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Item - El Retorno del Imperio Cobra

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Series: Imperio Cobra — no. 1
Alternate Title: The Return of the Cobra Empire (literal English translation of title)
Author: Reina, Pompeyo
Illustrators: Reina, Pompeyo (map)
Monés, Isidre (other illustrations)
Date: 2017
Length: 115 pages (50 sections, plus introduction, monster and location index, and acknowledgments)
Number of Endings: 13 (1 optimal, 3 other successes, and 9 failures)
User Summary: Agents from an empire of half-snake, half-human beings have taken your brother prisoner to a distant island. You must journey to the island and rescue him.
Guillermo's Thoughts:

I've never been able to play the board game this series is based on, which reportedly introduced many people in Spain to fantasy gaming back in the eighties. I cannot therefore comment on how faithful an adaptation this is, but I can say that the author does quite a good job in bringing the setting to life. The combination of science fiction and fantasy elements is not too creative, but is nonetheless a welcome change of pace from the archetypical D&D mold used in many interactive books. Structurally speaking, the book is perhaps most similar to the second series of Endless Quest books, consisting of 50 sections of text, most of which are long (but fortunately, they never feel tedious). While there are no character stats or game system, there is an inventory mechanic, with the player being able to choose an object at the beginning from a list of three, plus having several opportunities to gain or lose items in the course of the adventure. The game is fun to play, with the reader needing to collect several items in order to achieve an optimal ending, and several choices having non-obvious outcomes. I would have appreciated a bit more variation among the different story paths, but there is a sufficient amount of good craft on display to consider this book a success. I look forward to reading later books in this series.

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