Demian's Gamebook Web Page

Item - Jack Jericho and the Bloody Burlesque Show


Series: Detective's Choice — no. 1
Platforms: Android
iPod/iPad
Windows
Author: Miller, William
User Summary: Someone is killing a group of burlesque dancers, one by one. You must find out who the killer is and stop him or her.
Guillermo's Thoughts: This gamebook is only available as an App for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone devices. The genre is noir fiction with horror elements (similar to the adventures of Rick Fortune in the Diceman interactive comic book series). You can read the entire book for free, but prepare to be bombarded with ads if you do.

Your character has four stats (life, cool, rage, and money). Life is - obviously - a hit points measure. The Cool points mechanic encourages you to roleplay - you gain cool points if you act like a detective in a noir novel, and lose them if you fail to act the part. Rage is an attribute that you must try to keep at low levels, otherwise you will have a lot of points deducted from your final score. There is no other game system beyond managing your stats, so if you are hoping for combat resolution (as in a Fighting Fantasy gamebook) you should look elsewhere.

The visual presentation is not nearly as good as that of gamebook apps produced by other companies (such as Tin Man Games); the entire game consists of white font on a black background. The book's content, however, largely makes up for this lack of visual flair.

I enjoyed this adventure quite a bit. The writing is cheesy as hell, and the occasional misspelling happens here and there (both of these being common features of self-published gamebooks). However, the book has a lot going for it. The characters are well developed (a rarity in gamebooks), the choices are interesting and challenging, and replay value is high since there is a wide variety of paths you can take. While the solution to the mystery is very predictable, the book is nonetheless an entertaining read. The score and achievement systems are also clever ways to encourage the reader to keep replaying after the book is completed for the first time.

Please note that this is a quite long gamebook. It is difficult for me to estimate its exact length given the fact that it is a phone app, but I would say it is about the length of the Golden Dragon gamebooks.

The violence and sexual content in this app are a bit stronger than what you would find in a Fighting Fantasy book. While the game is described on Google Play as being appropriate for teens, parents should still use caution.

Overall, this is a very good electronic gamebook and I wholeheartedly recommend it.

My high score: 894 (2/5/2017)

More reviews by Guillermo

Special Thanks:Thanks to Guillermo Paredes for the plot summary and image.

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