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Item - The Altimer

Combined Summary

Series: An Interactive Story — no. 1
Author: Isaacson, Samuel
Date: October 18, 2019 (Paperback edition)
ISBN: 1700414453 / 9781700414458 (Paperback edition)
Length: 200 pages; 300 sections (Kindle edition)
198 pages; 300 sections (Paperback edition)
hadlee73's Thoughts:

A couple of bizarre design decisions do nothing to dampen this enjoyable science fiction mystery. You play the part of an astronaut of the future; part of a small group of trainees who eventually qualify to perform a mission in the space ship Altimer (the first section of the book includes your time at the academy). This being a mystery adventure, naturally things don't go according to plan and it falls to you to try and save the ship before arriving on Mars. Once safely landed you will then play witness to a surprising revelation about your journey as well as face further danger as someone attempts to terminate members of the crew. This is very much a book of three distinct acts though all flow into each other nicely.

I really enjoyed reading this interactive gamebook. The writing is clear, concise and engaging. The game system is well-implemented, and leans somewhat towards the player having the most advantages in battle, though still depends much on dice rolls. The skill checks were by far the more challenging element, though failing one doesn't necessarily end in your death. There were a few oddities in the book which in no way affect the gameplay or the plot (I didn't find anything which breaks the player's ability to finish the story). Note that I was reading what was probably the first edition of the book, so I don't know if these will be changed in later editions. There are a few times the reader is told to subtract an amount off a score, only to immediately die later in the same paragraph. Very strange to mark up the Adventure Sheet when you're about to die anyway. There was also one instance where I was asked to fight someone, and then if I won or lost I died either way. That seemed a little strange to make the player perform an entire battle needlessly. Most of the book is error-free but for an odd glitch in which the character of Catalina is referred to as a "He" and a "She" in different parts. Also I discovered one section which asked me if I had a specific codeword when no other section in the book ever seems to give you that codeword. I thought for a moment it might have been a trap to catch cheats, but the resulting paragraph continues as if you'd had the codeword which identifies another crew member as the captain. As odd as some of these glitches are, none of them ruin the book in any way.

I highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy a good science fiction mystery and want to try something with an interactive twist. This book is the first in a series, and I'm already looking forward to the next one!

More reviews by hadlee73

Users Who Own This Item: mir1812, Sir Olli

Known Editions

Kindle edition
Paperback edition

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