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Item - Goal-Minded

Series: Choose Your Path Sports Books — no. 2
Authors: Bolt Simons, Lisa M.
Jacobson, Ryan (editing, game design and rules)
Illustrator: Morrow, Stephen (cover)
Date: October 25, 2016
ISBNs: 1940647207 / 9781940647203 (paperback)
1940647215 / 9781940647210 (eBook)
Length: 156 pages
Number of Endings: 2 (one victory plus one failure led to from 11 places)
User Summary: You are a young Somali immigrant playing for your high school's soccer team. Aside from winning this year's championship, you have to juggle academic and family pressures, as well as your dream of becoming a writer one day.
Guillermo's Thoughts:

The authors of interactive books in the eighties mostly took inspiration from speculative and adventure fiction, meaning that, excepting books with educational or religious agendas, it is quite rare to find a gamebook from that era that focuses on the concerns of real people in the ordinary world. Gamebooks produced more recently have tried to be more realistic by incorporating real-life scenarios (Mystery in the Mansion in the Case Closed series, for example, makes you play a poor immigrant child). This book goes beyond Mystery in the Mansion by making the real-life decisions the young immigrant from a struggling family has to face an integral part of the gameplay. The book is not so much about the tactical part of soccer (though there are traces of it here and there), but about dealing with a variety of situations on and off the field that have an impact on both your team and your family. This is an extremely linear, "one true path" game which leaves little room for error, and the stat management gameplay is almost too simple to be worthy of mention, but the story is so fresh and entertaining for an interactive book that it's easy to forgive its shortcomings. There is also a nice touch in that you can choose from among three different ways of determining your initial talent score: the most innovative one involves how accurate you are kicking a ball into a makeshift goal. Overall, I definitely recommend this adventure.

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