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Item - The Battle of Astar

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Series: Escape from the Kingdom of Frome — no. 4
Translated Into: La batalla de Astar (Spanish)
Author: Brightfield, Richard
Illustrators: Huerta, Catherine (cover)
Perry, David (interior)
Date: 1987
Length: 133 pages
Number of Endings: 1
User Summary: Having escaped the caverns of Mornas, you find yourself in the mountain range that separates Frome from your homeland. Finding a way through it will not be easy, especially when it has become the scene of a three-sided war, where the participants are the tyrant's army, the rebel forces and an army raised by an evil rogue general. In order to escape, you'll first have to help the rebellion triumph and make Frome a free land again.
Guillermo's Thoughts:

(review based on the Spanish translation)

Unfortunately, this book is weaker than books two and three. While the fact that there are two evil armies running rampant in the mountain range helps build a feeling of tension successfully (since in the middle of the war there are many treacherous characters, and the player is never sure who to trust), the adventure is nonetheless a failure in many respects. The descriptions of characters, creatures, encounters and situations are painfully lacking in detail. The few fantasy creatures that appear are not really very interesting, and while this adventure is the only one to feature a personal appearance by the evil tyrant Karg, this does not contribute anything significant to the plot (he doesn't even get to say anything, and is only seen from a distance). All this means the book is considerably below average for the series.

On the positive side, the book's challenge level is rather high, as there are many obstacles and hurdles for each of the several goals the character must achieve in order to complete the adventure. While for the most part the only player concern in the Escape from Tenopia series was to find a way out of the game universe, here the player gets to participate in a mission that will be very important for the triumph of the rebel forces. Contributing to the tyrant's defeat and finally escaping from the mountain range are two goals which produce a lot of satisfaction once achieved, especially considering their difficulty.

Overall, while being a rather weak book, I believe it can be recommended if you have played the previous ones and want to see how the Frome saga ends.

More reviews by Guillermo

Special Thanks:Thanks to Guillermo Paredes for the plot summary.
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