Aug 3, 2012

Fighting Fantasy Hits the Big 3-0

If you're a nerdy kid of the '80s/'90s you were probably introduced to the Choose Your Own Adventure series of books. I know I couldn't get enough of them when I discovered them in the local library. That's what we did back in them pre-internet days, we rode our bikes to go to a big building with lots of books that you could borrow.

In 1982, the Fighting Fantasy series of  solo RPG books made their debut and I was hooked. It added a simple dice-based combat system to give the story more of an interactive gaming feel. I dont' recall exactly, but I suspect these books were the bridge that got me to check out D&D while still in middle school.

Over the years, some of the books have been turned into computer and board games. In 2002 and again in 2009, Wizard Books began republishing the original books alongside new stories to keep the line going. To keep up with those mythical Joneses, some of the books have been turned into apps for your mobile device as well.

The entire series has fantastic covers like this in the US
August 27th marks the 30th Anniversary of the release of the first book, Warlock of Firetop Mountain. As part of the celebration, original series co-creator/author Ian Livingstone has just released his latest entry in several years: Blood of the Zombies. It will also be e-released on August 27th as an app for iOS and Android. Unfortunately for us Yanks, Blood of the Zombies is only currently available through Amazon UK.

While it looks different, it does resemble the original series covers that were published in the UK
I'm very happy to see something I greatly enjoyed in my childhood is still going strong. In a time when kids are more likely to pick up a control pad to get immeresed in a story, it's nice to see the series make the jump into the 21st century in e-format.

The site MCVUK has a great  interview with Ian Livingstone.
I also highly recommend the You Chose Wrong Tumblr.
May Your Stamina Never Fail is doing series book reviews.

Visit the Official Fighting Fantasy site and follow them on Twitter and Facebook for updates.


  1. I think i remember having at lest one of these books in my youth Dex.

  2. Is it bad that I've never heard of these? Used to love the Choose Your Own Adventure books and I used to play some RPG's but I don't remember these at all. Must give Blood of the Zombies a look. To be honest I'm just thrilled that somebody has cited an example of something cool that we have in the UK first. It doesn't usually go that way round. :-)

    1. Not having an internet when the books first came out I had no idea the series originate overseas until much later. Much like CYOA each book is usually a self-contained adventure and while fantasy is the most common, there are different genres explored occasionally.