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Ace of Aces: or, why you should Do Maths as a game designer (

Every now and again you come across something that stretches your brain in a new direction. Last week I stumbled on a magic trick of a Choose Your Own Adventure: Al Leonardi’s Ace of Aces, a paper computer running a first-person shooter, programmed in 1980—eleven years before Wolfenstein 3D, the “first” first-person...

Ranking Choose Your Adventure Book Covers of the 20th Century (

2024 marks the 45th anniversary of the Choose Your Own Adventure series’ inception. We’re celebrating here by ranking the classic Choose Your Own Adventure book covers of the 20th century and presenting you with the best of the best. If you’re due for a dose of nostalgia, keep scrolling to relive those rainy Saturday...

The Making Of: Nintendo Adventure Books, Mario's 'Fighting Fantasy' Period (

In our Lost Zelda Games article, we mentioned interviewing the gentleman behind the Nintendo Adventure Books. Reaching that point required an interesting detour - the books were credited to Clyde Bosco, Bill McCay, and Matt Wayne, all of whom seemed impossible to find online (the comic artist Matt Wayne is not the same person)....

'Fortress of Death' is Reinventing How We Play RPGs 34 Years Later (

Back in 1989, a game maker and author named Joe Dever had a wild idea. He had already set up a whole fantasy series set in the world of Magnamund from his Lone Wolf gamebook series. Ever the innovator, Dever concocted the idea of PhoneQuest. In PhoneQuest, people could dial a number on their phone and listen to, essentially, an...

All of Netflix’s weird interactive movies and shows, ranked (

2018’s Black Mirror: Bandersnatch and 2019’s You vs. Wild marked a new phase for Netflix’s interactive shows, which started off with relatively simple interactive experiments for kids in 2017, designed to test the waters for actual Netflix games down the road. These Choose Your Own Adventure-style stories became some of...

Never Mind The Warlocks: Fighting Fantasy at 40 (

“We used to run Games Days in the early days,” he says. “By 1979, other traders were coming in… so we had several thousand people turning up to play games. Penguin took a stand to promote their book, Playing Politics. The editor, Geraldine Cook, was just fascinated by the enthusiasm of the people playing Dungeons &...

40 years of Fighting Fantasy (

Forty years, 26 different languages, and 20 million books sold. Fighting Fantasy’s stats paint an impressive picture; figures that are as impressive as rolling a fabled 12-24-12 score for skill, stamina and luck before setting off to give some orcs a damn good thrashing. There’s much more to the series’ legacy to gaming...

Software for creating gamebooks (

I was just nosing about and stumbled across inklewriter, which seems a very quick and easy way to get started writing a gamebook, and is the little brother to Ink which was used to adapt the Sorcery! gamebooks. However, there are a lot of options out there. So I thought I’d throw this one open to you all - what have you been...

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