Fighting Fantasy Legends is a computer adaptation of the popular gaming book series Fighting Fantasy. It’s a compilation of three of the FF books; Citadel of Chaos, Warlock of Firetop Mountain and City of Thieves. And it’s pretty addictive. Each time you progress or die, there’s always the allure of trying that pathway. Or that one. Or that one.
Which is interesting, because the game itself doesn’t give you too many options on how to defeat your foes. There’s little progression in gear, nothing but a regular attack and you rely entirely on dice rolls. But it’s these dice rolls which make the game so interesting, as with just one throw you can change the entire course of your game. The events as well, are randomized, so you could, in theory, keep trying an event and dying until you finally get that gold you need to heal. My advice is to keep at least one gold piece at all times. You’ll need it.
As I said, it’s easy to get addicted to this game. I only popped it on one evening to try Fighting Fantasy Legends out and 2 hours later had just defeated a giant dragon and thrown rotten cheese at a sorcerer. That’s another thing I like – the inventiveness of the situations. Early on, you find a pair of gloves and are asked if you want to put them on. Naively, I did. Instantly they started to heat up and burned my hands, leaving me injured. I can’t think of another game which has quite as wacky but not overtly dark consequences to actions as this game.
Due to the inherent luck-based nature of the game, it is difficult. I’ve only played on normal difficulty and I’m still finding it tough. I even had to restart after trying multiple times to win gold to heal myself, only to lose to a dice roll. It’s a shame that there wasn’t a lot I could do about it, but I guess it’s a game of a certain era. Games now require careful preparation and multiple avenues to success; it was quite a shock to the system when I couldn’t do as such.
However, there is choice in the game, in the form of dialogue options. Again, if you didn’t grow up with this style of game, you might be surprised by the not-quite-as-robust nature of the choices, but they’re there. What’s nice is that the quirky story carries on to these options. For example, it turns out while in a discussion with a woman in the game, replying that you are a tax collector is better than being a florist. Of course, it didn’t help that the woman was Medusa.
The graphics are a standard ‘indie’ sort of fair, with quite clunky animations and a barebones overworld. Of course, as most of the game is done in a static manner, it doesn’t matter too much. What is nice to see, however, is the care given to the portraits of the characters. They’re all basically paintings from a book and they look great. The developers recognized the stellar art work thankfully as you can collect the portraits to look at, at your pleasure.
Another thing you can collect are titles, which range from ‘defeating a dragon’ to throwing the aforementioned cheese. These are quite fun to collect and make you try everything, even if there aren’t any clues to the titles themselves. There are also many types of games to play (although they do all revolve around dice) so you won’t find yourself at ends with what to do.
Overall, I’ve enjoyed my time with Fighting Fantasy Legends. While it definitely lends itself to ‘interactive choose your own adventure book’ rather than a game, there’s just enough charm to make me recommend this.
A PC review code of Fighting Fantasy Legends was provided by Nomad Games for the purpose of this review