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Forest of Doom

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The legendary Warhammer of Stonebridge lies lost and broken in the treacherous wilderness of Darkwood Forest. Without it, the Dwarves of Stonebridge are doomed...Only the foolhardy would enter the murky depths of Darkwood. But your quest will lead you into the very heart of the forest. Dare you take on the unknown perils of Darkwood, and survive the puzzles, traps and fear The legendary Warhammer of Stonebridge lies lost and broken in the treacherous wilderness of Darkwood Forest. Without it, the Dwarves of Stonebridge are doomed...Only the foolhardy would enter the murky depths of Darkwood. But your quest will lead you into the very heart of the forest. Dare you take on the unknown perils of Darkwood, and survive the puzzles, traps and fearsome creatures that lie in wait for you? You alone must find the missing pieces of the Warhammer and save the Dwarves of Stonebridge before it is too late!


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The legendary Warhammer of Stonebridge lies lost and broken in the treacherous wilderness of Darkwood Forest. Without it, the Dwarves of Stonebridge are doomed...Only the foolhardy would enter the murky depths of Darkwood. But your quest will lead you into the very heart of the forest. Dare you take on the unknown perils of Darkwood, and survive the puzzles, traps and fear The legendary Warhammer of Stonebridge lies lost and broken in the treacherous wilderness of Darkwood Forest. Without it, the Dwarves of Stonebridge are doomed...Only the foolhardy would enter the murky depths of Darkwood. But your quest will lead you into the very heart of the forest. Dare you take on the unknown perils of Darkwood, and survive the puzzles, traps and fearsome creatures that lie in wait for you? You alone must find the missing pieces of the Warhammer and save the Dwarves of Stonebridge before it is too late!

30 review for Forest of Doom

  1. 4 out of 5

    Leo .

    Brilliant escapism. Loved these books when I was a child. The reptilian shape changer on the cover Uugh! Scary. I wonder if David Icke read this book/played the game. LOL!🐯👍

  2. 4 out of 5

    Spencer

    I loved these books when I was younger and I wanted to see if I still found them enjoyable so I picked this up and dove in! The writing may not be the most impresssive and there are fantasy clichés all over the place but I had so much fun. The rpg mechanics and sense of adventure are absorbing and well executed. This book might not be for everyone but for me the sense of nostalga and simple, effective fun made this a fantastic experience.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Paul Christensen

    The empty-headed fungus clones in a cavern beneath the ground, The barbarian whose ingratitude when rescued is profound; Yaztromo's cluttered tower, the cat woman's pubic hair; The gremlins who live at the bottom of a well; the wyvern's stinking lair. But if you want to win, then be prepared to laugh, Because the forest can be re-entered by a time-annulling path...

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dayna

    I had a little craving to read some of those old school fighting fantasy books that I used to read (and cheat at) when I was a kid. So I found an app that did the some of the books (unfortunately, not the ones with Steve Jackson, which were the best) so I could reread the books and relive the action (and couldn’t cheat, lol)! Because these are not your traditional novel, they’re a little harder to compare to a classic story, but I really enjoyed the reading and the action. The writing is fairly b I had a little craving to read some of those old school fighting fantasy books that I used to read (and cheat at) when I was a kid. So I found an app that did the some of the books (unfortunately, not the ones with Steve Jackson, which were the best) so I could reread the books and relive the action (and couldn’t cheat, lol)! Because these are not your traditional novel, they’re a little harder to compare to a classic story, but I really enjoyed the reading and the action. The writing is fairly basic, but they do a good job of creating enough background and character info that you can get embroiled in the action easily enough.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Unlike most of the choose-your-own-adventure books I've reviewed on goodreads, I did not read this one as a child. I bought this as an adult, because the Fighting Fantasy Gamebook series had been so good when I was a kid that I wanted to try this one when I came across it used. It's been a lot of years since then, but as I recall, I managed to win the game after only one or two reads and was disappointed and put it aside for a long time before trying again. I must have been lucky that first or se Unlike most of the choose-your-own-adventure books I've reviewed on goodreads, I did not read this one as a child. I bought this as an adult, because the Fighting Fantasy Gamebook series had been so good when I was a kid that I wanted to try this one when I came across it used. It's been a lot of years since then, but as I recall, I managed to win the game after only one or two reads and was disappointed and put it aside for a long time before trying again. I must have been lucky that first or second time (or maybe I'm misremembering), because I played it five times last week without being able to get to the finish. Unlike the previously reviewed The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, this wasn't because of an annoying maze I couldn't navigate or any other cheap trick, it was just a good, challenging adventure. I did have some trouble getting my hand-made maps to line up right, and this was partly because of inconsistencies in the distances in the book, but nothing that couldn't be worked out. The book comes with a single-page blank map that would be WAY too small to use, but it would also be inconvenient to have to flip to the page to use it so I never made the mistake of trying it. An interesting feature of the book is that you have the option to start over if your character survives the forest without finding all the pieces you need to complete your quest. Usually in a choose-your-own-adventure, if you get to the end without winning, you have failed and have to make a new character to start again. In this case, that still may be the better strategy because you won't have as many provisions or money to buy equipment if you re-use your old character, but it is a nice option. Another interesting thing is that there are several magical items you can find to increase your skill if you happen to roll low at the outset (and skill is generally the hardest thing to get along without). Some might say that makes it too easy, but I found it a handy tool. Overall, this may not have been the very best of the Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks, but it should be fun for most sorcery-and-swordplay lovers willing to play with a book rather than a computer.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Graham

