Friday, March 2, 2012

Mad to the Max

The Fighting Fantasy series of game books were really a huge part of my gaming experience for several years when I wasn't part of a gaming group. During that time period I would buy a lot of game products but never got to play them, or would make up solo rules so I could experience them on my own. The funny thing is that at the time my two biggest gaming influences had to be the American designer named Steve Jackson and the British designer named Steve Jackson. At first I, like many people, thought they were the same person, but later figured out they weren't.

The American Steve Jackson came up with Car Wars, and that was certainly one of the first major games set in a post-apocalyptic setting inspired by the Mad Max series of movies. I didn't get to play that game because nobody I knew was interested in playing it, but then again, at that time I didn't know any real die-hard gamers. Thankfully, the British Steve Jackson published Freeway Fighter which was written by the legendary Ian Livingstone. It was the next best thing at the time as a Car Wars alternative for me.

This gamebook was one of the harder volumes in the series because you not only had to keep up with your own stats and inventory, but you also had to track the condition of your vehicle and then scavenging for fuel was a major factor. I'll make no bones about of my ideal car dreams during the 80's was getting behind the wheel of "one of the last of the V8 Interceptors" and in some way this gamebook allowed me to do that. Sadly it is no longer published in the United States but I think there is still a British edition available.

1 comment:

  1. (Sorry for the late reply...I just noticed this entry today.)

    I LOVED those Fighting Fantasy books, but I'd never heard of Freeway Fighter until today. I've got to track it down.

    And my buddies and I spent a high school summer playing Car Wars every Saturday night, and I learned a very harsh lesson: $X worth of motorcycles will get SLAUGHTERED by a single $X vehicle. No matter how often I tried, no matter how much money I blew, my cycle squad always got crushed.