What are Fighting Fantasy game books?
I had to do some research first, as I had never seen these before. These book were originally published from the early 80's up until 1999. It appears that new editions were released and some of the them are being turned in apps now.
It's essentially like those Choose Your Own Adventure books (which I read as soon as the library got new ones when I was kid. I now have a small collection of them on my shelf) but you have a score sheet and dice. I photocopied the score sheet (which they recommend) rather than writing in the book itself.
When fighting something, you roll both sides so my frequent low rolls are more balanced here.
How has the story proceeded so far?
I started as a fighter (no other choices but you get to use magic via gems) in a town. The story will always direct you into the Scorpion Swamp but your reason for going in will vary. I chose the neutral path (instead of Good or Evil) by agreeing to work for a merchant looking for a path through the swamp. He's willing to pay a lot for a map and he gave me a bunch of gems to help. Spell gems are broken out by type, so if I had chosen Good or Evil, I would have different spells.
I started by selecting 5 gems: Stamina, 2 Luck (since my luck skill roll was poor), Ice, and a Fire spell.
I first used the Ice spell to get across a river without having to swim and fight whatever shadowy being was in. I then ran into some Sword Trees - yes, trees wielding swords. I tried my fire spell but that only did 2 points of damage and they had 12 health. You do 2 points for every successful strike, so I wasted my fire spell by assuming it would just burn them all down.
I got past them and decided to head west. My goal is to map a way through to the north end of the swamp (I started at the southern end) and just charging north seemed like a bad idea. I thought I was outsmarting the authors. Nope. I ran into a dead end with a Giant Scorpion. I had a bit of trouble defeating that and when I returned to the site of the sword trees, they had already re-grown!
After that fight, I had to use my Stamina spell gem to get my health back.
I'm currently at a clearing with a unicorn, who's challenging me to a fight. I have no spells other than Luck, so I can either run (and take 2 damage for running) or fight it.
I'm very impressed with how it works. You get to make a ton of choices. The combat is simple the luck system lets you try to modify the outcomes. I've been collecting some items, which I can only hope will be useful later on. I'm really hoping that killing the unicorn will pay off with some more magic since I'm low already.
There's an entire character setup section as well as full instructions for combat, magic, etc. It's easy to get going, once you make your photocopy (or just draw score sheet).
The writing is okay, considering it has to be concise.
The artwork is not good but I'm not getting hung up on that.