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Caverns of the Snow Witch

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Deep within the Crystal Caves of the Icefinger Mountains, the dreaded Snow Witch is plotting to bring on a new ice age. A brave trapper dies in your arms and lays the burden of his mission on your shoulders. But time is running out - will YOU take up the challenge?


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Deep within the Crystal Caves of the Icefinger Mountains, the dreaded Snow Witch is plotting to bring on a new ice age. A brave trapper dies in your arms and lays the burden of his mission on your shoulders. But time is running out - will YOU take up the challenge?

30 review for Caverns of the Snow Witch

  1. 4 out of 5

    Graham

    CAVERNS OF THE SNOW WITCH is one of the earlier Fighting Fantasy adventures, one with a change of setting: a snowbound, mountainous landscape in which merely being outdoors is enough to sap the player's stamina. After some very good scene-setting material, the action shifts to an icy base inside a mountain, where the player must kill the titular character. It's a little like The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, with snow instead of fire. I enjoyed it thoroughly, despite dying an unexpected death at CAVERNS OF THE SNOW WITCH is one of the earlier Fighting Fantasy adventures, one with a change of setting: a snowbound, mountainous landscape in which merely being outdoors is enough to sap the player's stamina. After some very good scene-setting material, the action shifts to an icy base inside a mountain, where the player must kill the titular character. It's a little like The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, with snow instead of fire. I enjoyed it thoroughly, despite dying an unexpected death at the climax; this is the type of story that calls for thorough exploration and item-gathering. The monsters stand out, too, in terms of size, as the player always seems to be up against gargantuan, hard-hitting beasts. NB. Another read through of this one in August 2021. I'm struck again by the excellent descriptions and rugged landscapes and the emphasis on powerful monsters making it a tougher adventure than most. Also a story where it's very easy to die at random. NB. My last read-through for now. There don't seem to be many choices in the paths you take early on, it's all quite linear, and yet I keep getting stymied by not having the right items so I'm obviously missing something. Getting trapped behind a closed gate is a very frustrating way to die in these gamebooks!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Gianfranco Mancini

    Not best FF gamebook at all: story too much linear (take just one wrong path and you are dead or going to find later that you are already dead...) and the endless series of fights is just impossible to win if you haven't at last a Skill score of 10/11++, but I really enjoyed the setting, the storyline and all the references to previous books like The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, Deathtrap Dungeon, Forest of Doom and more. I had fun playing this classic Fighting Fantasy gamebook, but longevity fac Not best FF gamebook at all: story too much linear (take just one wrong path and you are dead or going to find later that you are already dead...) and the endless series of fights is just impossible to win if you haven't at last a Skill score of 10/11++, but I really enjoyed the setting, the storyline and all the references to previous books like The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, Deathtrap Dungeon, Forest of Doom and more. I had fun playing this classic Fighting Fantasy gamebook, but longevity factor is almost null here. Starting again Steve Jackson's House of Hell as soon as possible :D

  3. 4 out of 5

    Leo .

    Loved this book. Steve and Ian collaborated on this one and the illustrations are great. I owe these two a lot because they helped me develop my writing skills at a young age. You start the book with one quest and end up taking on a bigger one. The snow witch is really scary. The illustrations in these books are great too. I would love to contact some of these illustrators. I will be working on a book in the future that has all the usual orcs and goblins etc. It will be a tome with full glossy i Loved this book. Steve and Ian collaborated on this one and the illustrations are great. I owe these two a lot because they helped me develop my writing skills at a young age. You start the book with one quest and end up taking on a bigger one. The snow witch is really scary. The illustrations in these books are great too. I would love to contact some of these illustrators. I will be working on a book in the future that has all the usual orcs and goblins etc. It will be a tome with full glossy illustrations. The orc on the front cover of Caverns Of The Snow Witch is how I see an orc should look like. Excellent!🐯👍

