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House of Hell

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Taking refuge in the infamous House of Hell has to be the worst mistake of your life! The dangers of the torrential storm outside are nothing compared to the blood-curdling adventures that await you inside. Who knows how many hapless wanderers like yourself have perished within its gruesome walls? Be warned! Tonight is going to be a night to remember ... Two dice, a pencil a Taking refuge in the infamous House of Hell has to be the worst mistake of your life! The dangers of the torrential storm outside are nothing compared to the blood-curdling adventures that await you inside. Who knows how many hapless wanderers like yourself have perished within its gruesome walls? Be warned! Tonight is going to be a night to remember ... Two dice, a pencil and an eraser are all you need to make your journey. YOU decide which way to go, which dangers to risk and which monsters to fight.


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Taking refuge in the infamous House of Hell has to be the worst mistake of your life! The dangers of the torrential storm outside are nothing compared to the blood-curdling adventures that await you inside. Who knows how many hapless wanderers like yourself have perished within its gruesome walls? Be warned! Tonight is going to be a night to remember ... Two dice, a pencil a Taking refuge in the infamous House of Hell has to be the worst mistake of your life! The dangers of the torrential storm outside are nothing compared to the blood-curdling adventures that await you inside. Who knows how many hapless wanderers like yourself have perished within its gruesome walls? Be warned! Tonight is going to be a night to remember ... Two dice, a pencil and an eraser are all you need to make your journey. YOU decide which way to go, which dangers to risk and which monsters to fight.

30 review for House of Hell

  1. 5 out of 5

    Gianfranco Mancini

    Just best game-book ever! There was a time before 8 bit and following videogames ruined kids' fantasy, before the Lord of The Ring movie trilogy and Dr Who remake tv series made a new generation of fantasy/sci-fi know-all-experts, when children and teen dreamers had a lot of fun with a now dead (but never forgotten) kind of media: gamebooks. After lots of fantasy ones, Steve Jackson's House of Hell was the first and unbeaten horror one, a full of cliché thrilling adventure in an old mansion in Just best game-book ever! There was a time before 8 bit and following videogames ruined kids' fantasy, before the Lord of The Ring movie trilogy and Dr Who remake tv series made a new generation of fantasy/sci-fi know-all-experts, when children and teen dreamers had a lot of fun with a now dead (but never forgotten) kind of media: gamebooks. After lots of fantasy ones, Steve Jackson's House of Hell was the first and unbeaten horror one, a full of cliché thrilling adventure in an old mansion infested with ghosts (some friendly), zombies, vampires, devil worshippers and much more. This was my most favourite one gamebook of the old Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone Fighting Fantasy gamebook series, one of the few not set in the fantasy world of Titan, and I had a real blast playing it lots of times then (so much that when I was younger I started making my personal italian version with a dictionary and an old typewriter, years before the book was translated and published here... Nerdy clever boy!) as I enjoyed playing it again now after all these years. The book aged for good and the Fear add to the rules was a real good one... You can just die of terror exploring the House. Ian Miller's cover was a real blast and Tim Sell's internal drawings too, the difficult level is so hard that you are going to play it at last one hundred of times before winning (or look for a walktrough on internet, something impossible when it was released). An hell of a ride, and if this never too much grown kid is an horror fan today is because of this book too.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    This is an absolutely terrific gamebook, a fiendishly conceptualised puzzle that's made even more fun to play by its beautifully grizzly - albeit utterly cliched - horror setting and nightmare plot ('plat' may be a push), wherein our hapless adventurer finds himself knocking on the door of a mansion for help after a car accident. The owner of the house, an early is, naturally, pretty evil and into devil worship and sacrifice, and it's your job to escape from this madness. You'll meet the usual a This is an absolutely terrific gamebook, a fiendishly conceptualised puzzle that's made even more fun to play by its beautifully grizzly - albeit utterly cliched - horror setting and nightmare plot ('plat' may be a push), wherein our hapless adventurer finds himself knocking on the door of a mansion for help after a car accident. The owner of the house, an early is, naturally, pretty evil and into devil worship and sacrifice, and it's your job to escape from this madness. You'll meet the usual assortment of ghosts (some friendly), zombies, vampires and helldogs along the way and you'll die a ridiculous amount of times along the way. You won't finish this book without help, even if you're an unapologetic cheater, it's just too hard and too clever - But that's part of the fun. It's also, despite 100 dead ends, instadeaths and attempts to mislead your mapping, completely 100% fair, and when one does make it to the end - even with help - it feels like a completely satisfying experience. Steve Jackson's somewhat basic writing is the book's biggest weakness. I don't think the FF team ever decided to experiment by pushing literary boundaries, but there's strength in the simplicity. It all adds to a work that's a complete pacage though, since the artwork is of a very high standard and brings the encounters to life nicely(and for a game aimed at young teenagers, pretty damn macabre). I couldn't recommend this one highly enough if the thought of a gamebook doesn't bemuse you. It's probably not an entry level adventure due to the complicated nature of the maps and the obscurity of the correct route through, but it's definitely a Fighting Fantasy work that any fan of the genre should experience.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Graham

