Be an Interplanetary Spy
Be an Interplanetary Spy Box Set (Collection)
¡Captura al Kiriliano! (Spanish)
A Captura de Kirillian (Portuguese)
Finn rymd-gangstern (Swedish)
Fastner, Steve (Third printing - cover)
June, 1983 (Original edition)
December, 1985 (Third printing)
0553235060 / 9780553235067
055325863X / 9780553258639 (Third printing)
121 pages |
|Number of Endings:||
|User Summary:||You must rescue a young prince and retrieve valuable jewels from an evil interplanetary criminal named Phatax.|
This is the first of the Interplanetary Spy series, and it is fairly obvious that they are still working out some of the kinks.
This book has few of the wonderfully idiosyncratic touches of the later books, with a bland character and an underdeveloped villain.
The puzzles are eminently solvable, but not a patch on some of the later ones.
Be An Interplanetary Spy is an illustrated gamebook series geared toward younger readers. It features visual puzzles such as mazes and pattern matching. There is very little branching, as most of the choices are pass/fail, and this produces very linear plots.
Readers are encouraged to interact with the book in imaginative ways. Press your thumb print on a scanner drawn on the page to activate a machine. Create a code name and enter it into a computer along with your height and weight. Enter the book's ISBN number as a secret code. My younger self gladly complied with these instructions. My older self cringes at the thought of marking up a book so glibly.
Find the Kirillian! isn’t great compared to later books in the series. There are a lot of generic bad endings that keep getting recycled throughout. At times it feels like the creators aren’t even trying: "solve this maze and turn to page x." The illustrations are good and the concept is solid, but this outing doesn’t live up to its potential. The premier mission of the Interplanetary Spy gets 2 out of 5 stars.
This isn't a bad start to the series... Some of the puzzles are fairly interesting, though the vast majority are exceedingly simple, pointless, or entirely based on random luck. This book was later released with a different cover, probably because the Space Invaders look of the first cover illustration was a bit dated by the mid-eighties.
A fairly interesting and easy story written with lots of exclamation points. There are several puzzles that do not require solving; the reader is just asked to find their way through a maze or something and then turn to another page. A lot of time is spent flying around in your way cool spaceship, which is derivative of Luke's landspeeder in Star Wars. One thing this story does that really upsets me is asking the reader to choose one of two similar pieces of equipment to bring on the mission, and that choice determines success or failure.
(Review based on the Spanish translation.)
This first entry is a strong start to a classic series. As is usual in the series, it consists of a long, epic space opera story, where a single wrong choice will result in failure. The format works quite well in this case, and the illustrations do an excellent job of making the experience feel similar to a film or video game. As Demian mentioned, the visual puzzles are extremely easy (which I suppose is not inappropriate given that this first book is supposed to ease readers into the series). The adventure is nonetheless fun to read and the protracted battle against the final foe is climactic and involving. I definitely recommend starting the series with this book.
To say the most, I enjoyed this book but would have loved for it to be a little more difficult. I finished it in 30-45 minutes on my first time through. Some of the puzzles in the book are entertaining but could have been way more complex to add to the fun factor. Illustrations in the book are good. The plot to me appears very cliched.
All together, an enjoyable but easy adventure which I recommend to a young audience.
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Known EditionsOriginal edition
Be an Interplanetary Spy #1 - Mendelum Maze
Be an Interplanetary Spy #1 - Sandragon Maze