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Item - Temple of the Spider God


Series: Gamebook Adventures — no. 7
Platforms: Android
iPod/iPad
Windows
Authors: Green, Jonathan
Rennison, Neil (editing and production)
Smith, Ben Britten (development and production)
van Deventer, Leena (editing)
Composer/Musician: Watkins, Adrian
Illustrators: Maxwell, Dan (cartography and cover)
Rennison, Neil (user interface)
Wright, Joshua (interior and user interface)
Date: November 28, 2011
Length: 616 sections
Cover Text: Cesaro Cortez, a famed explorer-conquistador, set out three years ago on his last great expedition. His ships never returned to an Orlandrian port and he was feared lost until a mysterious cargo appeared recently in Miramar. The nature of this cargo will put Orlandes in jeopardy, sending you on an epic journey to find Cortez, save the country and face your darkest fear!
Malthus Dire's Thoughts: With this outing, the GA Orlandes/Rema series took a massive leap forward both artistically and in its having a well-established gamebook author in Green. This is the first of the series to have full-colour art accompanying the text and the slightly Indiana Jones feel is presented very well through Arabic and jungle temple imagery. Those familiar with Green's gamebooks will know they are notorious for almost irrational levels of difficulty, whilst also containing considerable historical detail and rich energetic prose. The writing and level of historical insight here is as good as you'll find in any other Green gamebook but, curiously, this app is not particularly difficult once you've cracked which key items you need. To fully appreciate all that is on offer here (and there's a fair bit) you will need to play more than once as there are at least two routes through (unusually for Green) and a lot of plot texture can be missed by simply "winning". This is the first GA app that fully caters for travelling companions and you can end up leading a gang of brigands which makes combats far easier for you. Green likes to throw in cultural references in his gamebooks and this is no different as you can find a Nosferatu clone, as well as a lot of detail concerning Conquistadors, plus there are several legendary sea behemoths to contend with. The plot itself is a bit thin in real terms (ending a scourge of venomous spiders that possess people, which involves you hunting down a missing Conquistador who has joined an insane spider cult) but this allows for an epic voyage of discovery as you piece events together. I'm not sure what Green's intentions were with key items, but it is not possible to find all the pages of a journal that unravels various codes and tells you the story of the cult's creation, whilst also finding at least eight gems to power a light laser that you cannot win without doing. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt and credit this to replayability. If I have one big criticism, it is with the added attribute of Phobia, designed to reflect the slight problem you have, which is a phobia of spiders (another Indiana Jones nod) - it is set at 7 and cannot change which can make spider combats extra tough, especially in the final showdown, and its lack of flexibility removes any allowance for your character becoming more or less afraid of spiders as events unfold that could, and should, affect this. Generally though, this is a great entry in the series - it's not as full of unexpected moments as GA3 and it doesn't have the tone/concept jumping of GA4 but it is certainly one of the series' better offerings all the same.

More reviews by Malthus Dire

Special Thanks:Thanks to Grue for the cover scan.
Users Who Own This Item: juski, Malthus Dire, mir1812

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