The Forest of Doom
Gameplay 8
Graphics 8
Sound 7

The Forest of Doom is a welcome interpretation of a classic adventure gamebook and will definitely be a trip down memory lane for players familiar with the paperback. Newcomers can expect a lot of reading and some trial and error, but the memorable encounters and large number of locations in the forest make it worthwhile. Although the game can be completed relatively quickly it does boast plenty of replay value thanks to the achievements and gallery.

Gameplay: The rules are very straightforward and anyone can start reading and enjoying the adventure.

Graphics: The original illustrations still look great and the overall presentation of the game is very good.

Sound: Nice music, but a few more tunes to provide a bit more variety would have been nice

Summary 7.7 Great
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

The Forest of Doom

Developer: Tin Man Games | Publisher: Tin Man Games  | Release Date: 2014 | Genre: Indie / Adventure / RPG | Website: Official Website | Format: Digital Download

Back when I first “played” The Forest of Doom in its original paperback format as a child it was a dark and scary place where danger lurked around every corner. As the book was one of my first introductions to the “fighting fantasy” series it felt like anything could happen. From a giant spider dropping down to attack my sleeping adventurer to an angry dragon coaxed to sleep by a magical flute. I read the book over and over even after completing the main “quest” and still found new areas, creatures and items with each playthrough.

Now, thanks to Australian developer Tin Man Games, The Forest of Doom is accessible to players who want to explore its foreboding depths on PC. The game is basically a direct version of the original book, meaning you are still going to be reading about everything instead of seeing the action unfold, but even after more than three decades it has lost none of its charm. Of course, it is difficult to be objective with a title that is as steeped in nostalgia as this one. However, there’s no denying that Tin Man Games definitely did a great job in presenting the game in a way that makes it look appealing even to players who would normally never pick up a book.

The Forest of Doom uses the Tin Man Games Gamebook Adventures Engine which means it automatically keeps track of stuff like your stats and inventory. When reading the original book these things had to be jotted down on a piece of paper to keep track of them. Believe it or not, but the Forest of Doom is actually quite an intricate place and the inclusion of a new auto mapping feature is definitely very handy. Even with these new features and the selectable difficulty settings don’t expect to complete your quest on the first or even third try. Unless of course you are playing on the “Free Read” mode, which basically allows you to cheat or have completed the book before. This is because it is very easy to go off in the wrong direction or miss out on important items without even knowing it. Even if you do fail in your main quest to find the two missing pieces of a legendary hammer in order to help some dwarves suffering from a troll problem, you will still have plenty of fun along the way. It also means that the game has plenty of replay value as it is impossible to see everything during your first run.

Visually the Forest of Doom looks about as good as you can make a book look without turning it into a multimedia extravaganza. The original contained a couple of excellent illustrations by Malcom Barter, which in this version have been colorized to bring them to life. The buttons you click to select which “page” to turn to look like they are embedded in the page while the dice you roll to resolve encounters and combat actually bounce around based on physics.

Of course, if you are a purist, you can switch over to the “retro look” and play the game with a plain page background and the original illustrations. All the illustrations you encounter are added to a gallery accessible from the “Rewards” page which is pretty neat and also serves as a visual indicator of how much you have left to find in the game. Three different font types and the ability to set the font size to anything between 14 and 40 ensures that eye strain is kept to a minimum when reading. Also tucked away in the “Extras” menu of the game you’ll find some interesting information about The Forest of Doom story as well as the history of Fighting Fantasy.

Although the game doesn’t contain any speech, it does have some atmospheric music and sound effects to immerse you in the experience. These can also be disabled if you prefer reading in silence. I really enjoyed the audio, but the music did feel like it looped a little too often. It’s not really something you notice when you are engrossed in reading the book though. Since all your actions in the game are handled using a mouse I didn’t encounter any issues with the controls.

As The Forest of Doom was originally written in the early 80s the story doesn’t have the type of depth players used to modern role playing games might expect. It was certainly very nostalgic encountering all the creatures and characters again so many years after reading the original book, but newcomers might find the main quest to be somewhat shallow and too reliant on luck. Luck certainly plays a big role in the game as even combat is resolved through dice rolls and a streak of bad luck can result in your character biting the dust very quickly. By using the bookmarking system you can quickly jump back to previous sections, providing you remember to mark a spot.

