Ghostboy and the Nameless Grave

Ghostboy and the Nameless Grave is an interactive fiction Kindle book for kids.  The black and white e-ink screen fits the mood of the book really well.  It is written in an easy style that kids can understand and enjoy.

The book is set up kind of like a comic book with the cartoon like graphics.  You get to choose a character that is male or female with any name you want.  Your character is Tristan’s (Ghostboy) best friend.

Along the way, you get to answer questions that determine the direction the story will go.  It doesn’t really affect the outcome overall, but it gives you choices to explore extra parts if you want.

Tristan and his mom live in an old house that is said to be haunted by an old lady.  Boy, the front door is scary.  Good thing Tristan has a camper to retreat to.

With the help of his friend Miranda and your character, Tristan sets off to help the ghost girl who is lost and needs to find her parents.  Tristan checks out a book on ghosts from the library.  It was funny to see the librarian with a bun and glasses.  That’s the age old stereotype for librarians.

Ghostboy is a great book for Halloween.  You and your child can have a lot of fun together solving riddles and answer the questions.  The interactive nature of the book gives you the nudge to pay attention to the details.  Some will show up later so it is helpful to remember them.

The book does a good job with telling you how to get through each section.  Use the Kindle’s next page button to go through the book.  When you need to select answers, use the toggle button.  You’ll need to use the keyboard to solve riddles and fill in the blank questions.

The only suggestion I have for Ghostboy and the Nameless Grave is to include a font size adjustment.  The text was kind of small.  The graphics may be a bit too spooky for young children.  It is up to the parents to decide on that factor though.

Elizabeth Wood

“My son loved this book! It’s like a combo book/game – too cool. He’s been reading/playing for 3 nights straight, and wants to know if there are any more available. ”

Proud Mom of Two

“This is a great book. My second grader loves it and wants more. It’s a lot of fun.
The reason why I gave it only 4 stars is that I wish the text was a little better quality. I understand it’s not great literature, but I don’t think that only the fun factor should be taken into consideration. That said, I’d buy #2 in a heartbeat! “

The Little Stick that Could

The Little Stick that Could is a great little interactive Kindle book for kids.  It may be enjoyable for adults, but I beat it pretty quickly.

In the beginning you get introduced to Stick, a young boy who is small, but don’t let his size fool you.  He is more powerful than any other stick person in Woodenton.

Every 100 years, a dragon shows up to terrorize the town.  He is pretty greedy and likes to snatch any shiny or pretty thing in his path.  That includes cute little stick girls like Stick’s girlfriend Sally.

After the dragon makes off with Sally, Stick finds his way to the dragon’s lair. He must navigate the castle first. Along the way, you’ll answer questions and riddle that will determine Stick and Sally’s fate.  Stick acquires the necessary super powers to defeat the dragon.

The language used in The Little Stick that Could is really cute.  The “bad guys” were threatening, but not threatening enough to scare kids.  Perfect for a bedtime read with your child.  I think this interactive book will usher in a future of interactive children’s books.  Interactive Kindle books encourages both children and adults to put their thinking skills to work.

The graphics were clear and easy to see.  All of the characters fit their personalities.  I found them kind of amusing.

Navigation is pretty straightforward. You’ll answer questions throughout the story using “A” or “B” on the Kindle keyboard.  The rest of the navigation is done with the 5-way toggle button.

I haven’t gotten a chance to see what happens if I make other choices yet.  Feel free to chime in if you’ve played The Little Stick that Could and got different results.  I think for the intended audience, it will be a happily ever after ending regardless.

The Little Stick that Could is available on the newest generation Kindle as well as older models.

Benny2391

“The little stick that could is a fun interactive story, in which Stick, the main character, has to go on an epic adventure to save his girl friend Sally, who has been kidnapped by a really mean dragon. Will you save Sally and beat the game? On the way to save Sally you are faced with choices of what to do. What will you choose? Overall this is a pretty good game but it only took me about ten minutes to beat on my first try.”

Dusk World

Dusk World has been around since Amazon started offering games on the Kindle. So, it is interesting to compare it to some of the other interactive fiction games out there and see how the games have improved over time.

Dusk World is an interactive adventure book where you determine the outcome of the story. The main character is Agent Patriot. Agent Patriot was convicted of a crime he has no memory of committing. the goal of the game/story is to figure out who actually committed the crime and who framed the agent.

