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Dinobots Strike Back

(book club edition)
Series: Find Your Fate Junior - The Transformers #1
Author: Todd, Casey
Illustrator: Schmidt, William (Bill)
Release Date: December, 1985
ISBN: 0345326695 / 9780345326690
Length:73 pages
Number of Endings:12
User Summary: The fiendish Insecticons gain control of the (rather dim) minds of the Dinobots, hoping to turn their powers to evil.
Demian's Thoughts: This is a pretty horrible book. The basic writing style is decidedly jarring -- the book is written in third-person, present-tense with lots of short, condescendingly-simple sentences. Rather than controlling a single character, the reader instead makes decisions for different Autobots at different times, making the book less than immersive. The game design is further flawed by the fact that some of the paths through the book are much, much shorter than others for no good reason -- in a number of successful endings, the Dinobots are saved and the story stops... but in one path, one of the rescued Dinobots suddenly remembers something which causes the story to last much longer. As far as I can tell, there's no reason that this event couldn't happen after all of the endings involving rescued Dinobots, thus giving more gameplay with no additional effort. Seems a bit sloppy to me. My final complaint is that many characters in the book are referred to by name without much (if any) description -- if I knew the toys better, I'd know what was going on, but as it is, most of the characters were extremely vague in my mind. I can see how this would have appealed to a very young Transformers fanatic, and it might still appeal to older, nostalgic fans of the line, but as a pure gamebook, it is close to worthless.

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