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The player controls the actions of a lone hero championing for the sake of the kingdom of Analand, part of a confederacy of civilized lands on the continent of The Old World, itself comfortably remote from other sites of interest on the stock Fighting Fantasy game world of Titan.

This hero, a warrior or mage in the service of King Chalanna, quests to the distant northeast in pursuit of the Birdmen of Xamen who have robbed his sovereign of a magical Crown of Kings, shared among civilized rulers but desired by the Birdmens' master, the Archmage who governs cruelly from his fortress of Mampang.

This, the first of a four-part quest (a sub-series of linked games under an overarching narrative branded Sorcery! among the Fighting Fantasy gamebook line) to retrieve the artifact, concerns the player's journey through the titular Shamutanti Hills, dividing the player's native Analand from the setting of part two: Kharé, the Cityport of Traps. In addition to a protracted endgame section concerning a game of cat-and-mouse with a manticore in a cave complex, it also introduces the character of Jann the Minimite, a magic-cancelling nuisance interfering with the natural laws governing their magical world.

The game adaptation adheres to most conventions of the original gamebook written and published decades hence, retaining its original illustrations (now enhanced in colour) and Steve Jackson's original prose linking choose-your-own-adventure decision-crossroads. Gamebook players would originally keep track of their inventory and track three statistics (SKILL, STAMINA and LUCK) manually with a pencil, eraser and a pair of 6-sided dice, but here the machine presenting the story also takes care of all such accounting -- and prevents casual cheating. Tapping the screen "flips pages" (advances the text), while the dice can be "rolled" by shaking the mobile device and tripping its accelerometer. New to the work, this adaptation features some sound effects.


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This gamebook conversion marks the first time a not-previously-adapted title from Penguin's original series of Fighting Fantasy gamebooks has made the leap from ink-on-paper to bits-on-a-screen since 1998's Ian Livingstone's Deathtrap Dungeon from Eidos. (The next-most-recent conversion would be 1987's Temple of Terror, at which point the gamebook conversions weren't an exercise in nostalgia but a tie-in to a burgeoning entertainment industry. The first printing of The Shamutanti Hills was in 1983, meaning that some 27 years elapsed between the book's debut and its first touchscreen appearance.)
Pseudo_Intellectual (61506) added Steve Jackson's Sorcery!: The Shamutanti Hills (iPhone) on Jun 06, 2010