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Could You Be a Mouse?

Series: Survival #6
Translated Into: Lao shu di mao xian ri ji [老鼠的冒險日記] (Chinese)
Sobrevive como un ratón (Spanish)
Author: Wood, John Norris
Illustrators: Bown, Derick (interior)
Wood, John Norris (photographer)
Release Date: 1990
Length:23 sections
Number of Endings:5 (only one successful ending)
User Summary: As a common country mouse, you set out to explore a nearby forest and farm in search of food to add to your storage.
Guillermo's Thoughts: (review based on the Spanish translation)

This is the sixth and final book in a series of British gamebooks for children where the reader plays some kind of wild animal facing several survival challenges. While I remember seeing Spanish versions of these books in Mexican bookstores back in the early nineties, I never had the chance to acquire one until very recently, while browsing around a used bookshop. All the sections in this book are illustrated with photographs of different locations where a mouse could go foraging for food, and most sections cover a two-page spread. While the photographs are far from being masterpieces (particularly due to an extensive use of photomontage), the book deserves credit for accompanying the visual element with enough researched data to make this a worthwhile educational tool for children (also noteworthy is the fact that the writer was the same person who took the photographs for this book). Moreover, there is an interesting game aspect, as the player is asked to keep track of a score (which increases with good choices and decreases with every mistake), and number of moves required to reach the final goal, thus being able to make head-to-head comparisons.

Despite the fact that an adult will probably not need more than an hour to finish this book, I found it to be a refreshing and entertaining read. Although finding a way to the successful ending is not too hard, there are several choices which require careful observation of the illustrations and logical thought, and the death endings always make sense. The interactive element and the text manage to build up tension effectively and to help the reader picture what it is to be a wild mouse. Despite the short section length, I had fun exploring the many different settings and finding the weaknesses of the wild animals the player character is often faced against. Overall, I enjoyed myself more while playing this book than I did while reading several of the Choose Your Own Adventure books. Definitely recommended if you want something different than the standard gamebook fare.

More reviews by Guillermo

Special Thanks:Thanks to Guillermo Paredes for the plot summary and statistical information.
Users Who Own This Item: knginatl
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