“Arram’s Tomb” is an entertaining Dungeons and Dragons pastiche that recreates the feeling of both an old-school role-playing game and a Choose Your Own Adventure novel.
Gameplay: The game is choice-based, with the player directing a party of classic adventurers through a dungeon. The party members are archetypes, but they have their own personalities, and the game is short enough that two-dimensional characters aren’t a problem. It’s not a deep game, but it’s not trying to be one, and its ideas are executed well. 5/10.
Mechanics: The choices given to the player are meaningful, and the game has substantial state. One of the characters, for example, can cast a fireball spell but can only do so only once; using it an enemy encounter usually succeeds, but it can’t be used in future, potentially more dangerous situations. The puzzles are Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style death traps, with learning from dying being the major mechanic. Nevertheless, there is an overall idea of resource management, and some of the puzzles have multiple successful resolutions (although ostensibly correct but suboptimal ones may burn resources needed later, which would be a problem if the game were longer). 6/10.
Presentation: The game is a broad, Dungeons-and-Dragons style adventure, and the text is light and entertaining. There are multiple endings, and they arise naturally from the actions taken by the player over the course of the game. 5/10.
You might be interested in this game if: You’ve played in an old tabletop RPG campaign.