My brother emailed me the other day to let me know that the first book in Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! series was now available for the iPhone. For those who don’t know the books, they were gamebooks, set up in the choose-your-own-adventure style, but with roleplaying elements such as stats and battles that required the use of 2 six-sided dice. There were a slew of them at one time including the Fighting Fantasy books (also from Steve Jackson) and the Lone Wolf gamebooks from Joe Dever.
These books were more my brother’s thing than mine, but being into fantasy and RPGs, I read them, too. They were fun – a kind of interactive reading experience that you could play by yourself, and in the case of Sorcery! and Lone Wolf, you could create your own continuity. If you found, for example, a particular item in one book, that item might come into play in a future book. But only if you had found it before (though, of course, this depended on the honor system).
Putting something like this on the iPhone, to me, makes a lot of sense. The game aspects can be automated while the choose-your-own-adventure parts are maintained. Only the first of the books is up, but I suppose more will appear if sales are good.
But this isn’t the only content from my youth that is now reappearing on platforms like the iPhone and the iPad. Point and click adventure games are making a comeback, too. Ports of old games have been reappearing with great frequency for mobile platforms. Monkey Island made a lot of noise when it was released for the iPhone. And not too long ago I downloaded an old favorite – Broken Sword – for my phone as well. It makes sense – the iPhone, iPad and even the DS are touch devices and the point and click interface scales well on them (with a few tweaks).
What I wonder, though, is whether this is a purely nostalgic phenomenon (as many of the people who have iPhones remember these games and books fondly), or whether this is simply the recognition that there is an opportunity here. What I hope is that we see some new games being developed with the same interface. Or at least newer entries in series that have long lain dormant. A new Monkey Island game, for example.
Whatever the case may be, I’m holding out for King’s Quest 6. If that happens, I’ll be happy.
Would you pay money to play any of these games again? Or new ones?