When I was a kid, Choose Your Own Adventure books were sort of like the prototypes for some kinds of adventure games. Now, because graphics-heavy games like World of Warcraft Online exist, the choose-your-own-adventure books need more bells and whistles. This one, Treasure of Mount Fate, has lots of graphics and choices. Some pages are even comics pages. Sadly, it fails to deliver on promises of interest. I read the book six times in order to solve it, and kept finding death or disappointment at each choice.
Most of the choices were of the nature of “left” vs. “right”. Some were “stay and fight” vs. “run away.” Yet at each choice, the nature of the book was to seem random. At one point, you meet an imprisoned wizard: helping him leads to slavery. Not helping him allows you to escape slavery only to die at the hands of a magical trap; delaying in helping subjects you to two equally distressing ends. Confronting one monster leads to death; running away subjects you to a long fall with a sudden, sharp stop. Ethical choices are not rewarded; but neither are cowardly ones.
The book claims that the main character — you — wants to be a hero. Yet none of his actions or choices that lead to success can truly be seen to be heroic. They’re the sort of ordinary choices that folks make every day when trying to avoid traffic, not the choices of a hero.
Stars: 0.5 out of 5.