by Dan Fabulich and Adam Strong-Morse, fantasy (2012)
Choice Of Games, $4.99, ISBN N/A
Oh, this is a cute one. Choice Of The Dragon follows the formula of the other Choice Of interactive stories from this publisher, but this one just revels in its cheeky bravado. It allows you to make really amusingly bad-intentioned - if juvenile - choices that playing this one is like being allowed to run around and cuss out the people you dislike without having to pay the consequences.
As the title suggests, you play a dragon. There's a "fixed" story line here, like other offerings from this publisher, so the options merely offer a rather illusionary kind of non-linearity. You may meet an untimely end, cutting short the story arc, but if you manage to sidestep that, you will basically get more or less the same story, only with variations here and there depending on the choices you make.
The story is a typical zero-to-hero thing, although "hero" may be stretching it as you can be as mean and nasty as you want. And it's really much more fun than it may seem at first, being allowed to run around chomping up as many people as you want. The tongue-in-cheek humor is present in just the right dose - not too much to the point of being farcical, but not too little to the point of being too understated - makes it a most enjoyable vicarious experience to play the meanest dragon in the land.
The unfortunate thing here, though, is that the authors can't resist falling back to more conventional norms. You can play a more cunning or even somewhat honorable dragon here, and the stories that result end up being more interesting than what you will get if you play a chomp-first ask-later brute. This adds a degree of replay value to the whole thing, but it is quite a pity that being an unrepentantly bad dragon leaves you at a less interesting place compared to the other dragon personalities.
Still, you get to eat everything up with glee, burn and destroy with relish, and even get worshiped as a deity. Isn't this why gamebooks are created? Fun!
This book at Amazon.com
This book at Amazon UK
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