Demian's Gamebook Web Page

Item - The Antimatter Formula

Please log in to manage your collection or post a review.

Series: Choose Your Own Adventure (1979-1998) — no. 57
Contained In: Choose Your Own Adventure Space Box Set (Collection)
Translated Into: Mons paral·lels (Catalan)
Mundos paralelos (Spanish)
Author: Leibold, Jay (pseudonym used by Montavon, Jay)
Illustrator: Bolle, Frank
Date: June, 1986
ISBN: 0553257412 / 9780553257410
Length: 118 pages
Number of Endings: 32
User Summary: Both of your parents are physicists dabbling in antimatter experiments. One morning, you wake up, and all is quiet. Too quiet.
Demian's Thoughts:

This is Jay Leibold's first entirely non-historical entry in the series, and it's quite good. The introductory section is particularly well-written, conveying the world's silence effectively and eerily and seeming almost poetic coming from a Choose Your Own Adventure book. While the story uses some of the most tired cliches of the series (eccentric scientists and KGB spies, among other things), it does so with enough skill to rise well above the material. Things are helped further by its sense of humor; it's hard not to chuckle at the choice on page 108, for example. Also worth noting is the fact that the boy in the illustrations sometimes looks sort of like I did when I was younger and had less hair. If I'd read this at the time, I imagine this would have increased the immersion factor a bit!

More reviews by Demian

Jordashebasics's Thoughts:

This book is absolutely bonkers, but it doesn't feel like it cheats.

This reads like a spiritual successor to Hyperspace, but it doesn't have the meta qualities.

You start off waking up with everyone else in the world gone. You can choose to enjoy the situation, or you can try to figure out what's going on.

There's a clear antagonist. There are also bizarre universes to experience. The lighthearted tone of the choices leaves you with a better feeling about making a decision leading to death. You don't have any real information to make an informed decision.

It's also notable that this is well-written, and the illustrations are very interesting.

The worst part is that the title is a problem. I'd probably say that even The Antimatter Device is a better title.

More reviews by Jordashebasics

tonylachief's Thoughts:

The Antimatter Formula proved difficult for me to rate because of the discrepant entertainment qualities of the book’s major narrative arcs. After the fundamental premise of the book is set in the first couple of pages, you can branch off into one of three major arcs: (1) you can become engaged in a game of cat and mouse with Dr. Fingley in, more or less, today’s world/time; (2) you can happen into a fairy tale adventure, or; (3) you can happen into a sci-fi adventure. This is where the difficulty came in for me.

The cat and mouse arc was not boring but, all the same, nothing special. As for the fairy tale narrative—and it really is the stuff of fairy tale lore, not fantasy—I not only found it too childish but I also felt it was beneath the capabilities of a writer as good as Jay Leibold. Needless to say, it was a letdown for me. The superlative sci-fi adventure is really what raises the overall story-telling’s stock. It’s the only narrative arc that is truly inventive and which manages to accomplish things worthy of the attention of a keen gamebook reader. For example, it explores a dystopian civilization in a parallel world wherein a small group of clandestine human resistance fighters are battling to overthrow the oppressive powers that be, generically termed "The Empire," for freedom. Then there is also the delightfully bizarre tertiary branch that reveals that Earth is a fictitious planet that you eventually reach by crossing into the Realm of Unreality in an appropriated spaceship in a parallel universe. As someone with an interest in philosophy, this type of story-telling fills my heart with wonder.

Interestingly, Frank Bolle’s artwork is also not consistently good in this book because several of the illustrations have an overly cartoonish, rather than his signature graphic, quality. Overall, The Antimatter Formula is enjoyable but it’s not as good as I feel it could have been. It has its uppers and downers.

Rating: 6.5/10.0

More reviews by tonylachief

Users Who Own This Item: AgathaRaisin79, aline, Andys80s, Ardennes, Arkadia, benji2, bigcobra, bookwormjeff, Cyan, Darth Rabbitt, dave2002a, Eamonn McCusker, EegahInc, fraze, Garrick Muttley, Himynameistony, hoops4ever, horrorbusiness, iolly666 (Well, i'd like to have this since it's missing in the Italian version), jharvey79, JoshW, katzcollection, KenJenningsJeopardy74, killagarilla, kinderstef, KJB, kleme (PDF), knginatl, Lullyph, Madeye, marcfonline, marnaudo, mattender, mdcowboy, mlvoss, nelsondesign, Nomad, nordik (Antimatter Formula), ntar, Oberonbombadil (Original UK 1st (my childhood copy)), Pessimeister, Pseudo_Intellectual, Radical347, rtaylor352, Ryuran333, SeventhSon, spragmatic, stock, strawberry_brite, SuperAM2, ThaRid, toadhjo, Uraniborg, waktool (Original, UK 1st printing (£1.50); Original, US 1st printing ($2.25)), Yalius, yunakitty
Users Who Want This Item: barryattles, CGally, damieng, drereichdude, exaquint, Ffghtermedic, Fireguard, Game Master, kleme, Lambchop, MasterChief, Mr ?, NEMO, Nym90, odo_ital, SherlockHolmes, Von Scotty, Waluigi Freak 99, ZacharyParker
Users with Extra Copies: Jennifer

Please log in to manage your collection or post a review.