A morally questionable warrior must deal with the pesky narrator who wants the adventure to go a certain way.
This story becomes self-aware, similar to an earlier Windhammer entry called The Horrible Dungeons of Dreadful Doom. Some interesting concepts arise here as players must confront an unbeatable foe—the narrator. Goh allows the player to engage in long debates about how a gamebook should work. Some may want to negotiate with the storyteller or argue about their limited choices.
“Tell me why you want me to stab the corpse so bad – 40”
Other times, players may feel tempted to provoke a reaction instead of following the generic storyline.
“I already got some treasure, guess I'll go back out of the tower - 98”
The comedy takes a little too long to introduce itself, though. When it does, the story may abruptly end. Players gain little incentive for replays, especially as the characters and rewards merely serve as a foundation for arguments. That said, some fun replay value can occur as the player tries to aggravate the narrator or even attempt to defeat him.
Some players may lack the endurance for this, as the whole gamebook offers jokes whose novelty may wear off too soon. Though readers will find no atrocities or obscenities and little corruption, some interesting mechanics appear. On 17, for example, the book tells players which order to read the sections to win. Sadly, the whole experience feels like desultory playing around on part of the writer.
For instance, codewords like DOOM make sense, whereas most others apparently don't, such as LILL, KARN, and TARKIN. Codewords generally work by having the player restart the game. While some funny events can result with this system, it requires many rereadings of the same sections and revisiting of the same three or so areas. The game may also confuse some players as it lacks a rules page. Instead of establishing a character sheet early on, the game tells players to take “a scrap of paper” each time something needs writing down. It all feels half-hearted, especially compared with the great worldbuilding seen in most other entries.
As with Hagen's entry, the writing in the introduction looks passable until a short ways in.
“But even so, you cannot help yourself but to feel a chill running up your spine the moment you stand in front of the black stone gates decorated with some sort of glyphs that seems to be emitting energy; undoubtedly the warlock's own handiwork.”
In just this one albeit large sentence, yourself and the first to shouldn't appear, the protagonist possibly has the glyph decorations on him, that should become which, seems should become seem, and the semicolon should become a dash or a comma. Vagueness, negation, wordy, cliché, etc (see my previous review).
Vocabulary problems appear throughout. In the introduction, sheath or scabbard could replace sword cover, and cuboid could replace cube-ish. Tautologies appear too: enter into, savage barbarians, and inscription scribed.
Problems with keyboard symbols abound. The words and and or appear continually in a list of things separated by commas. Similarly on section 5, “is made of” does need repeating thanks to the commas. On 51, “swords blade” needs an apostrophe. Here, a comma gets used as a period: “This light is Akadi's bane, only the most noble and honourable may wield it.”
Plurality issues arise too, as with “your eyes trails” on 51, “jewelleries hangs” on 83, “death itself have come” on 12, and “Foul odours stings” elsewhere.
Other times we get a wrong word altogether, sometimes caused by a missing letter: “a innocent's,” “You could have escape,” “smoke start to burst,” “thins off [instead of out] to reveal,” “You though [instead of thought] there was,” and “stands into attention.” The quickest of edits could have caught all these, along with the missing word in “So, I going to.”
Other problems include tense shifting and a hyphenated compound word in “You remove all the jewelleries around the warlock's corpse and stashed them into your back-pack.” More clumsiness appears on 74 where players can record the skill “Spell-scripting,” but on 53 the text asks for “Spell-scribing.”
Some lines contain great humor broken by bad grammar.
“The land has grown prosperous, now everyone in the kingdom have enough food, a roof over their heads, and access to free education and healthcare.”
Other sentences fell out of a can of Red Bull.
“However it tripped in its landing and you strike down the creature with your magic sword while it is recovering from the fall, killing it in an instant, nice!”
Here I've added in brackets what I humbly think would rescue a long line:
“You walk along the path the royal guard has cleared for you[,] and it leads to the king and the angelic princess; her skin [is] as flawless as marble, her long hair [—]which dances slightly with the wind[—] as shiny as gold, and her hazel eyes as kind as an angel which looks at you [in] admiration.”
I hope this critique has helped the writer. In case anyone wants to know, the dashes I added above serve to offset a phrase among commas where more commas would only confuse the reader. But ideally, we should break down such messes into easier sentences with one or two subjects in each.