Video Game Plotline Tester

Dark Herbalist Series, Book 1
Narrated by: Eric Michael Summerer
Series: The Dark Herbalist, Book 1
Length: 11 hrs and 42 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2,722 ratings)

Audible membership

$14.95 a month

Free with a 30-day trial
1 audiobook of your choice.
A monthly selection of Audible Originals.
$14.95 a month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $26.59

Buy for $26.59

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Would you be prepared to work for free? How would you like to bust your hump for a large corporation 60-plus hours a week without a wage or a single day off for the vague promise of some mysterious perks in the distant future?

You'd refuse point blank, wouldn't you? But what if the job in question was playing a state-of-the-art fantasy MMORPG game? And what if this was the only thing you're really good at? Especially considering that your in-game partner is someone really special to you - and this person already lives a virtual life?

Knowing all this, would you consider the mysterious future bonus worth your while?

©2017 M. Atamanov; English translation copyright 2017 by Andrew Schmitt (P)2017 Tantor

What listeners say about Video Game Plotline Tester

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,949
  • 4 Stars
    596
  • 3 Stars
    128
  • 2 Stars
    39
  • 1 Stars
    10
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,967
  • 4 Stars
    490
  • 3 Stars
    88
  • 2 Stars
    13
  • 1 Stars
    5
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,790
  • 4 Stars
    559
  • 3 Stars
    160
  • 2 Stars
    36
  • 1 Stars
    15

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Different and Good LitRPG

First, I thought the title, “Video Game Plotline Tester,” sucked, in fact I almost didn’t buy the book because the Title seemed too institutional and sterile, which is the exact opposite of the story, which I found creative and refreshing with a different perspective on the LitRPG genre. It does describe perfectly, however, how the main character, Timothy, begins the story as a “Dark Herbalist,” for a video game plotline test.
With so many LitRPG coming out all of the time now it seems a challenge for writers to be different and still fulfill all of the needs that make a great LitRPG. In most of these we follow the main character while he/she quickly levels and eventually becomes the hero of the realm. What I like about “Video game plotline tester,” is it doesn’t go by the usual script. Timothy, by design, has to play a low- life character that, by design, has difficulties leveling up.
I’ve listened to the three “Audio,” books that have come out, so far, and I have to say this series tells a good tale inside the digital world and out in the real world of the story, with twists and turns that has me wondering how Michael Atamanov is going to continue in the next book; but I can’t wait, this is very entertaining.


31 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Solid litRPG

What happens when you are put into the worse class with the worst stats and your job depends on making it fun? You think better...

Great story with a blend of R/L and RPG mixed in and an engaging storyline of a guy doing his best in a bad situation. Great for those MMO players who are not your standard golden triangle types and want a person who succeeds by his wits (along with some helpful misfits) Looking forward to the ongoing series very much!

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Like the book

I just wish the character struggles more. His sister has greater struggles than him. I just wish he failed sometime.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

2nd best LitRPG series I've read.

Obviously, I'm only one book into the Dark Herbalist series, but after Chaos Seeds (which is so much better written than any other LitRPG I've come across that I was starting to think it was the exception that proves the rule) VGPT is the only other LitRPG book that I haven't had to face palm and cringe my way through.

Don't get me wrong, there are other good LitRPG plots and story ideas out there but so far I have found that almost all of them were edited by developmentally disabled chimpanzees or not edited at all. And very often the writing is so full of beginner pitfalls that the language obviates my desire to try to make it to the end of a book... regardless of the strength of the plot.

While the Dark Herbalist sometimes suffers from an overly literal translation and consistently suffers from nonsensical sexual situations, it's otherwise very engaging and well written. For once I'm not sitting here wondering what's wrong with all the people who are giving a LitRPG story 4 or 5 stars.

I can't wait to download book 2.

P.S. If you think I'm dead wrong about the genre, I'd love some solid recommendations for well written LitRPG books.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

tough to finish

this was translated to English, which normally isn't an issue, but either the author was overly formal or the translator was overly formal. there were parts I could tell were supposed to be funny but the delivery was totally deadpan and the verbiage was just off. I'm sure the Narrator was part of the problem...the storyline was interesting but it was difficult to pay attention. I plan to return and and won't be reading any others in this series.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Well done! Top 10 of litRPG.

