This series, adapted from some of Enid Blyton's popular British children's books, allow the reader to make decisions while reading a third-person story about the Famous Five, a group of young detectives. Like most Stephen Thraves books, these distinguish themselves by including a lot of flashy extras. Each book comes in a plastic sleeve that holds a special six-sided die with the silhouette of a different character on each side (plus one side marked "Mystery"), a small map and a variety of cards. Two slotted pieces of cardboard designed to hold the cards are also provided, one illustrated with a lunchbox, the other with a rucksack. At the start of the game, the player takes the lunchbox and rucksack, fills the lunchbox with three picnic cards (which are used like hit points) and chooses a single item of equipment (a map, torch, code book or measure) to put in the rucksack. Additional equipment can be discovered during play, and these items are used in different ways.
Different books contain different assortments of equipment, and some of the items are identical between multiple books, while others (mainly the code book and the map) vary from title to title. The map and the measure (marked in both paces and meters) are fairly self-explanatory. The torch and the binoculars are actually clear pieces of plastic with opaque patterns on them; when placed upon certain jumbles of letters in the books, they reveals messages. The compass is similar to the torch and binoculars, but it reveals a number from a ring of numbers rather than a message from a mass of letters. The code books allow secret messages in the text to be decoded. All of this equipment makes these books something of a challenge to collect, as they are difficult to find without dice or other components missing. Additionally, they have been reprinted many times, so the true completist will be challenged to find every existing variation of front and back cover designs. Even the dice changed over time, with some having more rounded corners than others.
Gamebooks1. The Wreckers' Tower Game
2. The Haunted Railway Game
3. The Whispering Island Game
4. The Sinister Lake Game
5. The Wailing Lighthouse Game
6. The Secret Airfield Game
7. The Shuddering Mountain Game
8. The Missing Scientist Game
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