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Item - Redcoats and Minutemen: The American War of Independence

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Series: Real Life Gamebooks — no. 5
Translated Into: Pour l'indépendance (French)
Il primo ribelle (Italian)
Rødfrakker og minutmænd : Den Nordamerikanske Frihedskrig (Danish)
Authors: Farrell, Simon
Sutherland, Jon(athan)
Illustrators: Wood, Cathy (cover)
Collicutt, A. Paul (interior)
Date: 1987
Length: 300 sections
Number of Endings: 21
Kveto's Thoughts:

(review based upon the Italian translation)

This one takes on a subject which basically offers you a choice of two sides, either to remain a loyalist to Great Britain or take up arms as a rebellious "American," a fairly well-known theme.

It treats the two sides a bit more fairly than book 2, The Last Invasion. But it is easy to detect a bit of bias as it always talks up the superiority of the British army, even when the rebel forces win. I suppose that is to be expected (and is more or less accurate). Like book #1, Madame Guillotine, it doesn't really explore the reasons for the rebels' grievances against the British, but I suppose the author wanted to get right into the action.

As with previous books, the passages are short and bland, particularly the battle scenes, which read like a very boring textbook. And obviously, there's nothing you can do to change the history, for example, win the war for the Brits.

More reviews by Kveto

Malthus Dire's Thoughts:

After Madame Guillotine and Sword and Flame, a third Revolution/Civil War-themed entry seems a bridge too far and that is definitely the case here as the "pick a side in the big tumult" concept gets tired in this case and leads to a generally very dull gamebook. It might partially be the distinctly US-centric subject matter that is uninteresting to me this time, but the execution too is quite turgid, with an endless catalogue of engaging in battles and/or meeting with key figures/events from the real war that seems curiously uninspiring in its delivery compared to the previous similarly-themed books. The research is evident again here, but the material is just not as exciting and I really struggled to get through this book, especially as the alternative routes seem to converge into linearity rather more than other books in this series and the whole experience is rather boring. Considering how good this series generally is, this book is a big disappointment.

More reviews by Malthus Dire

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