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Make Your Own Adventure with Doctor Who
Severn House -- United Kingdom
Complexity Level : Intermediate (Some Game Elements)
Format : Paperback
Game System : Randomization Method : Dice
Game System : Visual Puzzles
Genre : Science Fiction
Licensed Property : Doctor Who
Product Family : Find Your Fate
Target Age Group : Older Children
Writing Style : Past Tense
Writing Style : Second Person
This series was released nearly simultaneously in both the United States and the United Kingdom. The British version of the series, published by Severn House, was called Make Your Own Adventure with Doctor Who, while the American editions were absorbed into Ballantine's Find Your Fate line. Internally, both versions are identical. The books lack a formal game system, but they do rely so heavily on dice rolls and puzzles that they feel more game-like than the other Find Your Fate offerings. Since there are no character-related rules to supplement the dice-rolling, this means that there is a heavy reliance on pure luck and thus many frustrating endings. In terms of story, each book casts the reader as a child who somehow becomes involved with characters from the TV series; unfortunately, even though most of these books were written by scriptwriters for the show, the tone of the TV program is lost in the books and little attention is paid to series continuity (although some familiar friends and foes make appearances here and there). Rather surprisingly, the strictly American Doctor Who gamebooks published by FASA, which were written by a war game designer, capture the feel of the series more successfully.
The problem is likely that the scriptwriters hired to write these things had no idea what to do with the gamebook form. Either they failed to research the genre or they chose not to apply much of what they learned. Flaws of gameplay are compounded by the fact that the writers seem self-conscious about the fact that they are writing for children; the books have a condescending tone that, oddly enough, isn't shared by the episode novelizations released by Target Books (which were also aimed at children and some of which were even written by the same authors as these books). If these books had been given real interactivity and had shared more of the feel of the Target novelizations, this would have been a stronger series.
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