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Item - Theme Park Panic

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Series: Sonic the Hedgehog Adventure Gamebooks — no. 5
Authors: Gascoigne, Marc
Green, Jonathan
Illustrators: Chesterman, Adrian (cover)
Selecciones Illustradas (interior)
Date: 1995
ISBN: 0140378472 / 9780140378474
Length: 300 sections
Number of Endings: 1 (or failure by loss of lives)
User Summary: Sonic pays a visit to a new theme park only to discover it is a decidedly unsafe environment.
Demian's Thoughts:

With a new set of authors, the style of this book is a bit different from the previous two. It tries a little harder to resemble the first two books, with a light tone and some sections in which Sonic directly addresses the reader. Unfortunately, the text lacks the wit of James Wallis' writing and falls almost completely flat from a storytelling perspective. The gameplay, while not too exciting, is at least functional and captures some of the feel of a video game. It's also interesting that there are no instant deaths in the book. Anyway, since this takes place in a theme park, there are different themed areas to visit -- a house of horrors, a pirate ship, the Wild West, etc. Each area feels like a different level of a game and generally concludes in a battle with a boss-like character. Defeating these characters generally gives the reader items which prove useful in the final battle of the book, and completing certain areas offers access to new places. It's not absolutely essential to visit every area, but it helps, and the reader has some freedom to try going different places in different orders (though the book is far from totally non-linear). Unfortunately, though, it's not as interesting as it sounds, mainly because the reader doesn't have enough control over character creation. Well-chosen stats can help in completing the first area or two, but after that, it's more down to luck. Opportunities to boost ability scores before the very end of the book might have made the adventure more exciting and less luck-based, though this admittedly might also have made things too easy. In any case, as it is, the book is an entirely playable but also entirely forgettable adventure. I have no major criticisms, but I also can't think of any real reason to bother playing this.

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

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