Most gamebooks have some ultimate aim in order for you to win (Fabled Lands is an exception. You decide what your criteria for success are and there is no 'winning' end).
|Now drop and give me 399
'cos you aint good enough
to get to 400.
I was being a bit harsh there, and so was the book. So how can you turn seemingly random choices like that into informed decisions that stretch your abilities so that at least if you do win or lose, the responsibility is yours alone. Victory will be sweeter because it was you who did it.
So how can we turn these seemingly random choices into informed decisions?
|It comes in handy but
having a maze with a
map of it at the entrance
kind of defeats the point of it.
|This is the game from Curse of the Mummy.
What's the winning move?
However, I have come across puzzles where I have had to work out the number of a paragraph, hit a brick wall and got very frustrated about it (I'm looking at you, Tower of Destruction)!
To make it easier, it could be a multiple choice puzzle or, if it does involve finding out which paragraph to turn to, make the solution paragraph obvious so that I can flick through the book and work out where it is.
The devil is in the detail
|Either he's an imposter or he's still
bitter about that time you put dog
poo in his lunch.
Some choices that may seem random are not actually random if you look at the details in the text or in the illustrations. For example in Siege of Sardath, you come across Sorrel, one of your best friends. He taught you archery, tracking and how to respect the forest and you taught him swordplay (bit of a bum deal for him if you ask me) and the text tells you that he has a scar on his right eye as a testament to this (I've never scarred my right eye as a testament to my friendship with someone. Obviously, I'm not a good friend).
The illustration opposite goes with the paragraph. Notice anything out of place?
Another example is in Andrew Wrights microadventure, Debacle at Dead Mans' Inn. At the end of the book, you have to decide which of the villagers is a shape shifter. You are given a brief description of each villager. All I'm going to say is that you need to read the descriptions of the villagers before you see them then.