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Item - Tower of Darkness

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Series: Endless Quest — no. 29
Translated Into: Torre da escuridão (Portuguese)
La torre de las tinieblas (Spanish)
La Tour des ténèbres (French)
Author: Fultz, Regina Oehler
Illustrators: Easley, Jeff (cover)
Nelson, Mark A. (interior)
Date: July, 1985
ISBN: 088038204X / 9780880382045
Length: 157 pages
Number of Endings: 15
User Summary: While attempting to impress a new friend, you find yourself entering the ruined tower that your mother disappeared in two years ago.
Demian's Thoughts:

This book wasn't nearly as good as it could have been. It has a clear mission and some puzzles to solve, but the reader is more or less led by the hand through the story. There are a few choices that require a bit of thought and there are some places where the story isn't completely linear, but for the most part, it's quite obvious which the "right" choice is.

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Guillermo's Thoughts:

(Review based on the Spanish translation.)

This is a hard one for me to rate since it was one of my first gamebooks, and I therefore feel somewhat nostalgic about it. Also complicating matters is the fact that the author is one of several people who only wrote one title for this series; in the absence of other books by the same person I find it harder to pinpoint exactly where her strengths and weaknesses as a writer lie. Whereas the Endless Quest series as a whole was marketed as a children's introduction to D&D, this book - not unlike several others in the series - captures so little of the feel of that game that it might as well have belonged in a different series altogether. The character you play, for example, is supposed to be an apprentice wizard, but he never gets to use any magic, and most of the time his way of overcoming the horrors he faces is to turn tail and flee from them. Even as a youngster I found this incompatible with what heroic fantasy is supposed to be. Things aren't helped by the fact that, similar to The Endless Catacombs, the book often telegraphs to the reader what the right choice is, making the book much more of a breeze to complete than it should be.

This isn't to say that the book is entirely without merits. It includes as a plot device a cool real-life chess-like game that reminds me of Agnes Varda's classic film Les Creatures. The writing is also unusually atmospheric for an Endless Quest entry, and even the bad endings make for somewhat emotionally involving reading. Overall, this book is not a complete waste of time - if you don't come into it expecting a really challenging quest, you should have a good read.

More reviews by Guillermo

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