App Apes Verdict
- Graphics - 9/109/10
- Gameplay - 10/1010/10
- Replay Value - 9/109/10
- Originality - 10/1010/10
Available now: Sol Invictus is based on Kyle B. Stiff’s choose-your-own-adventure book, Heavy Metal Thunder Book 2: Sol Invictus, and is the sequel to Cubus Games‘ gamebook Heavy Metal Thunder. It is available for download January 8th, 2015.
The user interface in Sol Invictus, like in Cubus Games gamebook, Necklace of Skulls, is top-notch. It is easy to read and navigate and this is essential, as following the lead character Cromulus as he navigates space and countless battles will engage users so much there’s no room for spending brain power on a confusing UI. The game is responsive and even has a sound element that goes very well with the crisp visual elements. The music is good at setting the mood, but some may find it, well, a little heavy. Thankfully, there is an option to turn off both sounds and music, so the game really caters to everyone. There is artwork throughout the piece, which is often good, or good enough, but some of it subpar in comparison to the UI. Overall, the art lacks cohesion to some extent, with some pieces being hand drawn and in a similar vein as the source material’s cover art, and other images seeming to be heavily Photoshoped photos, such as pictures of astronauts on foreign planets. Most are good, just not cohesive. Still, this detracts very little in the end as the best pictures are those that are created in the imaginations of the players while reading the inventive story.
The story is engaging, as well. As long as players can make it through the exposition heavy opening that sets up the universe and some of the past, they’ll find the rest of the gamebook is full of fast-paced action and tough choices, as well as plenty of stylistic choices such as whether they choose to have Cromulus wield a mace, sword, spear, rifle, shotgun, or some other tool in the arsenal of other weapons, as well as personality traits and skills such as public speaking, computers, navigation, stealth, and intelligence. Plus plenty more choices. On top of the engaging story is a battle system that seems to be a signature feature of Cubus Games. The battle system utilizes a futuristic looking pair of dice, adding a more chaotic-luck aspect to the game, increasing the challenge and realism.
The replay value is quite high for a gamebook as there are seemingly countless combinations of choices with the aforementioned arsenal of weapons, personality traits, and adventure trajectories, plus the battle system and fact that collecting certain items throughout the journey and leveling certain traits unlocks choices throughout the story. The gamebook allows for up to three simultaneous saves to be played.
Overall, Sol Invictus is another great game book by Cubus Games. The story, user interface, sound elements, trait and battle systems make this much bigger than a mere choose your own adventure book. It’s a full on adventure for the imagination. It’s worth the price to download, and can be play over and over, so get ready for launch January 8th, 2015.
YOU control the story as the grand saga of Cromulus and his war continues. For three years the soldiers of the Black Lance Legion have watched as the Invaders turned their solar system into a hellish, desolate wasteland. Humanity’s most advanced fighting force lurked in the shadows, doing little while their species was forced to choose between eternal enslavement… or extinction. The wait ends when Admiral Franks, the legendary Storm Lord at the head of the Legion, announces a system-wide uprising against humanity’s oppressors. Cromulus and his team of human fanatics find themselves on the front lines, doing whatever it takes to crush the will of the Invaders. In Sol Invictus, Cromulus finds out that not all humans are willing to take the kinds of risks that he takes. And while he has less than zero tolerance for pacifism, what the Legion does with its softer recruits may be too much even for him… The second part of Kyle B. Stiff’s legendary adventure gamebook series has been brought to life as never before in this official Sol Invictus game. Get ready for the ride of your life as you become the hero of your very own story.
- A powerful, yet accessible sci-fi plot, packed with diverse characters
- Multiple save slots: Play in up to three stories at once
- Rich, branching narrative
- Sol Invictus – Sequel to Interactive SciFi Gamebook Heavy Metal Thunder
- Brand new artwork from renowned illustrator Marc Gonzalez
- Full soundtrack with sound effects and a vibrant atmosphere
- The continuation of an epic series