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Blood of the Zombies (Fighting Fantasy) Paperback – 2 Aug 2012
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'As a game ... it's surprisingly swift and exciting, with the hectic, minute-to-minute battling and health management beats of Left 4 Dead, and a real sense of the old-school RPG as you keep neat lists of the things you've collected and maybe draw a map as you go. It's not an easy game if you're going to successfully stop Gingrich Yurr from triggering the apocalypse, but it's filled with clever elements: keys, pas scodes and phone numbers that unlock specific paragraphs, cameos that include Charlie Higson and Tom Watson (he was dead when I found him, honest), references to Lara Croft and The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, and eleventh-hour jokes about valley girls and Pokemon. The text is smart and quietly witty, the choices still make you weigh up your options (and cheat, of course) and the wonderful art, by Kevin Crossley and Greg Staples, hits just the right notes, invoking the lurid horror of old video nasty covers - 9/10' -- Eurogamer 'Absoltuely ideal as a gift for the nines-plus, these are books the keen reader/adventurer will enjoy.' -- Caroline Franklin, n2 Going Out the Arts
About the Author
In 2002 he received the BAFTA Special Award for his outstanding contribution to the interactive entertainment industry and in 2006 he was awarded an OBE for services to the computer games industry.
In the Wired 100 list for 2012, Wired magazine ranked him the 16th most influential person in the UK’s digital economy.
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Top Customer Reviews
After starting with a superficially unusual premise (your a mythology student on earth, walking the globe (goodness knows where a student would get the money for that....) trying to find real monsters) you find someone captured and trapped in a dungeon by the usual crazed, evil megalomaniac who is trying to raise a zombie army to take over the world (Of course!). You get out of the dungeon and start exploring the castle, raiding every room you can for items, and fighting off zombies you come across. And if that still sounds different to a normal Ian Livingstone book in theory, it sadly isn't in practice. You pass through many right/left corridors (at least unlike the awful Eye of The Dragon you are often hinted at a difference between them, though often you will have to pick blind), go into various rooms, loot it for every item you can (with the usual this item will be used once to get another item and if you miss out on one of many items, you are going to die somewhere down the line), and fight off any zombies you come across. And you do this again, and again and again.
It might have been interesting if you had to play the risk/reward aspect, trying to avoid as many zombies as you can, while getting as many useful items as you can, but you HAVE TO kill EVERY Zombie in the book or you will get a bad ending at the end of it. If you miss even one, he'll find where you live and zombify everyone.Read more ›
The main problem with Blood of the Zombies is that it doesn't really feel like a Fighting Fantasy adventure, despite a few fan indulgent references that are a little amusing. This is mainly because Ian Livingstone has dropped one of the greatest of strengths of FF - the fantasic combat system that made FF stand out from its competitors in the 1980s. Instead we are offered a very basic system based entirely on the roll of the dice (I was unfortunate enough to roll two consecutive double ones and went instantly from perfectly healthy to dead). This is the only thing that makes the adventure difficult. It is certainly not challenging on the brain and the path through the castle is relatively simple (and a little dull). Dice rolls aside, you should be able to complete this relatively easily.
The book also feels more like a computer game adaption (most likely due to Ian Livingstone's later career) than the other FF adventures. It also has far too much unnecessary equipment which is a pain to keep writing down every attempt at completing the book.
Despite the above criticisms though this book is somehow quite enjoyable and a welcome addition to the series of FF adventures. Its much better than Eye of the Dragon (Ian's previous and quite shoddy effort a few years ago) and is quite acceptable as an anniversary special and an effort at trying something a little different.
The plot is great and the action is super - you wake up chained up in a Zombie infested castle, needing to escape and kill as many zombies as you can.
BIG BIG thing though - there are spaces on the adventure sheet to record your battles, and particularly the total quantity of zombies you have killed. Don't ignore these...you need to count your zombie kills and if you don't do it, you're going to be frustrated come the end of the book. For this reason i gave it four rather than five stars....
If you have never played them then they are great fun for teenagers and will make it easier for them to get into reading in an enjoyable way. If you like Zombies and role play then this may be for you, although there are notable mentions for a couple of alternative books released before B.O.T.Z - firstly 'How to survive the Zombie Apocalypse' by Max Brailler - no dice play and written in a tongue in cheek 'laddish' way (not enough choices though) and also Risen: The Zombie Survival Game by Craig Earl. This was a much more mature effort and included the dice play and much more interesting moral choices to make.
All in all, these three books all offer something to the genre and in an age where video games rule they are a good option to get back into books!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My daughter enjoyed playing this and it brought back memories from when i used to do them in the 90's :-)Published 11 days ago by s_jane23
ANOTHER GREAT ADVENTURE GAME BOOK AND AT A LOW PRICE AN IDEAL SHOP.Published 9 months ago by THOMAS MCLAUGHLIN
So I dithered over buying this. For ages. And ages. I wasn't sure about the almost entirely non-FF ruleset. I wasn't sure about yet another zombie thing. But...
... Read more
This was a fantastic book for a birthday present (which he wanted but couldnt find anywhere that sold this). Good value for money and arrived earlier than expected. Read morePublished on 18 Jun. 2013 by Uni-gal21