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Car Wars Adventure Gamebooks
Batalha nas estradas (Portuguese)
A fond la caisse (French)
Gekisou! Batoru roodu [激走！バトル・ロード] (Japanese)
Jackson, Steve (United States)
Carroll, Dan (interior)
088038297X / 9780880382977
400 sections (plus introduction) |
|Number of Endings:||
|User Summary:||You have twenty-four hours to rescue the daughter of the president of Louisiana from an oil baron; if you fail, he will force her to marry him, thus getting that much closer to taking the presidency for himself.|
Although it has a number of problems, this book is at heart a fairly solid design. Since its character creation system is point-based and has no random element, the player has total freedom to customize his or her character based on personal preference and past experience, and the book does a decent job of accomodating different strategies. Once you become familiar with the adventure, it's possible to get quite far without any dice-rolling simply by raising the right stats and making wise decisions. Sadly, there are quite a few drawbacks to accompany the book's balanced game design. First of all, the mission feels shorter than it should. For a 400-paragraph adventure, each playthrough goes by awfully quickly; it sort of makes one wonder what exactly is filling out the book's pages. There's also not much here in the way of plot; although the politically-oriented framing storyline is intelligent and interesting, it makes up a very small part of the book. Most of the adventure is simply a series of unmemorable random encounters, one after another. The worst problem of all, though, is the combat. The combat system itself is pretty solid, but due either to large numbers of combatants or low odds of hitting anything, fights can drag on a bit too long sometimes. The tedium of rolling dice endlessly really breaks up the flow of the story, and it's especially frustrating to spend ages rolling dice only to get killed and have to start over. Most fights can be avoided, which is a good thing, but in a book set in the Car Wars universe, combat should really be an asset rather than a liability -- blowing stuff up should not be more boring than running away! In the end, I'm really not sure what to think about this book. It's a strange combination of successes and failures; while it works on a mechanical level and also shows off some of Steve Jackson's talents, it ultimately fails to be particularly fun or notable. The series could certainly have started off on a worse note, but I feel it should have been much better.
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