The story is mostly white on black, which is unusual, and fits the overall mood of the Dusk World. Navigation is pretty simple. You just have to follow the lead of the story as it asks you questions on what choices to make. There’s a few comic like pictures that are mixed in. Always good to have some pictures in there to give a better idea of what you’re working with. Some of them are quite scary!

If you really like interactive game books, you should also check out the Fighting Fantasy series. They have a number of good stories to choose from. Another set of game books to try is the Choice of Games selection.

The only major downside to these games are that they are all pretty short. The good news is that there is a growing collection of them. So, they may be short, but there is a good variety.

Interactive fiction is a great way to get kids to read who otherwise would not show any interest. It engages them in a way that most traditional books can’t do. They also have a video game like quality to them, that can really draw you in.

So, great game for a good price. Dusk World has started an interactive fiction revolution.

tonya

“Love this interactive graphic novel! I will agree with some of the other reviews…the story and interactive content is a bit thin, but I see great potential for future books. The novelty of it has won me over (it brings back my childhood love of comics) and I think the younger readers could be drawn to this type of Kindle book (with the right content, of course). Writers/artists…get cracking!! ”

Rover

“I expected this to be more of a straight up choose your own adventure type book, but it is more complex than that. It is like a mashup between a comic book, those old text interactive fiction games, and a choose your own adventure book. Not only can you choose what to do, you can make a lot of choices about who you talk to and what you say. There are even combat sequences (sort of)!”

Deathtrap Dungeon

I‘ve had a lot of fun playing Worldweaver’s Fighting Fantasy games for the Kindle. They’re so interactive and full of anticipation.

Deathtrap Dungeon is a lot like Citadel of Chaos, but is in a different setting. The setting appears to be somewhere in China based on the names they chose.

When you first start the game, you can set up your character by choosing the gender and super powers. Your character will make their way through a number of passageways and traps. Don’t fall into the pit!

You’ll also do battle with some scary looking creatures. Determine your scores in the battles by rolling the die. I chose quick roll, but there’s also full toss.

Deathtrap Dungeon works on the Kindle 2, but I think it works a lot more smoothly on the Kindle 3. I noticed a small lag when turning pages. That makes sense since a vast majority of the Kindle games were developed after the Kindle 3 came out.

The interactive nature of Deathtrap Dungeon will get readers and non readers alike excited about the Kindle. I saw many reviewers say that Worldweaver has done a great job of adapting this old favorite to the Kindle platform.

Deathtrap Dungeon is primarily text with the exception of a few pictures that describe the monsters you must encounter. The text is clear and easy to read. The story tells you exactly when to turn the page and shows you the choices you have to make when you have to make certain decisions.

Look for various objects that can provide protection, or knock you down. The fun part is not knowing what objects will do what. You never know what kind of invisible poison a glass of water can hold!

The Fighting Fantasy series all got great reviews. Deathtrap Dungeon continues that tradition.

J.A. Regn

“Deathtrap Dungeon was always my favorite of the Fighting Fantasy books as a kid. The Kindle version is perfect e-book version of the original. In fact I may even enjoy the Kindle version more with the hand-drawn look of the automap, the management of the character inventory and how it prevents cheating (but at times I have mixed feelings about this). The lack of being able to go back a page and pretend you didn’t make that choice makes the books a big challenge and pretty much forces you to have many interesting deaths before winning. I like that the map remains if you die as sort of cheat sheet but that they also give you the option to start from a clean slate. “

The Citadel of Chaos

The Citadel of Chaos is similar to Affairs of the Court or Choice of the Vampire in that it is a text based adventure game.  But there are some other components to it that set it apart.  Instead of just selecting from a list of choices that will take you down your respective path in the story, this one includes graphics and dice rolls.

The Citadel of Chaos is basically navigation through a large castle filled with obstacles and scary creatures.  You encounter many spooky instances along the way that can determine your fate.  Your character is either a man or woman depending on which gender you choose.

When you first start, you can choose how much strength and stamina you have, or have the game auto generate the amount of weapons in your arsenal.  I tried that, and ended up with a pretty low amount of tricks.

So, your fate all depends on the choices you make.  You will live or die.  So, make your decisions carefully, and check the in house map to see your progress and the monsters you’ve encountered.

