- Series: Critical IF gamebooks
- Paperback: 252 pages
- Publisher: Fabled Lands Publishing; 2 edition (September 2, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1909905003
- ISBN-13: 978-1909905009
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 20 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #608,693 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Heart of Ice (Critical IF gamebooks) 2nd Edition
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About the Author
Dave Morris is a writer and games developer whose works have been published in more than a dozen languages. He is a physicist who has also spent a year as the UK’s bestselling fiction writer, and a videogame designer whose literary work has been awarded a Kirkus star. He was a mentor in the American Film Institute’s Digital Content Lab, reflecting his interest in the boundary between storytelling and games, an interest that led him to the “EQ interactivity” of his reworking of Frankenstein and that now has him working on a follow-up that will peel a raw patch off readers’ perceptions of their own moral code. His other interactive works include the Critical IF adventure gamebooks, and he is the co-creator and author of the graphic novel epic Mirabilis: Year of Wonders.
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Top customer reviews
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I have to say, it was pretty solid. The recording of inventory, weapons, and even hit points on a character sheet brought me straight back to my Dungeons & Dragons days, but the story still kept to the simplicity of what it actually is: a CYOA book. Having written a series of CYOA books myself, called Ultimate Ending, I was glad to see other authors working just as hard to keep this genre alive!
I liked the setting, the story, and the gameplay. The book flowed well, and the characters were interesting. I even feel like there was an "ultimate" winning ending mixed in there somewhere, although I think I just missed it. I went back quite a few times to try and find out what I was missing, but the best ending I could come up with was bittersweet at best. And that's totally okay. The story is set in a pretty grim and gristly world to begin with.
Anyway, this was a lot of fun and it took me back to some really great nostalgia. The artwork was very detailed and reminded me of the stuff you'd see Omni magazine. Overall fantastic job. Are there any more of these? 5-stars!
Heart of Ice is regarded by many as the pinnacle of the genre. The plot, setting, characters, and the prose itself are all a cut above the usual fare, and it is both quick and engaging to read. What makes it really special, though, is that it stands on its own as good science fiction. Rather than simply being a series of puzzles, it presents philosophically and morally challenging decisions to make.
Since, unlike most other game books, dice are not required, it is good for reading/playing on the go, not requiring a surface to roll on. I do not consider it to be an overly challenging game book. Simply choosing a character and playing to the character's strengths should get you somewhere interesting, if not always to the end of the plot.
If you enjoy HoI, or want to try your hand at a different game book, Morris co-wrote a series called "Fabled Lands" that is like an open world, sandbox video game in book form (See Fabled Lands 1: The War-Torn Kingdom). Also, for a well written, enjoyable, and more recent take on the genre, you can try The Legion of Shadow (DestinyQuest).
Particularly for the 99-cent current price, it's well worth trying if you have any interest in this sort of game-book. The e-book is thoughtfully designed so that the links can be clicked on, and you don't have to manually "go to page 524".
It's set in a bleak future, where environmental control of the earth has been lost to a malfunctioning and inscrutable computer program named Gaia. Most of the earth is encased in ice, and science and technology have been all but forgotten. The dwindling population has settled in to wait for the end of humanity. Owing to a rogue transmission from Gaia, the location of the Heart of Volent, an ancient artifact with immense power, has been revealed to a few. You must make your way across the frozen and ruined earth to the lost city where the artifact lies. Once there, you must compete for its retrieval against a group of miscreants and adventurers who also seek the artifact.
The tone of the whole thing is perfect. It is a grim and original apocalyptic future, lovingly and skillfully described. Russ Nicholson's illustrations, while not plentiful, are amazing and absolutely right for tone. The system is also quite well done, and uses a unique system of codewords. So far, I have not won, but the book has tremendous replay value, and I am looking forward to my next attempt. Even if your standards are ridiculously high, you won't be disappointed. It's fantastic.