Demian's Gamebook Web Page

Item - Brain Drain

Please log in to manage your collection or post a review.

(American edition)
(British edition)
Series: Nintendo Adventure Books — no. 12
Authors: Wayne, Matt
Chevat, Richard (Richie) ("text by" credit)
Illustrators: Wray, Greg (cover)
Koehne, Josie (puzzles)
Dates: April, 1992 (American edition)
November, 1993 (British edition)
ISBNs: 0671742108 / 9780671742102 (American edition)
0749715472 / 9780749715472 (British edition)
Length: 121 pages (63 sections)
Number of Endings: 13
User Summary: A day fixing the royal soda machine is disrupted when people (and creatures) mysteriously start switching bodies.
Demian's Thoughts:

This is an undistinguished end to the series; although not as bad as the previous book, it shares some of that volume's flaws. The puzzles don't integrate well with the plot, and some of them are completely random or pointless. Some of the graphic design also leaves something to be desired -- the very first puzzle is supposed to have letters printed on a checkerboard pattern, but rather than actually putting the letters where they belong, the designer has chosen to draw the squares separately and put the letters that go in them off to the left. I assume this was done because it would have been more difficult to print letters on a black background, but doing so would not be that hard and would certainly be less confusing. The adventure's plot, which once again centers on Luigi rather than Mario, has some potential for humor, and while there are a couple mildly amusing moments, it doesn't begin to exploit the full possibilities. This is at least partially because the adventure feels especially short -- although there is only one victorious ending (just like the rest of this series), there are quite a few different ways to reach it. Some involve finding items needed at crucial moments and others involve sheer luck; the variety means there is some replay value in attempting to go back and get a higher score, but it makes the story itself seem somewhat rushed. In any case, I wasn't motivated to do too much replaying, as my rather miserable score attests.

My High Score - 450

More reviews by Demian

Shadeheart's Thoughts:

​​[Rating: 0/10]
[Recommended? NO]

Weak, uninspired and exhaustively incomprehensible, "Brain Drain" slices, dices and chops itself up while draining what little intelligence it may have started with. 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". Without making use of humor or creativity, and in failing to consider - seriously - where the narrative could go - a set-up that horribly forsakes the feel and philosophy of the source material couples poorly with the dry, unfitting line of tedious encounters and puzzles which have little to nothing to do with the book other than to suggest something in an arbitrary, pointless situation. Really, straying this far from logic deserves locking up; most of the efforts seem to be put to use in tying the book up even further in pointless complexity and through routing and re-routing the problems toward other problems.

As an "old-fashioned" Nintendo fan with standards to uphold I cannot recommend this book, not even as 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

Users Who Own This Item: Arkadia, B0N0V0X, bookwormjeff, dave2002a, egokun, Erikwinslow (US), Fireguard, katzcollection, kinderstef, kleme, mlvoss, ntar (American), Sheridan77, twar (UK), TyVulpine, Von Scotty, waktool (UK 1st)
Users Who Want This Item: bbanzai, Cyan, exaquint, Hugues, MasterChief, Mr ?, nelsondesign, NEMO, Pseudo_Intellectual, Radical347, Ryuran333, Waluigi Freak 99
Users with Extra Copies: Pessimeister - british - ex library copy, covered.

Please log in to manage your collection or post a review.