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Series - Escape from Tenopia

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Publisher: Bantam -- United States
Categories: Complexity Level : Basic (No Game System)
Format : Paperback
Genre : Science Fiction
Target Age Group : Older Children
Writing Style : Present Tense
Writing Style : Second Person
Translated Into: Planea tu fuga de Tenopia (Spanish)

In these books, the reader is a young space traveler stranded on the dangerous planet of Tenopia after an accident involving a meteor. As the name of the series suggests, the ultimate goal is to escape; each book takes the reader closer to freedom. The cover of each volume proclaims it as being "from Edward Packard, creator of Choose Your Own Adventure." However, the books are structured more like the Time Machine adventures – there is only one ending to each book, with no way to fail; the challenge simply comes from navigating through the choices in such a way as to find the conclusion. A few puzzles are included for flavor, and victory also requires careful map-reading and a good memory (since it is necessary to remember which of Tenopia's often strangely-named locations have been previously visited). The series was followed by Escape from the Kingdom of Frome, which uses the same basic style but tells a completely unrelated story.


1. Tenopia Island
2. Trapped in the Sea Kingdom
3. Terror on Kabran
4. Star System Tenopia

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User Comments

Largely overshadowed by the ever-awful "Choose Your Own Adventure" books they are often compared to, the "Escape From Tenopia" series is an oddly easy-to-beat, sparing-in-style and capable-yet-uncaptivating spin-off work by two of the former series' authors which shares many of that series' flaws. Each title, despite its short length, is packed to the brim with excessive "details you should keep in mind" which never end up serving a useful role in solving the book's greater escape route out - it's surprising how complex the design may have been despite how rudimentary the narrative ends up becoming. As a result, these adventures fail to resonate on either an intellectual or emotional level... since neither the puzzles nor the writing offer readers anything to grapple with or connect to, these stories succumb to their shortcomings in circular motion (just as readers will circle around until "winning" these labyrinthine single-ending gamebooks). While some readers may be tempted to try and find the way out of these underwhelming works with interactive features due to their unexpectedly low (and therefore somewhat novel) difficulty level, I nevertheless believe these books to be nothing more than an escapist series of enterprises which can be escaped from without any regret.


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