Critical IF gamebooks

Critical IF gamebooks

Originally published as part of the Virtual Reality series in the 1990s, these classic gamebooks are now available again in completely revised editions.


It is the dawn of the 24th century and the Earth is dying. Gaia, a satellite array designed to repair the effects of global warming, is out of control. A new Ice Age tightens its inexorable grip on the planet. Humanity is on the edge of extinction.

Mankind’s last hope is the Heart of Volent, a strange meteorite which has already brought mutation and chaos to the world. Legend says that the one who finds it shall wield the power to reshape the universe.

As the ice sheets spread and the world slides towards the brink, you and a handful of bitter rivals compete in the race for the Heart. Only one can win. Are you ruthless and resourceful enough to claim the ultimate prize?

Available on Amazon US and Amazon UK.

Download a Character Sheet for Heart of Ice.

View: a map of Earth in the 23rd century.

Read: a review of the book.


War is brewing between the kingdoms of Sidonia and Glorianne, a war waged for control of the territories of the New World. Galleons laden with gold ply the seas, and in their wake sail pirates and privateers eager for plunder.

Adrift in an open boat, you make your desperate bid to escape from the sadistic Captain Skarvench. The odds are stacked against you. Even if thirst, hunger and storms don’t kill you, there are still formidable dangers to overcome in crossing hundreds of miles of uncharted ocean to reach safe harbour.

Yet you must make it. Because only you can warn the world of Skarvench’s latest and most wicked plan. You are determined to round up a crew, get yourself a ship, and set sail on a voyage of vengeance and justice. You are destined to face many perils: undead pirates, sea monsters, cursed ships, witches and ancient gods. And the greatest threat of all: the vision you have seen of your own death at the hands of your hated foe.

Available of Amazon USA and Amazon UK.

Download a Character Sheet for Down Among the Dead Men.

View: sea charts of the western Hesperidian Ocean.

Read: a review of the book.


The sole survivor of an expedition brings news of disaster. Your twin brother is lost in the trackless western sierra. Resolving to find out his fate, you leave the safety of your home far behind. Your quest takes you to lost jungle cities, across mountains and seas, and even into the depths of the underworld.

You will plunge into the strange, dreamlike world of Mayan myth. You will confront ghosts and gods, bargain for your life against wily demons, find allies and enemies among both the living and the dead. If you are brave enough to survive the dangers of the spirit-haunted western desert, you must still confront the wizard called Necklace of Skulls in a deadly contest whose stakes are nothing less than your own soul.

Available on Amazon USA and Amazon UK.

Download a Character Sheet for Necklace of Skulls.

View: a map of the One World of the Maya.

Read: a review of the book.


You have made a deadly enemy. Jafar, advisor to the Caliph, plans a coup that will put him on the throne of Baghdad. You are the only one who can warn the Caliph, but who will listen to a penniless adventurer? Especially as Jafar’s assassins are scouring the city to find you.

You go in search of the fame and fortune that will give you the means to expose Jafar’s treachery. Your travels take you to ghoul-haunted oases, magical palaces, lost cities of gold, and uncharted isles full of mystery and danger. Threatened by bandits, fire wizards, thieves and fearsome creatures, you must risk all in your determined quest to save the kingdom.

Available on Amazon USA and Amazon UK.

Download a Character Sheet for Once Upon a Time in Arabia.

View: a map of the lands of the Arabian Nights.

Download a generic PDF or JPG format Character Sheet for use with all Critical IF books.