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Series - HeartQuest

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Publisher: TSR -- United States
Categories: Complexity Level : Basic (No Game System)
Format : Paperback
Genre : Fantasy
Genre : Romance
Product Family : Dungeons & Dragons
Target Age Group : Older Children
Target Age Group : Teenagers
Writing Style : Present Tense
Writing Style : Second Person

These interactive romances, set in the world of Dungeons & Dragons, follow the same basic format as the first thirty-six Endless Quest adventures. The books feature cut-out covers designed so that a round frame overlays a full-page color illustration; these cut-outs often get snagged on other books, making undamaged copies difficult to find.


1. Ring of the Ruby Dragon
2. Talisman of Valdegarde
3. Secret Sorceress
4. Isle of Illusion
5. Moon Dragon Summer
6. Lady of the Winds

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User Comments

This was a short-lived attempt of TSR to follow up on their successful Endless Quest series by entering the teen romance genre (a genre I personally know little about). Interestingly, the D&D label does not appear on the covers, most likely as D&D was considered too much of a "boy" thing in the early 80s. The covers feature great 80s D&D artwork, with a little, easily torn "window" which I think was popular in romance novels of the time. (Despite this, I've managed to buy 3 "untorn" books).

The books' protagonists are all teenage girls from 14-17 years old and are set in the generic D&D setting (which became Mystara) of the time and contain recognisable monsters.

The stories themselves range from ok to very good, and manage, more than any of the other spin-offs, to capture the "feel" of the Endless Quest series. If fact, if you put aside the romance elements, they would fit very easily into the original series. They are all sturdy efforts on the part of the authors and worthy of more than cut-and-paste reviews. If you enjoyed the original Endless Quests, and are looking for more of the same, these should be right up your alley.

I'm not really the target audience, so I can't comment on how successfully they capture the "romance" element, but I liked the "Kiss him or not" types of choices that reflected a young, innocent first love. Personally, I tended to prefer the books which had more potential love interests, allowing the reader to choose between 2 suitors. Gamebooks should be all about choice, shouldn't they?


"HeartQuest" is a series that, perhaps understandably, received mixed critical reviews on release (after all, each book was written by a different author) and was, by the publisher's standards, a commercial failure. As a plus, each of the six titles VERY quickly gets off and running with the plots (if the book has one), and apart from two of the books there are sure signs of intelligent effort poured out into the mapping, creative components and overall experience of the whole work. Unfortunately, each book has serious flaws (some FAR worse than others): choices/actions are often illogical, routes can seem obvious the first time, and the romance-fantasy mix is only pulled off well in one of the routes of the first book. On top of that, perhaps a third-person narrative style would've worked better, as would've a more straightforward story in most cases. At its worst, the series is cheaply written, uninspired and not necessarily thought out in the bigger picture. Except for the first title to an extent, it's impossible to recommend these books - an experimental series that neither has the head nor the heart to create a memorable, worthwhile experience.


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