    I loved these FIGHTING FANTASY gamebooks as a kid but HOUSE OF HELL was something slightly different - not a fantasy book but a horror one! Needless to say, at the age of 12, playing this in my darkened bedroom, I was extremely frightened. I can still remember the adventure unfolding before me. The car accident, the rain, entering the house. The odd butler and the rooms with weird noises coming out of them. The gore and the vampires and the monsters in darkened corners. My heart would beat a litt I loved these FIGHTING FANTASY gamebooks as a kid but HOUSE OF HELL was something slightly different - not a fantasy book but a horror one! Needless to say, at the age of 12, playing this in my darkened bedroom, I was extremely frightened. I can still remember the adventure unfolding before me. The car accident, the rain, entering the house. The odd butler and the rooms with weird noises coming out of them. The gore and the vampires and the monsters in darkened corners. My heart would beat a little faster as I turned each page to find out my fate - and then slow when I realised I'd survived, only to quicken again ready for the next trial. Great stuff!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Hank Lancet

    I may have read all of these books as a kid, but this one was the most memorable. I remember the first time I watched the Rocky Horror Picture Show, I kept thinking of this book, Lord Kelnor, the Earl of Drumer, entertaining me, his guest of circumstance. I still vividly remember all of the demonic room names as well as how to "win" this book adventure.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Deviki

    Embarrassing as it sounds I had trouble winning this book I lost like 5 times ….yes very embarrassing indeed….but still I had a very good time playing this game !!!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Michael Kelly

    This is definitely a classic gamebook. I wasn't able to get very far in it at all as a child, but have persevered till I cracked it this time round. It's very hard and there are several instances where a wrong turning will doom you. However, unlike most others, this book plays with your mind, offering a series of further choices, every single one of which will ultimately lead you to an unavoidable death. This means that you may play through a particular series of rooms several times till you rea This is definitely a classic gamebook. I wasn't able to get very far in it at all as a child, but have persevered till I cracked it this time round. It's very hard and there are several instances where a wrong turning will doom you. However, unlike most others, this book plays with your mind, offering a series of further choices, every single one of which will ultimately lead you to an unavoidable death. This means that you may play through a particular series of rooms several times till you realise that the whole damn section is a huge red herring! It's so effective and so well done that it adds to the atmosphere of horror instead of being frustrating. As I began to discover - and finally completed - the optimum path, it was actually very easy and all of the encounters along that path were fair. It's just so easy to get led astray from the true path! The story is a Dennis Wheatley / Hammer horror style of affair, akin to 'The Devil Rides Out', with blood sacrifice and demons in a manor house in which you are forced to spend the night after a car crash. All of the archetypes are there: the creepy butler, the hunchback, the suave but sinister host. Plenty of cultists, ghosts and other horrors too. In order to win, you need to find the Kris Knife, and it's pretty well hidden. You can't locate it by chance, you need to handle two key encounters in a specific way in order to acquire a password and the location of a particular secret door. Oh yes, this house is riddled with secret doors and passages! This makes it very difficult to map, which is awkward, as this book really needs to be effectively mapped for future replays. After finding the same room appearing in two or three different places on my map as I got lost and took secret passages, I found the most effective method to be mapping my choices instead of trying the impossible task of mapping the rooms. A great read, very effective and compelling, but be prepared to die often in horrible ways before discovering the correct route.

