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Villains of Volturnus

Series: Endless Quest #8
Contained In: The Endless Quest Collectors Set #2 (Collection)
Translated Into: Os vilões de Volturnus (Portuguese)
Wakusei Borutaanasu [惑星ボルターナス] (Japanese)
Author: Blashfield, Jean (F.)
Illustrators: Elmore, Larry (cover)
Roslof, Jim (interior)
Release Date: May, 1983
ISBN: 0880380233 / 9780880380232
Length:157 pages
Number of Endings:23
User Summary: You are Kyiki, the son of an important Universal Minerals executive. An accident leaves you stranded on the surface of Volturnus, a planet not yet inhabited by humans.
Demian's Thoughts: This entry in the series is lousy science fiction, but it's not a bad adventure gamebook. If you can stand the cringe-inducing sci-fi cliches, you'll have some fun.

More reviews by Demian

Guillermo's Thoughts: Most Endless Quest books fall into one of two categories: first, there are the books where you play a relatively competent hero who can handle most of the challenges the book's author throws at him. The second type of book is that where the protagonist is a child who must spend his/her time seeking the protection of adult heroes while making a few choices along the way (a few of the books are difficult to place in one category or the other, but that is a subject for a different essay). Villains of Volturnus clearly falls in the second category, a factor which contributes to its being one of the worst books in the series (more on this later).

About the only positive thing I can say about the book is that it is relatively faithful to the Star Frontiers setting, with several of the major races being represented in the story. Other than that, the book is a disaster. A large part of the problem has to do with its structure: all of the paths through the book are frustratingly short. There are a couple of storylines in the book which could have made interesting adventures in their own right, but as it stands, both of them end after only a few choices, with the reader being reassured at the end that the player character is safe and that adults will arrive to take over the situation. I wonder why so many gamebook authors believed children wanted to play sheltered crybabies instead of heroic characters?

Aside from the aforementioned plotlines, the remainder of the book consists of random events which do not coalesce into anything resembling a coherent plot. I spent most of my time yawning while I read through this adventure. As if the above weren't enough, there is a time-travel part which tries to look clever, but is put together in such a way that it ends up not making any sense.

The flaws described above would have been forgivable if gameplay involved any strategy, but it doesn't; with few exceptions, the consequences of the reader's decisions feel extremely random.

Overall, this is a disappointing adventure, and a far cry from other works by the author, such as The Ghost Tower and Master of Ravenloft. Don't waste your time.

More reviews by Guillermo

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Users Who Want This Item: bonhomme, hanbaoge, snakefire77, SonicBlaze, utfanatic
Users with Extra Copies: Cyan
damieng - Cover worn, interior good except stamps and name on inside cover and first page.
Fireguard
fushek
kinderstef - x 2
Nomad
ntar - 2
Pessimeister - good reading copy
redpiper05

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