The Forest of Doom can be completed very quickly, although as I mentioned before, it will take a couple of tries and probably some note taking to reach the true ending. I found the game to be very entertaining, although nostalgia obviously played a big role. For players who fondly remember the original this is a must-have, although anyone looking for a role playing experience without all the associated complexities will also enjoy the story.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows XP SP3
  • Processor: 2 GHz dual core
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Hardware Accelerated Graphics with dedicated memory
  • Hard Drive: 350 MB available space
  • OS: Windows 7/8
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Hardware Accelerated Graphics with 1GB memory
  • Hard Drive: 350 MB available space

Related posts

Chime

Chime

It is a pity that Chime does not have more songs and levels as the game is extremely addictive. It plays like a cross between Tetris and Lumines, but is unique enough to keep you hooked. The audio plays a big role in the game and features tracks from some famous artists so this is a great title to add to your library. Gameplay: Simple but very addictive. Graphics: Simple but stylish. Sound: Tightly integrated with the gameplay.

BlazeRush

BlazeRush

BlazeRush offers a combination of polished visuals, responsive controls and all out action which make it a hard title to put down once you are hooked. With tons of cars to choose from, some great weapon power-ups and well-designed tracks this is a game that can keep you playing for a long time. The single player campaign is great for learning the ropes, but ideally this is a game that you’ll want to play with your friends, either local or online. Hopefully more players will discover this game and increase the amount of opponents available online. Gameplay: The game is incredibly addictive in both single and multi-player, which is something that doesn’t happen very often. Graphics: The visuals are detailed, polished and very vibrant which makes the game a pleasure to look at. Sound: Nice tunes and good sound effects, but no voice acting.

SteamWorld Dig

SteamWorld Dig

SteamWorld Dig makes the transition from 3DS to PC flawlessly and loses none of its addictive charm along the way. Carving out your own mining tunnels while avoiding or killing the enemies is loads of fun and there is always one more upgrade or power to tempt you back. Gameplay: Polished, entertaining and incredibly addictive. Graphics: High definition 2D. Sound: Some western flavored tunes and spot on sound effects.

Crashday Redline Edition

Crashday Redline Edition

Crashday: Redline Edition might look a little dusty compared to some of the other titles currently on the market, but it still offers a fast paced and adrenaline fueled experience for racing fans. This re-release of the 2006 original packs a whole host of new features and improvements, which is sure to please fans. In addition to a plethora of content, this Redline Edition also has full Steam Workshop support, which has already paid off in the form of hundreds of new mods for the game. Whether you have fond memories of the original or simply want a racing game that offers speed, destruction and stunts, Crashday: Redline Edition deserves a closer look. Gameplay: Tons of different modes and the ability to get on the track without having to waste hours tweaking your ride. Graphics: An improvement over the original, but not quite up to the high standard of modern games. Sound: The soundtrack is a mix of old and new, but the sound effects could have been better.

Pinball FX2 – Aliens vs. Pinball

Pinball FX2 - Aliens vs. Pinball

If you are a fan of the Alien license and enjoy pinball then this pack is a no-brainer. It features three tables that not only look great, but are a lot of fun to play as well. Zen Studios also made sure that the tables stay true to their source material in regards to audio and visuals. Even amongst all the other excellent titles already released for Pinball FX2, this pack stands out. Gameplay: The Aliens vs. Pinball table is the most fun, but the other two are great as well. Graphics: Great use of the source material. Sound: Once again the source material is used to good effect.

Sakura Agent

Sakura Agent

Akira took the job working for a mysterious agency because it gave him the opportunity for free trips around the world and meeting women. However, despite his high success rate, he is on the verge of getting kicked out due to his antics. He has the opportunity to prove himself though when an influx of other-dimensional beings start making a nuisance of themselves. Sakura Agent is a typical Winged Cloud visual novel with plenty of scantily clad women, comical situations and a paper thin plot. If you are a fan of the genre and the developer you’ll enjoy the game, but everyone else will probably find it a little lacking. Gameplay: Humorous characters and situations, but the story isn’t exactly engaging. Graphics: Beautiful character designs, but far too few backgrounds. Sound: The music is unremarkable while the sound effects and voice acting are non existent.

Leave a comment

four × three =