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Item - Can You Survive the Desert?

(Paperback edition)
(Paperback edition)

Combined Summary

Series: You Choose: Interactive Survival Adventures
Author: Doeden, Matt
Date: January 1, 2012 (Paperback edition)
ISBNs: 1429675438 / 9781429675437 (Library binding edition)
1429679956 / 9781429679954 (Paperback edition)
Length: 112 pages
Number of Endings: 16
LC Cataloging in Publication Summary: "Describes the fight for survival while exploring the Sahara, Sonoran, and Gobi Deserts"--Provided by publisher.
Demian's Thoughts:

This is my first encounter with the Capstone Press educational gamebook format, and from this example, I have mixed feelings about it. On the positive side, the book is clearly the result of a significant amount of research, featuring a variety of settings and scenarios to highlight different desert survival situations. Because the point of the book is to demonstrate survival skills, the choices require some thought and the outcomes make sense. The problem, though, is that cramming three adventures into a single short book means that none of them are deep enough to be terribly engaging; while the story setups are interesting enough, every adventure is just a succession of random hazards, with no significant plot to help hold the reader's interest. It's not especially hard to find successful endings, and there's not enough variety (in spite of geographic variations) to motivate a lot of re-reading once survival has been accomplished. Some of the book's more graphic details -- such as choices about drinking urine, which I'm pretty sure I've never run into in a gamebook before -- may make it stick in the memory, but the overall experience feels somewhat one-dimensional. The book isn't bad, but it feels like it would benefit from a little more story substance or a higher challenge level.

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Dtar's Thoughts:

Three separate stories: a plane crash in the Sahara, getting separated from friends on a hike in the Sonoran desert, having a broken down motorbike in the Gobi desert.

This story has one flaw in the writing: on page 17 you are given the option of following some lights that weren't previously mentioned, then if you go there it becomes obvious that the option was written better for a different series of choices.

Besides that little issue, it's a good enough set of 3 small instructional adventures.

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Users Who Own This Item: Demian

Known Editions

Library binding edition
Paperback edition

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