  4. 4 out of 5

    David Sarkies

    A patchwork of four different adventures 22 June 2012 This is nowhere near the quality of the previous Fighting Fantasy gamebooks and I can actually tell you why. I first encountered this particular book back when Fighting Fantasy was becoming popular and Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone decided to release a magazine dedicated to the series. The magazine was called 'Warlock' and I believe only six were ever released (which is not true, there were a lot more). However in one (or was it two) of th A patchwork of four different adventures 22 June 2012 This is nowhere near the quality of the previous Fighting Fantasy gamebooks and I can actually tell you why. I first encountered this particular book back when Fighting Fantasy was becoming popular and Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone decided to release a magazine dedicated to the series. The magazine was called 'Warlock' and I believe only six were ever released (which is not true, there were a lot more). However in one (or was it two) of the magazines Livingstone presented this game book, but adventure in the magazine only went up to where you kill the snow witch and then it ended. Since there was not enough for a full blown book, to release it they decided to tack a further adventure onto the end. The story has you travelling up north with a trading caravan when you discover that the outpost you are heading towards has been destroyed by some ravenous beast. So you decide to set off into the mountain to find this beast, which you do when you also meet a trapper fighting it. You kill the beast but the trapper is dying and he tells you about the Snow Witch and how she wants to plunge the land into eternal winter. You then set off into the mountains, find her caverns, and then proceed to kill her. That was the end of the original adventure, however in the book you must then escape from the caverns, which you can easily do, but the ultimate combat is difficult as she has become a spirit and you must defeat her by outwitting her with a game similar to rock, paper, scissors (it uses discs, and you must actually find the discs before you can play it). However once you manage to outwit her, the book isn't over as you then travel to Stonebridge with a couple of companions, and then onto the Moonstone Hills when you learn that you have been hit with a Death Spell and must then do one final thing to complete the adventure. One of the interesting things about the forth part of the adventure (it can be divided into four: 1) finding the cavern, 2) killing the snow witch, 3) escaping the cavern, 4) defeating the death spell) is that you travel past a number of places from earlier books (with hints that you have not completed the books yet). You past Firetop Mountain (and wonder about the Warlock), cross the river that winds through Fang, and then arrive at Darkwood Forest where you learn that a hammer has been stolen and lost in the forest, so your dwarf companion goes off the find it (no doubt dying and passing the quest onto the adventurer from book 3). In a way it is kind of like a memorial tour of some of the earlier books. As I said it is not the best as the four sections really are only four different adventures with minimal choices, though there are a couple of places that if you make the wrong turn you pretty much fail the adventure. Hints for the necessary items are taking the weapons from the trapper's hut, finding the stake and the flute, finding the discs, and not paying the ferryman to take you across the river (you need to meet the dark elf, otherwise you will die). There is one other thing: you need to climb the tree to the tree house and kill the man orc - he has something important as well. Still, not the best of the adventures, but now I guess I am going on to The House of Hell.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Michael Kelly

