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

Psyvariar Delta

Psyvariar Delta

Psyvariar Delta is not just a brand new version of the arcade classic, but also comes packed with high definition remakes of Psyvariar Medium Unit as well as Psyvariar Revision. In addition, it comes with a slew of addition content that makes these titles more fun to play than ever before. It's not the best looking bullet hell shooter by far, but thanks to buzz system, that sees you trying to skirt as close as possible to the deadly bullets you are supposed to dodge, it is definitely one of the most exciting. This mechanic also provides the game with a lot more depth than what is initially apparent, so there is definitely value for money here despite the higher than usual price tag. If you are a fan of the genre or still have fond memories of the original games, then Psyvariar Delta is an essential purchase. Gameplay: A bullet hell shooter where you still have to dodge bullets, but if you want to level up you must do it in the most reckless way possible. Graphics: The visuals are a definite improvement over the original titles, but still looks a little plain compared to more modern offerings. Sound: The soundtrack is excellent and the sound effects pretty good too.

Penumbra: Black Plague

Penumbra: Black Plague

Black Plague focusses on the best parts of the original game (the creepy atmosphere and physics based puzzles) while trimming the worst parts (the combat) making it a better experience overall. Playing the original is still required to make the most out of it and it is a little on the short side but it made me jump quite a few times which is commendable. Gameplay: Removing combat ramps up the atmosphere considerably. Graphics: Better looking and featuring more detail than the original. Sound: Solid voice acting and lots of creepy ambience.

The Wardrobe

The Wardrobe

The Wardrobe isn’t the easiest of point & click adventures, but it is very entertaining and clearly made by people who love the genre. As Skinny the skeleton, you must navigate a neighborhood filled with crazy characters in an effort to save your friend’s soul from eternal damnation. The game sports some some beautifully detailed visuals and every scene is filled with references and homages to pop culture. If you fondly remember titles such as Day of The Tentacle, Sam & Max, and Discworld, then The Wardrobe should not be missed. Gameplay: Feels like a classic point & click adventure, complete with the high difficulty of the puzzles. Graphics: Beautiful and detailed visuals that are hand illustrated and digitally colored. Sounds: Nice tunes and decent voice acting.

Aces Wild: Manic Brawling Action!

Aces Wild: Manic Brawling Action!

Aces Wild is a game that will test your skills and reflexes but keep you coming back for more. The Wild meter adds an interesting dynamic to fights and the over the top action provides a rush like no other. If you want a brawler that tests your ability to react to attacks instead of memorizing combos then Aces Wild is the game for you. Gameplay: Beat up everyone and everything in your way with some stylish moves and combos. Graphics: Brilliant character designs and vibrant 2D visuals. Sound: Some fitting tunes to get the adrenaline pumping.

Tales of Aravorn: Seasons Of The Wolf

Tales of Aravorn: Seasons Of The Wolf

Seasons of the Wolf strays even further from the visual novel path than Loren the Amazon Princess did and feels like a full-fledged role playing game. It still has great characters and an engrossing story, but you’ll be spending more time doing quests and less time romancing party members. Cranking up the difficulty setting also provides a much bigger challenge this time round. Since this game is not a sequel to Loren and only set in the same fantasy world you don’t need any prior knowledge to jump in and enjoy it. Don’t take our word for it though, check out the demo for yourself. Gameplay: The game is more of a role playing title than a visual novel, but remains very engrossing. Graphics: Beautiful artwork, varied locations and great character designs. Sound: No speech, but some good music.

Nidhogg

Nidhogg

If single player games are your thing then you can probable give Nidhogg a miss. Gather around a few friends and start a tournament if you really want to experience what all the fuss is about. The frantic combat will test your luck and reflexes while the low system requirements means the game will run smoothly on just about any hardware. Gameplay: The single player is good practice but the real fun lies in multi-player. Graphics: Retro pixel art with smooth animations. Sound: A brilliant electronic soundtrack composed by Daedelus.

Leave a comment

three × 4 =