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Item - City of Terrors

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Series: Tunnels and Trolls: The Crown of Klade — no. 15
Platforms: Android
Apple iOS
Adapted From: City of Terrors (Solitaire Adventure)
Authors: Movitz, Paul
Stackpole, Michael A.
Date: May 24, 2018
Florik's Thoughts:

As you can read on this site in one of castiglione's excellent reviews, the original City of Terrors was Michael Stackpole's first T&T adventure. It dates back from 1978. Unfortunately, in my opinion, it shows its age. Stackpole wrote much better gamebooks later on. Thus, I find it a bit unfortunate to encounter this scenario as the penultimate one in the digital Crown of Klade campaign.

The city in the title is Gull on the Isle of Phoros, the setting of most of Stackpole's early T&T work. At least in the version I'm reviewing, you've just returned from the dead and find your all possessions gone. Luckily, a friend keeps them for you - a friend who considers you dead and must now be convinced you've actually been resurrected. Also, this friend will only be available in the evening. You have a day to pass, starting with no money or weapons.

The unconnected encounters that you face seem to have been randomly selected in the printed adventure, but occur in a fixed sequence in the T&T app. You'll find more variety here than usual: In the span of one day, you may kill a god, be enslaved by a sorcerer and whatnot. Even in digital form, the adventure appears more voluminous that most T&T solos, with lots of sideways leading to wholly new situations. You'll need a dozen playthroughs to see all the odds and dead ends, even though some of the material of the original scenario went into Road to Gull rather than this digital remastering.

The scenes as such are mostly well done, I just would have liked some more cohesion, some motivation and overall plot instead of unrelated incidents. City of Terrors probably looked like the work of a promising author in 1978 and delivered more fun than most previously available scenarios. Today, it is merely okay.

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