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  #1  
Old August 15th, 2008, 03:46 AM
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Gamebooks -- Who has read/played them?

A few days ago I stumbled upon one of the greatest forms of solitaire play ever invented--gamebooks! I had started out searching the net for solitaire pen-and-paper games to amuse myself. I had done this search before, but somehow I missed a mention of gamebooks the first time.

Long story short, I ended up at Home of the Underdogs browsing their online archive of gamebooks. I'm working through the Combat Command series (wow, Starship Troopers!) and want to do either the Narnia books or Middle-Earth Quest next. Lone Wolf sounds interesting, too, but I have to re-find the other website with those and it's a really long series.

I really like the format because it has elements of novels and RPG gaming. The story is cohesive and flows well no matter which path you choose, yet the choices don't feel restrictive at all. I loved Choose Your Own Adventure books as a kid, so these are an amazing discovery for me. They're also nice because I have a hard time getting people to game with me on a regular basis.

Anyone else have stories to share about their gamebook experiences?
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  #2  
Old August 15th, 2008, 06:22 PM
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Re: Gamebooks -- Who has read/played them?

I love solitaire gamebooks myself. I used to be a big RPG player back "in the day" with 2nd Edition AD&D and my high school buddies, while I was all gung-ho with my personal copy of FASA's Doctor Who RPG.
However, after getting a little older and a lot "cooler," or maybe vice versa, I've found that I have lost any and all comfort with sitting around in a group "play acting," no matter how much I still love the genre.
As much as that sounds like a paradox, for me, gamebooks do the trick of satisfying my RPG thirst without all the embarrassing "lightning bolt, lightning bolt, lightning bolt," moments.
The two Solo Play Doctor Who adventures "Rebels Gamble" and "The Vortex Crystal" are my personal favorites, very well written with lots of options if a bit difficult to complete without dying (at least for me). They seem to be plentiful on eBay for about $8 a set.
Another memorable series of solo play books were the Sagard the Barbarian books. It's been years, but I remember being unable to put them down! I've also played the Super Endless Quest; AD&D Adventure Gamebooks and they were good for a rainy afternoon as well.
I've always wanted to play the Middle Earth Quest/Tolkien Quest books, but they seem pretty rare and/or expensive when you can find them.
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  #3  
Old August 15th, 2008, 06:28 PM
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Re: Gamebooks -- Who has read/played them?

If you're not picky about having a bound copy, you could probably print a lot of titles off that site I found. I'll certainly be looking into that once I get my student printing allotment in the fall!
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Old August 15th, 2008, 06:44 PM
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Re: Gamebooks -- Who has read/played them?

Wow. I'm not sure why I never heard of these before now, but they sound awesome. I was always a sucker for those choose your own adventure books and this sounds like an improvement upon that concept.

Thanks for the heads up!

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  #5  
Old August 15th, 2008, 10:31 PM
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Re: Gamebooks -- Who has read/played them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nooblar View Post
If you're not picky about having a bound copy, you could probably print a lot of titles off that site I found. I'll certainly be looking into that once I get my student printing allotment in the fall!
Thanks a bunch! When I first read your post I assumed the archive was just a list of titles. I will be greedily downloading some of these!!
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  #6  
Old August 16th, 2008, 02:36 AM
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Re: Gamebooks -- Who has read/played them?

Just finished the Combat Command Starship Troopers book. It was tough, but not as tough as book #1 (based on Piers Anthony, "Bio of a Space Tyrant"). I suppose it helps to be familiar with the universe in which each story takes place. Hopefully the same holds true for other series!

(BTW, you're welcome, Vette71)
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Old August 19th, 2008, 05:36 AM
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Re: Gamebooks -- Who has read/played them?

I am a fanatic of the gamebook series since the 1980's...i have pretty solid collections of D+D endless quest, Fighting Fantasy and Lone Wolf....i highly suggest trying out Fighting Fantasy...a huge series with a decent combat system.....really alot of fun!! My 2 favorite books are Book#3 Forest of Doom, and Book#21 Trial of champions.
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 02:49 AM
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Re: Gamebooks -- Who has read/played them?

I'm in Georgia for my cousin's wedding, and on the drive down I did Lone Wolf book 1. Pretty good, but without a d10 handy I think the Combat Command battle system was a lot smoother. I hear a lot about Fighting Fantasy, so I'll give that one a try, too.
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  #9  
Old August 23rd, 2008, 03:52 AM
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Re: Gamebooks -- Who has read/played them?

Hey Nooblar, thank you for this lead to the gamebooks!
I'm always on the lookout for solo games I can use while on vacation and the family's gone to bed.

Years ago, I bought that first book in the Diceman series - it's got solo adventures for two of my favorite comic characters - Nemesis the Warlock and Slaine the Berserker!

I'll need to get the other volumes as they all feature Pat Mills as the writer and other great characters like Rogue Trooper, Torquemada, A.B.C. Warriors as well as more Slaine!!!!


I just registered, but am inactive.
Can't wait to see what's what in there!

Re: the Starship Troopers - is this the Avalon Hill boardgame?
Two days back I bid on and won that game on eBay.
I wanted to play the solitaire game it featured!

Much thanks for this lead!

Last edited by Hex_Enduction_Hour; August 23rd, 2008 at 03:57 AM.
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  #10  
Old August 25th, 2008, 12:56 PM
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Re: Gamebooks -- Who has read/played them?

Thanks for the comments, HEH. I like the portability of game books as well. It doesn't hurt either that you can play them in almost any environment, alone or with a friend!

The Starship Troopers book I was referring to is actually one of the titles in the Combat Command series of gamebooks: "Shines the Name." I didn't know there was a ST board game. I might have to check that out.
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Old October 6th, 2008, 10:16 AM
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Re: Gamebooks -- Who has read/played them?

I loved gamebooks back in the days.
I used to bring some to at grandparents house during schools holidays, to play them under the grapes in summer, or near the wood stove in winter ^^

did you know that there are some original italian gamebooks, too?
even Andrea Angiolino (the author of Wings of War) has written some, for example: Il gobbo maledetto.
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Old October 6th, 2008, 10:28 AM
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Re: Gamebooks -- Who has read/played them?

This isn't a gamebook, but I thought it fit here: Pocket Civ is a fun game. Link: http://www.backglass.org/scotts/games/PocketCiv/html/index.htm

I've played it three times and had fun each time. It's basically a pen and paper version of the Civilization computer games. You can print out a board and game pieces, but I prefer to just draw the board. You really just need to print the rules and then get a pad and pencil and you are good to go.

Here is is on BGG: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/28044
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