Demian's Gamebook Web Page

Item - The Dreamer

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

Series: Decide Your Own Adventure — no. 6
Author: Hilliard, Susan E.
Illustrator: Ostendorf, Ned
Date: 1989
UncleMac's Thoughts:

Decide Your Own Adventure is, in short, Choose Your Own Bible Adventure. A series of nearly a dozen books based on the concept of traveling through time on the dopest time machine ever: a flaming chariot drawn by a talking space-horse. Your missions always have to do with studying and researching figures from the Bible in real time, while trying not to interfere and disrupt the timeline.

I had hoped that I would get to influence the outcome of The Dreamer and botch the timeline irreparably, but sadly there are no “game over” scenarios, since you’re disallowed from interfering. The only influence the reader has on the story is which scenes you visit in which order, and your choices might lead to you skipping scenes with important revelations. You do get to talk to people, and even get pushed around by Joseph's mean ol’ stepbrothers. And the narrator does ask questions that might get you in trouble at Bible Camp, like when he points out that Young Joseph is a bit of a pampered, clueless brat, and it’s no wonder his stepbrothers resent him.

Still, leaving a dumb kid in a well to starve to death just because he’s spoiled? That’s pretty crazy in my book. Just beat him up and leave it at that like normal brothers would, you buncha psychos.

What the book lacks in reader interactivity, it makes up for with great artwork and an engaging way to present old Bible stories. The art is crisp, clean, and detailed, and the people are pretty expressive. And I have to admit, if my parents were going to push Bible study on me, this is much better than making me read dry, boring scripture from the Bible itself. Here there’s at least an effort to pull the reader in and make them feel involved.

I can’t help wondering if Susan E. Hilliard wanted to do more with this series than just have the reader be an observer. Why can’t I rescue Joseph from the well and then see how awful the famine turns out sans his influence as Pharaoh’s sidekick? Or have me share Joseph’s fate as a slave of the Pharaoh and try to mount a daring escape? At least give me the opportunity to botch carrying Joseph’s bones and watch in horror and embarrassment as they spill down the side of a cliff. A little irreverence helps relieve the tension sometimes.

If you want to know the stories in the Bible, but can’t sit through the dry text of the Good Book itself, see if you can get your hands on one of these. Good luck, too, ‘cos they’re not easy to come by.

More reviews by UncleMac

Users Who Own This Item: Ardennes, exaquint, knginatl, UncleMac
Users Who Want This Item: Braldt, Nomad, Pseudo_Intellectual

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