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The Citadel of Chaos Reviews

Have you recently read the Fighting Fantasy Gamebook? This area of the website has been set aside as a way for fans to comment on the Gamebook and let each other know what they think of the plot, twists, encounters, traps, paths, puzzles, rules and monsters? Let us and other fans known by emailing us with your review at Preferably we would like to see you write a minimum of two or three paragraphs or more than 200 words with an honest opinion on what you liked, didn't like or would have liked to have seen done differently, Please also add a rating; this is traditionally given using a scale from one to ten. You can read other fans opinions below, some of which were originally sent to us and hosted on the original AFF website and Fighting Fantasy

The Citadel of Chaos Review 2

- Brian Spargo (Originally sent & posted on FFG) FF2 cover

Of all the writers who have written Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks, series co-creator Steve Jackson has primarily been the one to attempt something new with each of his books. Sometimes he has succeeded brilliantly, as with "House of Hell" and "Creature of Havoc." Other times he wasn't quite as successful, as with "Starship Traveller" and "Appointment with F.E.A.R." However, each of his books has added a new dimension to the series, and the series as a whole is better because of his work.

With the second Fighting Fantasy book, "The Citadel of Chaos," Jackson, writing his first solo FF book, introduced the use of magic to the series. This was a bold move, as the series was still in its infancy, and especially considering that Jackson was already tinkering with the game rules he had just established in the highly successful "The Warlock of Firetop Mountain." Thankfully, this tinkering only added to the legacy of the series.

While not as powerful as "Warlock," "The Citadel of Chaos" is still a strong read, and is firmly in the upper echelon of the series. The ability to use magic in nearly every encounter allows for quite a bit of variety, and promotes second and third readings of the book. The encounters are definitely weirder than those in "Warlock," giving the book a more exotic feel that is only enhanced by Jackson's fine descriptive writing. And Balthus Dire, the book's main antagonist, presents a difficult challenge to defeat, whether through magic, swordplay, or a combination of the two.

The only real drawback to "Citadel," and what prevents it from being as strong as "Warlock," is that the book can be completed with a weak character. With only 2 sword combat encounters necessary along the correct path, the magic ability could have been installed more effectively to keep the entire adventure as challenging as possible. Also, the correct path to successfully complete the adventure is relatively short, much shorter than I would have preferred.

But these are only minor complaints, as "The Citadel of Chaos" is able to overcome them, and remains a wonderful read to this day. "Citadel" may be flawed, but it is brilliant nonetheless. Highly recommended.

Overall grade: 9 (out of 10)

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