The Grand Game
A heroic epic of one man and his journey in a new world.
Michael finds himself in the realm of the Forever Kingdom, with no memory of how he got there. Uncertain of who he is, he must yet participate in the Grand Game and forge a new destiny for himself.
Dropped into a dungeon of monsters, and strange magics, would you survive in a Game where to lose means death?
To survive, Michael must prove himself. Starting with little more than his wits, he must advance as a player, slaying his foes and gaining experience, all the while improving his skills and abilities.
A world with endless opportunities for advancement and power.
Join Michael on his epic adventure as he deals with the Game’s challenges.
The start of an exciting new portal fantasy epic!
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But it isn't anything special. Man wakes up in lit world and goes on a murder spree. And while it seems necessary, it's not like it's anything new. Still, I find myself rooting for the guy and wanting to learn more about the world. It should be noted that character interactions are mostly nonexistent. Just a dude with swords playing assassin in the dark dungeon.
Lastly, it might say there's 38 chapters, but chapters are short. Expect to quickly power through what's available. Especially if you discount system messages like "goblin slain!" or loot rewards, there really isn't much there.
I read up The Grand Game to find out what the secret sauce was. Synopsis wise it sounded really generic to me - like the bones of any litRPG with no twist, just played straight. But it did get to top of trending and stay there for like a week straight. So I figured maybe it was doing the generic litRPG super well polished and perfected. I sat down and went on to read it.
There IS a hook element - This is a very high tension solo dungeon + munchkin troubleshooting where MC needs to tackle a 4-6 player dungeon at level 1, using only his wits and a stealth build + the first time I've seen a perception build (He can see in the dark against enemies that have a hard time seeing in the dark.) The story is at its best when the MC is coming up with creative methods of beating up his opponents, or bypassing traps.
There are two gripes I do have with this: Misleading synopsis - the reason I put off reading this book for so long is 100% because of the synposis. And it's a shame to think if this story hadn't been on top of trending for so long, I'd have missed out entierly on it.
It didn't let me know what the real meat of the story would be like up until I read it myself to find out. If it had been something more like "X needs to fight his way alone in a dungeon made for a large higher level party, with only his creative solutions as leverage." It would have been a lot more accurate to what the story is about. Or some kind of synopsis that lets me know "Ok, this book is about finding interesting ways to beat stronger enemies."
Second gripe is the system messages. I think other reviews touched on those, they're not well done. I found myself enjoying the book a lot more the moment I ignored the messages, since many of them can easily be skipped. "You have hit goblin!" should really be ommitted, which would be dirt easy for the author to do: Mention it happen once, and then have the MC say they're keeping track. If it's something important, the MC can make a note themselves thinking "My combat log showed I did a critical hit on the hand, looks like my skillset was working!"
There are some system messages that should stay because they're directly relevant to the plot - messages where the system lets him know he's sucessfully hidden from enemies. Even if he doesn't know there are enemies around, which is why those are important to keep up. I never had an issue reading those system messages as they felt important. The other fluff though? Consider putting it on the chopping block Mr. Tom
Otherwise, it was a great little romp to read! Would happily recommend!
Ch 59 edit: It becoming worse lately. Human interactions dont look natural.
So far (ch 30) it's a totally readable story for people who like the genre. Not much diffrenet from other RR flagship litrpg, but in a good sense.
Stile - good enough. No overly long expositions or infodumps, writing have visual, near cinematic quality.
Wordlbuilding - nothing special, but not bad either. No glaring contradictions or careless decorations.
Plot - paicing is good so far, plenty of actions but not too much, again no glaring contradictions or idiot balls.
Character - only one so far, mot much introspection but not completely flat either.
For people who like DotF and like. Not recommended for people who despise gamelit.
Okay, after reading this book some more and a few others like it I'm seeing some of the things people are complaining about. Chapter one was fine with very few errors but the second chapter had misplaced punctuation, info dumps, and I kept wondering when the heck he'd have another party member to talk with. Characters need to have some dialogue with other characters besides themselfs in a story. (The bat isn't enough imop.) A character can't grow without interaction.
Still, overall I like this story and think people are being too harsh with it. A few edits and a couple of rewrites and I bet we'll see a change as the writer grows. I'd say come back in a few weeks and give the writer a chance to learn more. As is it's good if you ignore that it's like some of the other game-like stories on here. (I'm still new to this genre so please don't fault me.)
