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Item - Cyberspace Warrior

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Series: Choose Your Own Adventure (1979-1998) — no. 154
Translated Into: Ciber-guerra interespacial (Spanish)
Author: Packard, Edward
Illustrators: Kukalis, Romas (cover)
Brigman, June (interior)
Date: 1994
Stockton's Thoughts:

I read this soon after it came out in 1994. At the time, the whole idea of a video game so realistic you could go inside it was amazing. Now, after technology has progressed a bit, it seems a little silly – this is definitely not a book to be taken seriously.

This is an odder book than usual, but nothing unreadable. The plot is simple: you inherit a high-tech video game machine from your uncle (surprise, surprise) and must beat the game. You can't simply turn the machine off because the computer learns from your past actions while you are away. A camera included with the device also inserts you into the game, which also responds when you speak. If this sounds flimsy in an age where such things are either real or close to being so and taken pretty much for granted, it is.

Cyberspace Warrior had the potential to be a fairly good sci-fi adventure. However, it was taken down a few notches by some endings where your mother takes you away from the game or you turn it off yourself – leaving you wondering what will happen when you turn it on again. As well, a fair bit of the story involves sitting in front of a TV and pressing buttons on the control pad – boring!

More reviews by Stockton

yunakitty's Thoughts:

Another well written but slightly boring book by Packard. The technology in the book is laughable now, over 15 years later (I made my husband come look at the picture of the "miniature video camera" that was as big as those giant camcorders your relatives used to haul around on vacation). And like the other reviewer said, you spend most of the book pressing buttons and staring at the TV screen.

One little thing that peeves me is that the first three choices all lead to endings on one choice. So really, there isn't a choice at all. You have to pick a certain choice unless you want an instant game over. Kind of strange.

Another unique thing is that there are no actual death endings, since you're playing a game. In my opinion, that kind of takes away from the fun. I kept waiting for the kid to actually be trapped in the game. But that doesn't ever happen.

I also found it EXTREMELY BORING that the first several pages of the story, once you start playing the game, involve Pong level technology gameplay of trying to avoid missiles, with a lot of gobbledlygook pseudo physics math thrown in to make it seem high tech. I almost put the book down after a few minutes of it, but I pressed on. I probably should have just laid it down, because nothing really interesting happened.

I have the vague feeling that Packard ripped me off though... I used to play a game with my friends when I was a kid, where there were 10 caves and each had a "WiggleWiggle" in it (creatures kind of like the gools in this story) and my friends could pick a number and I would pretend to be each WiggleWiggle... some were liars, some were crazy, and some were helpful, all in a quest to get past WiggleWiggle10. I had deja vu reading this... anyway...

There were some R. A. Montgomery-esque parts to the story too that surprised me... goofy surreal alternate universe stuff that went nowhere. It wasn't very entertaining. Though I did kind of like the backwards universe ending. Packard had the idea for Benjamin Button way ahead of time!

All in all, a passable book. Not that great though. I'd skip it unless you're a completist or you're very bored.

More reviews by yunakitty

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stevesterling - This copy is in very good condition.

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