Starship Traveller was released on Steam as well recently. Very impressed with this digital conversion; great new art work, loved the music and the overall look and feel. Not surprised it got an award.
I get the impression that the other Steam releases were well received, so I hope there'll be more soon.
I got Starship Traveller for Android yesterday. It looks great, sounds great, and is fun to play. Some of the battles can be a little confusing, but you get used to them. I'm pleased to see the superfluous paragraph numbers removed. They have no place really in a phone app adaptation of a gamebook. And odd adherence to tradition.
The app's biggest failure is the same failure as was present in the original, that mapping the thing is quite impossible. You could happily be on your way to a particular location, stop somewhere else on the way, explore, only to find you are no longer given the option to continue on to your original destination. Some clarity as to the reasons for this could have been given by the automatic mapping system in this app. However, whereas the automatic mapping of Darkwood Forest on Forest of Doom at least gave you some idea of which part of the forest you were in, the mapping of the galaxy in which Starship Traveller is set really is a waste of time. Where these apps seem to miss the point is that we map our way through a gamebook so as to guide our next attempt. If the map returns to blank at each attempt, the mapping is barely useful. Considering the apps' open use of the form of cheating they calls 'bookmarks' (ie saving a position so that you can return to it later) their unwillingness to facilitate a map that remains filled in between attempts, something that is encouraged by the books and by the ethos of gamebooks which assume you will require several attempts, seems perplexing. I keep getting fairly pointless awards for doing things that are often inane, yet the notion of a reward for a fully completed map, something that would be deeply satisfying to many players, seems not to have occurred to the designers.
I don't know whether there's a future for the Fighting Fantasy game system. If there is, it's certainly not down the road of Blood of the Zombies, which may prove to be the final stake through Fighting Fantasy's heart. I've noticed there isn't even a thread here for discussing the app based on that book, which I'm unsurprised about having bought the app a few days ago. But perhaps there is a chance for the system to be implemented in future apps based on the ethos and advantages of gamebooks (the value of narrative and illustrations, a true way through that requires little risk, while retaining entertaining alternate paths) while enhancing the advantages afforded by apps (less restricted exploration and options, perhaps more strategy in battles). At the moment, these app adaptations are excellent ways to conveniently relive the fun once had with gamebooks, but they are odd hybrids that don't really use either the possibilities of the gamebook or the app to their best advantage.
The Blood of the Zombies app does have thankfully easier difficulty levels than the book. Still never managed to beat the thing though. Would you rather see more FF adaptations like the Appointment with FEAR app?
I'm not sure if that question was meant rhetorically.:-) I actually downloaded Appointment with F.E.A.R. on to my PC a while ago. I played it for a short time before tiring of it. It was pretty infuriating. I perhaps haven't given it the chance it deserves. It was brave but I don't think it worked.
I've just completed Starship Traveller. It was a fun adventure with plenty of chances to explore, which is what I like most.
No, sorry I didn't mean it rhetorically. My thinking was that although the AWF app feels a lot more modern and slick (a few bugs notwithstanding) I can't help but feel I liked the original design more. If FF is dead in print form (which is looking sadly likely), I think it would be great if new FFs were released as apps by Tin Man Games but I'd rather see them take the Starship Traveller approach than the AWF one. Though I think that maybe that's just nostalgia on my part which is why i was wondering what your thoughts were.
Well, yes, I think I'd agree. I haven't played the Appointment with F.E.A.R. android app, but if it resembles the download on my laptop, I wasn't keen. And I remember loving that book. I really probably should give it another chance, however. There were many beautiful little touches to Starship Traveller, that may not have directly affected gameplay, but enhanced enjoyment. I derived great childish pleasure from giving my crew, and my starship for that matter, delightfully filthy names, and then reading those names throughout the text of the adventure. Ahhh, it's the simple things...! I'd like to see adventures designed specifically as an app, using the Fighting Fantasy system but without the restrictions of a book's text, loosely following the style of the current apps, but not the more experimental approach of AwF. And perhaps, in the future, multiple player adventures. Who knows?