Saturday, February 4, 2012


I am a big fan of game books such as STAR STRIDER by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone. A game book is essentially a "choose your own adventure book" plus a little bit more, usually involving dice, pencil and paper.

The simplicity of a CYOA book appeals to me because you don't have to use a pencil and paper. I have seen some creative game books that have an illustration of 2 dices up in the corner of every page so that you don't need to have dices. But I do like how game books try to increase active interaction by more than just flipping pages, this can include taking notes, solving math problems, and picking up items. One of the most intensive game books I've ever played involved custom dice, red and blue 3-D code breaking, and items such as a flashlight, I no longer have this book and I believe it was from the Famous Five series. One last thing I have to say is that CYOA books are usually for the younger audiences, while game books are for the older kids, so most of the time the reading and subject matter of game books to me is more appealing.

There are two types of page flipping. One that tells you to go to a particular page. The other is one that tells you to go to a numbered paragraph. To me the numbered paragraph is a faster more action packed read than the page based flipping. When writing my own game book I will prefer to choose the numbered paragraph method, but I need to make sure that the pages will still be numbered.

Whether it is a game book or a CYOA book, the reader is going to have to make decisions, if you want to do this, go to this page, if not then go to this other page. Personally I really don't like making choices based out of luck. So if the choices are made strictly off of should I go left or right, and there is no information to study to make an educated decision, to me this is luck based choice making. I understand that this is an easy way to increase the replay value because readers will not likely remember the answer. In such a case consequences with instant deaths should be avoided to make the game play less luck based.

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