The graphics are pretty good.  There is a lag while the pages switch, so I mistakingly jumped ahead two pages a few times.  Throughout the adventure, there are helpful instructions.  For example, there are instructions on how the dice rolls work: quick roll versus full roll.

I really enjoyed this game, and held my breath every time I made a choice that would determine my path through the castle, or citadel.  Most of the time I just used my gut instinct.  I ended up some amusing scrapes, but so far so good.

Good to know that the Kindle is upholding the traditions of old favorites.  Many reviewers grew up reading the Fighting Fantasy books.  Worldweaver has done an excellent job adapting the series to the Kindle platform.

OzFalcon

“Just as enjoyable to play now as they were 30(?) years ago. And that’s something considering the age increase.
The map looks just great. And the game style, mechanics and atmosphere play out nicely.
I have tried both iPhone and Kindle versions of this game, And the Kindle is more enjoyable to play, Despite the lack of color.
Definitely recommended addition to your Kindle.”

Nick Schroeder

“I grew up reading the Fighting Fantasy books. Now after checking out the first title on Kindle, I can see that this is the perfect format for the books. Outstanding! I am very much looking forward to future titles–I will be buying them all! ”

 

 

 

 

Choice of the Vampire

Considering how popular the vampire genre is these days (Twilight anyone?), I think Choice of Games was smart to develop a Kindle gamebook that features a vampire as its main character. It is called Choice of the Vampire, and your character is a new vampire who is just getting the hang of his new life.  Choice of Games is also the creator of Choice of Broadsides, Affairs of the Court and more.  All of them are full of plot twists and turn that provide a lot of fun and entertainment.

The setting is 1815 New Orleans, so the major historical event of the time was the War of 1812.  You control your vampire’s relationships, and personality.  How much will your vampire traits take over your human traits, and what is your relationship with your fellow vampires?

Graphics wise, Choice of the Vampire is set up the same way as the other game books made by this company. You start out by setting up your character’s traits.  Then, you can read through the story and select different paths to take with the Kindle’s toggle button.  The navigation is pretty straightforward.  I wish the text was bigger, but more can fit on the page with the smaller font size.

One aspect of Choice of the Vampire that I really like is that you can choose between romance, redemption, or power.  There is an option for all preferences that way.  Not everyone likes cheesy love stories!

Out of all of the Choice of Games books, I like this one the best.  All of the books are historical, but I like the extra twist of putting a vampire into historical context.

Ingrid Orlow

“I have enjoyed all of the ‘choice of’ games, and this is an excellent one. Full of twists, complex characters, and the general aura of mysery and danger that surrounds vampires. I would not reccomend this game for anyone under the age of 12 though. 🙂 ”

Steffie C

“I purchased this because I love the vampire genre. This is a fun book/game to read. I want to stress that this is more like a book than a game. As you read through the page, you are given options as to how your “character” will continue. I love being able to make the story go in the direction I want, I hate reading a book and thinking, “they shouldn’t have done that!”. In this case, you are almost an author of your own story, and no two stories will be the same. “

Choice of Broadsides

Choice of Broadsides is part of the collection of interactive fiction books created by Choice of Games for the Kindle.  Others include Affairs of the Court and Choice of the Dragon.

Your character is a member of the navy.  You can start out at the top, or work your way up from the bottom.  You will use your leadership, sailing and battle expertise to protect your crew from the enemy ships  The outcome of the story depends on what options you pick.

My character was a young woman, with a crew of all women.  You have a choice of names that you can choose from.  I held my breath whenever I made a choice on what battle actions to take.  The results were not always what I expected them to be.

The setting is fictional.  Choice of Broadsides includes of fictional names and weapons as well.  That makes the adventure much more entertaining.

The game is quick.  It only takes you about thirty minutes to finish one if you move at a steady pace.  I am curious to see how widely the outcomes vary if you choose different characters and select different options.  The general plotline stays the same no matter what story you pick, however.  You can always restart the game by selecting that option from the menu.

When you first start the game, you get to customize your character’s traits.  You get to gauge how good they are at leadership, sailing, and in battle.  Remember the choices you made throughout the game so that you can shape your character’s decisions through them.

As far as graphics go, Choice of Broadsides is mostly text, so that makes it fairly easy to navigate.  When you have to answer questions, you can just select your answer with the 5-way toggle.  I wish the font size could be adjusted. that would be very helpful for anyone who has less than perfect vision.

