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Super Mario Advance

Series: Game Boy #1
Author: Wessel, Craig
Release Date: September, 2001
ISBN: 0439367085 / 9780439367080
Length:94 pages (plus 8-page color insert)
Number of Endings:5
User Summary: Mario and his friends must save Subcon, the land of dreams, from the evil Wart.
Demian's Thoughts: This book is an adaptation of the video game of the same name (probably better known as Super Mario Brothers 2 to players of my generation). I have fond memories of playing the original game, so I was quite disappointed by how uninteresting this adventure is. The writing style is extremely flat and boring, featuring little or no description and reading like a summary, not like a novel. There's also a bit of cutting and pasting; while playing as Luigi, I used potions twice in one adventure and ended up reading exactly the same text each time! The game design allows the reader to pick which character to follow, with all paths joining back up in the middle and then possibly branching back out again. Most of the enemies and items from the game can be encountered somewhere or other in the book. This makes for good replay value, but it also means that any individual play-through feels rather abbreviated. I think I would rather have had a single longer path, since that would have felt more like a complete run through the original video game. The book also might have been more exciting with a game system in place. If there were statistics to reflect the different characters' strengths and weaknesses and some sort of mechanism for fighting enemies, it might have compensated for the blandness of the text. As it is, though, I recommend avoiding this adventure; if you need a Nintendo-themed gamebook, stick with the Nintendo Adventure Books.

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