Appointment With F.E.A.R
Gameplay 8
Graphics 8
Sound 8

If you are a fan of the original role playing gamebook you will love the way that Tin Man Games brought it to life. You’ll still spend most of your time reading, but the great illustrations and comic book style presentation along with the soundtrack brings everything to life. The storyline is pretty straightforward, but infused with plenty of humor and parodies which makes it more entertaining. The different powers and story branches also give the game a lot of replay value.

Gameplay: Like reading a visual novel and making the key choices yourself.

Graphics: No animations, but some nice comic book style art and bold colors.

Sound: The music and sound effects make the game feel more dynamic

Summary 8.0 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

Appointment With F.E.A.R

Developer: Tin Man Games | Publisher: Tin Man Games |Release Date: 2011 | Genre: Adventure, Indie, Visual Novel |Website: Official Website | Format: Digital Download

As the superhero of Titan City it is your job to protect your fellow citizens from harm. When you learn that the nefarious F.E.A.R (Federation of Euro-American Rebels) is holding a top secret meeting somewhere in the city, stopping them becomes your top priority. You only have three days to uncover the location of the meeting and stop the leader of F.E.A.R, the Titanium Cyborg, from whatever dastardly deeds he is planning.

I grew up with (and still own quite a few) of the Steve Jackson role playing gamebooks, so when I heard that Tin Man Games released an adaptation for PC I knew that I had to check it out. This game is actually based on the original book which was released back in 1985, but this doesn’t mean that it feels dated. Instead, you are presented with a stylish and well illustrated graphic novel where you are handed the reins to make choices at key branches in the storyline. At the start of the game you can select the gender and appearance of your character (which doesn’t influence the story) and their super power (which definitely influences the story.) The game doesn’t take itself too seriously, as illustrated by the random list of names you can choose for your hero which include the likes of the Geeky Cactus, Australian Anteater and Velcro Moth.

The story is presented to you in comic book style, with new panels sliding up from the bottom of the screen. Your primary goal is to find clues about the whereabouts of the secret F.E.A.R meeting, but standing between you and this goal is a rogue’s gallery of more than 30 villains. You won’t encounter all of them in one playthrough, instead your encounters depend on which locations you visit and what super power you selected at the start of the game. Your character is equipped with a special crime watch, which issues alerts when trouble brews somewhere. It is up to you to choose whether you want to investigate or not and even if you are in the right place at the right time you might not have the right clues or powers to make a difference. While this boosts the replay value of the game immensely, it also leads to plenty of trial-and-error which might annoy some players.

The game can be completed in about 30 minutes if you know exactly what to do, but believe me, you will be replaying it many, many times to get to the real ending and thwart F.E.A.R. In my first few playthroughs I failed miserably at gathering all the necessary clues to locate the meeting and it wasn’t until I started taking down notes about which events rewarded me with certain clues that I started to slowly piece it all together. You are rewarded with clues by either being at the right place at the right time or by defeating the villains you encounter. At certain points in the game you can try to “solve” a mystery by selecting the right clue from the list you have gathered. Not all clues are vital to completing the game, but most of them do open up new scenes or lead to better outcomes, so they are worth tracking down.

If you are successful in combat or perform heroic actions you are also rewarded with “Hero Points.” These points serve as an indication of how well you are doing, but you can also lose hero points if you mess up and injure the wrong people, act in a cowardly manner or make stupid choices. Next up is “Luck” points, which are awarded for finding clues. Luck points can be spent to increase your chances of receiving a rare card after defeating a villain in combat. On mobile devices these cards could be swapped via Facebook to complete your collection, but on PC they are just something extra that is collectible.

The interface of the game is very clean and apart from the clues and cards that you find there is no inventory. Even dice rolls are handled behind the scenes, so when you have to perform a skill check you are only informed if you are successful or not. During combat you have access to three different attacks, easy, medium or difficult, with corresponding damage. The type of attack and area you aim for is randomized and quite goofy, so be prepared to claw at peoples armpits, slap their hair, hit their toes or aim your assault at their parietal lobe. There are no animations, unfortunately, but the music and sound effects make things sound a lot more dynamic than what they really are. The game also doesn’t feature any speech, but considering the amount of reading that has to be done this isn’t really an issue. You can even enable a dyslexic-friendly font for better accessibility, which is a great touch for such a text heavy game.

