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Complexity Level : Intermediate (Some Game Elements)
Format : Paperback
Game System : Visual Puzzles
Genre : Science Fiction
Target Age Group : Older Children
Target Age Group : Younger Children
Writing Style : Present Tense
Writing Style : Second Person
Du är en rymdspion (Swedish)
Haz de Espia Interplanetario (Spanish)
Seja Um Espião Interplanetário (Portuguese)
These books, designed by Byron Preiss (also known for their work on Explorer and Time Machine), cast the reader as a spy who travels through space tracking down various alien criminals. The books are very visually oriented, having a style that feels like a mix between comic books and early eighties video games. Puzzles like mazes and visualization problems are common, and what text there is is very brief. Although the books are not heavy on plot, there is continuity between them, with some foes recurring from book to book and the reader’s character gaining in rank as the series goes on. Although not as influential as Choose Your Own Adventure or Fighting Fantasy, this series is generally held in high esteem by fans and was an important force in the early days of the American gamebook market Because the books encourage the reader to write in them, it's somewhat difficult to find "clean" copies.
Be an Interplanetary Spy #1 - Mendelum Maze
Be an Interplanetary Spy #1 - Sandragon Maze
Be an Interplanetary Spy #1 - Spaceport Maze
Be an Interplanetary Spy #6 - Mobius Express (back)
Be an Interplanetary Spy #6 - Mobius Express (front)
Back in the day, this series was my #1 alternative to the kind of gamebooks that kill you randomly. Though the stories are pretty linear, I was pleased to be rewarded for making the right decision (or killed for the wrong one) in a bunch of pattern recognition, maze, decoding and other interesting puzzles.
I LOVED this series as a kid, and still enjoy it now. It is so profusely illustrated and filled with puzzles and games, that its catch phrase, "Better than a Video Game" isn't entirely off the mark. Recommended!
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