    Vivid memories of this one. It was 1991, I was 10 years old and my parents just bought me a copy of this book. They went into a garden centre. It was raining. I decided to stay in the car. I had this book, a pencil, a couple of dice (yes, I was a nerd!). I ended up being lost in another world. Roaming strange forest paths, encountering weird beasts, occasionally getting killed and trying again. Then there was the cheating - what kid wouldn't at that age?! I totally forgot where I was that aftern Vivid memories of this one. It was 1991, I was 10 years old and my parents just bought me a copy of this book. They went into a garden centre. It was raining. I decided to stay in the car. I had this book, a pencil, a couple of dice (yes, I was a nerd!). I ended up being lost in another world. Roaming strange forest paths, encountering weird beasts, occasionally getting killed and trying again. Then there was the cheating - what kid wouldn't at that age?! I totally forgot where I was that afternoon, and I loved that feeling of being transported into another world. Fond memories indeed... NB. I've since played this adventure twice as an adult and it's held up remarkably well both times. The first time we made it to Stonebridge but missed the hammer parts, so our adventure ended in disappointment. The second time we located one of the hammer parts, but fell foul of an unending parade of strength-sapping creatures and eventually the evil machinations of a fire demon. Tremendous fun...

  7. 5 out of 5

    W.G. Saraband

    Got struck by a hit of nostalgia when I found a game version of this book on Steam. I had read it when I was very young, after stealing it from my brother's collection. Unfortunately, I had only the memory that this one wasn't very good compared to other books from this series, and having re read it now I seem to have confirmed that same memory. It just isn't as great as others, you don't feel like you have much choice here, everything is much more linear. It's still fun, though.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lee Osborne

