New games: Fighting Fantasy, Movie Trivia…and learn Spanish

New games: Fighting Fantasy, Movie Trivia…and learn Spanish

No question, this one caught my eye:

The Warlock of Firetop Mountain ($3.99 at time of writing)

I suspect that there may be a couple of you out there who went, “Woo-hoo!  Firetop Mountain?  The Fighting Fantasy gamebook?”  I assume the rest of you had no reaction.  ;)

In 1982 (83 in the USA), Steve Jackson (not the American game designer…the British one who co-founded Games Workshop, the folks behind Warhammer) had a “gamebook” published by Penguin (and later by Dell).  I still have several books in the series. 

They were sort of a hybrid between a Choose Your Own Adventure and a role-playing game (or at least, a combat system).  From the back cover of the paper edition:

“Armed with two dice, a pencil and an eraser, you set off on a perilous quest to find the Warlock’s treature.  YOU will need to decide which route to follow and which monsters to fight in the elaborate combat system given in the book.”

While dice can be almost fetishistic objects to gamers, the new version, developed by Worldweaver Games *, takes care of the dice and the bookkeepiing for you.  :)

You can learn more about the game at the

Official Fighting Fantasy site 

That site has an intriguing statement, which may be the buzziest thing in this post:

“The Kindle version of Warlock is only available in the US at the moment. For news on the UK version coming soon click here.”

Active content is coming soon the UK store?

There wasn’t really any information when I clicked there, but that’s breaking news if it happens. 

They plan to release one of these books a month…I think that could take them five years to cover the series.  :)

I expect this to do quite well, and it’s worth trying if you’ve been intrigued by the idea of gaming (although solo gaming is very different from the social style).  I took a quick look at the game on my K3…lots of illustrations which look good.  I think more illustrations tend to run the battery down a bit more quickly (even in books), but let me know if you’ve really tried it out.

It could be a huge hit in the UK store…there will definitely be nostalgia for it there.

The Ultimate Movie Quiz ($1.99 at time of writing)

Yes, I’m a trivia guy.  I do pretty well…I would often win Jeopardy when I’m i my family room ;) , but a large part of winning that game in the studio is based on the buzz in, so it’s hard to predict.

Writing trivia is hard.  It’s very delicate to make it not too hard and not too easy.  If everybody knows the answer, it’s no fun…if you have to know Swahili to know the answer (as is the case with knowing Uhura’s mother’s name in the original Star Trek…not in this book, but in the trivia world), that limits most people’s enjoyment.  :)

In an electronic version like this, interface is also important.  Can you play against other people?  Is there variety in the way the questions are presented?  Does it keep track of your score?

It looks like this is all multiple choice, that you have some play options, and that there are about a thousand questions.

24/7 Tutor: Spanish – Basic Phrases ($3.99 at time of writing)

24/7 Tutor: Spanish – Vocabulary (#3.99 at time of writing)

Not all active content titles in the Kindle store are games…but these include them.

It doesn’t look like the Phrases edtion would teach you to speak Spanish from scratch, of course, but it does have a variety of learning methods…which can be very important.  You can play Hangman, do multiple choice, do fill-in..it helps to have options.

One of the screen shots also shows that it is giving you the idiom, not word by word translation.  That’s important as well. 

My guess is that this might be very good if you took Spanish in high school and want to refresh yourself.  It also could be good for someone who is a student now.

One presumption, but I think I’m quite safe on this one.  It’s not going to teach you to pronounce the words.  :)  While the company (Nuance…the same people who make DragonNaturally Speaking) who makes the text-to-speech offers several Spanish voices, they aren’t part of the Kindle. 

The vocabulary title seems similar.  One helpful reviewer (Jeremy Aldrich) notes that it identifies regionalisms…and that definitely matters on vocabulary.  Just as British English and American English can confuse people (lift versus elevator, trunk versus boot) the same is true in Spanish.  That’s a nice feature.  :)

If you try any of these, feel free to let me (and the readers of this blog) know what you think.

As with other Active Content titles, it doesn’t work on the K1, but does work on K2s, K3s, and the KDX.  It doesn’t work in reader apps, and I assume it can’t be purchased outside the US.

You can buy it once and share it with all compatible devices on the account.

For information on more games, see this category.

* I believe Worldweaver is connected with Pinewood Studios (James Bond and Harry Potter).  I don’t think this publication has anything to do with Penguin or Dell.  Rights may have reverted to Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, or they may have retained the rights to game versions as opposed to books…and this might be determined to be a game.  I think the former is more likely.  If anyone from Worldweaver or Fighting Fantasy can shed light on that, I’d appreciate it.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

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4 Responses to “New games: Fighting Fantasy, Movie Trivia…and learn Spanish”

  1. Chris Sterling Says:

    Yes, we’ve licensed the worldwide rights to the Fighting Fantasy books on the Kindle from Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone.

    We’ve also just licensed another big series, so watch out for a press release on that soon. ;-)

    All the best,
    Chris

    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Chris!

      I really appreciate you taking the time to let me and my readers know!

      Some people do care about who the publishers are. They’ll be happy to know that these rights were obtained directly from the authors.

      Keep us informed…I look forward to the new announcement. I think the way that Kindle items are stored makes it a particularly apt platform for series.

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