This is comparable to many of the quick-start products available for free at Drivethru. The premise here is to give you enough rules to play at least one game, to include said game, and to showcase the general feel enough to entice gamers to purchase the full product.
I picked this up as I loved the ‘Fighting Fantasy’ series as a child and teenager and haven’t revisted the series for many years. I recall that it was easy to play, didn’t take itself too seriously, and had a definite old-school feel akin to ‘Dragon Warriors’ and first edition D&D. In reading over this title, I found nothing to contradict my fond memories.
The rules take up 2 ½ pages of the seventeen allocated to this product, and you’ll also find eight pre-generated characters, and a short adventure. This would easily serve the purpose of filling in a regular game night, or acting as a promotional games days product at your FLGS. The average person should take about five minutes to master the rules (which does make me curious as to the longevity of AFF campaigns), and this would suit new players very well. The art is consistent with the older FF books and suits this very well. I will be most pleased if this is the standard for the rest of the AFF books (which I am now tracking down).
The adventure is a very standard dungeon crawl, that can be run with little preparation and includes many of the familiar fantasy tropes from evil spellcasters, hidden treasure (and traps!) and magic chalices. The map is very rough-drawn (it looks like the author designed it on a napkin whilst at the local pub), but does inventively leave space for the Director (AFF’s name for the GM) to draw in some of their own details. The adventure is not to be taken too seriously (when you meet the two dwarves, you’ll see my point), but does promise a lot of fun.
There certainly wouldn’t be a lack of material to draw from when running this game – I’d consider grabbing an old FF novel and adapting it for a night’s play. As a free tester, the title does well and it has enticed me to dust off my ‘Fighting Fantasy’ novels once more, and also look at the newer products in the range.
[4 of 5 Stars!]