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Item - Kingdom of Horror

(British cover)
(American cover)
Series: Grailquest — no. 5
Translated Into: Au royaume de l'épouvante (French)
Galskabens rige (Danish)
Království děsu (Czech)
Majuu oukoku no hikken [魔獣王国の秘剣] (Japanese)
Il regno dell'orrore (Italian)
El reino secreto (Spanish)
Author: Brennan, J. H. (Herbie)
Illustrator: Higgins, John
Date: 1985
Kveto's Thoughts: I'd read books 1 and 2, but this is the only one I owned.

This series has a quirky take on the genre, but its humour might not be for everyone. It reminds me of Tunnels and Trolls in that it doesn't seem to have respect for the fantasy world as a serious setting, so your mileage may vary. For me, the silliness of the Frankenstein references and so on was a bit much.

It has a very British style and is much more detailed than earlier British gamebooks like Fighting Fantasy, which is welcome. You feel characterization and interaction.

Most of the book is a city crawl which can be fun with a keyed map rather than the more linear progress in City of Thieves, for example.

I can't imagine completing the book without cheating. You have to revisit Merlin's supply shed often to pick up useful items like a fake beard. His hut is helpfully shaped like a 6 sided die and you roll to see which section you land in. But 6 is the roof (lose half your health points) and 1 is the bottom (instant death). So every time you go back for supplies you have a 1 in 3 chance of dying or getting seriously injured.

More reviews by Kveto

Special Thanks:Thanks to David Malone for the British cover scan.
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Related Documents

Play Aid

Grailquest #5 / #6 / #7 Character Sheet (back)

Grailquest #5 / #6 / #7 Character Sheet (front)

Grailquest #5 Magic Door