The Best Adventure Gamebooks for Mobile Part 2
Here is the second part of our list of some of the finest adventure gamebooks available for mobile devices. See Part 1 over here.
Necklace of Skulls - Gamebook [Android, iOS] $3.99, now $0.99 by Cubus Games
If the name Dave Morris rings a bell, you know you are in for a treat of a gamebook. Necklace of Skulls is one of the recent releases by a new player on the adventure gamebook arena, but nonetheless highly competent Spanish studio Cubus Games.
Necklace of Skulls has it all – amazing and lush art work, atmospheric sound score and music, a mind-boggling branched out adventure and a wonderfully written narrative that keeps you on your toes from the beginning till end, or ends. This is the kind of adventure you will be playing multiple times, or rather a multitude of times because you are unlikely to reach the happy ending the first time you play. Each new adventure is different if you should take a single turn differently from your previous gameplay. Besides, there is a choice between four characters, and a dozen of high;y branched out chapters, so hours and weeks of engrossing read and fascinating gameplay are guaranteed.
Necklace of Skulls takes you to the world of Maya, where you play as one of the tribe whose twin brother disappears during a diplomatic mission. You set out on a journey full of struggles, important decisions, mysteries, adventures, new friends and foes, Mayan legends, mythological creatures and monsters, as you try to bring your brother back to life by gambling against a powerful dark sorcerer Necklace of Skulls. Get ready to die a lot.
Heavy Metal Thunder - Gamebook $2.99, now $0.99 [Android, iOS] by Cubus Games
Another stellar entry from Cubus Games totally deserves its slot on the list because it is plain brilliant. I have read numerous reviews and some complained while others sang odes, while I am totally enchanted by this dark space adventure, which is pretty desperate often times. There is one thing about these gamebooks – you need to read, you know, so stock up your reading glasses, a pair of decent headphones and a lamp because this sinister adventure is one of the most engrossing reads on the list.
Written by Kyle B. Stiff, HMT gamebook takes you a few hundred, or maybe even thousand, years ahead to the time when humanity colonized space. At some point, however, we encountered an alien race that did not wish to make contact, but annihilated our space colonies one by one in a matter of a few years. You play as a survivor of an elite spec ops created and trained specifically to fight the little studied alien species, and your aim is to survive and reunite with your squad. Easier said than done because you are floating in open space with a few minutes oxygen left.
You deal with tech, aliens, robots, humans in all their beauty and ugliness, and what is more important here is that you, your hero, is no perfect super-powered Batman, but a normal, somewhat over-trained and brainwashed, person with his nervous breakdowns, paranoia and weaknesses. This makes adventure even more spicy while the battle system and an interesting twist on the skill generation stats make HMT gamebook a long-lasting adventure you will love. It has plenty of chapters and hundreds of turns in each.
Take a mental note to keep an eye on Sol Invictus, HMT's sequel slated for release any time soon.
The Silent Age the 1st part Free, $5 for the second and final part [Android, iOS] by House on Fire
The Silent Age was like a silent bomb that landed on app stores last year without much marketing noise and exploded when people started playing it, so when the second part launched this year, nobody ever doubted before buying it. The first part is still free, so you can make up your mind whether it is your cup of tea.
Gorgeous vintage art work and atmospheric sound score create an eerie setting for a unique adventure, which cuts down the narrative to a required minimum, and has you solving time-travel dependent puzzles.
It is the story that gets you hooked, and you will want to discover how it all ends. The protagonist is Joe the janitor working in a governmental building and living a monotonous life somewhere in the 70's of the past century. One day, the routine is forever broken when Joe meets a dying old man who hands him the time traveling gizmo and a mission to save the world from an apocalypse that would destroy humanity in some 40 years from the time Joe lives in. And with that and a little wit, you set on an engrossing adventure unlike anything you've ever played before. The game does not have a replay value since when you solve the mystery, that's that. Nonetheless, it is undoubtedly worth the price for the game as polished, charismatic and beautiful as the Silent Age.
Out There $3.99 [Android, iOS] by Mi-Clos Studio
A blood-chilling journey awaits you as you wake up from a cryo sleep to discover your ship git hit by a meteor and deviated from its course and your home galaxies away. You only have a limited stock of fuel and oxygen and a desperately outdated ship, so you need to either find a better transport, or mine ore and collect oxygen from the planets you can reach on your scarce fuel.
You will discover planets, alien races and learn their technologies and language, get burnt by radiation and sucked into Black holes. Space exploration is a dangerous endeavor and more often than not your enemy would be loneliness, fuel and oxygen deficit and lack of storage slots in your ship.
Out There is a thrilling and highly atmospheric strategy and narration-based adventure featuring award winning soundtrack, brilliant art work and equally brilliant gameplay. It is slated for launch on other platforms, including PC, and the extended HD version will feature even more elaborate graphics and music, so by all means get it if you love sci-fi and all things alien and psycho. A fantastic replay value, too.
The Wolf Among Us Free [Android, iOS] by Telltale Games
Bloody, violent and explicit, the Wolf Among Us by Telltale Games is an unlikely gift to a teenager, but a perfect gift to an adult hardcore gamer because it ultimately exploits the subject that sells – wolves and violence.
The game consists of five episodes and buying a season pass is always cheaper than one by one. You play as a Bigby Wolf tracking aggressive, blood-thirsty and violent monsters that ran loose from their otherworldly dominion into your world. So, grab that bat and smash some baddy skulls. The adventure is meant for mature players who don't melt from some intense heat emanating from their devices when they lead the Wolf through a series of circumstance and time-dependent decisions, as he purges the big bad city from scum.
The adventure is based on the DC Comics/Vertigo comic books, so the design is pertaining to the comic book style.
Valiant Hearts : The Great War $4.99 [Android, iOS] by Ubisoft Entertainment
An endearing adventure set in the trenches of the World War I, as you play as one of the four playable characters helping a German soldier reunite with his beloved. The story is touching as the Titanic, and the only thing you would think at the end of it is - it is a shame humans never seem to learn lessons of history and continue to behave like bullies even after the two devastating World Wars.
The design is gruesome but fitting the storytelling, and your friends' canine guard Walt is as important a character as the German soldier himself. The game touches on some actual historical events, namely the Battle of Marne and the Battle of Somme, the Western front. I guess what the message behind this charming game could be 'Germans love their children, too,' but as the game's description suggests – learn about the history from historical articles and books, and let the games be games. Sadly, no one wants to study factual history these days.
That's it for this year. As I said, the list is not conclusive or comprehensive, so feel free to add your suggestions in the comments below!