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Heart of Ice (Critical IF gamebooks)

Heart of Ice (Critical IF gamebooks) [Kindle Edition]

Dave Morris , Jon Hodgson , Russ Nicholson
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

The end of the 23rd century... Earth lies in the grip of a new Ice Age. Famine, cold and fanatical cults threaten what is left of civilization. Humanity is on the brink of extinction.

Nine of the strongest heroes of the age come seeking the ultimate prize: the Heart of Volent, an object with the power to reshape reality. All are ruthless, powerful, determined. To succeed they must work together. But only one can have the Heart.

Choose your alliances with care. Weigh up who to trust. Be ready for betrayal. When the moment comes, the future of mankind will rest on your judgement.

* * *

Critical IF books are interactive adventures with a difference. You can be a mutant with the power to warp reality. A buccaneer whose sword and pistol are a match for any foe. A daring rogue leaping between rooftops. A wizard who can command the elements. Be anyone you can imagine. Choose from almost five hundred different character types, each with their own unique skills.

Strong stories, vivid settings and compelling characters make Critical IF the game-changers of the interactive fiction genre. Put yourself at the heart of the story.

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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 832 KB
  • Print Length: 254 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1909905003
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Fabled Lands Publishing; 2 edition (30 Aug 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #167,368 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

I'm equally drawn to both stories and equations, to both literature and science. Over the years I've written novels, textbooks, comics, gamebooks and television shows and I've designed videogames, boardgames and role-playing games. And co-authored a paper on the propagation of light delivered to the Institute of Physics. What can I say? I thrive on variety and I'm always looking for a fresh challenge!

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High Quality Intelligent Gamebook 14 Sep 2013
By X
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Echoing remarks made by earlier reviewers: as gamebooks go, this is pretty much the pinnacle of quality narrative in the genre. Originally published as part of the Virtual Reality series in the early nineties, it showed how the author had optimised the concept through his earlier works (Golden Dragon, Dragon Warriors & Blood Sword to name a few), both in creating clear, evocative descriptions of people, places and situations through minimal, concise explanation and dialogue, but also refining the gameplay system - where decision making rather than attributes and dice rolling affect the player's chance of success.

The Good: The premise of the gamebook is so straightforward but attention grabbing, as we can relate it to the world we live in today. Set about 300 years in the future, a supercomputer designed by mankind to control the Earth's weather systems has been sabotaged, causing mass destruction and changing the face of the planet, apparently irrevocably, and threatening the survival of the race. But as the story starts, in a place we might vaguely recognise as the Apennine Mountains, the protagonist receives a dubious message, apparently from the computer, that may lead to the planet's recovery, or ultimate power, or perhaps something far deeper.

Dave Morris's narrative in the gamebook, which almost reads as a novel, is the real strength here. Characters are rendered sensitively and their motives (or their attempts to hide them) are well presented to the perceptive reader. As it is the year 2300, you might expect advanced technology to be the norm, and indeed while there is a lot of interesting gadgetry and transportation to consider, the need to avoid the supercomputer's tainted network system is clear, leading to less reliance on computers and associated hardware.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best science fiction gamebook? 12 April 2014
By Alaran
This is quite a rarity amongst adventure gamebooks in that it is actually a good science fiction one. At best I have found most science fiction gamebooks to be more than a little disappointing. Not so with `Heart of Ice'. It well written and atmospheric; possessing a good structure and some stunning characterisation.

The initial storyline isn't immediately particularly exciting or original seeing as superficially your quest is to travel across a landscape to seek out a magical artefact; a mission common in adventure gamebooks. However, there is much more to it than this. Slowly over the course of the adventure more is revealed about the nature of the Heart, the cult that surrounds it and those that covet it. This involves a piecemeal gathering of information as the adventurer progresses. There are a variety of different theories that surround the origins and possibilities of the Heart, most of which are certainly interesting. But even by the close of the book the exact nature of the Heart is not entirely confirmed and/or explained; and the adventure is probably better off with this obscurity. There is certainly a moral sense within the book that humans are better off not knowing too much about it.

There is also a wealth of historical detail concerning the collapse of world civilisation in the background to your quest. All the rumours and snippets of information about Gaia, Paradox Wars, mutations and the environment help to create a very believable and in depth post-apocalyptic world. The exploration of this altered world is engrossing for the reader. Such images as the overgrown ruins of Marseilles or the snow covered Pyramids of Giza are quite memorable. It all forms a very atmospheric adventure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest gamebook ever? 14 Nov 2013
By Vinny
First, I copy/paste this review from an old one I wrote for the precedent edition of this book, as it is the same text, the same interior illustrations.
Only the cover illustration is different.

So, let's start by stating that this gamebook is considered to be, in gamebook aficionados circles, one of the best ever written.
The experience of reading it is really something special.
So, why?

* the setting of the gamebook is original, exotic and attractive. It is rarely used in gamebook: a post-apocalyptic setting where the author did try to distinguish his universe from the classical mad max one, not using cliches and out-of-the-box characters and situations.

* the book is well written, and original too! The characters are very well described (I have never seen such a level of character personality description, for a gamebook). The hero talks a lot with them, and you can really feel their different personalities, and reckon, or try to guess, their particular objectives. This is a psychological gamebook!! The book conveys very well an ambiance of dying world, where human race is on the verge of disappearing. Laws and customs doent mean anything anymore, survival is, for most men and women, the only concern.

* the book uses no dices or others randomizing elements. Before starting the books, the reader must choose 4 skills, and these skills can be used during the course of the adventure. Of course, a lot of times, the reader has the choice between different actions.
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