keeping your pin intact, better keep your typewriter in the drawer, Dave.

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  2. Marco already has some other reviews of gamebooks and interactive fiction on his channel, I believe you can find them in a playlist of his titled "Paragraph Based Games" or something like that. The playlist also encompasses board games which have a paragraph book supplement, or which use cards with paragraphs, etc. It's actually through his videos that I found out about modern gamebooks, including the Critical IF series.

    His whole channel is really informative for fans of "analog gaming". He has a series of videos exploring the first wave of board games that sought to emulate the Dungeons and Dragons experience. Really interesting stuff. Lots of reviews of modern board games too.

    I recently bought Heart of Ice for my Kindle, and I'm really enjoying it. I'll probably end up getting a paperback copy someday, actually, that's how much I like it. Glad to have found this blog, Dave!

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    1. And we're glad you found us, Garrison. And thanks for the tip-off about Marco's other reviews. I'm interested to see if he's looked at Fabled Lands or Blood Sword.

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  3. Hi there Dave. Like so many, gamebooks were my introduction to the world of RPGs in the late 80s and early 90s, unfortunately I long ago parted with my collection. Now that I have a 4 month old daughter I am getting excited about the future prospect of exploring literacy and imaginative play with her through the humble GB. I owned and loved your Fabled Lands and DW rpg series, really pleased to see you are still involved. It seems that gamebooks are enjoying something of a renaissance over the last few years? I wonder if, with marketing to penetrate more into the general consciousness, the format could really take off again as a means of encouraging non-digital reading/play. Having said that, I missed out on your VR series first time round and the Kindle edition I bought today is going to give me a second chance!! :-) Mark

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    1. Hi Mark. A lot of my friends use gamebooks as sort of "RPG lite" with their kids, and it's lovely that parents can revisit those old books to use in a way that we certainly never anticipated back in the day. And hopefully in a mere 12 years or so, your daughter will enjoy my current work on Mirabilis, which I recently launched a Patreon page for. (https://www.patreon.com/mirabilis) At the moment I'm concentrating on the comic, but I may do a Mirabilis gamebook too as a way of reaching out to oldtime fans and showing them what I'm up to nowadays.

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