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Quest for the Unicorn's Horn

Series: Swordquest #1
Author: Fawcett, Bill
Illustrators: McPheeters, Neal (cover)
Byert, Teanna (interior)
O'Malley, Gerald (Jerry) (cartography)
Release Date: July, 1985
ISBN: 0441697151 / 9780441697151
Length:114 sections
Number of Endings:2 (one bad ending led to from 15 places and one victory)
User Summary: The reader controls the actions of Talien, a young Kuven, a leader of one hundred men. He gained his position after the premature death of his father at the hands of ogres, and he soon finds that a position of power doesn't make his life any easier....
Demian's Thoughts: This book starts on bad footing with an awkward and embarrassed-sounding introduction, and further hurts itself with fairly dreary rules -- the character creation is particularly stupid, as it says nothing about how to equip a newly-created character (in the example, some magic items are just made up seemingly at random). You're best off using the pre-created adventurer. Things pick up a bit once the actual story starts, but the book is still a mixed bag. It's ultra-linear, in the fashion of many American gamebooks of this complexity level, with the story following almost exactly the same path barring death by a stupid choice or poor dice roll. It doesn't help that the dice-rolling aspect of the game is rather pointless; most rolls require the use of three six-sided dice, and due to the probability curve for this particular dice combination, things tend to be a little too predictable, with combats dragging on endlessly. Pacing in general, not just in combat, is a problem as well; some sections go on far too long, and it's easy for the reader's mind to wander while waiting for the next choice to arrive. Still, it's actually worth paying attention. Despite its many problems, which include stylistically unimpressive writing, the book's main saving grace is its plot -- most of the book is standard fantasy fare, but it does feature a couple of twists which save it from utter pointlessness. Ultimately, if you're looking for lots of interactivity, you should avoid this; if you're looking for a mildly intriguing fantasy quest with a bit of dice rolling, though, this certainly isn't the worst way you could pass your time....

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Errata:Although it's not an error as such, be warned that section 78 features a third choice which wraps around to the next page and is easily missed.
Special Thanks:Thanks to Ken G. for the back cover scan.
Users Who Own This Item: Ardennes, bookwormjeff, Crazyscotsman, CSquared, Cyan, desdichado66, Dronak, exaquint, Ffghtermedic, Fireguard, Gamebook, greyarea13, hoops4ever, horrorbusiness, katzcollection, kinderstef, knginatl, le maudit, Malthus Dire, marnaudo, mlvoss, Naniyue, Nomad, peterm2, Pseudo_Intellectual, Sir Olli, sireeyore, spragmatic, StagQuests, Tremendez, twar
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Users with Extra Copies: bbanzai
twar - 1 copy in great shape, no markings.

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