I like the main protagonist as he seems to have the intelligence to fight back against the master but is confused and trapped due to circumstances out of his control. I worry that the writer will get stuck later on if they try to force the protog. into doing things against his character just to fit the plot, so keep an eye out for that.
From what I read in the story I get the feeling that the MC will try and fight back against this at some point.
I do wish for less info-dumping, it's best to trickle information at the right spot as late as possible while still being fair to readers. Otherwise, if all the information is given at once it gives little reason for readers to continue reading. As there are over 20 chapters a revision to address this would work well. (I stop every 20 or so to check for problems.)
If lost remember:
What does the character want?
What are his goals?
What is the lie they tell themselves?
What do they really truly need, even if they can't accept it?
What is the main plot?
Has the plot changed as the character grew?
If so does the plot need to be changed to address this?
What information is needed right now?
What info can be saved for later to keep readers engaged?
Cut ruthlessly! Chapters can always be saved in a document if you end up not liking the changes.
Update: Later on the writer gives an antagonist an OP spell then completely breaks the suspension of disbelief. so that really needs to fix and a more clever way of putting the MC out of commission is needed. It feels like they are overthinking things and bending around to work with making the MC a bit too powerful. and not making the current antagonist match them and or exceed them some.
It's not about the spells and things it's the story, the characters, and the plot. So if a thing isn't working try something else or take it out. This is a kill your darlings moment. We love our world our stuff, characters but sometimes they need to be c/p and put in a text file to keep the plot moving correctly with the inworld logic.
The grand game is one of those novels you can't keep yourself from stopping. I myself, binged the whole 20 chapters in one go, stuck in my chair, wondering what would happen next. And even though the work is hinged on tension, each chapter has a mini-resolve on itself and not dependent wholly on cheap tricks such as cliffhangers.
The style choice using the first person POV here was spot on in carrying the next unknown, namely which kind of danger that the MC would run into. Additionally, the use of minimum, almost white room description, leaves a lot to the imagination, making the readers construct an image of their own that add another layer of oomph to that already thick tension.
For the story aspect. It's your standard isekaied amnesiac, executed to perfection. Little hints that dropped are teasing a bigger promising whole.
Character-wise, the MC himself is what you could describe as a smart and cautious MC. Proved by his earliest chapter decision to basically using his fellow candidates as 'road opener', a meatshield by any other name.
His only goal was to survive the whole shebang and survive he did; ignoring the most tempting choice for the most reasonable one. If there is one thing that could be nitpicked is some of the encounters kinda teeter on plot armor. As if his rash decisions, the few that he made, had no long-lasting impact and get fixed instantly by the next scene.
This, however, could simply be assigned to the fact that it was still a training phase, and admittedly some people are just lucky. Not to mention an MC of a story.
Personality-wise, the MC quite fleshed out and was logically consistent. And the way how his amnesia was written is beautiful.
For supporting characters, however, earlier readers would found that his familiar was more of an exposition tool instead of a fully fleshed character. However, this was fixed when the author introduced the familiar motivation
Grammar is not my specialty. But since I didn't even found one typo or one jarring sentence, I'd say it's readable.
In conclusion, this is a story that very much worth the read. Although reader is advised to at least have several chapters in stores to binge before attempting to read it because I assure you, the curiosity is killing.
For thing that came to mind while reading this:
The early plot is oddly similar to Dungeon Reset.
As I'm writing this, there is +60 chapter and the MC only experienced three days so it's honestly slow-paced.
Though it doesn't feel slow at all. In those three days, the MC have survived numerous life-threatening encounter, kill more than sixty goblins, made friends, gear up and got plenty of new skills.
So there is actually a lot of things happening in those three days and the only complaint I can think about is that such growth in such a short time feel unrealistic.
But it seem that once the first growth spurt is done, people in that world are mostly stagnating for there is limited slot to learn new skills and such. The game-like world mechanic is clearly missing the ability to forget and retrain which is fairly common in all RPG with such skills limitations.
Or at least, it didn't appear yet as the MC's familiar is holding back a lot of vital information from the MC. So maybe retraining exist and the MC did not discover it yet. But the MC is also suppose to be familiar with game and that mechanic is really fairly common.
This novel doesn't bring anything new. But it's a fair, entertaining feel-good lit-RPG. Easy to read but forgettable. You probably won't regret reading it. But you won't miss anything if you don't.
