Some of you may remember the massive Abandonware site known as the Home of the Underdogs. A few of you may even remember that it had a section devoted to the low-tech predecessors of interactive fiction games: the gamebooks.
After HotU's demise, numerous revival projects came into existence -- but so far, the gamebook collection is missing from every one of them.
to prevent this content from vanishing from off the face of the internet, we decided to host a copy of the collection here on Abandonia.
Note: Some of these gamebooks were planned for addition but never made it to HotU. They were posted by Sarinee in the copy of the partial backup of gamebooks she made available in 2009.
As a child, I grew up with a lot of "Choose Your Own Adventure" gamebooks popular in late 1970s and early 1980s. This page showcases some of the best gamebook and solo adventure/RPG series ever made, including some rare gamebook comics. Since there is a very small chance that these books will see the light of day again, especially since many copyright holders (such Byron Preiss) no longer exists and all these books have been out of print for over a decade, I have decided to scan and compile these gamebooks from my own collection into PDF format, so that old-timers can relive the old days, and younger visitors will have a chance to experience first-hand this primitive-but-fun form of interactive entertainment that was popular long before the rise of computer games.
All books have been scanned and compiled in Adobe PDF format. You can either print it out or play it on-line in Adobe Acrobat Reader (version 4.0 or higher required). Hyperlinks have been added in most books for your convenience, so you can jump to page X or box X by just clicking on "Go to X" passages.
Many gamebooks, especially "solo RPG" adventures such as the Fighting Fantasy series, require you to roll dice to determine combat outcomes. If you don't have any RPG die (6-sided typically), feel free to use this handy RPG Dice Roller or the D&D Dice Roller.
Recommended gamebook links:
If the individual book sections don't open when clicked, go here.
Description and comments on this rare gamebook series from Demian's superb gamebook site:
"This six-book series is based on the ITV fantasy game show of the same name. As in the show, players race through the dungeon of Knightmare Castle, attempting to complete quests before their Life Force runs out. The rules used by the books are simple, generally only covering Life Force, inventory management and spell-casting. The first four books were released by Corgi and the last two by Yearling; these latter two books are larger-format than their predecessors and are designed for a younger audience.
I was quite fortunate to collect this entire series quickly and unexpectedly; an eBay win covered most of it, and the couple of books missing from that lot were easy enough to find. Excited by my acquisition, I had to make a priority of reading through it. I'm glad I did, though most of the good points of these books come from their novellas and not their interactive portions. It's interesting to see this much continuity in a series that had one-year gaps between the release of its volumes; one wonders if they were written more closely together than they were published. Also interesting is the fact that the advice given in the very first book holds true throughout the series even though not all of it is repeated -- most vital is the fact that one can rarely go wrong by taking a right-hand path; this certainly aided in my rapid completion of the series."
Discuss this series on our forum!
Recommended Knightmare links: