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Search for Dinosaurs

(Troll edition)
Series: Time Machine #2
Platform: Microsoft Reader
Contained In: Time Machine Box Set (Collection)
Translated Into: A la recherche des dinosaures (French)
Al encuentro de los dinosaurios (Spanish)
L'eta dei dinosauri (Italian)
Im Lande der Ungeheuer (German)
Iskanje dinozavrov (Slovenian)
Jagten på dinosauren (Danish)
Jakten på dinosauren (Norwegian)
Kyouryuu tanken [恐竜探検] (Japanese)
Potraži dinosaura (Serbo-Croatian)
A procura de dinossauros (Portuguese)
A sárkánygyíkok nomában (Hungarian)
Śladami dinozaurów (Polish)
Author: Bischoff, David
Illustrators: Stout, William (cover)
Henderson, Doug (interior)
Nino, Alex (interior)
Release Date: February, 1984
ISBNs: 0553236024 / 9780553236026
0553253999 / 9780553253993
0553271547 / 9780553271546
Length:120 pages (plus data bank and data file)
Number of Endings:1
User Summary: To prove that birds evolved from dinosaurs, you must travel back to prehistoric times and photograph an Archaeopteryx.
DavidSky's Thoughts: I thought the writing here was pretty good, but at times the mechanics of the book could get frustrating. The book was very focused on finding the archaeopteryx, to the point of being tiresome, and the somewhat lame ending was a little anticlimactic after all that. Also, seemingly correct choices lead to annoying, frustrating mishaps, and can send you way back to very early in the looping structure of the book. However, there were some neat touches: some of the choices depending on info in the art (which was great), and you meet another Time Traveler! You can see my map of the book here.

(Thanks to Julien Peter Benney for pointing out some errors--now fixed--in the map.)

More reviews by DavidSky

Demian's Thoughts: While this isn't as well-written as the previous book in the series, it is more interesting in terms of gameplay. The choices aren't always as obvious, and there are a few interesting twists.

More reviews by Demian

Dtar's Thoughts: My recent first experience with this book was frustrating. The subject matter and the knowledge given by the book are great. The goal seems too difficult for a younger reader. You need to both determine when a creature lived on Earth and where. Until you actually find it, you don't know if the when or the where are correct, and I quit out of frustration (as an adult reader).

More reviews by Dtar

KenJenningsJeopardy74's Thoughts: Produced by the same publisher as the more widely known Choose Your Own Adventure series, the Time Machine books take a slightly different approach to the gamebook genre. In Search for Dinosaurs, you are a researcher and adventurer with access to a unique and powerful time machine, and have been asked to use it as a means of traveling back to the days of the dinosaurs to find concrete evidence pinpointing exactly when a dinosaur called the archaeopteryx lived. You can travel back and forth through time as frequently as you require, but life in the land of the dinosaurs is fraught with many dangers, and you're certainly risking your life by agreeing to go.

Your decisions in Search for Dinosaurs can be based almost entirely on the information in the Data Bank that has been provided for you in the book's beginning pages. This is fortunate, as most of the story branches that you can choose to follow are very scientifically complex and require something of a scholar's familiarity with the prehistoric world. However, this also means that carefully considered choices often will lead you in the right direction, so a logically plotted course of action is likely to take you to the archaeopteryx sooner rather than later.

What I liked best of all about this book is its artistic layout, featuring some dazzling full-page images simulating the effect of time travel, as well as intriguing re-creations of scenes from the various eras in which the dinosaurs are postulated to have lived. Doug Henderson and Alex Nino did a standout job with the artwork, adding interest to the story and allowing us to better visualize the prehistoric settings in which you are traveling. I would be interested in reading other entries in the Time Machine series.

More reviews by KenJenningsJeopardy74

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