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Fighting Fantasy: House of Hell

For: iPad   Also on: Android, iPhone

Worth a visit

Product: Fighting Fantasy: House of Hell | Publisher: Tin Man Games | Format: iPad | Genre: Adventure, Card/ board game | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Fighting Fantasy: House of Hell iPad, thumbnail 1
House of Hell is Tin Man Games's second bite at the Fighting Fantasy cherry, and it's similar in setting and tone to Blood of the Zombies - the release that ushered in a new era of FF under Tin Man's digital stewardship.

Rather than just battling zombies you're now up against a variety of unpleasant creatures and satanic cultists in a dingy mansion, but you're still letting the dice do the talking for you as you try and make it through the worst night of your life.

Property problems

The game uses the same engine as Blood of the Zombies, and the same difficulty system. That means at the start of a play-through you're given three choices - Hardcore, Medium, and Free Read.

Hardcore lets you play in the manner that Steve Jackson, the writer of this particular adventure, intended. Medium gives you a little more health, and Free Read essentially lets you stick your digital finger in the book and scurry back to safety if you mess up.

The dice-rolls are all generated in 3D, and you can shake your iOS device to try and alter the way they land. This is the classic Fighting Fantasy system, rather than the slightly modified one that appeared in Blood of the Zombies.

That means you're rolling for both yourself and the monster, letting the game do some quick maths, then finding out who's come out on top. It works fine, but it lacks the simplicity and precision of the method in Blood of the Zombies, where numbers on a dice equated to zombies dismembered.


It does seem a little odd that Tin Man has turned to House of Hell straight after Blood of the Zombies, given that there are so many different Fighting Fantasy books to choose from. The mechanics are all still solid, and the story is still an entertaining one, but it hits too many of the same notes in the same way.

Coupled with the less visceral nature of the combat, House of Hell feels a little bit like a step back. It's still a fun story, and you'll have a grand old time while you're playing it, but it doesn't have the pace or the punch that made its predecessor essential.

Fighting Fantasy: House of Hell
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 1 February 2013
The excellent game book engine underneath can't quite iron out House of Hell's problems. It's still a good game, but it pales somewhat in comparison to its predecessor
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