Demian's Gamebook Web Page

Item - Shop Till You Drop...Dead!

Please log in to manage your collection or post a review.

Series: Give Yourself Goosebumps — no. 25
Translated Into: ¡Compra hasta caer muerto! (Spanish)
fèn nù fēng yāo de bào fù / wǔ yè shāng chǎng guài shòu pài duì [愤怒风妖的报复·午夜商场怪兽派对] (Chinese)
Ozhivshiy maneken [Оживший манекен] (Russian)
Varehusets redsler (Norwegian)
Author: Stine, R. L.
Illustrator: White, Craig
Date: January, 1998
ISBN: 0590397761 / 9780590397766
Length: 133 pages
Number of Endings: 27
User Summary: Your friend Reggie makes a bet that you and another friend named Julie can't survive the hour from midnight to one A.M. in his father's store, which he claims is cursed. You foolishly accept.
Demian's Thoughts:

This is the first book in the series to include a plot line that's largely non-linear and that uses inventory management to prevent the final battle from being won too quickly. Although not a total triumph (there's a continuity error or two that crop up if you do things in the wrong order), it's a decent gamebook, featuring some genuinely interesting gameplay. It sort of reminds me of the Megaman video games in that you have to conquer certain areas first in order to acquire special items which make victory attainable in later locations. The adventure is further enhanced by the fact that an effort has been made to make the little puzzles more interesting and challenging than usual -- the word search puzzle is somewhat unconventional, and the maze is both tricky and restricted by a time limit! The paths that don't lead to the non-linear part of the book aren't nearly as interesting, but they're certainly no worse than average for the series. This is a book worth reading, and if you enjoy it, be sure to also grab a copy of You're Plant Food, which does the same thing, only with even more success.

More reviews by Demian

KenJenningsJeopardy74's Thoughts:

Because they don't include interior illustrations, R. L. Stine's Give Yourself Goosebumps books have a lot of story content compared to other gamebooks for this age group. Many feature an extended central quest with a few alternative routes for readers who don't want to engage with the quest, and Shop Till You Drop...Dead! is an example of this. You and your friend Julie are ready for a night of thrills when Reggie Mayfield dares you to spend an hour in his father's department store after midnight. Mayfield's Bazaar is a seven-floor shopping bonanza, but Reggie claims that after twelve A.M. it becomes a haven for monsters and ghosts. If you and Julie last an hour in the building, Reggie will give each of you any one item from the store. It's a deal too good to pass up, but you and Julie are nervous as you step inside and see a note from Reggie taped to a glass case. His writing isn't entirely clear; does he want you to go to Floor One first, or Floor Seven? Your decision will determine the trajectory of the adventure to come.

On Floor Seven, your exploration is interrupted by an earthquake that rattles Mayfield's Bazaar to its foundations. Lethal chunks of plaster rain from the ceiling, and the elevator that brought you to this floor plummets to the bottom of the shaft. You'll have to find another way to evacuate, but Floor Seven is crawling with supernatural enemies. Mannequins come to life and harass you, a werewolf blocks your path to the stairs, and a night watchman—who happens to be a vampire—pursues you relentlessly. If you attempt escape from the roof, you run into a pack of living gargoyles that don't take kindly to the intrusion; if you climb down the vacant elevator shaft, you might meet Dr. Sheila Mayfield, a recluse who creates toys from a fusion of mechanical parts and the limbs of live animals. Whatever you do, you'll have all you can handle to survive Mayfield's Bazaar and rejoin Reggie outside at one A.M.

Did you think Reggie's note was telling you to go to Floor One first, not Floor Seven? If so, you enter the book's main quest, a scavenger hunt to retrieve a specific item listed by Reggie from each floor. He wasn't kidding when he said the store is awash with supernatural baddies after midnight; every floor has terrors that can kill you and Julie. You already have the Floor One item by the time you see Reggie's list, but you can take the remaining floors in any order you'd like. Will you go for the Poisonous Perfume on Floor Two? Finding that exact brand will be difficult, and you only have an hour before you need to meet Reggie outside. The Heart Attack Backpack on Floor Three is the most dangerous item on the list; beware its hypnotic pull. The Baby Booties may come in handy later if you survive the toils of Floor Four, and so will the Silver Arrow...though a cunning adversary resides on Floor Five, guarding the prize. Floor Six holds unique dangers, but a surprising source will volunteer to expedite your search for the Volcano Steam, if you solve a puzzle first. You don't want to know what will happen if you go after the Volcano Steam on your own. At any point you can head to Floor Seven for the final showdown, against the most gruesome beast in Mayfield's Bazaar. The items you've acquired on each floor will go a long way toward enabling you to emerge victorious, but even then you must be savvy if you're to exit the store alive. The past hour has been more than you bargained for when you accepted Reggie's dare. Shop Till You Drop...Dead! is one of the most promising concepts I've encountered in interactive literature. If only its execution were half as good. The writing is awkward, story branches that loop back around don't always transition coherently, and there's a decided lack of discipline to the narrative. I love the quest structure, though, and can easily see this book being an all-time favorite if it delivered on its potential. Despite the flaws, Shop Till You Drop...Dead! is an enjoyable story to take out for a spin every now and then, a reminder of how good the Give Yourself Goosebumps series often is, at least in theory.

More reviews by KenJenningsJeopardy74


Somto Erinne reported a couple of mistakes:

1. On one page, Julie suggests getting Volcano Steam, but because the pages can be visited in any order, there's a chance you may already have the Volcano Steam.

2. Page 130 asks if you have Poisonous Perfume or a Heart Attack Backpack. It's possible to have neither of those items, but for some reason, the "If you have neither item, turn to Page..." option is completely absent. It seems that the author forgot to think of what would happen if the reader did not visit all of the pages...

Users Who Own This Item: bigcobra, Darth Rabbitt, david the goosebumps fan (US,UK), Gamebook, jdreller, katzcollection, killagarilla, kinderstef, knginatl, novelist1982, Pseudo_Intellectual, Stargazer, Stockton, swordmaster009, twar, vinler, waktool (US 1st)
Users Who Want This Item: Ffghtermedic, NEMO, Ryuran333, tonk82, Waluigi Freak 99
Users with Extra Copies: david the goosebumps fan - UK version

Please log in to manage your collection or post a review.

Related Documents

Play Aid

Give Yourself Goosebumps #25 Maze

Give Yourself Goosebumps #25 Word Search