Max, a rather plain guy, finds himself inside a post-apocalyptic survival roleplaying video game. He has no idea how he has ended up in the virtual reality or how to quit it. He has no choice but to play the game.
Shortly afterward, he learns that the game is quite harsh and cruel. Max finds out that in order to survive he has to scavenge, gather various resources, craft warm clothes and armor, upgrade weapons and vehicles, and so on.
Moreover, the entire game world is a full-on PvP zone. So Max has to not only fight brutal mutants but also protect himself against gamers who have teamed up in order to ratchet up their chances of survival as well as against high-leveled players who take great pleasure in murdering newbies.
And all the while Max has been trying to find out what has befallen him, how he has gotten in the videogame, and whether or not there is any chance of exiting the game. Bit by bit he gleans more and more information about the game. He finds out that the game is full of bugs. Later on he also learns that he himself is some kind of a glitch. Unlike all the other players, he feels pain in the game and can interact with some game objects while all the other players cannot…
My Opinion: 109 pages, $1.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Note: This story is filled with technical writing errors. Many of the sentences, while technically ok, are just worded oddly and feel like they were almost translated from another language. It’s going to bug some readers. Examples: ‘I bended over’ instead of ‘I bent over’. ‘I clenched the fist’ instead of ‘clenched my fist’.
I’m not really sure how to describe the novel. It actually feels like a combination of two different shorter stories that were put together.
The first half of the story is very on the rails. The main character (MC) Max, wakes up and discovers very slowly that he’s trapped in a game. He follows quest after quest learning the game mechanics until he leaves. No interactions with other players here, but notifications about their deaths.
The second half of the story is almost the opposite. It’s just the MC running around a sandbox world killing stuff, getting some levels, being killed by other players, and upgrading his powers a bit. There really isn’t a plot or even a goal and the story just ends with a promise of more serialized stories to come.
Game mechanics-wise, I like the combination of survival elements with a psychic magic system and post apocalyptic theme. The game mechanics themselves felt well thought out and balanced. I wouldn’t have chosen the same class that the MC did but there was definitely enough detail for me to plan a character.
Overall, I think many readers are going be heavily distracted by the technical writing issue. The story itself ends up being very slice of life, just following the MC as he does stuff without a plot. While I liked the described game mechanics, everything else felt very unfocused. I’d probably read another novel in the series, but this one didn’t quite reach good for me.
Score: 6 out of 10