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Item - Le rendez-vous du chef

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Series: Astérix - Alea jacta est! — no. 1
Translated Into: L'appuntamento del capo (Italian)
Das Gipfeltreffen (German)
La cita del jefe (Spanish)
The Meeting of the Chieftains (English)
Topontmoeting (Dutch)
Authors: Goscinny, René
Uderzo, Albert
Illustrators: Goscinny, René
Uderzo, Albert
Date: 1988
Length: 334 sections, plus introduction
Number of Endings: 13
User Summary: The Gaulish chief Vitalstatistix (Abraracourcix in the French original) has temporarily left his village, taking the warriors Asterix and Obelix with him. A chief from a neighbouring village is requesting that Vitalstatistix be on schedule for a customary chief meeting, or his people will ally with the Roman invaders. You must set off on a journey to locate Vitalstatistix and bring him back to his village in time for the meeting.
Guillermo's Thoughts:

(Review based on the Spanish translation).

Published in France at a time when the gamebook boom was still going strong, the first book in the Asterix - Alea Jacta Est series is credited to Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo (though it is clear neither of them contributed directly to this book). According to the Planete LDVELH web page, the actual author of the book is Bruno Faidutti, a famous game designer known for board games such as Mystery of the Abbey and Citadels (among others). Unfortunately, while the idea of having a full-colour gamebook based on Asterix is appealing, I was not very impressed with the final product.

To its credit, the book includes a fairly simple but functional game system. All combats and skill checks are resolved using one die, and you can customize your character's attributes from the beginning. Nonetheless, combats and skill rolls are so tough that in order to survive this adventure you must avoid them at any cost. The consequences of losing a fight or missing a skill check are always severe, and you are likely to have to keep restarting the adventure over and over because of bad luck. The Gauls' magic potion can make your life easier, but the adventure can be quite tough even with it. The adventure design, for its part, does not compensate for the difficulty of the rolls. While the book has many places to explore, a successful path through the adventure will most likely require you to avoid most of the characters and stuff you find. Moreover, while the author tries to bring in some of the humour from the comic book series, the writing was never good enough to keep me engaged.

Overall, this is not really at the level of a good Fighting Fantasy or Lone Wolf book, and you can skip it without regret.

More reviews by Guillermo

Special Thanks:Thanks to Laurent Jalicous (aka Warlock-Man) for the cover image.
Users Who Own This Item: bigcobra, brujeria!, kinderstef, rolipo26, saterjee

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