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Item - The Space Quest Companion

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Series: Space Quest Novel
Authors: Spear, Peter
Spear, Jeremy
Date: April, 1993 (second edition)
ISBN: 0078819598 / 9780078819599 (second edition)
Fireguard's Thoughts:

Before the internet really caught on, if you and your friends got stuck on a puzzle game you either had to hope a magazine would print the solution to your problem or shell out a week's allowance ordering a hintbook. For Sierra's two major "Quest" series, they tried to give you more bang for your buck by making available not just individual hintbooks, but ones covering every game in the series. As you can probably guess, this was one of them.

The King's Quest Companion and this book took the odd tact of not only including straightforward walkthroughs and maps, but first printing a novelized version of each game. These tried to keep with the humorous nature of the games (and in doing so the writers seemed heavily inspired by the works of Douglas Adams), but I have to say they didn't succeed. I read the entire book cover to cover and I don't think I cracked a smile once. Certainly beginning each story with Roger having a daydream about being a macho space ranger stopped being a surprise after the first time, yet they kept on doing it.

The novelizations aren't exactly bad reading but I don't see anyone playing Vohaul's Revenge with that in their lap when a straightforward walkthrough is available elsewhere in the same book. Speaking for myself I tended to remember snippits from the novelizations but not specifics, so again their usefulness in actually winning the games is a bit limited.

Evidently another book like this was published (or slated to be published) for the Space Quest series. Not just a new edition expanded to cover the games that came out after it was published, but a discrete product with brand new novelizations. I really don't know why. You play the game to experience the story, after all.

Basically, as a way of getting the answers and maximum score, this book works well thanks to the ordinary walkthroughs. As a source of entertainment itself, it's sorely lacking.

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