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Item - Captain's Choice

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Series: Starblazer — no. 150
Date: 1985
Length: 66 pages (140 panels)
User Summary: While traveling through space your ship is captured by a race of alien creatures. You must escape capture and prevent the creatures from taking over the planet Earth.
Braldt's Thoughts:

Captain's Choice is a nice black and white interactive comic book. The first page is the data log with all kinds of information about your mission, your spacecraft etc. When you make decisions, you'd better remember all the technical data, because going into warp with less than 80% power reserves is a choice you'd better not make. You are the captain of a starship, which is captured by a cat-like alien race. The first quest is to flee from the alien ship and warn Earth's defences. If you succeed in that, you can assist in Earth's defence, and if you are lucky, you will reach page 140 with the appealing message: "Well done! You have saved Earth almost single-handed. You are a hero, a true Starblazer." What more can an armchair adventurer want?

I found the story simplistic, but nice; it must appeal to kids 8-16. Sometimes, logic is absent (cat-like people who breathe methane??), but that can also be forgiven. I have one big complaint about the comic. The branching is not optimal. It can happen that in frame 9 (on page 8) you get the option to go to frame 10, 11, 12 (on page 8 and 9). Since you see already that in frame 10 and 11 the captain is shot by the alien... what option would you choose?

A great book to have if you like sci-fi comics and want to have a collectable item. Do not expect to be truly entertained if you are an adult reader.

More reviews by Braldt

Guillermo's Thoughts:

This book forms part of a now defunct series of mostly non-interactive sci-fi comics published in the UK by legendary imprint D. C. Thomson. Despite the series' cult status, I found the book to be of mediocre quality. For starters, the story is not very engaging. Gameplay also leaves a lot to be desired; often the author asks you to write down your next course of action and will later ask whether you had a specific idea in mind. If you wrote down what the author expected, the story proceeds; if not, you fail. This mechanism is supposed to make gameplay more challenging, but in the end it only made me feel as if I was being asked to read the author's mind for no legitimate reason. This frustration is compounded by the book's extremely linear design; at any given point in the game, making a wrong choice will automatically lead to failure. Thus the reader has no choice but to keep restarting what is for the most part a frustrating adventure.

Overall, this is a far cry from the excellent Diceman interactive comic series, and not really worth tracking down (unless you are a Starblazer collector). Avoid.

More reviews by Guillermo

Special Thanks:Thanks to Braldt Haak for the cover scan.
Users Who Own This Item: Braldt, Ed, katzcollection (photocopy), Sabreman, Sheridan77, waktool
Users Who Want This Item: Gibraltar

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