    After playing the latest Fighting Fantasy release, "The Gates of Death", and really enjoying it, I decided to revisit one of the classic early titles, and "The Forest of Doom" was an obvious choice - this was my introduction to the series, way back when it was first published in 1983. I was nine years old at the time, and my primary school teacher - a rather scary older lady who wasn't particularly down with the kids - introduced the books to the class in a rare display of cultural relevance. I After playing the latest Fighting Fantasy release, "The Gates of Death", and really enjoying it, I decided to revisit one of the classic early titles, and "The Forest of Doom" was an obvious choice - this was my introduction to the series, way back when it was first published in 1983. I was nine years old at the time, and my primary school teacher - a rather scary older lady who wasn't particularly down with the kids - introduced the books to the class in a rare display of cultural relevance. I borrowed a copy from the school and attempted to play it - I certainly didn't solve it at the time and lacked the attention span and patience to make a decent stab at it, but it was enough to make me enjoy playing these books, and I played quite a few others over the next few years. So - how was it thirty-five years later? Pretty good, I reckon! It seems this isn't considered one of the better titles, but once again I found it quite engrossing, and it's very easy to lose yourself in it and really enjoy playing your way through. The plot of the book is that you have to find the two parts of a legendary Warhammer, and return them to the dwarf village from where they were stolen. You start off with the option of buying a range of potions and other items that will help you in your quest - you certainly can't afford all of them and it's not clear what ones you'll need. In the cases where you get to use them, they'll make life much easier but the alternatives aren't usually fatal if your stamina score remains good. Equipped with your items of choice, you're off into the forest. Apparently there is "one true path" through it, but you don't have to discover it straight away to be successful. The gameplay is essentially a maze, with a network of paths that join up in various places, and a range of off-path locations that you will need to explore to be successful. Do yourself a favour and attempt to map your progress, or at least record where you've been - if you don't, you'll really struggle to find your way around and risk repeating large sections on later attempts. You're very rarely given the opportunity to double back on yourself, and whichever route you take, you're eventually forced northwards to the edge of the forest, ending up in the same location, where you win if you've successfully found both parts of the hammer. If you haven't, you're rather unusually given the chance to make your way back to the start and try again, with your same character. This is certainly worth doing if you still have a reasonable level of skill, stamina and luck, and if you've found any gold along the way, you can stock up on magical items again before taking a different path. On my first attempt, my first circuit of the forest failed to locate either part of the hammer, but I found one part on my second circuit - sadly I was killed in battle before I could find the other part. On my second attempt, I repeated the steps that led me to find the first part of the hammer, and then ended up on a second circuit before I found the other part very close to the end. This time I was able to successfully avoid the parts I'd already explored. You'll end up fighting a LOT of battles to get through this, and although most creatures aren't very challenging to fight, there's a risk it'll hammer away at your stamina enough to drastically increase your risk of death before successfully completing the game. Unfortunately very few creatures turn out to be worth fighting or trusting, but you'll not know which ones they are the first time around! There's various items in the game that will either enhance or hamper your ability to fight, and that can make all the difference. You can cheat a bit to make it easier to finish, but at the end of the day there's a reward to being patient enough to do it properly, and it'll greatly increase your enjoyment and satisfaction when you do solve it. A particular criticism I have is the presentation of the Scholastic re-issues, which sadly are nowhere near as attractive as the original Puffin versions. These had much higher quality proper fantasy art in them, and the typeface and presentation was of a much higher quality. The new ones look a bit cheap in comparison, and that's a shame. Essentially, though, that's not really much of a distraction - the point of the book is playing the game, and there's much satisfaction to be had from doing that.

  9. 4 out of 5

    David Sarkies

    The first outdoor Fighting Fantasy 12 June 2012 This is the third of the Fighting Fantasy books and Livingstone has gone back to the style that was used in Warlock of Firetop Mountain, meaning that the adventure is a lot more mappable than was Citadel of Chaos. Further, the quest is somewhat less morally ambiguous than the previous two (the first being a simple break and enter, the second being an assassination), namely you are looking for two pieces of a artifact that has been lost, and then ret The first outdoor Fighting Fantasy 12 June 2012 This is the third of the Fighting Fantasy books and Livingstone has gone back to the style that was used in Warlock of Firetop Mountain, meaning that the adventure is a lot more mappable than was Citadel of Chaos. Further, the quest is somewhat less morally ambiguous than the previous two (the first being a simple break and enter, the second being an assassination), namely you are looking for two pieces of a artifact that has been lost, and then returning it to the rightful owners (for whatever reason). In this adventure your character seems to be a little more experienced than the wet-behind-the-ears characters that you played in the first two. In a way it is a little more believable, but then again all adventurers need to start off somewhere. However, despite having some experience under your belt, you do begin with the bare minimum of equipment (a sword, some food, a potion, and some leather armour). The other noticeable thing is that it is implied that you are a hunter, used to the wilds, so I guess this type of character is suitable to an adventure like Forest of Doom, where you are exploring a dark and nasty forest. The adventure begins with you meeting a dwarf that is dying who requests that you finish the quest that he is unable to complete. You then travel to the forest and meet up with the wizard that lives in a tower at its edge. It is here that you can select a number of magic items to help you in your quest. This seemed a little like Citadel of Chaos where you selected the spells that you think you need to successfully complete the adventure. Like the spells in the earlier book, the magic items can only be used once, and really only where the option to use them are given. That is understandable as there are a number of limitations with a game book, but remember that these were released in the days before computer roleplaying games really became popular (and computers were still only in the homes of the geeks). After reading the third book I have noticed that the style is becoming a little more mature, and easier to map. The way it works is that initially (after the Wizard's Tower) you follow a network of paths, and each of the paths end up heading north. The map has four ways to travel north, and at certain points you to jump from one northward path to another. However is only one true path through the book, and you must travel along that one true path to succeed. The adventure is also set as a series of events (and if you put that into your mind, it makes it easier to navigate, and to complete) and each of the events has a number of ways to pass through (though in some cases you can avoid it completely). The way I mapped it was to have a circle where the event begins, but not to put all options into the event, only the choice to move on to the next event. That way if you end up going along the wrong path, you can jump back to where you believe the wrong decision was made and move on in the other direction. It is different to Citadel of Chaos where by making certain choices in that adventure you could go through a lot more events than otherwise, and the more events you pass through, the easier it was to complete the adventure. This is not the case here because there are set paths that lead to set events, and as such if you take the wrong path you go to a certain number of set events and avoid the others. What it comes down to is working out which events you need to pass through to complete the adventure. Further, this adventure does not have numbers hidden in the text that you need to find to complete it (as was the case in the first book). It makes it easier to cheat (namely because I could not find the silver key) since you don't have to dig through the whole book looking for a specific number.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jimbo

