A Fighting Fantasy remake of Dracula

Vault of the Vampire (Puffin Adventure Gamebooks) - Steve Jackson, Ian Livingstone

Finally, a Fighting Fantasy gamebook that where you can finally make a map. I don't think I have read one since Trial of Champions. Ever since that one they tended to be much more quest based with choices based not so much upon which direction you headed but what action you would take. I did sort of try to make maps of some of them, but found it to be extremely difficult. Mind you there was a website called The Outspaced Shrine which does a map of all of the choices that you can make in the gamebook (but it looks as if it has been taken down), but not only were they very hard to follow, they were also too large to comfortably fit on a computer screen.

While I might give this one points for the fact that we have returned to the good old dungeon crawl that I loved, it loses points for the fact that it deals with vampires, and more points for the fact that it is a gamebook based upon Dracula (you know, the story about the psychotic undead beast that lives in the haunted castle and preys upon the villagers). Okay, Bram Stoker's book was brilliant, as was the movie Nosferatu, but a billion remakes later the story ends up becoming really, really bland (despite the fact that the Doctor Who remake, State of Decay, was pretty good, but then again that period of Doctor Who also had remakes of other stories, such as the one with the minotaurs, The Horns of Nimon).

As for this particular book, well ignoring the fact that it is a remake of Dracula (though this is the first, but not the only, Dracula type Fighting Fantasy Gamebook) I thought it was set up quite well, and the fact that you can make a map from it makes it quite easy to navigate. In fact by making the map I was able to go and locate all of the areas that I needed to visit. Also, some events are based on whether you have encountered a specific person previously, and unless you actually meet them, you will have difficulties completing the book.

The book does have magic in it, though it takes the form of a ring of spell casting which you acquire at the end of the book, and it only has three random spells (and one of the spells is very useful for completing the quest, and another is also very useful for getting past a rather nasty opponent). However, the random nature of the spells makes it difficult to get the ones that you need. It also adds another stat called faith, which is used to deal with undead as well as being able to sense things that are beneficial for you. Fortunately they decided not to include a fear stat, which would have forced me to deduct points, though you can actually lose faith by doing (even inadvertently) bad things.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/641965964