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Scoundrel's Luck

Series: Star Wars Solitaire Adventures #1
Author: Denning, Troy
Illustrator: Mao, Francis
Release Date: 1990
ISBN: 0874311128 / 9780874311129
Product Code: 40102
Length:80 pages (157 sections)
Number of Endings:21 (3 "The End's" and 18 "Try Again's")
User Summary: Han Solo's trip to the casino is interrupted when Princess Leia manages to get herself abducted somehow.
Demian's Thoughts: As I've mentioned many times before, I'm not really much of a Star Wars fan (though gamebooks have increased my appreciation of the series). As a result, I also can't make any informed commentary on the book's continuity, faithfulness to characters, or other issues that fans might catch on to. I can say that the artwork is rather sketchy (though nicely dynamic in many cases) and that the artist's portrayal of Han Solo bears little resemblance to Harrison Ford. Despite not being thrilled by the Star Wars theme, I did actually find the story itself to be pretty decent. The writing, though not brilliant, is above average (especially considering that it's third-person, present tense, which I normally can't stand), and there's more depth of plot and character than you'll find in your average gamebook; this is at least partially because the book is obviously aimed at an audience of teen to adult Star Wars fans rather than at younger children with short attention spans. Of course, the major trade-off for this depth of story is a shallow game system. Although there are some sidetracks which make replay worthwhile, and the variables of both money and energy provide further motivation for trying new things, the book is ultimately quite linear. The challenge level also doesn't seem quite right -- although you keep track of resources, it's so hard to run out of them (especially money, which you can get limitless quantities of by picking the right option at the first choice) that it barely seems worth mentioning them at all. I was also somewhat frustrated by the fact that most of the "good" endings of the book are rather unsatisfying and vague, though this is balanced by a somewhat clever way of handling the "bad" ones -- rather than killing characters off, the story stops at a cliffhanger point and asks speculative questions ("Will Han escape the rotating blades?") which nicely play to Star Wars' origins in thirties adventure serials. Fun stuff, and probably even more fun if you like Star Wars more than I do.

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Users Who Own This Item: Greeneuva, katzcollection, knginatl, Malthus Dire, redpiper05, Sir Olli, twar

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