That is for the story. The MC is equally forgettable with the convenient amnesic blank slate with no background, average intellect and moral value, yet somewhat insanely lucky. As I said, it's easy to pretend be the MC while reading it, binge watch the whole thing and happily go to sleep.
The grammar is good enough for my english proficiency. The style is easy to read and kind of make you crave for more. It's not a masterpiece but kind of a mindless guilty pleasure.
Pretty good so far in my opinion. This story is a slow-burn as all the other reviews are saying but I find the chapters relatively short and concise and easy to get through. I personally like the direction this story is going and if your looking for a slow-burn, lit-rpg with a solo intelligent MC with many more chapters to come, this is the story for you. Also if your looking at other reviews saying there's a lot of unnecessary detail and system messages I think the author has taken most of them out or edited those chapters to have less, as I dont see an abundance of them. If you read this story and think there's to many system messages....whatever, I just think it doesn't at least compared to other lit-rpg's I've read .
It's a very well written isekai litrpg. Is it full of clichés? Yes. At the same time it is very well done, the action is also visceral, dark and satisfying.
The writing is really good, the MC is calm and relatable and you root for him, the flow is excellent and keeps you hooked. The author did an amazing job at making you not able to stop reading.
The only reason I am giving it one star less is that it has one too many clichés and I am afraid that there isn't going to be much that surprises me.
The clichés are, that the MC is an agility focused chara, is a spellsword, has a wolf companion, these seem to be every MC ever when litrpg genre just started off. Throw in darkness magic and boom you got yourself 2/3s of LITRPG MCs. Would be fun if the MC got skills and classes that do not complement him and instead are actively non-synergistic but the MC was forced to take then due to circumstances and be forced to use them creatively. So far it just seems like the MC is gonna be a spellsword assassin wouldn't be surprised if the next power sets are teleportation and shadow or dark magic.
Despite the good writing I'm afraid that the plot is going to be predictable, hope that the author mixes in some surprises though.
So for those who like a cunning , cautious solo mc. This is it. This is what you have been waiting for.
I personally love slow growth mc's who are cautious and cunning with shades of grey for morals. While this mc has his set of morals he isnt a white knight classical jp doormat simp that uses his other head to rush into saving damsels. There are also no sudden deux ex saved by the plot mechanisms. Where you expect him to clichely go save slaves for instance, he takes the most rational logical route. Where you expect he find miraculous op legendary sword from an easter egg' of the tutorial. He doesnt. Where you think he will magically op solo a goblin army by his own weak ass powers somehow, he doest. Instead, he uses his brain, He uses his whit and cunning where his power is lacking and cunning to escape stickiest of situations. Thus far no romance so +10 in my books
I went in thinking it was just another dungeon crawl cliche novel. But my god are you in for a surprise. It is very very creative and I cant wait to see this on trending.
For those who want a summary: mc basically wakes up w amnesia in a "game", where he is forced to dungeon crawl. The litrpg portion is very well done, in the sense that there are no massive half pages of idiotic stats no one gives a shit about and skims over. The stats are out of the way and are only mentioned when relevant. All we got right now is his cunning conforontation between goblins in the dungeon ( its has its own spin to it dont worry not cliche) .And I am so looking forward to unwinding the plots mysteries and following the mc on his path to becoming an op monster.
Hopefully no anchor of a big tit side charecter shows up later in the story for romance or the god forbidden H word (harem). Apart from that you are in for a treat
Edit: reviewing at the latest ch. And honestly it is still bomb. Author knows what he needs to fix and he is working on it. The haters can chill.
Anyways till 44, the writing has been sound , like i said the author is aware of the flaws and working on it. The story wise. Mc has been making very rational and very realistic choices. He hasnt gone full on murder loss of morals type solo player mode and still sticks to his ideals. He doesnt trust easily for good reasons and had unique classes and skills that arent usually delved into in ur classic litrpgs on rr. It is a different and fresh take on this litrpg dungeon diving genre and I am sure you wont regret it as long as u like cunning solo cautious mcs. I hope it wont fall to "friendship bs power" but we shall see.
A very nice and addictive stoy and a good take on the dungeon crawling litrpg genre. The MC is smart likeble and even with his mistakes pulls the reader into the story. The chapters are a bit on the short side but their frecvency more than makes up for that.