Tipping Point by Andy Moonowl
Warning! Review may contain spoilers!
Tipping Point is an old-school action packed entry for the Windhammer Prize 2013. You play an adventurer who has dreamed of the modern day, and, troubled by the dream, sets out to discover the future.
The book opens with your character going up to the nearest castle and knocking on the front door. As soon as people realise who you are (you will play no newbie here) you are granted an audience with the king. And here you are given your first mission: to collect tax from the peasantry! I eagerly cram on my new uniform and set out to meet the locals.
The writing in Tipping Point is as good as anything in the competition this year, but the disappointment is that there isn’t much in the way of a plot. This is why I class it as something from the 80’s, where you get from point A to point B by whichever illogical way possible, picking up items along the way and hoping that they are the right ones. There are many choices along the way, but there’s never any clue to which might be the correct choice. Do I want to be a tax collector? Yes! No! I don’t know! What was that dream all about? Can I have a clue?
She sighs. “Do you recall so little? The future is never chiselled into the monolith of the world. It is
like an ocean, turning, flowing. You have seen one of the images it will carve in the cliff-face, if its
flow continues in a certain direction. But the flow is always shifting, and each of us is a part of it. It
may turn another way, or it may not turn at all.”
It’s also combat heavy but the rules are very simple. You just roll a dice and subtract this from the health of whoever you’re fighting. Then, they have a go. (Repeat). It’s a simple but unbalanced system. My first play through I got mauled by a pack of zombies, so I cheated and went a different route (this is allowed because nobody saw). I lasted a little longer until I got bashed up by an iron elemental. The combat is unforgiving, with a couple of bad rolls and it’s all over.
The gamebook is tough but intriguing. There are even rules for army battles, which I never got to experience. The story could do with a bit of direction and the combat could do with tweaking, but if you like a gamey gamebook this might be your thing.