  7. 4 out of 5

    David Sarkies

    Dean Kootz goes Fighting Fantasy 23 June 2012 When I was a kid I did read this but found that this book was not only quite hard but also of a genre that I was not particularly interested in. Personally I really do not like the horror genre, particularly when the genre involves haunted houses and ghosts. However this is not a typical horror story like Dean Kootz would write, but rather it is a game book using the horror genre as a background. It appears that the writers of the gamebooks (Steve Jac Dean Kootz goes Fighting Fantasy 23 June 2012 When I was a kid I did read this but found that this book was not only quite hard but also of a genre that I was not particularly interested in. Personally I really do not like the horror genre, particularly when the genre involves haunted houses and ghosts. However this is not a typical horror story like Dean Kootz would write, but rather it is a game book using the horror genre as a background. It appears that the writers of the gamebooks (Steve Jackson that is) has decided to move back to the experimental stage with this book and I must admit that it is actually really well done. As I am now reading through my collection of Fighting Fantasy books again, it is my intention not to actually skip any of them (unless of course I do not have a copy and am finding it very difficult to get my hands on one, but I doubt that that will happen until I reach the mid to high 40s). So when I picked this one up expecting it to be one of the less impressive ones that I have to read I was really surprised. The book is set in the modern day, possibly England (and since the authors are English this is not surprising) during a dark and stormy night (what do you expect from a horror story). Your car breaks down and the only house nearby is an old run down mansion, and since it is raining heavily, you make your way to the mansion for shelter. Unfortunately this mansion is owned by a very nasty person who is a member of a very nasty cult, and upon entering the house you discover that not only must you survive the night and escape unharmed, you must also defeat the 'master' of the house. Jackson introduces the fear score in this book, something that has been used with other games of the similar genre. No longer can you play the fearless character because things happen that cause your fear to go up, and if it reaches a certain level, you die of fright. I have seen this used in the Dungeons and Dragons Ravenloft setting, and Call of Cthulu used something similar called the insanity score. I feel that Cthulu's system is a little more realistic since if you are metaphorically scared to death you are much more likely to go insane than to actually 'die of fright' but that is a moot point. This book is actually quite tricky, and like a number of other books, if you make the wrong decision it can prevent you from completing the adventure, though you will not know that until much further in. Further, there are a couple of rooms (the Kitchen and the Ceremonial Chamber) that if you enter there is basically no way to escape. The house is quite small, and also quite mappable, though the trick with the book is that the house is inhabited and you cannot alert anybody to your presence. You also start of with no weapons, meaning that you have to find something to defend yourself with while exploring the house. A couple of hints to help you successfully finish the book. It is best to go in through the front door and examine the paintings on the wall. One warns you not to drink the white wine, and when you go to dinner you are given choices of what to eat. While the white wine is obvious, it applies to all of the food, and the hint is do not eat anything that is 'white' (cheese, duck). You will not be drugged and you will meet the hunchback (do not attack him). Secondly, the best way into the cellar is through the trap in the drawing room namely because you meet the hunchback again and he will give you a hint to what the password is. The book uses numbers hidden in the text to complete the adventure (though some, such as the pentagram, are red herrings, there are a lot in this book) and there are certain places that you have to go to. However the one thing I did not like about the book is that you do not get to free the prisoners in the cellar. When you kill the master you run out of the house and it burns down. This is a shame because there is an hysterical woman in the basement who is basically a damsel in distress, and it would have been good if you could have killed the bad guy, rescued the girl, and then lived happily ever after.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rich Stoehr