    This is a gamebook I have wanted to complete for a long, long time. As a kid, I was never able to get very far into it. The early adversaries, such as the mammoth and yeti, are punishingly difficult if your Skill is low, and I never even got to enter the caverns two decades ago before putting the book back on the shelf and forgetting it. Now, all these years on, I have finally completed it. Having a Skill of 12 was vital to that process. It seems that with Ian Livingstone books, I should just sk This is a gamebook I have wanted to complete for a long, long time. As a kid, I was never able to get very far into it. The early adversaries, such as the mammoth and yeti, are punishingly difficult if your Skill is low, and I never even got to enter the caverns two decades ago before putting the book back on the shelf and forgetting it. Now, all these years on, I have finally completed it. Having a Skill of 12 was vital to that process. It seems that with Ian Livingstone books, I should just skip the stat-rolling and award myself 11 or 12 from the outset to save wasting my time. This book is rich and rewarding in some respects, never dull, but could have been so much more and has some serious flaws. The plus side first: the icy environment is new and interesting. The book is varied, with a wilderness trek to locate the caves; the journey through the caves themselves and the confrontation with the Snow Witch; escaping the caves in the company of an elf and dwarf; the trek back home and the realisation that the Witch has cast a Death Spell upon you, followed by the desperate quest to dispel it before croaking. It's really nice to revisit Stonebridge and witness the Hill Troll threat first hand, tying in with 'The Forest of Doom'. The book has lots of great moments like these, and once you know the right path, it's quite smooth flowing (provided you have high scores). However, that 'right path' is one hell of a beast to discover. Take a single mis-step and it's impossible to succeed. There are items which you MUST have to defeat the Snow Witch. But finding them is very counter-intuitive and really goes against the grain. Or at the very least, getting them confirms you to be a bloodthirsty bandit, not a heroic adventurer. And later, when you learn of the Death Curse, it's impossible to survive unless you've drunk a particular potion, which can only be discovered by following the path which defies all common sense on your homeward journey. Essential items for completion of the quest should be found in logical places, where a smart reader can deduce they should look, not deliberately made obscure for the sake of it. 'City of Thieves' was a good example of how to place essential items; this book is the exact opposite, punishing readers for using their intelligence and rewarding them for murdering opponents who've shown no overt aggression. The encounter with the Snow Witch is frankly pathetic. I had been looking forward to it, a face off against this devilishly attractive but evil vampire witch, a real head to head like the brilliant combat with Balthus Dire at the end of 'Citadel of Chaos'. But no, we have a bare paragraph in which she's not even graced with a description. Then, if you have the right item, she dies, and if you don't, then you do. And that's it!?!?!?! Shameful and bitterly disappointing, that such a fascinating opponent can be so wasted. This is slightly made up for when her spirit appears in a crystal orb and hurls punishment on your head before you escape the caverns, but it's a poor substitute for what could have been one of FF's most memorable encounters. Then the second half of the book begins, with the almost completely linear trek to Stonebridge. This part is actually quite pleasant, bringing back memories of 'Forest of Doom'. Then you find out about the witch's curse and have to go looking for the healer who can remove it. You start losing Stamina left, right and centre, and the hills are packed with really hard encounters that pound you down even more. That's assuming you found the obscurely hidden item to permit you to survive this long in the first place. If you haven't got high, full scores and find the right route almost perfectly, you'll lose so much Stamina so fast you simply won't survive this section. It's very unforgiving. The actual cure is a bit of an anti-climax. It's not a bad book by any means, but it has some very bad decisions in its design, the worst of which is how badly it represents its promising villainess. The weakest FF to date, though it shouldn't have been and needn't have been.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tazio Bettin

    This gamebook is a pathetic, typical adventure by Ian Livingstone. The story itself is ridiculously linear and uninteresting. The main difficulty is, as usual with this writer, tons of fights and objects one must collect in order to be able to survive.

  7. 4 out of 5

    David

    This wins my award of worst gamebook I've ever read. Story: Divided into three weak parts - the titular caverns, a journey sequence, then a survival sequence. For all the vaunted evil-ness of the snow witch and her minions, no one seems to mind you just strolling in and start taking things out room by room. You obviously don't expect character development in a gamebook, but the reason the author gave as to why you went after the titular snow witch is just plain ridiculous - nothing more because t This wins my award of worst gamebook I've ever read. Story: Divided into three weak parts - the titular caverns, a journey sequence, then a survival sequence. For all the vaunted evil-ness of the snow witch and her minions, no one seems to mind you just strolling in and start taking things out room by room. You obviously don't expect character development in a gamebook, but the reason the author gave as to why you went after the titular snow witch is just plain ridiculous - nothing more because the author wants you to. Same thing with the motivation for part 2 - you just have to, never mind the logic of it. The motivation for part 3 is survival, so that's fine, except for how you're supposed to go about it - it makes absolutely no sense. (view spoiler)[The titular caverns just happens to be primary setting of the first part. The titular snow witch? Just a checkpoint for the first part. For all evil-ness that's attributed to her and her minions, she's nothing more than just than just two encounters, the 2nd one being really tacked on. And speaking of tacky, I got the feeling that the editor or publisher rejected the gamebook initially because it was submitted with just part 1. So parts 2 and 3 were appended just to pad it out. The later parts were just as horrible. Why travel with two complete strangers to their hometowns instead of just back to what you were doing before? And the steps to cure yourself of the so-called Death Spell just borders on stupidity. No wonder only one other person in the world had survived it - and that person just happens to be living in a nearby cave where you need begin with the weird "healing" steps. (hide spoiler)] Gamebook: Very "One True Path". There are many items that you must obtain to get past certain encounters - miss them and you die. And it's very easy to die. In fact, the chances of winning this gamebook honestly is very low. The game mechanics of needing to roll higher than your opponent just to damage them a little means you need several lucky streaks to get through the numerous fights thrown your way. The enemies are very tough, especially right at the start. This is the first gamebook I've died in the first fight I got into. You really must roll max skill, max stamina, and max luck to even have a reasonable chance of reaching the end.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Aurélie Knit & Read

