Isaac Newton: Badass Ninja Crimefighter by Stuart Lloyd
Warning! Review may contain spoilers!
Here’s another alternate history gamebook. This time as Isaac Newton, inventor of gravity, we are to use our amazing super powers to fight crime! As book titles go, this one is pretty thorough.
We have a new gamebook system that I’ve not really seen before. It involves dice. Dice! There’s not been a great deal in the competition so far that have used these strange devices. It may also signify a shift in the gamebook cloud to move away from dice throwing and more into the story telling – gamebooks are becoming more story driven than random event driven, perhaps? I like story driven gamebooks, but it actually feels nice to have a new gamebook system to play with and some dice to throw (even if these dice are going to be virtual ones).
So the skill system in this gamebook asks you to throw dice and apply skills and consumables to the outcome, which allows rerolls. It is simple but effective. You can also expand will powers to get a reroll regardless of the situation, and how this manifests in the story is up to us, the reader, as the author allows us to use our imagination. My own imagination! How interactive is that? I’m already excited for this adventure, and I’m only in the rules section.
As the gamebook unfurls, it turns out our Isaac is actually some sort of psychotic batman figure. The plot is very enjoyable, with Isaac hunting down an evil crimelord. It is very inventory heavy, with a whole load of collectables and gadgets to get your hands on. This is nice, and it actually feels like you are making choices. As a gamebook it works very well, with some nice pacey action sequences.
You unleash a rainbow blast from your hand, but Chaloner is ready for you. He holds his brass gauntlets up to reveal shiny mirror bright silver palms on them.
There are a few typos, but nothing a quick edit can’t fix. More curious is the shift from third-second person when you get into the gamebook proper, but again can be fixed. There are unfixable terrible gravity-based puns throughout the text.
There is a bit of bonus content stuffed into this gamebook. The probability tables in the appendix, and the links to real life Isaac Newton Badass Ninja Crimefighting. I did feel that the probabilities were a little wrong as anything involving randomness can’t promise a 100% success rate, but I enjoyed the nerdiness of it all.