Want to play an RPG but without those pesky things called friends? Enter Steam Highwayman, a steampunk choose your own adventure gamebook. Take to the roads as a highwayman whose only possessions are the clothes upon their back, gun and sabre at their side, and a Velosteam bike under their feet. Right off the bat your choices determine starting skillset and direction of travel. With only a set of dice and your wits to determine your fate, be careful. As you speed through the world you decide what type of highwayman you wish to be: Punisher or Robin Hood. Seek out codewords and other secrets that can be carried over volume to volume.
If this sounds like the kind of experience for you, check out the Kickstarter where you can purchase the first gamebook volume for £15.00. Because this is a gamebook there aren’t any “kickstarter extras.” Unless of course, you count the £200.00 6 hour 1-1 session with the game maker where he will reveal all his secrets and help you create your own gamebook.
Steam Highwayman is also utilizing social media to release content. Instead of just setting Kickstarter funded goals, which are exclusively about illustrations. Steam Highwayman is setting social goals as well, the first 100 Likes on Facebook has earned a PDF document about the design aspects of the character with illustrations by Ben May. More will be added as the campaign started to pick up speed.
Unlike other game kickstarters, Steam Highwayman actually has a small demo to give you the feel for how the game plays and what you can expect from Steam Highwayman. I played the demo, I won’t spoil anything for you though as this is a game best experienced.
I did enjoy flipping through pages and your choices do make a very different game. Instructions are a little unclear if you have never played a game this way before but once you pick it up it’s extremely understandable. While the game does rely on die rolls, combat does give you the chance to not die because RNG is not in your favour.
Steam Highwayman is created by Martin Barnabus Noutch who got a job in the Marlow area and while riding his motorcycle through the countryside came to realize why this area was known in the past a highwayman’s dream.