From what I can tell, the game is a very faithful adaptation of the original book, which only some minor changes here and there. There were a couple of bugs upon release, but Tin Man Games quickly squashed these and I have since completed the game multiple times without encountering any problems. The highlight of the game is definitely the humor and squaring off against villains such as The Serpent, Scarlet Prankster and Ringmaster is a blast. The references and parodies of other superheroes are corny, but funny and overall I found the game to be very entertaining. Your hero simply dons a hat and glasses when they “disguise” themselves as a reporter at the Titan Times and some of the encounters, especially the ones you can mess up are laugh out loud funny. Although the PC version of the game doesn’t’ contain any enhancements over the mobile versions from what I can tell, there are Steam Achievements to earn and support for Steam trading cards.

If you don’t enjoy trial-and-error gameplay or replaying a title over and over to see everything it has to offer then Appointment With F.E.A.R is probably not for you. It can be frustrating to repeatedly fail because you made wrong choices without even knowing it, but I encountered enough new content with each playthrough to make it feel worthwhile. The game also allows you to jump back to certain checkpoints if you don’t want to start from scratch. In the end, I completed the game with each of the four super powers on offer and I’m still missing a few achievements, so replay value is certainly not an issue. Hopefully the game will appeal to enough people as I would love to see more of these titles make their way to PC.

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

Explosionade

Explosionade

Explosionade has been out for a while on Xbox 360 already, but this PC version still delivers plenty of action. It is a 2D shooter that feels like it was lifted straight from the arcade and the new leaderboards provide an extra incentive to aim for a high score. Although the game is still great on its own we suggest grabbing the Mommy's Best Action Pack to get it along with three other titles from the same developer. Gameplay: Small levels and lots of enemies ensure that the action never lets up. Graphics: Neo Geo style 2D visuals. Sound: Decent music and plenty of sound effects.

Deathsmiles

Deathsmiles

Combine the gothic art style of the early Castlevania games and mix it with the frantic bullet hell gameplay CAVE is so good at and you get Deathsmiles. Although it has been many years since the game first graced arcades and the Xbox 360 its arrival on the PC is still a cause for celebration. The loss of online coop and lack of PC extras is a pity, but the game will still put a smile on any shooter fan’s face. Gameplay: Not the hardest game in the genre, but attaining a highscore still takes skill. Graphics: The arcade mode visuals look a bit dusty, but the rest of the game still look good considering its age. Sound: The soundtrack is nice and energetic while the sound effects are good without being overwhelming.

Tiny Thief

Tiny Thief

Tiny Thief is definitely worth checking out, especially if you don't have access to a mobile device. The charming visuals and interesting scenes will suck you in and the puzzles will ensure that you have fun without getting bored. I had a lot of fun with this game and absolutely recommend it, especially if you can pick it up in a good sale. Gameplay: Not too taxing, but loads of fun. Graphics: Cute, papercraft style visuals. Sound: Loads of sound effects bring the gameworld to life.

Gravity Ghost

Gravity Ghost

Gravity Ghost might appear to be a very simple and straightforward game at first, but the more you play it the deeper it draws you in. Soaring around the levels using the gravitational pull of the planets to your advantage is a great feeling and I often found myself lingering longer on levels than necessary just to soak in the atmosphere. It is a very tranquil and relaxing game, but with a great story tucked away beneath the surface. If you want to experience a unique title that is not about killing enemies or dying and failing until you succeed check out Gravity Ghost. Gameplay: Relaxing and entertaining without ever becoming frustrating. Graphics: The beautiful hand painted visuals and unique art style sets the game apart. Sound: The soundtrack and voice acting is a perfect match for the tranquil atmosphere of the game.

The Secret Order 3: Ancient Times

The Secret Order 3: Ancient Times

The Secret Order 3: Ancient Times offers more of what made the previous installments so much fun to play. It doesn’t make any drastic changes to the formula, but instead polished everything up a bit and switched to a more fantasy theme. It is still not perfect and probably won’t sway players who aren’t already fans of the genre, but once again provides a couple of hours of solid entertainment. Gameplay: Veterans might find it a bit easy, but there are some nice puzzles to solve. Graphics: More colorful and detailed than previous installments. Sound: The sound effects are a highlight, but the music and voice acting is mostly good as well.

Tasty Blue

Tasty Blue

Tasty Blue features a very simple idea, but it is done quite well. The amount of difficulty settings makes it a game that can be enjoyed by player of all ages and skill levels. Although it can get repetitive after a while the humor and sheer amount of carnage that you can get up to definitely make it worth a second look. It is also a great game for playing a level or two when you don’t feel like firing up something a bit more demanding or involved. Gameplay: Simple and repetitive, but quite addictive and entertaining. Graphics: The 2D visuals are charming and colorful, but rather basic. Sound: The tunes are nice at first, but there are too few of them and they start to become annoying.

Leave a comment

4 − two =