    The first FF that I have completed! Ok, so I didn't find the two parts of the hammer, but I lied and said I did in order to get to 400 for the first time! I found the forest setting to be pretty similar to the previous dungeon type settings, although this story was probably the most enjoyable of the three so far. Whilst magic was not there at the outset in this one, for all wants and purposes it was as you could purchase spells almost immediately. Overall I enjoyed this the most of the three title The first FF that I have completed! Ok, so I didn't find the two parts of the hammer, but I lied and said I did in order to get to 400 for the first time! I found the forest setting to be pretty similar to the previous dungeon type settings, although this story was probably the most enjoyable of the three so far. Whilst magic was not there at the outset in this one, for all wants and purposes it was as you could purchase spells almost immediately. Overall I enjoyed this the most of the three titles so far, but still not as good I remember...

  11. 5 out of 5

    Michael Whitman

    a bit of a walk down memory lane. I didn't manage to complete it in the first run through, but that's because I attacked the wizard. never attack the wizard selling magic items. simple solution to this book: max out your skill early and the battles you fight will be easy. the plot issue straightforward, but it was still great.

  12. 5 out of 5

    John

    I spent hours, no weeks, no years in this book as a kid! I never played it as it was intended. The fun for me was exploring the whole thing and mapping it as I went. I ended up with great maps. I've been a map geek ever since... and am a hard core Ingress Resistance Intel operator now!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Michael Kelly

    I remember that the first time I read this particular gamebook a quarter of a century ago, I managed to complete if on my very first attempt, passing through Darkwood Forest and retrieving both halves of the Dwarves' missing warhammer on the way. In consequence, I have spent the past 25+ years under the impression that this book was somehow easier than most. Now I know that back then I just got lucky! This time round it took me several attempts, exploring the length and breadth of the forest, pok I remember that the first time I read this particular gamebook a quarter of a century ago, I managed to complete if on my very first attempt, passing through Darkwood Forest and retrieving both halves of the Dwarves' missing warhammer on the way. In consequence, I have spent the past 25+ years under the impression that this book was somehow easier than most. Now I know that back then I just got lucky! This time round it took me several attempts, exploring the length and breadth of the forest, poking in every remote corner. There are a LOT of different pathways through the forest. The first part of the hammer is easily found IF you follow the right path. Choose the wrong turning at the beginning, though, and you'll never find it. The second half, in contrast, is in a location in the second half of the forest, across the river, and a large number of paths eventually pass by it, so it's not easily missed. However, you'll never know it is there unless you have picked up one particular item elsewhere on your travels, in some remote spot. And you may not even manage to enter the location to discover that you need this item unless you have discovered another particular item along the way. The beginning of this book tries something different by giving the reader an amount of money to spend on assorted weird and wonderful items from a wizard's shop, all of which may prove useful at some point. So how you choose to spend your money will make certain encounters easier or more difficult. As I've said, there are a very large number of branching paths and a huge array of fascinating encounters, some hostile and some just strange and wonderful. Even if you do succeed first time through, play through again and explore the wonders of the forest. It's much less linear and more fascinating than the previous two books in the series. The wood feels alive and has an atmosphere all its own, and that's quite an achievement in a book of this sort. I loved it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Julie Kendrick