    Je ne me souvenais pas de grand chose pour celui-là, à part de la couverture qui fait un peu flipper... Mais que j'aimais ces bouquins quand j'étais gosse ! Je ne me souvenais pas de grand chose pour celui-là, à part de la couverture qui fait un peu flipper... Mais que j'aimais ces bouquins quand j'étais gosse !

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jo-jo

    Really fun to do if your bored or on a plane but not a novel

  10. 4 out of 5

    James Rhodes

    Not the best FF book but certainly a lot of fun to revist as an adult. Very short and quite sparse but worth a few games.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Бранимир Събев

    Трудна, мрачна, оставила в мен недобри впечатления и спомени. Отново сгрешени препратки.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lee Osborne

    Finished this one on my second attempt, which was quite lucky, because as others have said, it can be extremely tricky indeed. It's not the best FF book by any means, but it did give me a few hours of entertainment, and as I picked it up cheap in a charity shop, it was good value. Normal comments about the Scholastic reprints apply - much less attractive artwork, and in several places there were some typos that appear to have been caused by someone not transcribing the original text properly. Th Finished this one on my second attempt, which was quite lucky, because as others have said, it can be extremely tricky indeed. It's not the best FF book by any means, but it did give me a few hours of entertainment, and as I picked it up cheap in a charity shop, it was good value. Normal comments about the Scholastic reprints apply - much less attractive artwork, and in several places there were some typos that appear to have been caused by someone not transcribing the original text properly. These didn't affect gameplay, though. Also as others have said, this is much more of a "one true path" gamebook than others, and you can't really explore without taking terrible risks, which is a shame, because the landscape is often quite interesting. It does feel like you're forced into particular paths quite often, and the confrontation with the Snow Witch is pretty early on - she can be defeated quite easily if you pick up the right objects, but those can be hard to find. Word of advice - pick up everything. You take risks doing so, but it's even harder to get through if you don't have the exact right things at the right time. A lot can only be found by killing pretty fearsome opponents - you really do need a high skill score here. Also the amount of times you have to Test Your Luck is pretty fearsome - your luck score, of course, drops by one every time you have to do this, so it can get pretty nerve-wracking in places. Thankfully there's a few places where you can pull it up. Of course, you're only allowed one potion to restore your scores to defaults - the Luck potion might be your best bet. The confrontation with the Snow Witch comes in two parts, and isn't great or tremendously difficult - the biggest challenge is the endgame, when you discover you've been cursed by a Death Spell, and have to find the Healer to lift it. It involves having to explore the landscape, find more obscure objects, and face several challenges...many of which could kill you arbitrarily, which is a bit frustrating. A lot of decisions here don't seem to bear any sensible risk/reward analysis, so you just have to hope you get lucky. Thankfully I did, because it could easily have taken a few more attempts to get through this. I enjoyed the classic setting with throwbacks to some of the other books, but yeah, your mileage with this one might vary. I enjoyed getting through it, but if I'd had to try too many more times without success, I think I might have ended up getting quite frustrated with it.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Chris Dw i

