m. c. de marco: To invent new life and new civilizations...

One Hundred Escapes from the Crypt: A Gamebook Adventurer Adventure

I’ve been following a new gamebook blog, The Life & Times of a Gamebook Adventurer, via RSS, of course, so when I tried to google him I came up with Gamebook Adventures instead, and that turned out to really be Tin Man Games. After a short detour into their humble bundles, I got back to the blog and its review of a new paperback gamebook, Escape from the Crypt, a short Fighting-Fantasy style RPG adventure of only 100 paragraphs.

Googling it, I found that Amazon really, really wanted to sell me the Kindle version instead. At first I thought it was because I’m not in the UK, but I later came to the conclusion that the books have somehow become separated from each other and the paperback doesn’t know to list the Kindle as a second format, nor vice versa.

I was going to leave the reviewing to the doughty Gamebook Adventurer and only peek at the Amazon previews to scope out the technology as I have before, but I screeched to halt at the second sentence of paragraph 1:

How long was it until your fellow captive lay his final breath unto the world.

Neither the grammar nor the punctuation improves in the rest of paragraph 1, but Gamebook Adventurer assures me that the descriptions are lively and engaging enough. Sadly I don’t have my Kindle Unlimited trial any longer so I can’t verify that the paragraph numbers (the standard in gamebooks of the RPG adventure sort) are actually linked. They do seem to be trying, if failing, to be links in the previews. As the Kindle version of the book has no reviews, I admit I’m a little dubious about it.

I skimmed along to “paragraph” 9, which, perhaps as part of the effort to hold the paragraph count to 100 includes a lot of italicized internal logic about rolling for luck and only having to fight the monster(s) at the end of the “paragraph” if your luck fails. The battle itself is also heavy with internal logic. While I’ve seen short sections of such logic in old gamebooks, paragraph 9 seems a pretty extreme example of the approach, and is begging to be separated into more paragraphs for simplicity’s sake.

Note that book 1 is not the first book of this gamebook series; volume 0, The Last Evil, is a more united paperback/kindle apocalyptic adventure that’s right up my alley but as yet unreviewed. A third volume (#2), The Crypt of the Vampire, is planned for July (in Kindle format only so far):