Review: Deathtrap Dungeon: The Interactive Video Adventure (Steam)

 

Deathtrap Dungeon is an interactive video realization of Ian Livingstone’s multi-million selling classic gamebook starring Eddie Marsan (Fast & Furious presents Hobbes & Shaw, Deadpool 2, Atomic Blonde) as narrator.

Pros:

  • Real video graphics.
  • 4.73gb download size.
  • Subtitles-on/off.
  • Auto attack-on/off.
  • Choose your own adventure gameplay.
  • The whole game is told to you by the power of video.
  • Skip the scene button.
  • Replay the scene button.
  • Sound effects/music plays for the atmosphere.
  • Art will pop up on screen to help set the scene.
  • Character-you can use 1 of 3 presets or roll your own with the dice.
  • Full-on dungeons and Dragons vibes as you would expect.
  • Combat rules- classic or new. Both are explained beforehand.
  • Play how you want.
  • Perfect for the big TV gaming.
  • Engrossing story.
  • All controlled with just the mouse.
  • Nearly 6 hours of video to discover.
  • Visual effects and filters used for setting the scene.
  • Combat has a timer for choices.
  • The story is branching with constant decision making.
  • Let’s off Knightmare vibes.
  • Click icons on the screen for pop up info like inventory/health/stamina.
  • The map fills in as you play and shows when it last Autosaved.
  • Animated icons.
  • Rules are fully explained all the time and can be skipped.
  • High replay value with all the choices.
  • Game over/death-restart at the last checkpoint.

Cons:

  • Just jumps straight in.
  • No video options like playback.
  • Volumes are not always balanced with the background music being louder than the voice at times.
  • On character creator rolls there is no limit to re-rolls so you can go max stats.
  • Dice rolls add a lot of RNG or bias.
  • Not sure when it saves and requires you to keep clicking the map up.
  • The map pauses the game.
  • Repeats a lot of phrases.
  • No Steam achievements.
  • It can just replay scenes with no consequences.
  • No controller support.

  • 8/10
    Graphics - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Sound - 8/10
  • 7/10
    Accessibility - 7/10
  • 7/10
    Length - 7/10
  • 8/10
    Fun Factor - 8/10
7.6/10

Summary

Now this is innovation! Well maybe not full on innovation but it is a nice surprise! I used to read the choose your own adventure books all the time as a kid so a chance to do that again but with video was too good a opportunity to pass up. All played with the mouse, you can interact with the story, fight orcs and monsters, heal up and loot treasure. Presentation wise it is superb and did a good job of giving feedback to the player. But it inherited the same “cheating” you could do with the books as in pick a choice and if not happy you can just re run the scene and choose the other option with no consequences. I can kind of see why it is like that but on the other hand they should make it impossible. By all means change it up with modifiers but for me how it is now cheapen it all. Course I could not do that but when the checkpoints are so far apart, the urge to succeed far out weigh the ethics of “cheating”. In short this is a genre I want to see more of and a lot of improvements need to be made but as a first attempt it’s pretty bang on and nails what it was going for.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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