Demian's Gamebook Web Page

Item - Gladiators Game Book No. 1


Series: Gladiators — no. 1
Author: Nicholls, Stan
Date: 1991
ISBN: 1852838655 / 9781852838652
Length: 96 pages (7 challenges)
Number of Endings: 1
User Summary: You must face one of twelve possible opponents in six challenges, then face the dangers of the Eliminator on your own.
Demian's Thoughts: This isn't a traditional gamebook; there's very little text to read and no non-linear page-turning. It's basically like a less interesting version of a Star Wars Episode I Adventure. First you randomly select an opponent. Then, for six challenges, you choose one of four possible actions, using knowledge from your opponent's description to plan your strategy. After choosing the action, you read the corresponding text, which inevitably reveals a complication. After choosing how to deal with the complication, you look up your choices under the name of your opponent and see how many points you scored. After doing this six times, you enter the Eliminator, where five times in a row you roll a die, which randomly gives you thirty points, takes away thirty points, or does nothing at all (at equal odds for any option). After this, your score is evaluated. The whole thing is pretty dumb, with very little text and fairly obvious strategy. The replay value inherent in having twelve potential opponents is nice, but the basically uninteresting gameplay cancels out this benefit. The really big problem is that there's something wrong with the scoring system, which is basically the only potential source of interest in the whole book. The scores in the challenge descriptions don't match up with the scores in the outcome sections, and the scoring evaluation at the end makes no sense -- it breaks the scoring down into "up to 350," "up to 600" and "over 600," but according to my calculations, the highest possible score is 330. Something's not right here! Seems another case of rushing a product out the door to cash in on a popular license without actually bothering to create anything interesting first.

My High Score - 330

More reviews by Demian

Users Who Own This Item: katzcollection, kinderstef (that's not a branching-plot-novel)
Users Who Want This Item: NEMO, SkarnTasKai

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