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Item - Mean Streets

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Series: Car Wars Adventure Gamebooks — no. 6
Adapted From: Mean Streets: Battle and Intrigue in the Ruins of Houston (Solitaire Adventure)
Authors: Armintrout, W. G.
Lee, C. Mara (editing)
Illustrators: Holloway, James (Jim) (cover)
Carroll, Dan (interior)
Date: November, 1987
ISBN: 0880384468 / 9780880384469
Length: 400 sections (plus introduction)
User Summary: You are a cloned agent of the nation of Texas, and you must defend your homeland from the nuclear threat of the old enemy who killed your previous body.
Demian's Thoughts:

This book brings the series to a very satisfying close. The storyline is considerably more exciting than the previous "just drive down the road until you reach the end" missions, and the game design features a number of creative surprises. There's a very high replay value thanks to numerous conversation options during your initial briefing and the inclusion of random elements throughout the rest of story; the most notable variation is the fact that each time you play, you randomly end up with one of three possible partners, each with different knowledge and abilities. I have only a few minor complaints. The worst problem is one that's pretty familiar to most gamebook readers: lack of proofreading. The book has a handful of irritating typos which break the flow of play, though fortunately the open-ended design makes it easy to work around problems that might have been game-stopping in a more linear book. A more philosophical complaint is the fact that the book isn't very politically correct, going gratuitously out of its way to point out the racial backgrounds of its villains. This is fairly typical of the action genre, but it struck me as something that would probably offend some people. Finally, it seems kind of silly that one of the choices offered in the introduction leads to instant death; it's not a big deal, but it's rather pointless. These quibbles aside, though, this book is well above average and worth taking a look at!

More reviews by Demian

Errata:In section 5, one man is described as being armed with a shotgun in the main text but as having a pistol in the choices. Section 179 doesn't have any outgoing paths even though it is clearly not an ending. The transition from 221 (or 282) to 395 seems to be incorrect.
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