This series has some real potential! It balances well the “technical” growth of stats with action and adventure. Love the use of an unconventional character. I have listened to the first two books and I am hooked! Definitely worth the credit. Don’t get turned off by the silly and cartoonish cover.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Definitely worth a listen

Engaging characters, interesting conflicts and a very cool world. I think that last point was the biggest draw for me, though in general it was a fun and relatively stress-free romp. The ending did fall a little flat, but I'm certainly eager for the sequel.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Ready Player One, but less AND more epic

The sub-genre of sci-fi/fantasy that is developing around videogames is fascinating. I've read a few books because of that fascination. This book. Well, it has elements that made Readu Player One great, but it doesn't have the flaws that made that book hard to read. The title is anti-climatic, but the content made me want to stay up late to listen. This is worth your time. Especially if you've enjoyed books like Reafy Player One. It relies significantly less on reference and nostalgia, and stands firmly on its own as a good story.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • KP
  • 11-29-17

Good story, horrible translation

I wished all through the book that the narrator would stop reading verbatim and correct some of the painfully stilted language.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

highly amused

What did you love best about Video Game Plotline Tester?

I like how big ears has an unusual character and seems to succeed at it which is what you figure will happen when you follow a character around.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Video Game Plotline Tester?

There were a lot of memorable moments. I found it interesting they get in capsules to physically be in the game. I liked him meeting up with his sister in game and she is disabled and can't walk in real life but in the game she can and she feels whole in the game. I caught myself smiling through some events and chanting in the background for other events. LOL

What does Eric Michael Summerer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I like the way he did the voices of characters and the inflection he used while reading. I had a hard time pushing pause to go to sleep or answer the phone at work.

Any additional comments?

I hope there is a book 2 to continue where we left off. We aren't even lv 30 yet so there is a lot of room to make a 2nd book. I almost didn't get this book because the title was a little ambiguous and it seemed like a book for kids, I'm glad I took a chance on it though because in my mid 30's I really enjoyed this audio book! I loved that it was a longer audio book, I really had no idea the book was originally in another language and translated to English. It was really well done!

10 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Non O. Ya
  • Non O. Ya
  • 02-27-18

Not a good LitRPG. Author should play more games.

A bland attempt at a story by an author who seems to have only ever heard of the topic of videogames in passing - from some radio show or vague recollection he must have picked-up sometime on holiday a few years ago.

Packed with glaring plot holes and a frankly bland attempt at world crafting, the story starts to smell generic by the 3rd or 4th chapter (when the MC realizes he's been granted abilities that were mentioned to have been removed from the game, just as an example.)

From the author's glaring lack of understanding of basic game design and general mechanics to the atrocious dialogue from some of the characters (a 14 y/o girl who seems to have the speech pattern of a sage old man from time-to-time) the entire story seems aimed to remove any sense of immersion for the poor soul listening.

For those poor aficionados of the LitRPG genre: avoid this book. You will be physically cringing at some points.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Alex
  • Alex
  • 07-03-19

If you like the underdog

I really dislike very overpowered characters from the get go.

In thins book the protagonist has steady build up. On the top ten list...

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ho-Man Yau
  • Ho-Man Yau
  • 06-26-19

a nice video game adventure

A good start to the video game story. I look forward to the next book in the series.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for The Keyboard
  • The Keyboard
  • 04-09-20

Just plain fun

Listened to this a while ago, so memory is a little fuzzy, but I do remember this being a good, fun, rollicking story. Perhaps not the finest in literature...think of it more like a six-pack of your favorite beer. Maybe not as classy as a fine wine, but so familiar and comforting that you're willing to forgive it's mistakes.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 11-19-18

good

great book. interesting take being a game tester using in game currency as wages. worth a reread I think

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 07-15-17

great book

this is a great book with an interesting concept can wait until the next one comes out

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Lee Redwood. Gorin
  • Lee Redwood. Gorin
  • 05-10-17

hope for more

Kinda relaxing get the feeling big plot stuff will happen in next book (if there is one) but as to what it is?
really enjoying to slow build up to this though. hope for more