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Item - Fantastic Fist/MowTown

Series: Play-Your-Way Midnight Arcade — no. 3
Author: Soria, Gabe
Illustrator: Hale, Kendall
Date: March 26, 2019
ISBN: 1524784338 / 9781524784331
hadlee73's Thoughts:

It's a fun read, though with a slightly limited interactive structure. Midnight Arcade Fantastic Fist/Motown by Gabe Soria is part of a series of interactive gamebooks where the reader influences which direction the plot goes. In this case, you play the part of a protagonist who travels into a part of town they've never been to before and while there they encounter a place called the Midnight Arcade. Inside, you are given the option to play one of two arcade machines (you can try the other one afterwards if you finish the first game). This leads you into a narrated adventure where periodically you are asked to decide which button to push or which way to push the control stick on the arcade cabinet. In theory this sounds like a really neat idea, but in practice it is a little lacking. Whereas other gamebooks often allow multiple paths to an objective, or sometimes even wildly different endings, this book (and possibly the others in the series) only has two actual outcomes on most choices you make in the book; so out of anything from 5 to 7 choices each time, generally only one will allow you to progress, whereas the others are either instant death or tell you nothing really happens so try again. There's no real penalty for dying as you can just choose 'continue' to keep going. So if the interactivity is so lacking, why have I rated the book decently? It's actually quite well-written though definitely aimed at a younger audience. I think a young reader would still get a lot of joy out of reading this book. Just be careful, though; if your child (or young adult or adult) is already into gamebooks in a big way, they may find this one not quite as interactive as they would like.

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