on 24 January 2013
Unique in the series, this is the only Fighting Fantasy book in which you play a superhero. There is also a possibility that this adventure could be considered as one of only two FF books set in the modern world (the other being `House of Hell' by the same author). Really, though, it is the same type of alternative world as Gotham City (in fact the city where the adventure takes place is aptly named Titan City). Of course the vast majority of the adventure is heavily influenced by Marvel, DC and the like. As such the plot is generally what you might expect - the reader needs to prevent an evil super villain's plans for world domination.
The superhero idea for an adventure gamebook feels quite appealing and different to start with, but it soon gets a little dull (especially on repeat reads struggling to find the solution). Most of the time the reader is just romping around the city finding super villains to bring down. This is where the book can be quite fun. But soon they become random scenarios that seem to possess little bearing on the story. This can make it a tricky adventure gamebook to complete. It often feels like there is a lack of storyline and that you find the `clues' you require in a quite random fashion. Often an encounter will prove meaningless unless you have opted to have the right superpowers for the circumstance. This can be very frustrating and requires more of a trial and error approach than using reason and intelligence. Paradoxically this can also make the book quite easy as it is entirely possible to sail through the adventure on the first attempt based purely on luck.
There are four different types of superpowers to choose from and, hence, four different solutions. This makes it seem that there is a lot of gameplay and reason for replaying. Unfortunately whatever power you choose makes little difference to the general story. It just means that your clues to find the Titanium Cyborg are different because different powers uncover different clues. You end up at the same ending sequence no matter what your power.
The most enjoyable aspect is probably the huge variety of super villains to be faced. Although many bear similarities to characters in various superhero media, Steve Jackson has put a lot of effort into these creations and most are quite fun. It is a pity that the Titanium Cyborg doesn't have a bit more of a role though.
This is a hard book to judge. The prose is well written and entertaining but for the reasons above I personally don't believe the superhero genre works very well in gamebook form. Obviously I am not alone in this or there would be more of them. If you're a big fan of superhero comics and the like you will probably find a lot to enjoy in this book. Otherwise you would be better off with a different FF adventure. Steve Jackson's other adventures are much better.
on 3 August 2004
Unlike the vast majority of other books in the Fighting Fantasy Series, "Appointment With F.E.A.R." doesn't have you wielding swords in the direction of orcs and hobgoblins. On the contrary, this title has you as a superhero in a city not unlike New York trying to catch villains and fight crime while ultimately thwarting the evil plans of the F.E.A.R. organisation.
Rather than follow a fairly linear path as in many of the other books, this title has basically 4 different paths to follow depending on which superpower you chose. Some sidequests can only be solved with a certain power and often you have to choose which crime to solve and guess whether it will ultimately lead you to the heart of F.E.A.R. or just be a wild goose chase.
All in all this is a refreshing and very well designed break from the traditional Fighting fantasy style and one of the few that I have read countless times and not got sick of. Highly recommended for fans and non-fans alike!
on 8 July 2005
This book is based on a great idea; playing the part of a superhero. In this regard, this game book is entirely original in the Fighting Fantasy series. The adventure basically has you as the hero out to save a city by discovering a meeting of a criminal organisation called F.E.A.R and destroying it!
The game book is also extremely difficult to solve because you must collect clues during the course of your adventure, some of which are very subtle, in order to find the location of the F.E.A.R. meeting. It's hard and involves the use of secret references that makes cheating impossible.
An entertaining game book. Nothing like this has been done before in Fighting Fantasy and it's worth buying and playing in my opinion for being cool and brave enough to break the mould and be so different...
on 27 December 2011
In one of Steve Jackson's best Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, you are office worker Jean Lafayette, otherwise known as the Silver Crusader, guardian superhero of Titan City.
With one of four superpowers (picked at Character Creation) you must try to stop the leaders of the Federation of Euro-American Rebels - F.E.A.R. - from creating a weapon powerful enough to hold the world to ransom.
With 440 paragraphs, this cracking superhero yarn sees you facing a whole host of super villains like the Ice Queen, Creature of Carnage, Daddy Rich and Dr. Macabre.
Fast paced, extremely well written and with good illustrations, this excellent gamebook is a milestone for the series, and well worth playing a number of times with different super powers!