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Star Strider

Series: Fighting Fantasy #27
Contained In: Fighting Fantasy Adventure Gamebox (Collection)
Translated Into: Le Chasseur des étoiles (French)
Csillagközi fejvadász (Hungarian)
Hvězdný lovec (Czech)
Sutaa sutoraidaa [スター ストライダー] (Japanese)
O viajante das estrelas (Portuguese)
Author: Sharp, Luke
Illustrators: Craddock, Alan (cover)
Mayes, Gary (interior)
Release Date: May, 1987
ISBN: 0140322655 / 9780140322651
Length:400 sections
User Summary: The Gromulans have kidnapped the Galactic President and taken him to a backwater planet called Earth. As the galaxy's top Rogue Tracer, only you can hope to rescue him in time.
Fireguard's Thoughts: I'd heard some bad things about this book before reading it. Despite being that rare breed of Fighting Fantasy reader who can actually enjoy the sci-fi entries, I found them to be mostly true. For instance, right off the bat there's how screwed up the various options in the first section are, the choice being what you order on your flight to Earth. If you have a cocktail, you lose a Skill point. What, for the entire 48-hours you're there? Apparently. If you choose food, you get some Stamina. Which does you no good because as noted, it's the first section and it's impossible to have lost any yet.

Things are only downhill from there. The world of Star Strider is just developed enough that it's a bit annoying it wasn't developed a little more. Sometimes it even verges on the inanity of Sky Lord: one instant death has you apparently getting ready for a boxing match with an alien only for him to open his mouth and vaporize you with a death ray. Combat also ranges from cheesy easy to forget about it, and the climax of the book takes place in a gigantic (and boring) maze. If you already don't like the sci-fi Fighting Fantasy books, Star Strider's not likely to change your mind.

More reviews by Fireguard

knifebat's Thoughts: I have a soft spot for Star Strider because it was given to me on my birthday by my aunt in England a very long time ago; since then, I have read this game book many times and enjoy it to this day.

I have read some reviews by some experienced game book readers saying that this book doesn't play well. I can definitely see their point; Star Strider is hard, there are many instant deaths, difficult math problems to solve, choices that are hard to remember, and plenty of areas to get lost in, such as the dirty dark city and the maze.

Let me say something though: what makes this game book so enjoyable is not the game play aspect, but rather the story telling.

Like Snake Plissken from the film Escape from New York, you are an elite operative sent to rescue the President. The back drop however is science fiction action that makes me think of films like Blade Runner and Freejack.

You are an elite Rogue Tracer called a Star Strider, you have all kinds of combat training, but your primary weapon is your Catchman handgun which shoots a liquid plastic, also if you get far enough in the game you will get to use a neutron sword which I imagine is something like a lightsaber.

Your enemy are a hi-tech humanoid race called the Gromulans. They use 2 types of weapons: a portable hologram device to mess with your brain, and T-800 Terminator-like powerful androids.

You will travel to a dirty dark city, enter a shady club, get into street fights, encounter gang members, infiltrate the Gromulan HQ, fight in a gladiator style arena, and navigate through an abstract maze.

To further set the mood, the lingo found in the book to me really does the trick. Reading about Zipcars and food cubes puts a smile on my face.

I have 2 other Fighting Fantasy game books, but this one has always been my favorite because of the story. By the way, on my cover is a very cool looking horned dog-faced character with a neutron sword; for a long time I thought that was me, the reader, but it's actually a guard you will encounter.

More reviews by knifebat

Special Thanks:Thanks to Nicholas Campbell for the numbered cover scan, Brett Easterbrook for the unnumbered cover scan, and Fireguard for the plot summary.
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