    Though I read and enjoyed most of the interactive Fighting Fantasy book series when I was but a lad in my teenage years, 'House of Hades' is the one that I remember most, for two reasons. First, unlike most of the FF books, which were fantasy role-playing (with a few science fiction stories thrown in for good measure), 'House of Hades' was firmly in the horror category, starting with your character showing up at a spooky old house and becoming trapped within its walls to experience the terrors wi Though I read and enjoyed most of the interactive Fighting Fantasy book series when I was but a lad in my teenage years, 'House of Hades' is the one that I remember most, for two reasons. First, unlike most of the FF books, which were fantasy role-playing (with a few science fiction stories thrown in for good measure), 'House of Hades' was firmly in the horror category, starting with your character showing up at a spooky old house and becoming trapped within its walls to experience the terrors within. In other words, right up my warped little alley. Second, it was the most difficult one. Most of the FF books I could figure out pretty quickly, but something about 'House of Hades' stumped me again and again, and I must have traced a path through its pages at least ten times before finishing it to my satisfaction. I'm tempted to find it again to see if I have any better luck as an adult, but I expect I would just embarrass myself. FF books were some of my favorites as I grew, and this one had to be my favorite of the series. I wasted far too much time figuring it out.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Paul Christensen

    ‘Come on, drink your brandy, there’s no need to be nervous. We’re truly normal folk round here, not satanists or perverts…’ Thus spake the Earl of Drumer when you came in from the rain. But: "The tall cage or the small cage, what will cause the greatest pain?" Is what you’ll come to hear if you can’t find certain rooms, And certain hidden passages, to escape your dreadful doom. The Man in Grey, the Man in White, Morgana in Abaddon And the old dullwitted hunchback serve to aggravate and madden; But unles ‘Come on, drink your brandy, there’s no need to be nervous. We’re truly normal folk round here, not satanists or perverts…’ Thus spake the Earl of Drumer when you came in from the rain. But: "The tall cage or the small cage, what will cause the greatest pain?" Is what you’ll come to hear if you can’t find certain rooms, And certain hidden passages, to escape your dreadful doom. The Man in Grey, the Man in White, Morgana in Abaddon And the old dullwitted hunchback serve to aggravate and madden; But unless you find the Kris Knife to confront the Hellfire Demons And their evil lord of Drumer…I’m afraid you will be screaming.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Siobhan

    If the truth is to be known, these books are fun at first. Sadly, however, they quickly grow old. If you have experienced one of these kinds of books you have experienced them all. Whilst the stories differ, the effect they have upon a person is the same across the board. You have fun for a while and then they are put aside. It is okay to pick up one or two throughout your life but I would not recommend going out of your way to buy them en masse. As for which one(s) you pick up… well, that is a c If the truth is to be known, these books are fun at first. Sadly, however, they quickly grow old. If you have experienced one of these kinds of books you have experienced them all. Whilst the stories differ, the effect they have upon a person is the same across the board. You have fun for a while and then they are put aside. It is okay to pick up one or two throughout your life but I would not recommend going out of your way to buy them en masse. As for which one(s) you pick up… well, that is a choice only you can make.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lady Entropy

    This was a very VERY well written and well concept-ed book. So well that when I read it in my tween years, it gave me nightmares, and I wound up giving the book away as I couldn't bring myself to finish it. Maybe now I'll find it trite and even cliché, but I remember having to turn on the light to manage to sleep after reading it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Strangerealms

    This book in the serie is a really nice book. It happens in the modern world where you end up against your will in a haunted house. And getting out... alive is a very hard task. I have redone that one a few times because it's really well written and you face horrors after horrors. I've always cheated with these sort of books so I managed to get out of the house. It's quite an adventure!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Angela Oliver

    Despite being more horror than fantasy, this was one of my favourite of the series. I have always loved the idea of immense haunted houses filled with strange worshippers. Indeed, I was even intending to run a roleplaying game based on it (tabletop) and started mapping it - and I shall have to say - this house is massive! Definitely on the "must re-read" list!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Steveo

    My favorite Fighting Fantasy Book, by Steve Jackson. Now this story lead me to a room which I will NEVER forget. I was so young at the time. The room was pitch black. A floating head appeared and flew into me knocking me over... It repeated again and again until I told my mother I was having a nightmare haha Great story, and one of the creepiest from the series! Read many times.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Louro

    My favorite from Fighting Fantasy series.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Analuabc

    Um dos mais complicados de ultrapassar! Sem falar que era dos mais assustadores pois estavamos maioritariamente desarmados. A sensação de terror e de possiblidade de errar era muito maior.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lina