    I dont know if you have heard of Ian Livingstone and his fabulous books but I loved them as a kid. These are the books where you read a page or two and then roll a dice to determine the outcome of that part of your quest. They are so addictive and you can play/read them many times with different outcomes so you will never get bored. I'm just about to buy them all again ha ha.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Aria Tatiana

    Book #3 in the Fighting Fantasy series, Forest of Doom is an enjoyable one, but maybe a bit too easy and straightforward? I don't like them hard (still haven't won #2 after trying like 3 times -_- ) but I don't want them too easy either... Still, it makes for a fun ride! I like to play these gamebooks while listening to medieval/RPG music on Youtube, it sets a great atmosphere :D

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Henri

    I think it was very creative, fun and interesting. I read this with my brother-in-law and we had a blast! It was so much fun, i was getting so caught up in the book that i had no idea that the only thing i was doing was killing things. But the minute i died my soul died :P

  17. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    One of the better 'fighting fantasy' books out there.

  18. 4 out of 5

    D.

    Forest of Doom (Fighting Fantasy) by Ian Livingstone (2003)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Phil Nicolle

    Great adventure book, infuriating that you can't go south! Miss what your looking for and there is no going back.

  20. 4 out of 5

    David

    Great fun! In the first tranche of 'choose your own adventure' books. I played before computer games (not that there weren't computer games, just before I had played any, if you follow?

  21. 4 out of 5

    Eddy

    (Played the Tin Man Games digital version.) Fun, although I imagine it would have been more frustrating without the map feature or drawing my own.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sportyrod

    A great children’s fighting fantasy book. You are the star of the story and get to make choices in order to fulfil a quest. You encounter all sorts of creative beings: gremlins, shape shifters, barbarians and more. For those yet to explore this type of book, you roll the dice to determine your level of skill, stamina and luck. Each beast has their own level and the throw of a dice determines the outcome. Picking up extra equipment along the way helps the success of the journey. The story is simple A great children’s fighting fantasy book. You are the star of the story and get to make choices in order to fulfil a quest. You encounter all sorts of creative beings: gremlins, shape shifters, barbarians and more. For those yet to explore this type of book, you roll the dice to determine your level of skill, stamina and luck. Each beast has their own level and the throw of a dice determines the outcome. Picking up extra equipment along the way helps the success of the journey. The story is simple and fun. I would recommend this to new readers who enjoy fantasy books or adults who read them as kids for nostalgia, like I did. It’s still as fun as it was.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Bird

    A fun choose your own adventure book in which a lot of situations can be talked through rather than fought. Loved the book as a child and still love it now. Although not the best fighting fantasy book, it still ranks highly.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