    The Caverns of the Snow Witch is a pleasant read and it feels like an adventure. Unfortunately, the newer Fighting Fantasy prints have a different art style that, quite honestly, lacks the charm and soul of the older illustrations and it felt as if it took away from the overall experience. So, if you're considering purchasing this book, I'd try and obtain one of the older prints. I'll admit that when it comes down to Fighting Fantasy books, I belong on The Jeremy Kyle Show because I'm always ch The Caverns of the Snow Witch is a pleasant read and it feels like an adventure. Unfortunately, the newer Fighting Fantasy prints have a different art style that, quite honestly, lacks the charm and soul of the older illustrations and it felt as if it took away from the overall experience. So, if you're considering purchasing this book, I'd try and obtain one of the older prints. I'll admit that when it comes down to Fighting Fantasy books, I belong on The Jeremy Kyle Show because I'm always cheating by jumping back to previous pages and "finding" items when I need them. However, there's an astonishing amount of tough encounters throughout the book and a lot of weird and obscure items to be found unless you wish to have your journey end prematurely. At one point, you need to have collected three items to play a game but, if you took the same path as me, the one item that's essentially given to you results in your death once played. Gameplay aside, the story is okay. It felt like it was broken up into three segments with the first and last segments being the more interesting of the three. The Snow Witch didn't really have much of a presence despite you sneaking into her lair and robbing her blind. All in all, it certainly felt as if I went on adventure and I'm looking forward to seeing where my next Fighting Fantasy book takes me. The Caverns of the Snow Witch is an adventure I'll likely revisit in the future and was worth a read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    Back in 1982 Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone broke new ground with Warlock of Firetop Mountain, starting the 1980s gamebook craze. The formula of exciting and addictive gameplay, where your choices determine your route through the book, was a winner. For a good few years in the late 80s and early 90s I was utterly obsessed. Caverns of the Snow Witch is one of the early numbers (#9, from 1984) that I missed first time around. Compared to some of the best entries in the series (think Warlock, Ci Back in 1982 Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone broke new ground with Warlock of Firetop Mountain, starting the 1980s gamebook craze. The formula of exciting and addictive gameplay, where your choices determine your route through the book, was a winner. For a good few years in the late 80s and early 90s I was utterly obsessed. Caverns of the Snow Witch is one of the early numbers (#9, from 1984) that I missed first time around. Compared to some of the best entries in the series (think Warlock, Citadel of Chaos, Creature of Havoc) its spatial scope is narrower and its structure more linear (you can see it if you make a map as you go). However, it’s a good, solid entry (perfect for winter afternoons down the pub) and my 8-year-old and I enjoyed playing it (it was hard, and we died).

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Curran

    Review in progress...

  16. 5 out of 5

    Brian Hayes

    Classic FF book

  17. 5 out of 5

    Adam Cleaver

    I loved these books as a kid. Must go back and re-read them to make a proper review. But just look at that art work too... amazing!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dinga05

    Got up to the ice dragon (just before the witch).

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lee Broderick

    I'm not sure what I expected from this but I know for certain now that it's really not my thing. I read, if that's the right word, the Android app version, which includes digital 'dice'. Roll dice to find out how likely you are to finish the book. Get so far. Roll again. Die. Start all over again. With so so narration, this is a terrible way for me to experience a book. I remember reading one 'choose your own adventure' style book as a child (I'm not sure if it was in that range or not, only recently I'm not sure what I expected from this but I know for certain now that it's really not my thing. I read, if that's the right word, the Android app version, which includes digital 'dice'. Roll dice to find out how likely you are to finish the book. Get so far. Roll again. Die. Start all over again. With so so narration, this is a terrible way for me to experience a book. I remember reading one 'choose your own adventure' style book as a child (I'm not sure if it was in that range or not, only recently becoming aware that it was a range) and I remember re-reading every alternative option. Not, necessarily, because I enjoyed it, but because I wanted to know. In this kind of 'game book', particularly as a digital edition, you don't even have that option. In fact, you don't have any options. Your passage through the narrative is entirely dice-based and if you get a bad roll, you have to start all over again - without even the reassurance that you can get back to where you were, so there's a lot of re-reading, a lot of skipping and did I mention a lot of dice rolling? Obviously some people think this is a fun experience and that's great. How you feel about this book and others like it will really depend on what you think of the word 'experience' and whether you prefer experiences in the form of luck-based games to be kept separate from your reading matter.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ian

    Wanted to love this but the fact is I didnt! As yes she is a Vampire,but she need not be as could just as easily not been! She is destroyed far far too easy,then spolers she is still not gone as her spirit lives on so much more that she puts a death curse on you which you have to remove!!!

  21. 5 out of 5

    D.

    Caverns of the Snow Witch (Fighting Fantasy) by Ian Livingstone (2003)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Monocep

  23. 4 out of 5

    Michael Jørgensen

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ringo

  25. 4 out of 5

    Wru Pah

  26. 5 out of 5

    Michael Reilly

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mikael

  28. 4 out of 5

    Shawna

  29. 5 out of 5

    nathan

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nathan

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