Dang Lad

“Above the gaming and interactive portion of the book, I actually really enjoyed the writing. I know almost nothing about sailing and ranks, but the text almost forces you to role play. It’s also phenomenal being able to rely upon the Kindle dictionary when you see a word you’re not familiar with.”

Noetherian

“As other reviewers have commented, the story of your character is not particularly long. That is, your career can be completed in one sitting. However, if you play through the career of only one character you are missing a lot of what this medium has to offer. The re-playability provided by the interactive fiction makes Choice of Broadsides a great value for the price. ”

 

 

 

Inheritance

First off, I want to say, I liked Inheritance right from the start because the instructions are well written and full of humor.  Humor is always a good thing.

Once you start the game, you play the nephew of crazy Uncle Ozmo.  Cool name.  Uncle Ozmo has passed away and left you a nice inheritance.  But the catch is, in order to get the inheritance, you have to reveal clues and get yourself out of his house.  By the way, you are locked into the mansion.  Knowing how crazy your uncle is, you didn’t expect to get off easy did you?

In order to get out of your uncle’s house, you have to give basic text commands to move through the rooms.  Examples include “Go” or “Open.”  These words can be accessed via the Kindle keyboard.  You will see the keys that match up to each word on the screen.  So, you don’t have to worry about memorizing the shortcuts.

The only complaint I have about Inheritance is that the text is kind of small.  I can’t adjust it with the Aa button at all.  Aside from the small text, the look and feel of the game looks good to me.

Be careful, you can get turned around easily.  I tried going through he archway, then thought I was going to the foyer, but ended up going back to where I started.  So, pay close attention to where you are so you can get out faster!

Carrie Johnson

“It took me a while to figure things out…which is the point I guess. It was fun and challenging. Once I figured out how to get into the elevator, things really went fast and I was able to make it all happen quickly. Hint for getting the shoes: set the timer on the floor. It was super fun but wanted it to be longer and I want more!! Gang of Penguins, we are ready for more!!’

Gang of Penguins must be doing something right, with all of these reviews begging for more games like this one!

Jade Hanley

“This is a fantastic game that while quite challenging at parts, totally keeps your interest with the story line. Great game on the go as you can easily come back to it. I hope this company continues to make more great titles!”

Text game veterans might feel that Inheritance is too easy, but it is a good refresher, and has the potential begin a revolution of of text adventure games for the Kindle.

 

Affairs of the Court

Affairs of the Court is a cross between a game and romance novel.  You get to write the story with guidance from the program.

Choice of Games has several of these interactive fiction titles available, including Choice of Broadsides, Choice of the Dragon, and Choice of the Vampire. Vampires are all the rage these days, so that one is a great fit.

Before you start, you’re given a run down of the basic storyline and how to answer the questions they ask.  I wasn’t very familiar with interactive fiction on the Kindle, so the instructions were very helpful in getting me started.

Your character is a young noble who may or may not have magical powers.  You can be male or female, you get to pick your name.  You have a choice of cool noble names, like Catalina.  You also get to choose your romantic interest.

The story’s ending depends on you.  The consequences are revealed after you make your choices.  Just hope it doesn’t end in disaster!

I think it is a neat idea to make these books reader controlled. If they were more kid friendly versions available, this would be a great way to get them interested in reading.

The graphics are decent.  Most of the story is text based, so that isn’t a problem.  You can go back and replay the story using different options.  I find the choices amusing.  Use your 5-way toggle to choose your answers.  It is all pretty self explanatory.

M. Morris

“Firstly, I did enjoy the story. It was interesting, it was exciting, and I felt invested in it the first time through. It was definitely a good read, and I would recommend it to people for the story alone.

However, I was a bit disappointed in how the choices were broken up. For one, the different gender combinations made no difference whatsoever on the story. I played as a man the first few times through, and then I decided to switch over to playing as a woman to see how it was different. Imagine my disappointment when there was no differences,besides different pronouns. Changing the sexual preference made no difference either: your suitors are basically the same characters, just with different genders.”

It looks like the most common complaint for Affairs of the Court is that the storyline does not get affected by the choices you make as much as they should.  I wish there were more exciting magic tricks and more imaginative twists.  Overall, though it is a good story, and it doesn’t break the bank.  It is definitely geared for the adult reader.