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Item - Terror on Kabran

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(Original edition)
(Original edition)
(Original edition)
(Book club edition)
(Book club edition)
(Book club edition)

Combined Summary

Series: Escape from Tenopia — no. 3
Translated Into: Terror en Kabran (Spanish)
Author: Brightfield, Richard
Illustrators: Huerta, Catherine (cover)
Perry, David (interior)
Date: August, 1986 (Original edition)
ISBN: 055325636X / 9780553256369
Length: 129 pages
Number of Endings: 1
User Summary: At last you've reached Kabran... but now you need to figure out where the Galactic Patrol Station that holds the key to your freedom is actually located!
Demian's Thoughts:

This adventure has the best sense of exploration so far in the series. Rather than giving you a general direction to travel in and forcing you to plod along while avoiding setbacks, this book instead gives you no initial clues as to where your destination lies; you've got to do all of the detective work from scratch. Unfortunately, I didn't find the ultimate solution to be very satisfying; in fact, I don't know what happened -- after wandering in circles I eventually randomly came across a signpost displaying some familiar symbols, and I was out. Trying to act on clues didn't seem to help much. Perhaps I missed some important detail somewhere, but I don't think so... I also think the book might have been a little more fun if it required the reader to keep track of Pango seed expenditure; the seeds are used as currency in the book, but the reader's supply dwindles and is replenished for the convenience of the plot rather than in any realistic way. It might have been more fun to have required seeds to be spent at certain times and earned by playing minigames at others. Of course, this probably would have made the book more complex than the authors would have liked... but perhaps a little more complexity is just what the series needed. In any case, this is the most fun I've had up to this point in my exploration of Tenopia, but it's definitely far from perfect.

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Shadeheart's Thoughts:

[Rating: 1/10]
[Recommended? NO]

Based on my preconceived understanding that the "Escape From Tenopia" series was an equivalent sort of spin-off to the popular yet awful "Choose Your Own Adventure" gamebooks, my expectations were accordingly kept to a minimum when delving into the series' follow-up title, "Terror on Kabran". As such was the case, I wasn't too horribly let down (though I definitely wasn't impressed) with the title's sparse details, overcompensating plot development characteristics and utterly threadbare narrative devices, such as nonexistent character traits and arbitrarily tailored plot points. What struck me most fervently about this little adventure is how, to my surprise, it wasn't technically possible to lose; sure, there are bad choices to be found, and both the puzzles and decision-making opportunities were underwhelming and in short supply of quality. The assault of information at every turn is definitely deceptive in a few senses; one would expect there to be a challenging (or luck-based) component or two where readers would definitely have to put all their knowledge to good use, but, alas, there's no real sense of accomplishment through this long "follow the roads until you end up on the right one" design scheme. I was equally disappointed by these shortcomings when compared to the story's rather short length as I was dissuaded by how unnecessarily difficult the book made it to keep track of (or care about) everything happening back-to-back on every page.

At the end of the day I found this book dissatisfactory and not worthy of recommending in the end; while the book (and series) held legitimate storytelling potential it was wasted due to the stylistic, structural and executive shortcoming of its design and featureless lack of intrinsic atmosphere. This is little more than a shallowly escapist enterprise to encounter - and you're not missing out if you pass on (or, shall I say, escape from) this largely forgettable escape sequence. ^^

(Mysteriously disappears into the shadows.)

More reviews by Shadeheart

Special Thanks:Thanks to Ryan Lynch for the back cover and spine images on the book club edition and all images on the original edition.
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Known Editions

Book club edition
Original edition

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