Available via the App Store
I haven’t played an interactive adventure book since the heady days of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. But the lure of good old Joe Dredd and the reasonable price of ?2.99 drew me in to this new App.
You start the game in character as Dredd on assignment to Sector 106, where the incumbent Judges are struggling to cope with perps on the street. After a briefing, and an opportunity to tune up Lawgiver, Lawmaster or simply grab some shut eye on a sleep machine, you are out on the streets with decisions to be made.
At most points of the game there are two or three directions to take, following up information from Control or the word on the street. Some of these turn out to be dead ends, but most put you and Dredd at the scene of a crime in progress.
These scenes are realised through detailed written descriptions, and some stunning art that once found, can be reviewed and enjoyed outside of the game. The art style is reminiscent of that used in Dredd’s first heyday around the time of the Cursed Earth saga.
Crime scenes are where the game comes to life. Every move you make to tackle perps is subject to a dice roll. Sometimes these are simple – roll between 1 and 3 to make a head shot – but many are determined by the dice roll in relation your stamina, fitness and standing as a Judge. These scores can be improved through the game, but particularly by the decisions you made at the start.
If the element of surprise is lost with a perp, then you go head to head, again with the dice. These are rolled in both attack and defence mode by you and your opponent, and the scoring system takes some getting used to. Some of these fights are brief, but on at least two occasions I was stuck in long runs of drawn dice, which eventually became tedious and frustrating.
Before too long, the overriding plot of the game starts to kick in, with strange electronic devices that are found, each time with decreasing numbers. Unravelling this arc crime while picking your way through less important street punks is a further challenge of the game.
Most players will take a good few attempts to complete the game, and as the dice randomise the outcome of fights, you will need to strategically use your limited supply of save points. Even once the master crime is solved and Sector 106 saved, the art gallery and game achievements within the game encourage a replay to delve down unexplored alleys.
Tin Man Games have released a number of these adventure apps, but this is their first franchise offering. If enough Dredd fans download this one, hopefully they will return to Mega City One for a sequel.
[If this app leaves you hungry to unleash your Lawgiver further, then seek out the addictive, and free, Dredd versus Zombies, also in the App Store. Only your right thumb wil be sorry.]