by Christopher Black, futuristic (1983)
Dell, $2.50, ISBN 0-440-41615-9
The Cosmic Funhouse is the third gamebook in the Star Challenge series. Keep away the pencil and die: you only need your fingers to turn the pages in this Choose Your Own Adventure-style gamebook.
You're back at being the young hot galactic agent with the Network of Worlds. This time around, you and your faithful robot companion 2-Tor are assigned to pay the Amusement Planet a visit. As you can imagine, the whole planet is one giant theme park. However, people who visit the main attraction, the Cosmic Funhouse, have a tendency to vanish, never to be seen again. You are charged to discover what is going on in that place. Should you pose as a tourist or sneak into the Amusement Planet when no one is watching you closely?
Full of short story arcs, none of them particularly interesting, The Cosmic Funhouse is a joyless read. This is disappointing because the setting has plenty of potential to be memorable. The Amusement Planet is a giant theme park, after all. But instead of bringing on some interesting villains, Mr Black opts for boring aliens... again.
At the end of the day, there isn't much fun to be had in The Cosmic Funhouse.
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