Alpha World by Daniel Schinhofen is a litRPG novel about a former prison guard turned prisoner who agrees to test a long-term virtual reality system for his sentence. He begins playing the new VRMMORPG, Alpha World.
Honestly, this book was a bit disappointing. The character interactions were entertaining and fun, the MC’s class was interesting, and I did appreciate that there was a variety to the types of people (mostly NPCs) we encountered. I have two major gripes though; one, grinding is probably the most boring aspect of any RPG, and the majority of this book was grinding. In fact, I would say the middle third of this book could be cut with nothing would be lost but a few fun character interactions and a somewhat interesting boss fight. That’s being a bit too harsh though.
The second gripe is that he was rewarded very early on for exploring, and yet does absolutely no more of it for the rest of the book. That may not seem like a big deal, but one of the main tenants to game design is teaching your players how to play your game. The protagonist does it in how he fights his enemies, why did he ignore the more tangible rewards he was given from exploration to grind?
A smaller complaint but one still important, I lost meaning for the values of the stats maybe about halfway to three quarters in, which is pretty early for a series. I also feel writing is a bit lackluster, not very much description. In contrast, the grammar is certainly good.
I was told there was sexual content in this book, and while there are some sexual jokes and a few sexually charged scenes, honestly, I was expecting (and hoping) for a bit more. I did enjoy what I got.
Despite my many complaints, I do think this is a decent opening book, if a bit bland.
The characters are fun and definitely enjoy each other’s company. 6/10
P.S. I have in fact read book 2 now, and it is /much/ better. More interesting things happen, there is a bit more description, overall superior.