Not long now before Jonathan Green’s epic new gamebook Neverland – Here Be Monsters comes to fruition. Once again I’m one of several playtesters and it’s going very well. Kev Crossley is on board again as illustrator which keeps the Ace gamebook series nicely routine. More soon, Jam out!
You know the ones. Hand gels, air fresheners, disinfectants, all these things that proudly boast on the label they destroy 99.9% of all germs including pathogens and viruses. Ever so often I go through a phase of buying these products only to fall ill with the common cold, respiratory infections, tonsillitis or flu.
So what the actual Hell is going on. Well all the while we wash our hand with soap and water, we are removing germs and pathogens anyway so long as we rinse and dry our hands properly. The bacterial hand washes also do but they take away the good bacteria that coats our skin as a first defence protective barrier against the bad. This creates a completely clean slate for the bad to cover us much easier before generating more good, then when we touch our faces or eat with our hands they’re given a free ticket to make us ill. Stick to soap and water unless otherwise instructed or you work in the medical sector.
So when else is it ok to use these things? Well keep all your surfaces clean in the home but wear gloves to keep that all important good bacteria safe. Use the air fresheners in rooms that won’t be in use for a while to cleanse airborne pathogens. (Bedrooms in the day, Lounge at night etc)
In the meantime, remember to stay clear of that antibac hand gel and use good old soap and water.
From the quills of Mark Lain comes this delightful quadrilogy of not just one but FOUR playable adventure stories. A must for all gamebook readers!
@FightingFantasy – Gates Of Death. The second brand new Fighting Fantasy adventure game book released after Port Of Peril in 2017s Scholastic relaunch of the series. So how was it for me?
After an excruciating wait from Fighting Fantasy Fest 2 up until today I finally managed to tread through the latest adventure set in Allansia. Charlie Higson of The Fast Show fame had been a fan of Fighting Fantasy for years, and has graced us with Gates Of Death, his debut epic for the series. He was invited by FF co-series creator Ian Livingstone to guest write, and has made history as the first guest writer to have his own name on the front cover of an FF book. The celebrity essence may lend the series some pulling power.
Now, you may already know that I cannot stand the internal art scholastic has chosen for these books.
Little better than cheap grayscale slap dash comic styles, and this book is no exception. It’s a shame because the beautiful realistic illustrations in the classic series is what attracted me to FF in the first place. Thankfully, Higson’s writing hits the nail on the head and saves the book with fast paced scenarios and cleverly interwoven snares for readers to get netted up in. Multi FF author Jonathan Green is said to have coached Higson and this is apparent as Gates Of Death contains a couple of similar elements to Greens work Night Of The Necromancer, although this may be coincidence.
One thing I noticed is the fighting aspect is really kept to a minimum. You could always use an alternative to get yourself out of a rut with opponents. I think I completed the adventure with only four actual melee combats. There is plenty of magic to be found and used in this adventure, three pairs of magic shoes for example. I guess he likes giving you plenty of chances to win as you only need one pair!
FF is now meant to be aimed at a younger demographic than before, although this book introduces the words ‘bum’ and ‘farting’ into the FF vocab. Not to mention a mutant with two faces on it’s bottom actually illustrated! While it’s clearly meant to bring humour it seems to cheapen the feel of the serious quest.
Overall this is a grand adventure, much better than the ho hum badly named Port Of Peril (which barely has anything to do with the Port in question, you’re there longer in this book) …and a wonderful debut for Higson to the series. He could easily do some more. 7.5/10
It’s been ages since I posted any #jokes and today I made up a new one of my own. Watch out #EdinburghFringe !
“Today I attempted to make the worlds shortest thermometer.
It works as well… to a degree ;)”
So Scholastic have set the next six #FightingFantasy books into motion. Another five revivals and a brand new title, The Gates Of Death, should be joining us around April. Whilst not many of the die hard fans appreciated the cover art of the first six releases last year, at least they was all done by the same artist and looked generic. Unfortunately we are now met with a change in design. It’s not good.
Though one may argue the artwork is slightly more in line with the classic series (I said slightly) , it has been confined to a tiny circle in the middle of the page with about 80% the rest just a single colour broken by white lines. I’m pretty certain this is a money saving device. When you consider the full cover of art we had in the 80s – 00s this isn’t progress nor very eye catching. With the last six covers Scholastic gave the excuse they was using this type of art to appeal to an era of video gaming children. So why the change? I guess they’re admitting they was wrong and the fans we’re right and now going down the cheapest route tasting sour grapes.
The Gates Of Death will be the first ‘presented’ written FF adventure since Jonathan Green’s wonderful Howl Of The Werewolf, and from the look of it Charlie Higson (of The Fast Show fame) will be the first non series creator to have his name boldly displayed on the front cover. Prestigious that may be, but is this a marketing twist to attract his own fans to buy this new quest? Either way, I am grateful for another new story and hope it goes down well with fans expectations and spurs Scholastic to employ other guest writers too such as the aforementioned Jonathan Green, Dave Morris, Jamie Thomson etc etc
The past 12 months have seen me go from exstaticly happy to as down as duck fur. But here we are at another brand new year, with the rest of our lives ahead of us. Our memories are there to recall other things but we must continue to go forward and evolve.
I’m looking forward to watching baby Cassia grow up, and possibly start sea fishing. I’ve just started Ray Mears autobiography which is really interesting and eagerly await playtesting Jonathan Green’s upcoming epic.
Wishing you the best of New Years x Jam out.