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Item - Doors to Doom

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(American edition)
(Pringles special edition)
(British edition)
Series: Nintendo Adventure Books — no. 6
Translated Into: De duistere deur (Dutch)
Author: McCay, Bill
Illustrators: Wray, Greg (cover)
Koehne, Josie (puzzles)
Dates: October, 1991 (American edition)
November 5, 1992 (British edition)
ISBNs: 0671742043 / 9780671742041 (American edition)
0749713070 / 9780749713072 (British edition)
Length: 121 pages (59 sections)
Number of Endings: 14
User Summary: A mad scientist has unleashed the Doors to Doom machine, which connects different dimensions and thereby creates the means for world conquest!
Demian's Thoughts:

This is an above-average book brought down by some serious flaws. While reading through for the first few times, I really enjoyed myself. The book offers a change of scenery by sending Mario and Luigi into the worlds of Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr. in addition to the usual Super Mario Brothers stuff, and the puzzles are almost all genuinely challenging and interesting. The problem comes from the book's overall structure. There's no coin-collecting this time around, but points are accumulated as the story unfolds. At the very end of the story, you need at least 410 points in order to win. However, after extensive mapping and head-scratching, it seems to me that the highest possible score is 370, and even this is only attainable by intentionally answering one puzzle incorrectly and then looping around before giving the right answer. Of course, since there are loopback opportunities, it's possible to count points more than once and thus score infinite points; perhaps this is what the author intended, but if so, it's a pretty cheap shot. In any case, I was prepared to herald this as the best book in the series so far, but this design flaw, combined with a rather anticlimactic ending, prevents me from giving this adventure the praise it would otherwise deserve. Good stuff, but sadly not quite good enough.

My High Score - 370 (no points counted more than once)

More reviews by Demian

Shadeheart's Thoughts:

[Rating: 1/10]
[Recommended? NO]

With the most bizarre set-ups in the series, "Doors to Doom" takes one of the most unpredictable, inconsistent and not-always-effective storylines and manages to continually take readers where they least expect it to. As elementary as the other "Nintendo Adventure Books" were, this gamebook bears very little resemblance to the source material and, quite rightfully, equally leaves Mario fans dumbfounded at the mockery that is this "adventure". Indeed, the antagonist is completely bizarre, a little humorous at the beginning but quickly relegated to background status, just as the setting takes off in a great array of directions. The reason for either the set-up or the setting is never explained, and while it can be refreshing it also results in a more disconjoined, too varied situation that doesn't offer enough substance to come together and keep readers fully invested. These flavorful but flawed throwbacks hardly allow for further character exploration, for example - something which might have spiced things up apart from the unusual beginning. Nevertheless, the flaws - including strange puzzle arrangement, as with the rest of the series - come to a pinnacle of sorts in Subcon, where it is fully possible to endlessly circle in a very frustrating multi-pronged loop that doesn't even try to make any sense.

As an "old-fashioned" Nintendo fan with standards to uphold I cannot recommend this book, save as perhaps a historical timepiece to know once existed, part of the yet woefully inconsistent period in which it was written and published, catalogued not only in Nintendo's legacy but in that of child-oriented gamebooks as a whole. Really, though, with an underwhelming adventure like this... the not-so-creative series is begging for a GAME OVER. ^^

(Mysteriously disappears into the shadows.)

More reviews by Shadeheart

Errata:The puzzles on pages 91 and 99 should be switched.
Special Thanks:Thanks to Fireguard for the errata.
Users Who Own This Item: B0N0V0X, bookwormjeff (pringles), dave2002a, egokun, Fireguard, jdreller, katzcollection, mlvoss, Mr ? (British Edition), nelsondesign, ntar (American), plowboy (British), Radical347, RyanThunder (American version), Sheridan77, twar, waktool (AU 1st)
Users Who Want This Item: bbanzai, Cyan, exaquint, Hugues, MasterChief, NEMO, Pseudo_Intellectual, Ryuran333, Von Scotty, Waluigi Freak 99
Users with Extra Copies: bookwormjeff - pringles

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