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Item - El invitado de Drácula

Series: Multiaventura — no. 11
Alternate Title: Dracula's Guest (literal English translation of title)
Author: Azpiri, José Ramón
Date: 1986
Length: 96 pages
Number of Endings: 13
User Summary: A Romanian nobleman has hired your services as a solicitor, so you travel for a short stay in his castle. Once there, you find out he is an evil vampire. You must escape from the castle and destroy the vampire before he turns your fiancée into one of the undead.
Guillermo's Thoughts: While this book is divided into numbered pages instead of sections, it does include a game system (even if it's a rather rudimentary one). In this respect it differs from all previous entries in the series, which are standard Choose Your Own Adventure-type books. In this book the reader is required to keep track of hit points, money and inventory, as well as perform combat and luck checks. Randomization is done by flicking through the book and blindly picking from a series of symbols printed at the bottom of every page. Unfortunately, the game system serves more to frustrate the player than it does to enhance the story. Random situations (including combat) are resolved with a single check, and failing a single roll leads to the player failing in the adventure. Since there is no way to improve one's chances of success in the ability checks, reaching a good outcome depends more on luck than anything else. As I replayed the book, I eventually found myself ignoring the ability checks and focusing on the decision-making. I don't believe I missed anything by reading the book this way.

The book is an interactive adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula, with the reader playing the role of Jonathan Harker. The first part of the book involves exploring Dracula's castle in order to find an escape route. This part reminds me of the Dracula the Undead game for the Atari Lynx, in that it involves quite a bit of exploration and inventory management. After the player escapes the castle, he or she must travel back to England and find a way to destroy Dracula. In this second part there are many different ways to defeat Dracula, making the book highly replayable.

Like many previous entries in this series, this book is a fast-paced and entertaining read. While the decision-making involves more blind guessing than actual reasoning, I found it a lot of fun to try to find all the possible endings. This does not mean that it is a great book, though; it is rather short, and it lacks the depth and complexity of classics such as Crypt of the Vampire or Vault of the Vampire. Overall, this is a readable gamebook but definitely not an essential one.

More reviews by Guillermo

Special Thanks:Thanks to Guillermo Paredes for the cover image, plot summary and other details.
Users Who Own This Item: Avenger, bleuge

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