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The Amazing Spider-Man: As the World Burns

(American cover)
(British cover)
Series: Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Gamebooks (American) #7
Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Gamebooks (British) #6
Translated Into: Spiderman, el hombre araña, Mientras el mundo arde (Spanish)
Author: David, Peter
Illustrators: Butler, Jeffrey (Jeff) (cover)
Nelson, Mark (interior)
Statema, John (interior)
Release Date: 1987
Length:242 sections
User Summary: You are Spider-Man. With the help of Doctor Strange, you must travel around the globe and retrieve three pieces of an extremely powerful magic item before the villain Mordo does.
darkatx's Thoughts: The Amazing Spider-Man: As the World Burns is far more action packed than its predecessor. Peter David is a renowned comics writer and his take on Spidey is a bit more relatable. Now, this book is somewhat linear. Die rolls are almost exclusively for combat and Spidey-sense moments; everything else boils down to CYOA options. The book reads more like a CYOA for the first little bit obviously with the intent to bank Karma for the battles to come.

The cover art is fantastic and moody. The interior art is from the same team as before and there is noticeable improvement. It's obvious to see that Statema did some of his own inks apart from where Nelson obviously chipped in with his line-hatching style. There's still some off parts here and there in the art but much better than their previous X-men entry.

Hard rolls pop up from time to time normally consisting of a combined attribute roll, a novelty that sets it apart from the other gamebooks in the series. There are some humourous sudden deaths in this one too. I fell into one and laughed out loud. A point of contention is the story might be targeted to a younger audience. Moments where subtlety might have been appreciated is instead thrust in your face shouting 'This is a clue!' The book is painfully easy; as long as you are not stingy with the Karma and follow the obvious clues along the way you should be alright. It pays to be the hero in this gamebook.

The Stats Card is supposed to be identical to the Spider-Man: City in Darkness gamebook. The glaring Karma value has been corrected in this one with you starting off with 12 points instead of 6. Now for an extra challenge using the lower Karma value would definitely heighten the replay value of this book since there is no hidden clues or multiple endings that I can see.

This felt more like a Spider-Man comic-book and while not as entertaining as the Dr. Strange or Thing gamebooks, it still manages to be fun to read. Mind you, it lacks the intrigue and the emotion of the first Spidey gamebook since this is a gamebook version of a 1980's action movie. Just turn your brain off and enjoy, certainly a nice way to kill an hour when there's not much to do.

More reviews by darkatx

Guillermo's Thoughts: (review based on the Spanish translation)

Despite the fact that it was written by a famous Spider-Man comic book writer, this is a mediocre gamebook. The writing is mostly amateurish and unengaging, and the Spider-Man puns inserted at every moment do nothing to help, either (though let's face it, most of the jokes by Spider-Man in practically every medium are awful). Besides, the characters are for the most part so undeveloped they make most Saturday morning cartoons look like Shakespearean drama. There's nothing terribly wrong with the gameplay, but it's not very creative, either, as it doesn't take long for the player to realize that it all comes down to three things: 1) figuring out which choices to make which will earn you some quick and easy Karma, saving it for later; 2) avoiding dangerous courses of action and heading straight for your goal at every opportunity, and 3) using Karma to ensure success at certain critical points, since there are several chances for dying or failing if you fail a single skill check.

Since most of the real difficulty lies in die rolls, this book will probably be enjoyed by fans of action videogames who like dying again and again before completing the game successfully, while trying to figure out the moves that will make things easier. The book is so bland in terms of both story and gameplay, however, that one can't help but compare it to the other Spider-Man gamebook in this series, City in Darkness, which for all its flaws, was far more interesting in terms of story. Overall, I found no reason to avoid this book like the plague, but if you have just enough change left that you have to choose between this and a hamburger, have no fear and go for the hamburger.

More reviews by Guillermo

Special Thanks:Thanks to Guillermo Paredes for the plot summary and to Fireguard for the British cover scan.
Users Who Own This Item: Ardennes (US), B0N0V0X, bigcobra, bookwormjeff, crazydave, darkatx, dave2002a, domj29, Ed (#6 UK), Fireguard, Gartax, hoops4ever, katzcollection, killagarilla, kinderstef (uk), knginatl (US), le maudit, mlvoss, Pseudo_Intellectual, Sir Olli, sireeyore, Yalius, Zolika
Users Who Want This Item: Braldt, Egghead Nurse, Gibraltar, Malthus Dire, mrwalker, NEMO, nerelax, odo_ital, Uraniborg (UK)

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