DestinyQuest Infinite: Bringing Tabletop to Gamebooks

DestinyQuest Infinite: Bringing Tabletop to Gamebooks

DestinyQuest Infinite is a fantasy adventure gamebook for PC, Mac, and coming soon to mobile.  It is a gamebook developed by the crew over at QuestForge, based on the book by Michael J. Ward, and published by Adventure Cow Studios.  If you are wondering what a gamebook is, go check out our article covering it, and then come on back. There are many high points and a few low parts to this game, so lets just jump right in.

GAMEPLAY

DestinyQuest Infinite is run off a six sided dice system.  While I am a huge believer in the “Let the Dice Tell the Story” mentality, here at GeekTFO, it has been met with some controversy. Before we hit on that, however, we should expound on the game’s set up.

ATTRIBUTES

Items have two major perks which affect the flow of the game, attributes and abilities. The major attributes in the game are speed, armor, brawn, and magic. Attributes allow you to get a one up on your opponent. Speed allows you to win the initiative (speed roll), which decides the flow of battle by allowing only with winner to attack that round. Armor allows you to buffer incoming damage and last longer in a fight. Brawn and magic share the same use,which is damage, and it should also be mentioned that only higher valued attribute is taken into account.  You should stack one, or the other, not both.

ABILITIES

The abilities have a large range of effects which also include healing, charming dice (yours or your opponents), and direct damage.  Some persistent effects include periodic damage, leech spells, or periodic healing. Both the attributes and abilities of an items have a lot to do with how your game will flow, and can make things easy, or extremely hard based on your choices. I found that the charm and trickster items were really the needed effects to control this game.

COMBAT

The reason for the contention in our group is the simple fact that the dice hold all the cards when it comes to the success or failure of this game.  While I managed to complete it with relatively little frustration, some of our other writers sat in the same encounter for several (7+) attempts. As stated, I am a true believer in the luck of the dice, but when you have that kind of a road block it makes the playability of your game diminish to many players. Also with that thought the notion that “you control the dice you control the world” comes out and this is where reading the entire item description can make or break the game for many people. The game leaves little to no room for error, and while it is inherent in a gamebook that your choices will be a factor in the flow of the game, some flexibility would be nice.

At the start of the game, you are given a back pack with only 5 item slots.  Armor and quest items are excluded from this, but all other items are defaulted to the backpack.  Extra armor cannot be housed there.  This is detrimental. It means that upon entering into this game you have to make the decision on which class you will be.. without knowing that there will be classes or which one you would even want to be. If you split your magic and brawn attributes, then you are handicap yourself and making the game inherently harder. If you do not focus on speed, you wont win the speed rolls, and your game will pretty much be over. If you do not pick up ability items that allow you to change the flow of battle, then you are essentially relying on pure luck. Being able to package some of these items to sell or use later on could really allow the user to take a more relaxed romp throughout this wonderful world, rather than worrying if the item you drop would be essential in a later battle.  There are also other items that can be used towards crafting.  These items currently take up room in your backpack, though whether they are supposed to is unknown.

GRAPHICS & SOUND

If you are expecting amazing graphics, good sound quality, and the ability to well see your character, this defiantly not the game for you.  As a gamebook, DestinyQuest Infinite is played by flipping through the pages of a dusty tome. The developers have gone as far as to give the pages on which you play an aged look, which helps the otherwise lacking atmosphere.  This game can be very lengthy, depending on your dice rolls, so the three or four times that graphics are shown really only serve to highlight their absence in the rest of the game. That being said, however there is great amount of detailed description on the armor, enemy, and item cards, but I do wish that the items or bosses all had their own varying decals depending on what they where. Now I am not saying that every page should hold a graphic. Doing this could potentially harm the way in which the game is intended to be seen. This would simply provide a break to the monotony that the many (many) dice rolls incur.

STORY

Finally, let us discuss the world and its storyline. Do not worry I wont be spoiling anything for you hopefuls out there. My favorite thing about this game is the attention the writer has placed into this world, and, honestly, this is the reason I play these game. The writer does a good job of giving a vivid description of the environment, characters, interactions, and the entirety of the world. Whether its the prep battle description or the description that each enemy and item contain on their decals, you can tell that they want every player to care about their world as much as they do. The writing of this game is exactly what it needed to be, and it carries this game. Now you can argue about game play, graphics, or music, but developing a world that you can share effectively is hard and they have successfully done just that.

CONCLUSION

Overall personally I feel as though this will grow to be a very successful game. Sure, right now there is a bit to look past, but what you find after doing so is well worth it. My suggestion if you decide to pick up this game is simple: give it the time it deserves.. Do not rush with this one and get frustrated with unlucky rolls. Just sit back and immerse yourself in the story.  A fair warning though, this game is frustratingly addictive for a game which some would describe as as a bit clunky. The writers do a really good job of making almost every fight feel unique and interesting. In fact there was a point in my play through where I was literally killing a monster from the inside, which was quiet possibly my favorite encounter. I really enjoyed playing this game, despite my critiques.  As I have already stated, I am a huge fan boy for these kinds of games, but there is a lot the developers could do to take this to another level.

We received a free copy of this game in exchange for an honest review.  This in no way affected the integrity of the review.

 

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