Author’s Note: A copy of Heavy Metal Thunder was provided by Cubus Games for this review
Think back to the days when you had to use your imagination, a time when books were the prevalent form of entertainment. If reading isn’t really your thing, then Gamebooks are not for you.
If you are into reading, and I really hope that it isn’t becoming that much of a lost art, then I HIGHLY suggest you checkout the latest adventure from Cubus Games, Heavy Metal Thunder. I had the opportunity to take this game for a spin, and let me tell you it’s a pretty incredible experience.
BUT you have to read. The mechanics behind Gamebooks are very basic. The app delivers a story to you in which you have to make decisions, and these decisions have different outcomes that progress the story. These decisions are made willingly or sometimes you have to throw dice to determine the outcome. I love the of “old school” RPG play. We have reviewed a few different Gamebooks in the past on the site, and the comparison I always draw is to the old “choose your own adventure’ novels that were uber-popular when I was younger. This time around the adventure is presented on your phone screen (or tab or whatever you are using) and as you read through the story you point and click your “decisions”.
Ranging from picking up items, to dropping them when your inventory is full, to battling bad guys, the Gamebook offers a wide array of features when it comes to delivering a fun and entertaining experience. Heavy Metal Thunder is another great addition to the vast available library of these games out there. HMT is definitely my favorite so far! You can check out my review of Cubus Games’ other Gamebook, The Sinister Fairground here.
The game is divided into different chapters and it starts you off in space, as your character awakens with little memory of how he got there, or what events led to this point. The important thing about these types of games is the narrative. Without a good story, it would be difficult to keep plugging away at the adventure. Author Kyle B. Stiff creates an eerie setting as you initially make your way through the mysterious space station, trying to piece together what is happening.
HMT works well as a RPG, with the story acting as the DM. The game allows you to pick skills, and level up your character via traits like strength, will, charisma, and more. Each of these traits also can lead to different paths that your character can, or can’t take if you lack that trait. Skills work the same way. For example, I have played a good amount of sci-fi video games in my time and I clearly understand the value of computer skills. Trust me, build this one up! There is a large list of these skills which allow you to customize your character in many different ways, again leading you down different paths in the story.
Weapons are present in this world and they vary from firearms to melee. Depending on the type of fighter you want to be you can pick and choose your load-out. But be careful, certain weapons work better than others when it comes to the environment. Also note that the skills you choose can influence the use and efficiency of your weapons.
In terms of graphics, they’re aren’t many. The story does have great illustrations, courtesy of artist Marc Gonzalez, which are haunting and appropriate for the game. But again, this is a reading adventure. The music is very basic and doesn’t change too often. There is a new track for each level you reach, but it keeps playing the same haunting tune as you progress through the chapter. There are actually times where the music will stop and you’ll have to go into the options to turn it off and on again to get it working. I am down the middle with this, while I would love to have the music change at certain points of the story, it may be distracting to the reading comprehension. Please do not take this as a complaint about the game. The soundtrack delivers what it needs to when I put on my headphones and delve into this game. I suggest you do the same when playing.
So what happens? Well that’s up to you! The game is not easy at times, and planning ahead when it comes to items and weapons is very important. Luckily if you die, there are things called Hero Points that you acquire through the game by making good choices, which you then spend to “revive” yourself. There are also checkpoints which save your progress up to that point, and you can also go back to that point if you die or make a wrong choice. I do have some tips for you in regards to items, even if you don’t think something isn’t important, it probably is. So as much as you can, diversify your pack’s inventory. Due to the fact that you “choose” your path, I can’t really give you a play by play of the game. But trust me, you will have a hard time putting it down!
Heavy Metal Thunder is NOW AVAILABLE on the AppStore , and is available for both the iPhone and iPad!
Head on over to the OFFICIAL Cubus Games website for more information on this amazing Gamebook adventure!