    The Forest of Doom was Ian Livingstone’s first solo Fighting Fantasy gamebook following his collaboration with Steve Jackson on the series’ inaugural title, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. The book finds your character embarking on a treacherous journey into Darkwood Forest to locate two parts of a legendary warhammer which will unite the dwarves of Stonebridge against their Troll enemies. It’s a fairly thin premise which doesn’t stand up to close scrutiny, but still a step up from Warlock’s “p The Forest of Doom was Ian Livingstone’s first solo Fighting Fantasy gamebook following his collaboration with Steve Jackson on the series’ inaugural title, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. The book finds your character embarking on a treacherous journey into Darkwood Forest to locate two parts of a legendary warhammer which will unite the dwarves of Stonebridge against their Troll enemies. It’s a fairly thin premise which doesn’t stand up to close scrutiny, but still a step up from Warlock’s “pillage and murder because treasure” adventure hook. After accepting your quest you seek out a local wizard/shopkeeper called Yaztromo and go on a shopping spree for magical items. His store is surprisingly well stocked, and the items on offer are all situationally useful in Darkwood Forest, so I recommend spending large before you head into the forest. The Forest of Doom has a layout not dissimilar to Warlock of Firetop Mountain, only without that annoying maze (which was a Steve Jackson addition). The map is even bisected by a river, just like Firetop Mountain. And in many respects the book plays like a dungeon crawl set in a forest. There are main pathways that the player can follow through the forest, with encounters to the left or right of the path, much like the rooms in a dungeon. Another similarity with Firetop Mountain is that choosing the wrong pathway early in the book will doom the player’s attempt, even if they succeed in finding their way out of the forest. Regardless of whether you discover the “true path”, the book is easy enough that there are very few nail biting decisions to be made. None of the combats are especially challenging, and in my playthroughs I didn’t suffer any instant deaths, which made me confident about charging head-on into encounters without fear that they might be game-ending. It is also possible to skip many fights either by buying your way out of danger or choosing not to investigate a suspicious sound/lair/hut. Unusually, for a Fighting Fantasy book, Forest of Doom doesn’t conclude with a boss fight. This makes the ending somewhat anti climatic, even more so because Livingstone gives the reader the option of walking back to the start of the forest and trying again! This loop sets up some very odd deja vu possibilities, since you might find yourself fighting monsters you have already slain, and collecting the same treasure more than once. It is a very unusual design decision, and I can only assume that Livingstone wanted to mitigate the disappointment of reaching the end with only one half of the warhammer by giving the reader a second (or third, or fourth...) chance. He didn’t feel the need for this sort of hand holding in his later books, and in fact went on to produce some of the series’ most notoriously difficult entries. While the The Forest of Doom’s gameplay may be found wanting, Iain McCaig’s depiction of a Shape Changer on the book’s cover is damn near perfect. The watercolour’s soothing autumnal palette creates an uneasy contrast with the menacing subject matter, and the dynamic composition keeps drawing the viewer’s eye to that monstrous face. Just one thing niggles me: because one of the Shape Changer’s legs is almost completely hidden from view, I always interpret its tail as a leg. Then my brain goes “Wait, that’s not a leg, it’s a tail. So how can it stand upright if it only has one leg?” Please tell me I’m not the only one who suffers this tail/leg confusion. The interior illustrations are courtesy of Malcolm Barter. His style is minimal, with generous white space, and linework that suggests shapes instead of describing details. Barter’s illustrations are perfectly adequate, but I can’t help wondering how the book would look if Ian McCaig had handled the interior art as well as the cover. Of the five FF books I have played since rediscovering the series, Forest of Doom is the least cohesive. It feels like the work of an author trying to figure out what makes a good gamebook. But I am happy to forgive the book its flaws, since it paved the way for City of Thieves, Livingstone's next Fighting Fantasy outing and one of the series’ most loved books.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sothea Chhum

    A walk in the park of blessing and forgiveness... This third book of the Fighting Fantasy series is Ian Livingstone's first attempt at writing a book on its own. Unlike Warlock of the Firetop Mountain, this one actually has some background story. The end result is a well balanced (somehow unchallenging) adventure filled with disjointed encounters. Just as in the first book, the hero in the Forest of Doom is an adventurer looking for fame and fortune. You stumble upon a dying dwarf who tells you a A walk in the park of blessing and forgiveness... This third book of the Fighting Fantasy series is Ian Livingstone's first attempt at writing a book on its own. Unlike Warlock of the Firetop Mountain, this one actually has some background story. The end result is a well balanced (somehow unchallenging) adventure filled with disjointed encounters. Just as in the first book, the hero in the Forest of Doom is an adventurer looking for fame and fortune. You stumble upon a dying dwarf who tells you about his mission. The king's hammer has been stolen and has been lost in the forest. Without the hammer, he will be unable to rule over the kingdom. Seeing this as an opportunity to become rich and famous, you venture into the forest of doom... A silly premise, I know... But at least better than killing an unknown sorcerer for his gold. Although the book is set in the open, it reads and plays like a dungeon crawler as the progression feels confined. The adventure merely consists of choosing between north, east and west at every junction points. And again, should you take the wrong path, you are doomed to fail and start over, except this time, Ian Livingstone decided to be more forgiving. If you fail to retrieve the two hammer pieces at the end of the adventure, the book will simply send you back to square one with your recorded stats and inventory. And it will take maybe one or two more run to find the pieces. While most readers labelled this feature as an immersion breaker, I thought that this was okay as it reminded me of early video games where leaving an area resets the enemy placement (this was particularly due to the hardware limitations). Once you figure out the one true path, you will realize that the quest itself is in fact really short as it can be completed within one hour with very few encounters. In addition to its forgiving difficulty, I find the "Forest of Doom" to be quite a peaceful place. Going through the forest actually felt like a walk in the park. And don't get me wrong! The book certainly has his share of foes such as goblins, spider, ogre, giant, dragon and so on. But the place is also strangely inhabited by many characters that would qualify as "neutral" or "lawful good". For example, at the west side of the forest lies a hut occupied by an athletic man who has never been defeated at arm wrestling. Kinda odd, isn't? Not only that, this part cannot really be skipped as you must beat him at arm wrestling in order to get an item vital to your quest. And should you forget to buy the armband of strength at the beginning of your quest, you are doomed to fail and start over... Another nitpicking of mine is Yaztromo. While most readers praised Forest of Doom as the first book to introduce the grumpy mage, I found this character to be quite lame. Why do all powerful mage with lawful good alignment in the Fighting Fantasy series have to wait for the hero to do all the job? Banedon in the Lone Wolf series is much more memorable than Yaztromo. Unlike the latter, he actually helps you. All in all, Forest of Doom remains an entertaining ride despite its shortcomings. I would only recommend this book to those who want to familiarize with the Fighting Fantasy format and rules in the most casual way.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Curran

