A Land Fit For Heroes Game Review (iOS): Hoiran’s balls, this very adult choose-your-own-adventure game is packed with gore, swearing and shagging, for a mature and entertaining mobile experience.
I really couldn’t be happier that choose your own adventure books have found a second life on smartphones. You’d think that reading great reams of text and rolling virtual dice to do battle might put off a generation raised on Playstation and Xbox, but games such as Sorcery! have proven incredibly successful, adding fresh interactive mechanics to a tried-and-trusted format.
A Land Fit For Heroes is another take on the virtual adventure book, with two big twists. The first is that it’s definitely not for kids, with plenty of f-bombs and throbbing erections bursting off the pages. And the second is its attempt at co-op play, which sees you completing the book along with a couple of mates.
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There are three characters in A Land Fit For Heroes (Kirellin, Clnar and Ilaria), each with their own backstory, twisted family issues and vices. You can control all three if playing solo, in which case you play through their chapters one after the other to complete the story before taking control of all three for the final conflict. Alternatively, you and two friends can choose a character each and then combine forces come the conclusion. It’s a very basic form of ‘multiplayer’ but it’s something we haven’t seen in other CYOA games.
You get to build up your character to a basic level at the beginning of the game, selecting how strong and nippy they are, but more interestingly you can even choose if each fighter is hetero or homosexual. However, there was one passage early in the game where my gay warrior fella still got it on with a lady of the night, which I assume was a bug. As the game progresses, you gain experience and your stats automatically clock up, helping you to deal with those tricky confrontations later on.
Gameplay sees you reading through a scene and then deciding what to do at the end, with your choices affecting how the story unfolds. Occasionally if you’re a bit too brash you’ll end up in combat, which is played out as a simple turn-based fight. You have a set number of action points depending on your speed skill, which you can use to move around the grid-like environment and attack your opponents via the usual dice rolls. Wipe them all out and you’re successful. Die and you can either retry the battle or load up a past bookmark.
You do have to register with the developers in order to save bookmarks, which is a minor pain but takes only a couple of minutes. I’d have liked a ‘casual’ mode where you can freely flick back and forth to make alternative choices too, but hey ho.
As mentioned, A Land Fit For Heroes can get quite racy in sections. We’re talking sweaty, nasty sex, brutal slayings and even the occasional Fifty Shades-style masochism. If you’re a bit squeamish then you might want to pass, but Game Of Thrones fans will probably enjoy this gritty, adult take on fantasy.
Presentation on the whole is fine with clear text and the occasional illustration to jazz up the reams of text, although there are a fair few typos scattered throughout and bizarrely no audio at all. Still, if you can ignore the rough edges, there’s a solid few hours of entertainment to be had and the pace is swift enough to keep interest levels up.
Choose Your Own Adventure fans will find plenty to enjoy in A Land Fit For Heroes, with the usual game mechanics given a welcome twist thanks to a more engaging battle system and plenty of sweary bastard goodness.