Introduction

Gamebooks are a genre of interactive fiction books which you can play. They are what they sound like - a game enclosed in a book. Your decisions affect what happens in the story, in fact you ARE the protagonist. Most of the gamebooks need you to write down your attributes and/or skills, and so have a Chart at the front for you to fill in the details of your character. A notable exception is Choose Your Own Adventure. This HUGE series does need you to make choices, but you do not need an action chart. For this reason (call me biased), I do not classify them as REAL gamebooks.

My first introduction to gamebooks was when I borrowed two Lone Wolf books, Fire over the Water and The Chasm of Doom, from my friend Timothy in 1992. I was hooked almost from the start. Now, 8 years later, I still love them. I must be one of the few gamebook enthusiasts in Singapore. Many dismiss gamebooks as being targeted at kids, but you will find many that are very adult in content (and by that, I do not mean smut!).

Sadly, not many gamebook series were imported into Singapore, only the more popular ones like Lone Wolf and Fighting Fantasy.

They were most popular when first introduced in the 80s but are very rare now. Gamebooks provide a unique experience for the reader - he gets to read a story while taking part in it. Sadly, the rise of computer games appears to have contributed to the wane in gamebooks' popularity, as this interactivity and more can be found in front of the computer screen, usually in stunning detail.

Sadly, I was born too late to enjoy the wave of gamebooks - by the time I was in a position, both financially and mentally, to enjoy and collect gamebooks, they were all out of print and I had to go to the second hand bookshop. Somehow, I was lucky and managed to acquire quite a full collection even though I only started in 1997 (Secondary 2). On the Net however, Gamebooks are quite alive. Why, there is even a project going on to digitalise all the Lone Wolf books (with the author's permission, of course). You can view it at http://www.bigfoot.com/~TheAonProject/. Hopefully, this will help the revival of gamebooks as a genre.

Gamers.com has a section on gamebooks with links and ratings of the different series. This list is quite comprehensive. You can view it at http://www.gamers.com/obj/0174/174799.asp.

 

Misc Gamebook-related links:

 

Encyclopedia to the World of Orb (Way of the Tiger)

Material on Dragon Warriors : An RPG system based on the World of Legend (Blood Sword)

Demian's Gamebook Web Page (Gamebooks in general and probably the largest list of gamebooks ever)

Covers galore

Home of the Underdogs Get PDF versions of many gamebooks, including:

* 2000AD: Diceman (Full series - Books 1-5)
* Be an Interplanetary Spy (Full series - Books 1-12)
* Cretan Chronicles, The (Full series - Books 1-3)
* Eternal Champions (Full series - Books 1-2)
* Falcon (Full series - Books 1-6)
* Fatemaster (Full series - Books 1-2)
* Find Your Fate - Jem
* Free Gamebooks (ready-to-play gamebooks that are published free of charge on-line, or formerly commercial titles that have been released into the public domain.)
* Freeway Warrior (Full series - Books 1-4)
* Knightmare (Books 3-6)
* Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Gamebooks
* Maxi-Solo (Books 3-4)
* Middle-Earth Quest
* Narnia Solo Games (Books 1-4)
* Nintendo Adventure Books (Book 2)
* Non-game Comics
* Odds & Ends
* One-hit Wonders
* Sagard the Barbarian (Full series - Books 1-4)
* Sherlock Holmes Solo Mysteries
* Storytrails (Book 3)
* Way of the Tiger, The (Full series - Books 1-6)

 

The Books

This is mainly to brag :) . I have all of the LW (Yes, even #22 AND the Companion) and GS ones, 59/59 of the FF ones and all of the Sorcery! ones. See the individual series pages for more information.

 

Dedicated Series Pages:

 

Lone Wolf (Includes Grey Star and Legends of Lone Wolf)

Fighting Fantasy (Includes Sorcery! and Advanced Fighting Fantasy)

Blood Sword

The Cretan Chronicles

Gamebook Authors

Excerpts from the Kai Wisdom and Fighting Fantasy Mailing Lists

 

Disclaimer : Ratings are almost certainly totally biased, you have been warned! (I'd be honoured, however, if you take my word for it :) )

 

Fabled Lands

Number Title Rating ( /5 ) Do I have this?
1 The War-Torn Kingdom 5 Yes
2 Cities of Gold and Glory 5 Yes
3 Over the Blood Dark Sea 5 Yes
4 The Plains of Howling Darkness 5 Yes
5 The Court of Hidden Faces - No
6 Lords of the Rising Sun - No

 

Virtual Reality

Number Title Rating ( /5 ) Do I have this?
1 Green Blood 4 Yes
2 Down Among Dead Men 5 Yes
3 Coils of Hate 5 Yes
4 Necklace of Skulls 4.5 Yes
5 Heart of Ice 4.5 Yes
6 Twist of Fate 5 Yes

 

Way of The Tiger (a ninjaesque series)

Number Title Rating ( /5 ) Do I have this?
1 Avenger 4.5 Yes
2 Assassin 5 Yes
3 Usurper 4.5 Yes
4 Overlord 4.5 Yes
5 Warbringer 4 Yes
6 Inferno 4 Yes

 

Combat Heroes (by Joe Dever also but totally unlike LW)

Number Title Rating ( /5 ) Do I have this?
1 White Warlord 1 Yes
2 Black Baron 1 Yes
3     No
4     No

 

The Cretan Chronicles

Number Title Rating ( /5 ) Do I have this?
1 Bloodfeud of Altheus 3.5 Yes
2 At the Court of King Minos - Yes
3 Return of the Wanderer - No

 

Others:

Maelstrom

Falcon #3 The Rack of Bhaal

Sagard the Barbarian #1: The Ice Dragon
Sagard the Barbarian #2: The Green Hydra
Sagard the Barbarian #3: The Crimson Sea
Sagard the Barbarian #4: The Fire Demon

 

Many of the gamebooks above can be downloaded in PDF format at the Home of the Underdogs!