Fantastic Adventures

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This series is one of several released by Troll in 1985. The other series, which all have the same basic format as this one (including the subtitle The Choice is Yours), are Alien Adventures, Forgotten Forest and Solve It Yourself. The books in this particular series all deal with, appropriately enough, fantastic adventures.

The information on this page is as complete as my collection will allow. If you find any errors or have a copy of the book I'm missing, please send an e-mail to

  Adventure in the Lost World
Author: R. W. Stroh
Illustrator: Kim Mulkey
First Published: 1985
ISBN: 0-8167-0535-6 (hardback), 0-8167-0536-4 (paperback)
Length: 92 pages
Number of Endings: 28
Library of Congress Summary: In the role of a sailor gone three years from home, the reader is asked by a mysterious stranger to return to help his/her parents, then chooses the turns in a plot full of monstrous adventures.
My Thoughts: It's amazing just how bad this book is. For starters, the writing is just awful -- the whole thing reads like a summary, having no detailed setting, no distinctive character traits and no flavor of any sort. At one point, for example, you battle a monster. The book never describes the monster, or even tells you what it is! It just keeps saying "the monster this" and "the monster that" until the monster is dead! As if this weren't bad enough, the story doesn't even go where it's supposed to. The entire point of the book is to discover what happened to your parents, but every path simply leads you into a random adventure which in turn leads to an ending that never resolves the plot of the book! It's hard to believe, but not a single path through the book has anything to do with the alleged plot! All in all, this makes for a frustrating (though fascinatingly inept) read. The book also happens to be an exercise in wasted space; lots of pages have just three or four sentences on them, and the vast majority are only about half full. If the sections were numbered separately from the pages, in Fighting Fantasy style, the book would probably only be about two thirds of its present thickness. About the only good thing I can say about this book is that my primary copy is a good quality hardcover printed on nice paper; too bad the content doesn't really deserve such good treatment. I also have a paperback copy, pictured above at the right. The artwork on its cover seems to be cropped a little differently than that on the hardback.

 Mystery at Loch Ness
Author: Roy Wandelmaier
Illustrator: Kim Mulkey
First Published: 1985
ISBN: 0-8167-0530-5
Length: 99 pages
Number of Endings: 19
Library of Congress Summary: While vacationing in Scotland, the reader becomes involved in searching for a missing professor who has been investigating the Loch Ness monster and is provided with some fantastic choices to make.
My Thoughts: There's nothing to make this gamebook particularly special, but it's not too bad. It's as good as your average Choose Your Own Adventure.

 Secret of the Old Museum
Author: Roy Wandelmaier
Illustrator: Dick Smolinski
First Published: 1985
ISBN: 0-8167-0531-3 (hardback), 0-8167-0532-1 (paperback)
Length: 99 pages
Number of Endings: 30
Library of Congress Summary: The reader's decisions control a series of adventures inside a museum, including time travel to ancient Egypt and an encounter with aliens from the Alpha Centauri system.
My Thoughts: As the summary suggests, this book covers a lot of different territory. It's not terribly well-written (or historically accurate) but it's fairly entertaining.

 Shipwrecked on Mystery Island
Author: Roy Wandelmaier
Illustrator: J. Brian Pinkney
First Published: 1985
ISBN: 0-8167-0534-8
Length: 101 pages
Number of Endings: 25
Library of Congress Summary: You are shipwrecked on a beautiful Pacific island in 1869 and must choose a course of events that will get you off, keep you there, or, indeed, ensure that you survive at all.
My Thoughts: This is a good, fast-paced gamebook. Unfortunately it relies on a lot of cliches which have already been used repeatedly in other gamebooks, so there's very little here that doesn't sound familiar.

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