I mentioned in an early post that part of the fun of games is having that interactive experience with the medium. Sometime unexpected things happen, and sometimes you’re running a familiar campaign or playing a game you’ve played a few times and discover a new path or item. 

Choose your own adventure stories were a trade-marked set of gamebooks published in the 1980’s and 1990’s. They’re still read and in libraries today, though they are looking a little dated. I’m especially excited to try out the card game based on the series.

What’s most exciting to me in my teacher and writer mind is that these books expect creativity from the reader, and they can teach us to write our own choose-your-challenge style stories. For young readers this is especially empowering.

  • Manuro & Gorobei. (2018). Hocus & Pocus: The legend of Grimm’s woods. 152 pages. 978-1683690573

    Ages 8-10

    Play as a male or female and rise through the magical ranks with a familiar you train. Many paths to victory and a score sheet to keep track of your ranking make this a game in a book. The first in a series, the pastel coloring will appeal to some students more than others. The pastel colors might send some readers in a different direction, but the right reader is going to love this.

Shuky, Waltch, & Novy. (2018). Knights club: The bands of bravery. Comic book you can play. Philadelphia, PA: Quirk Books. 184 pages, 978-1683690559

Ages 8-12

An RPG choose your own adventure comic where the book keeps track of hit points for the reader as they battle their way through a magical kingdom. The format combines reader interaction and a game style many enjoy, but it can be read by any fantasy reader or as an introduction to the genre. The first in a series, there’s promise here. The illustrations are key as the numbered choices send you through forests and adventures.

In an abandoned mall on the edge of town, the arcade still glows every night. What readers learn fast is that venturing into the arcade transports the reader into a game. Beware obstacles or the games over, and you’re forever in the arcade. Told in the second person, this choose your own adventure series allows readers to make choices along the path to victory… or defeat. Illustrated to increase spookiness. There are more books in the series, but this is what I have at my house.

The Good: Choose your own adventure fun! Specific vocabulary related to the game’s world (like space) will be high.

The Challenge: It takes perseverance to read a story through to the end with so many ways to “die.”

Soria, G. & Hale, K. (2018). Excellent Ernesto cousins 3 / Wrestlevania: A play-your-way book Midnight Arcade). New York: Penguin Workshop. 288 pages. 978-1524784317

Soria, G. & Hale, K. (2018). Crypt quest / Space battles: A play-your-way book (Midnight Arcade). 256 pages. 978-1524784294

These old stand-bys of the days when Dungeons & Dragons players couldn’t gather enough people for a game are back. They are fairly age appropriate for the middle-readers, but for for the adult adventurer with a couple hours to kill. 

Adventure through the Ardeep forest, Underdark,  Waterdeep, or further. Choosing your path still means finding certain death at times, but paths abound in the Realm. Read/Play as any character class with a great story.

Forbeck, M. (2018). Dungeons & Dragons: Endless Quest Series. New York: Candlewick Entertainment. Averaging 128 pages.

Ages 7-12

Sometimes your game is the book. If you found other quality choose your own adventure stories published recently, share! I’m always looking for a good read.