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One Night in Payne House

Series: Give Yourself Goosebumps Special Edition #4
Author: Stine, R. L.
Illustrator: White, Craig
Release Date: October, 1998
ISBN: 0590433784 / 9780590433785
Length:135 pages
Number of Endings:23
User Summary: You and your friend Trevor have dared each other to spend a night in Payne House, the setting of a horror movie you've seen many times. Predictably enough, the movie is all too real....
Demian's Thoughts: This book uses the same item-picking game system as the last book, though it adds the ability to pick up additional items; there are a couple things in the house that you can grab for later use. The adventure is also considerably more challenging than the last -- there are quite a few red herrings, and only after you've died many times, receiving hints and knowledge of the house in the process, do you have much hope of winning. There challenge is further enhanced by a "figure out a number and then turn to that page" puzzle along with a clever method of ensuring that the reader has visited a particular location and grabbed a necessary inventory item. All in all, the book has a fairly decent design, since it allows the reader to experience most of the story before winning, though it ultimately feels kind of hollow -- there's really no skill involved in winning; it's just process of elimination combined with luck. It also seems unfair that a reader who weighs under sixty pounds is completely doomed and can't win without cheating. Of course, what more should I expect from a Goosebumps book? Taken in the context of the series, this is pretty good. Taken out of that context, it's mediocre, though not entirely without redeeming features.

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Errata:The second choice on page 71 should probably read "If you didn't bring the bat, or if you don't wish to use it, turn to PAGE 113." Otherwise, it would be impossible for the reader to ever make use of the bat later on in the story, since as things stand, the story only advances if you don't have the bat.
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