    69 Small pale-skinned humanoids appear to be tending crops of different-coloured fungi. The third Final Fantasy gamebook is The Forest of Doom by Ian Livingstone with some good illustrations by Malcolm Barter. (Also the iconic cover illustration of the shape changer reptilian lizard being by Iain McCaig.) So the quest this time is to find the lost Warhammer from Stonebridge made by the dwarves, the rival village Mirewater in the West is also looking for the fabled weapon. So the adventure starts wi 69 Small pale-skinned humanoids appear to be tending crops of different-coloured fungi. The third Final Fantasy gamebook is The Forest of Doom by Ian Livingstone with some good illustrations by Malcolm Barter. (Also the iconic cover illustration of the shape changer reptilian lizard being by Iain McCaig.) So the quest this time is to find the lost Warhammer from Stonebridge made by the dwarves, the rival village Mirewater in the West is also looking for the fabled weapon. So the adventure starts with Bigleg telling you about the hammer and the forest, where you find yourself at the tower of Yaztromo the Wizard. You can buy special items to help in your search and afterwards enter the forest itself. (You can try to attack the wizard but he uses his magic and turns you into a frog!) In the forest you encounter all manner of creatures and people, from an underground complex with clones and a crowned demon, where they are tending a crop of fungi, or a well with gremlins... There is plenty to keep us gamebook adventurers busy and content. An ape-man, barbarian, robed mysterious man, bodybuilder, a scary crypt with an undead creature, a catwoman, and a giant as well as werewolf, or the flute loving wyvern... Plus an evil witch. The list goes on. All unique and foreboding. The Forest of Doom also is updated with a game app where the new additions are achievements and collecting the artwork. This gives the gamebook some tasty new things to find and unlock as well as completing the adventure itself. Achievements are Pfeiffer Berry: Fight a feline foe referring to the encounter with the catwoman, MacLean's Aim: Be fired upon by arrows in four different encounters, last achievement I unlocked referring to any encounter where you are fired upon by arrows, Unlucky Barman: Be unlucky in a test your luck roll… Anyway will just say a few of the interesting achievements, as will be here all night hehehe, so the one such as the Demon Lord: Find your new destiny where you encounter the clones and become their new master after donning the crown is an alternative ending in a way which I really loved to find, or the Cover Star: Fight the Iconic Shapechanger! as it suggests the battle with the shapeshifting reptilian dweller... Overall The Forest of Doom was a pleasure to reread the book and to also play on my phone, also enjoyed the way you can re-enter the forest and have another look. I would say with the book you can draw your own map and on the game app it does it for you which makes life easier. Either option is fun and enjoyable plus good to visit places and various creatures/humanoids not encountered first time. The third gamebook and a solid addition in my collection.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Dane Barrett

