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Item - Terrors Out of Time

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Series: Forbidden Gateway — no. 2
Translated Into: Nel vortice del tempo (Italian)
Terreur hors du temps (French)
Terrores fuera del tiempo (Spanish)
Tidlös skräck (Swedish)
Authors: Bailey, Ian
Bailey, Clive
Illustrators: Oakes, Terry (cover)
Heap, Jonathan (interior)
Date: 1985
Length: 375 sections
User Summary: In the previous adventure, you uncovered a magical artifact which you discover can be used for summoning the Egyptian goddess Het to this world. A powerful servant of darkness steals the item from you, with the intention of taking it to Egypt and using it to summon the deity. In order to prevent the world from being overrun by the forces of darkness, you must chase the thief on a journey across Europe, North Africa, and the Egyptian underworld.
Guillermo's Thoughts:

(review based on the Spanish translation)

This book has everything that made Where the Shadows Stalk such a good adventure, while overcoming many of the previous book's flaws. This book is clearly an improvement over its predecessor, with excellent writing and a gripping storyline which manages to convey suspense and horror quite effectively. Also of note is that the difficulty level is toned down: it only took me two tries to reach a successful ending. The first time I played, I skipped the first book and created a character for this one, dying midway through the adventure from a failed skill roll. However, my character's death can be attributed to having bad luck with the dice several times in a row. In this book, there don't seem to be any situations in which a single die roll can mean death; the player is given at least two chances to roll successfully and escape from a dangerous situation. This is one indication that the authors did learn from their mistakes after Where the Shadows Stalk.

Monster stats are considerably lower than in the first book, which means a character with average stats has the chance, if not of completing the adventure successfully (because a tough fight at the end is mandatory), at least of exploring many of the paths and thus helping the player learn his / her way through the book more easily. This book is no cakewalk, though. There are some tough monsters here and there, and being very unlucky with the dice can mean instant failure along some unskippable paths. A word of warning: many magical items are very dangerous to use in this book, much more so than in the first one. One of the main reasons it only took me two tries to complete the book is that my character from book one had very high stats (plus I had exceptional luck with the die rolls).

Overall, this is an excellent gamebook which I highly recommend to anyone interested in something different. My only complaint is that the final part of the adventure could have been better thought-out and designed, but the adventure is already long, detailed and satisfying as it is, so this is not much of a problem.

More reviews by Guillermo

Special Thanks:Thanks to Braldt Haak for the cover scan and Guillermo Paredes for the plot summary.
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