App Apes Verdict
- Graphics - 10/1010/10
- Gameplay - 10/1010/10
- Replay Value - 8/108/10
- Originality - 10/1010/10
Necklace of Skulls makes reading a lot more fun than reading something like The Giver or the Great Gatsby in high school. Even players who have grown to detest reading will probably enjoy this game-book, as it is more interactive, tests the users decisions, and isn’t a pop quiz on the nuances of literary fiction.
The artwork in Necklace of skulls is unique and beautiful, and does the Maya culture justice in that way. Xavier Mula, a illustrator and graphic designer from Barcelona, provides stunning visuals with his unique style, and the images and user interface really compliment the story by the British author Dave Morris, who paints with words as beautifully as Mula does with his artistic tools. Together the two artists take their respective crafts to the highest levels and provide users with a game worth the price they ask for it. Paying up front eliminates any issue of intrusive ads, and the effort the developers put into the gamebook more than matches the cost to the user. Overall, the artwork is seamless and cohesive, and even the formatting of the words on the pages flows with the images and occasional animations.
As mentioned, the story is incredibly well written and certainly more literary than the popular Zombie High choose your own adventure games. But for everyone except those who skipped reading The Great Gatsby and other fine books in high school, those who think a game such as Zombie High that has very little complex sentences is too high brow, this will prove to be a positive. On top of the great story and the plenty of fun and hard choices users must make along their journey, there is a battle system and a shopping system installed, in which users can battle beasts like a serpent or choose to purchase helpful items with cacao currency. Certain options are blocked depending on purchases and previous choices, and each choice can help or hurt you, some taking your life points away. Each of the four characters also have set skills such as Etiquette that can be used in certain situations. Stages of the game have sections and this clearly illustrates how many paths and choices the user still has to make upon replay. The battle system consists of rounds of three choices (Attack, Defend, Rest) in which attacks take health and defend blocks enemies attacks. The battle system is simple, but fast paced and satisfying, as well as nerve-racking.
The story branches off, thus providing an abundance of combinations for the life directions, granting the game a high replay value for a storybook. Plus, there are plenty of lands to explore and items to purchase. Overall, Necklace of Skulls can be played again and again with minimal diminished returns, but in the end it is a storybook.
All in all, Necklace of Skulls offers an immersive story, several characters, plenty of choices, beautiful artwork and everything one could ask for in a gamebook, including a battle system. Many don’t like paying up front for a game, but to eliminate the other choice the developers had, ads that would detract from the piece, the price for Necklace of Skulls is a bargain.
Embark on a dangerous and exhilarating quest into the far reaches of the ancient Mayan civilization. Create your own myth! This epic digital recreation of Dave Morris’s seminal choose-your-own-adventure gamebook contains exciting new features, gameplay, artwork and music. In this interactive novel known as a “gamebook”, you will plunge into the strange, dreamlike wonders of Mayan myth. You will confront ghosts and gods, bargain for your life against wily demons and find allies and enemies among both the living and the dead. Even if you’re brave enough to survive the dangers of the spirit-haunted western desert, you must still confront the wizard, “Necklace of Skulls”, in a fight to the death for your very own soul. A NEW FORM OF INTERACTIVE FICTION. A perilous expedition meets with disaster. The sole survivor returns with dreadful news: your twin brother is dead. You swear vengeance upon his killer, the terrifying demon-wizard known only as Necklace of Skulls – a quest that will take you to the edge of the known world and beyond. Drawing heavily upon authentic Mayan history coupled with an engaging fantasy adventure narrative, this gamebook changes the definition of interactive fiction forever. Originally part of renowned author and game designer Dave Morris’s celebrated Virtual Reality series of choose-your-own-adventure gamebooks, Necklace of Skulls dispenses with dice rolling and luck, and instead puts your survival skills to the test in a lush and vibrant life-changing experience. Necklace of Skulls has been recreated for touchscreen devices with all-new features including beautiful animated artwork from international award-winning graphic designer and illustrator Xavier Mula, save game options, an exclusive soundtrack and multiple characters to choose from. Take a journey that you’ll never forget in Necklace of Skulls. Undesired performance may occur on old devices due to memory issues.
- Play as a warrior, huntress, wayfarer or sorceress.
- Multiple save slots: Play with different characters in up to three stories at once.
- Innovative combat system never before seen in a digital gamebook.
- Animated illustrations depicting scenes from the story.
- Rich, branching narrative that offers huge replay value.
- No dice: All the action is based on your skills and decisions.
- Full soundtrack and sound effects deliver a vibrant atmosphere.