    Ian Livingstone's first outright solo effort at a Fighting Fantasy book, and its a good one. Yet another book in which getting to the end doesn't necessarily mean you win (I prefer these ones) as you need to find and collect two pieces of a Dwarfish Hammer and return them to the village of Stonebridge. Get to Stonebridge without both bits of the hammer and you can forget about your payday! There are some really nice touches to this book. There are a number of branching paths throughout Darkwood F Ian Livingstone's first outright solo effort at a Fighting Fantasy book, and its a good one. Yet another book in which getting to the end doesn't necessarily mean you win (I prefer these ones) as you need to find and collect two pieces of a Dwarfish Hammer and return them to the village of Stonebridge. Get to Stonebridge without both bits of the hammer and you can forget about your payday! There are some really nice touches to this book. There are a number of branching paths throughout Darkwood Forest and while many of these can link up, there aren't as many of the usual choke-points you'd expect from a Fighting Fantasy book. In the middle of the adventure your character will cross a river and camp, and depending which series of paths you've taken you'll cross/camp at different spots, facing different challenges while crossing the river or trying to sleep through the night. Another neat feature is the continuity in some areas of the Forest. For example if you camp for the night in one part of the forest you will be attacked by a werewolf or in some cases wolves, whereas if you camp across the other side of the forest you are awakened during the night by the howling of said creatures far off to the other side of the forest, but you'll encounter something else instead. Another example of that is you can encounter a hunter on horseback, but if you miss/avoid him or return to the same area later you'll only find the hoofprints of his horse. The book can be difficult to map too. Most of the forest areas are straightforward, but there are two underground areas (which can be easily missed), of which the gremlin tunnels especially add extensively to the twisting nature of the various paths in the middle of the map. One final interesting part of this book was the lack of a final boss. Because the quest is to find an item and return it to a village, there is no one enemy you are trying to overcome like the previous books in the series. Its not necessarily a bad thing (I agree that not all books should stick to one formula), but I'm mentioning it because its different. This book can be considered one of the *classic* Fighting Fantasy books.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Geoff

    I didn't like this book much when I first read it years ago, and reading it again now I can see why. Forest of Doom is The Warlock of Firetop Mountain in the woods, a linear dungeon crawl and item hunt set in a static gameworld without much of a plot: you're a generic adventurer camping out in the wilderness, a dying dwarf stumbles in babbling about his quest for a missing warhammer, and once he croaks you set off to find the hammer in the hopes of a big payday. The book then introduces some cha I didn't like this book much when I first read it years ago, and reading it again now I can see why. Forest of Doom is The Warlock of Firetop Mountain in the woods, a linear dungeon crawl and item hunt set in a static gameworld without much of a plot: you're a generic adventurer camping out in the wilderness, a dying dwarf stumbles in babbling about his quest for a missing warhammer, and once he croaks you set off to find the hammer in the hopes of a big payday. The book then introduces some characters and places (Yaztromo, Stonebridge, Darkwood Forest) that Ian Livingstone would run into the ground in future gamebooks like Temple of Terror and Crypt of the Sorcerer. It's fun to piece together the series of events that led to the two halves of the warhammer ending up where they did, but winning the game is ultimately just a matter of drawing a map, dispatching some easy foes, and retracing your steps a couple of times to find the right path. Forest also introduces an awkward feature that sends you back to the start if, by the end, you missed a critical item. This saves you the indignity of dying and rolling up another character, but the text doesn't acknowledge encounters that you've already resolved, and its linearity ensures that you will meet some of your old friends again. Scorpion Swamp, Fighting Fantasy book #8 released the following year, remedied the retracing problem by asking if you'd been to a given section of the swamp before and changing the scene accordingly. But here it resembles a fantasy version of Groundhog Day.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Weathervane

    While the story and creatures herein may not be as imaginative as Citadel of Chaos or even perhaps Warlock of Firetop Mountain, boy did the gameplay make up for it -- mainly because you were allowed to start over without dying and losing everything! I love this feature. If you made it to the "end" of the story but didn't have the requisite items, the game allowed you to return to the near-beginning and continue your search. (After a Luck check of course, which is perfectly fair.) This reminds me While the story and creatures herein may not be as imaginative as Citadel of Chaos or even perhaps Warlock of Firetop Mountain, boy did the gameplay make up for it -- mainly because you were allowed to start over without dying and losing everything! I love this feature. If you made it to the "end" of the story but didn't have the requisite items, the game allowed you to return to the near-beginning and continue your search. (After a Luck check of course, which is perfectly fair.) This reminds me of the Edward Packard books in the Escape from Tenopia series, where the main goal is to find a single ending using mapping and reason. Content-wise, there was a lot of fighting and dice rolls, and the item system was fun without being burdensome. There are only three instant deaths, thank god, putting its difficulty roughly on-par with Warlock. Not the most atmospheric of books, but all-told I thoroughly enjoyed it -- and I love how mercenary the heroes are in Fighting Fantasy, seeking gold and riches as the ultimate reward, not just virtue!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ian

    Although a Classic a little too easy,even the big bad Fire Demon was a little too easy!!! But on the plus side if you FAIL you can simply go back and start all over again with the same stats until you DIE!!

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