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Heart of Ice

(reissue)
Series: Critical IF #1
Panurgic Adventures #1
Virtual Reality #5
Translated Into: Coeur de Glace (French)
Cuore di ghiaccio (Italian)
Author: Morris, Dave
Illustrators: Posen, Mike (original cover)
Mason, Paul (reissue cover)
Nicholson, Russ (interior)
Hodgson, Jon (reissue cover)
Release Dates: 1994 (original)
2000 (reissue)
Length:453 sections
Falcon's Thoughts: Overall this is a great book, even though it is a bit challenging. Unlike most other books where you record things, this book is NOT random. No dice needed.

You can choose fom several different characters to play, each one suited to a different style of play.

Set in the futre, the world has frozen over into a second ice age. The reason for the ice age is a computer virus in Gaia, the artificial weather control system. Earth's knowledge of its past is limited.

One night, you see a news report about something called The Heart of Volent, a meteorite formed in the big-bang. Whoever touches the Heart will possess the power of a god. Along the way you must find out as much as possible about this stone, and when you get to the Lost City of Du-En, where the heart is, you must fight others for the ultimate power. Though your mission is quite different if you discover the truth about the Heart.

Gameplay is easy to get used to, though making some choices can easily get you killed if your character is ill-suited to the situation. (Interesting to note that not all characters are skilled fighters, those that are are either good with guns or at close combat, no character can use a gun and know martial arts!) The codeword system is interesting, if you acquire a companion (like Gigamesh the butt-kicking robot) or information you will be told to record a codeword, these codewords CAN be useful later on, but NOT ALWAYS!

You are limited to carrying eight possessions, though you may find items that do not count as possessions. This is usually becase it is a vehicle. (only an idiot tries to put a Manta Sky-Car in a backpack.

A good book, with lots of action, well worth a read.

More reviews by Falcon

Zman's Thoughts: This is one of my favorite gamebooks, right up there with the Fabled Lands series. The dying earth setting is very unique, and meshes well with the gameplay. What I found most memorable was the open-ended use of vehicles, something I haven't seen in any other gamebook so far. I don't know if the other books in the series are as good, but after reading this one, I'll have to check them out!

More reviews by Zman

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