The game book series Fabled Lands was one of the most awesome accomplishments of the choose-your-own-adventure genre: a completely open game that has been compared to an MMO in book form, with no linear storyline and the ability to roam around the world as you see fit. Those familiar with the series will know that, sadly, only 6 of the 12 planned books were ever finished, and even those 6 books became rather hard to find. But no more. The great news is, Fabled Lands is being revived, with the republishing of the existing books, and more as well.
If you’re not familiar with series of Fabled Lands books, we’ve covered it before here. In short, Fabled Lands is an epic game book series where each book contains everything for a certain geographical region of the world with content being added with each consecutive volume.
Of the 12 planned books, only 6 were published, and these were rather hard to find. Fortunately, as mentioned in the previous article, free PDF versions were made available and an excellent computerised version was built. However, neither PDF or computer game compare to having the real books in your hands.
It always saddened me that I had only ever managed to acquire 2 of the 6 published books (although fortunately geographically adjacent ones!). Luckily the books are being republished and are available (only) through Amazon. The books are a surprisingly cheap, being only US$9 each, making it quite economically feasible to purchase the whole set. I’m certainly planning on buying the ones that I am missing.
As of writing, the first 4 of the 6 published books have been made available; the others are sure to follow. These are:
- Fabled Lands 1: The War-Torn Kingdom
- Fabled Lands 2: Cities of Gold & Glory
- Fabled Lands 3: Over the Blood-Dark Sea
- Fabled Lands 4: The Plains of Howling Darkness
If you’re not familiar with Fabled Lands but want to get the books, I would recommend getting books 1 and 2 to start. These two books would provide you with a decent amount of area to explore and that way you can get a proper feel of how the books interact with each other.
iPad and iPhone App
Update: The first iPad app, covering the first book, is out! And it looks pretty awesome. And just plain pretty: the artwork is so nice. Hopefully we’ll have a review up imminently. iTunes link
The second big development is an iPad app for Fabled Lands. It should be released in early 2011, but development so far looks really nice. In particular, brand new artwork has been made for pretty much everything. The Fabled Lands books already had quite detailed artwork, and the new art is really great.
Thank you very much to Mikael from Megara Entertainment, for the info that there will in fact be an iPhone port some time in 2011. I think the iPad rocks for this kind of game, but, well, a lot more people have iPhones than iPads so it’s awesome news.
You can check out the development and more screenshots at:
The Fabled Lands books portrayed a huge open world in immense detail: it was a very deep setting that was fun to explore. Using this for source material, a Fabled Lands MMO was once in development, but has now been scrapped. Instead, a pen-and-paper RPG is under development. There’s not much information on it at the moment, but it will likely use a modified version of the fairly simple rules in the game-books. It seems like there will be a core rulebook, and then a source book for each area of the world, corresponding to the game books.
The most we’ve got so far is some (rather nice) preview covers for the core book and the first region’s source book.
For us RPG fans, this is definitely something to keep an eye on; I’m looking forward to trying it out when it’s released, which is should be in early 2011.
Fabled Lands was one of those projects that, although not widely popular, became hugely influential on those that were exposed to it. It tremendously encouraging news that this story and resource rich roleplaying environment might finally be utilised to its full potential. For those of you who have not experienced it before, I can strongly recommend the books as being a rich and interactive experience, and I heartily encourage you to try out some of the books.