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The Zone Zapper

Series: Sonic the Hedgehog Adventure Gamebooks #4
Authors: Gross, Nigel
Sutherland, Jon(athan)
Illustrators: Ward, Keith (cover)
Selecciones Illustradas (interior)
Release Date: 1994
ISBN: 0140904077 / 9780140904079
Length:300 sections
Number of Endings:27 (6 unconditional endings, 21 conditional failures)
User Summary: Sonic must undo the results of Dr. Robotnik's latest creation, a device which turns good into evil and evil into good.
Demian's Thoughts: Like the previous adventure, this lived down to my low expectations. As before, the writing was of amateurishly poor quality, with tense problems and questionable grammar and punctuation. There were also a few typos which messed up gameplay, and though the book was silly, it was very rarely funny or clever. Some new problems also arose to further lower my opinion of the adventure. In at least one place, the same text was copied and pasted in such a way that it was possible to encounter the same paragraph in two different places during one playthrough. More seriously, the adventure was far, far too easy. I was able to finish it on my first try without losing a single life (though I did lose all of my rings near the end; I guess that's something). I don't like gamebooks to be too hard, but this is just ridiculously simple. There are far too many "do you run blindly in or think of a plan first?" choices, the various riddles that need to be solved become rather obvious when there are only two possible answers to choose from, and many crucial die rolls allow the reader to retry indefinitely, thus making the rolls entirely pointless. The only difficulty-lowering feature that I really appreciated here was the fact that there's a maze that only needs to be solved if the reader makes an otherwise fatal mistake during the adventure; it's nice to have a second chance. On another positive note, I also enjoyed the idea of having a friendly (but somewhat cranky) monster for a companion. Beyond these two redeeming features (which are barely even redeeming), this is pretty much a waste of time. Still, I see that the next two books have different authors, so maybe they'll be more interesting; I can only hope....

My High Score - 0 rings (but I got the best possible ending... really!)

More reviews by Demian

Errata:The rules state that you start the game with some equipment, but nothing is listed on the character sheet. Section 36 fails to include a difficulty level to roll against. In section 80, both choices mention having the Power Sneakers on, but the path leading to section 203 should actually read "off." The transition from section 199 (and various related sections) to 294 makes no sense; however, if you ignore the lack of continuity and try different options, you can eventually proceed with the story.
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