Alternate history in a steampunk setting… and it’s a gamebook to boot! Yeah, it really doesn’t get much better than Martin Noutch’s Steam Highwayman series, which recently made the transition from print to mobile. As such, there’s really no time like the present to experience the humble beginnings of this choice-driven tale.
I do so enjoy alternate history, and quite frankly, such a setting is much too rare – especially in gamebooks; which only serves to make Steam Highwayman – Smog and Ambuscade all the more enticing, skill checks and all. While the first three volumes are available in print, at the time of writing, only the first has been turned into a mobile app. I’m sure more are on the way, or at least I’m hoping that’s the case, as Cubus Games have done a splendid job with their adaptation, according to my Android device. Zero performance issues, good choice of font, animated dice rolls, etc. – precisely how a gamebook-turned-mobile-app should be handled, in my opinion.
That said, my journey ‘through an England that never was’ is not yet complete, so keep in mind that this is not a review so much as a port report and news piece. Quite a few quests were
robbed taken care of during my time spent with the app, however, and… well, I may have made a few unfortunate choices. Hard to say at this point, but alas, such is the life of the Steam Highwayman. With more than a thousand passages and a vast world ripe for exploring, this is not going to be some brief overnight journey and unlike virtually every Fighting Fantasy title, also one void of frequent death traps and dead ends. I think.
While I do absolutely love that franchise, it’s still an undeniably nice change of pace: just you, your trusty Ferguson velosteam, and the open road, many a tale waiting to be told. Are you ready to become… the Steam Highwayman?