    Played with my brother and it really was extremely fun, it really got me into the "choose your own adventure" genre. Will definitely check out more books from the author.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rodney McCain

    This book almost gave me nightmares as a kid.... it's the basic stable ingredients for any great horror story...your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere on a dark, wet night...you see a light in the trees, and what you hope to be a save haven turns into your worst imaginings....welcome to the House of Hell, which will take great luck and skill getting out of alive!! I had a couple of other Fighting Fantasy books but they couldn't retain my interest like this one did, so if you only ever get This book almost gave me nightmares as a kid.... it's the basic stable ingredients for any great horror story...your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere on a dark, wet night...you see a light in the trees, and what you hope to be a save haven turns into your worst imaginings....welcome to the House of Hell, which will take great luck and skill getting out of alive!! I had a couple of other Fighting Fantasy books but they couldn't retain my interest like this one did, so if you only ever get ONE Fighting Fantasy book, THIS is the one to get. The writing is nothing special, but the puzzles certainly are, and you should be prepared to get frustrated dying gruesome deaths more than once before you might finally stumble onto the correct 'path' to the outside.... There are a couple of flaws, not least for any male reader being the inability to rescue the poor darling girl in the dungeons and stay alive yourself (poor from Jackson, as this should have been included as a possibility...every lad wants to be James Bond!!), but overall the book is excellent for what it is, and has lived long in my memory, given that I'm now 45 and STILL remember a lot about it from 30 years ago!! Highly recommended if you want to give these type of fantasy books a try.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Spencer

    This was a really fun game book, the writing was decent, albeit a bit cliche and the rpg mechanics well implemented. The main issue I had was that it was a bit too unforgiving and I relied on luck to get anywhere. I'd still reccomend it though, it's an enjoyable horror adventure that is a great way to spend the evening.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lisa *OwlBeSatReading*

    Fighting Fantasies from my childhood! I forgot about these! Loved them!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Shawn Michael

    Fun airplane game. Died like twice.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Who

    Despite glowing online reviews, a frusturating maze of unavoidable instadeaths and unecessarily complex navigational schemes. But the atmosphere and narrative aspects are inspired

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lin Gui

    As gamebooks go, this is very badly written. There are instances where, even after going through the hassle of winning a combat or rolling the dice favourably, you are told in the next section that you die anyway. The story is hardly credible as well. I'm searching some shelves and I turn up a bottle containing an unidentified liquid or something; the book asks me if I want to drink it...who in their right mind does that? Sheesh. After dying several times, I just gave up because it was too ridicu As gamebooks go, this is very badly written. There are instances where, even after going through the hassle of winning a combat or rolling the dice favourably, you are told in the next section that you die anyway. The story is hardly credible as well. I'm searching some shelves and I turn up a bottle containing an unidentified liquid or something; the book asks me if I want to drink it...who in their right mind does that? Sheesh. After dying several times, I just gave up because it was too ridiculous.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mr. Twinkie

    One of my favorites but like any of the rest of the books in the series it had some minor issues that I had difficulty dealing with. I disliked that I had to run around in the basement and get killed all the time just because I haven't found one stupid key. I know, it is part of the game but still...

  25. 5 out of 5

    Baluka

    Firstly, this is my first choose your own adventure book. I know some people I "play" this with get really angry about how they "die", but if you just treat it like a comedy it is quite amusing. I loved this book, and I'll definitely be reading some others fairly soon.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rita

    Mais um dos poucos livros da colecção que consegui ter na minha "infância". Não me consigo recordar se li algum bocado desta aventura nessa altura, mas é certo que quando o li há relativamente pouco tempo o adorei.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Déborah Muñoz

    Renuncio. Me gustan los librojuegos con un poco de complejidad, pero este se pasa de complejo, hay demasiadas cosas que recordad, no paro de dar vueltas... y no tengo paciencia...

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kate Robins

    Such a good book that keeps you on your toes x

  29. 4 out of 5

    Royee Chan

    AWESOME

  30. 4 out of 5

    Icedlake

    One of the best gamebooks ever. Do you think true paths are really annoying? Don't take it for granted, cause searching high and low for the right path sometimes could be satisfying.

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