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Item - Swamp of the Scorpion

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Series: The Transformers — no. 5
Author: Morris, Dave
Illustrator: Harvey, Bob
Date: 1987
ISBN: 0552525014 / 9780552525015
Length: 72 pages
Number of Endings: 10
User Summary: You are a Nebulan working on an oil rig, but you are soon drawn into a battle against evil Transformers....
damieng's Thoughts:

With gamebook legend Dave Morris's name on the spine I was expecting something a little special here but was left sorely disappointed.

The story itself is very slim at a mere 72 pages, even shorter than a Choose Your Own Adventure, compounded by the fact that every page is less than half full with story. As such, the story happens more than develops, and the constant use of all capitals for the Transformers names is an annoying distraction in what little text there is - no doubt stipulated by the franchise owners.

On playing, it soon becomes apparent that there is very little room for error with most choices resulting in a bad ending within a couple of pages, and one section early on has some Transformers happy to let a fellow die because they are busy playing cards. Hardly the moral fibre we've come to expect from heroes of children's books.

The cover art is nice enough, but interior illustrations are simplistic and without depth, providing nothing more than filler for a few of the book's half-empty pages.

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Demian's Thoughts:

This book is interesting for two reasons. First of all, you get to play a non-human character (though the book isn't very clear about exactly what a Nebulan is, so the uninitiated like myself are left guessing). Secondly, there's some very simplistic inventory management, with the reader getting to pick an item at one point in the text, possibly having opportunities to use it later. It's pretty minimal, but it's the closest this series ever gets to having a game system. Beyond these details, there's not much of note here. It's an adequate (but only adequate) adventure that only occasionally shows hints of Dave Morris' talent, which is largely wasted here. This stuff is a long way from Fabled Lands (or even Knightmare, for that matter).

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Users Who Own This Item: damieng, Ed, katzcollection, knginatl, Malthus Dire, Osirian08
Users Who Want This Item: bonhomme, kinderstef, NEMO, waktool

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