House of Hell
The original cover of House of Hell illustrated by Ian Miller
The Wizard cover of House of Hell illustrated by Nicholas Halliday
House of Hell (House of Hades in the United States) is a single-player adventure gamebook written by Steve Jackson, illustrated by Tim Sell and originally published in 1984 by Puffin Books. It was later republished by Wizard Books in 2002. It forms part of Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone's Fighting Fantasy series. It is the 10th in the series in the original Puffin series (ISBN 0-14-031831-3) and 7th in the modern Wizard series (ISBN 1-84046-417-8). A digital version developed by Tin Man Games is available for Android and iOS.
A short version of the adventure was first published in Warlock: The Fighting Fantasy Magazine. It was made up of 185 references. The adventure was modified and expanded for the final book, but a few of the original references were removed.
The American edition of the book, published by Dell Laurel-Leaf, was titled House of Hades as the word 'Hell' can be considered a profanity there.
House of Hell is a horror themed book, and one of the few Fighting Fantasy books set on modern day Earth. The player's car breaks down during a rain storm, forcing the player to seek shelter in a nearby mansion. Though this is the only Fighting Fantasy book to employ this type of setting, books such as Beneath Nightmare Castle use the horror theme in the more common fantasy setting of Titan.
The player's quest to escape the mansion is hampered by the presence of Satan-worshippers and various demons, though not all are entirely hostile. Much of the gameplay involves searching a series of rooms, most of which bears an obscure religious or satanic titles, including the Shaitan room and the Mammon room. If the reader is to be successful, he must recover a hellfire-forged kris dagger and survive an encounter with the house's Master.
One of the rooms in the upstairs hall of the house has a nameplate with the word ‘Balthus’ written upon it. This name is a direct reference to the main antagonist in the earlier Fighting Fantasy game book The Citadel of Chaos, also written by the same author; Steve Jackson.
House of Hell uses a Fear score in addition to the usual scores. Every time the player encounters some particularly disturbing event, he must add between 1 and 3 Fear points to his total Fear score. Once the character reaches their maximum score, determined at the beginning of the game, he will quite literally die of fright.
As the book is set on modern day Earth, the reader is unarmed at the start of the book and suffers a Skill penalty until he finds a weapon.
In other media
In 2010 Superteam Productions announced they are in Pre Production of a motion picture based on the book, the motion picture is co-written by Steve Jackson. Along with the motion picture there will be an interactive version for Blu-ray and the internet, the official website for the movie is houseofhellmovie.com
- "Open Box". White Dwarf (66): 6–7. June 1985.