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:
The Diceman series is an early, interesting combination of gamebooks and graphic novels, introduced in 1986 as a spin-off of the UK's popular (and non-interactive) 2000AD weekly comic magazine. Billed as a "role-playing comic," Diceman lasted five issues before being discontinued in 1986.
As the name implies, games in Diceman all require you to use dice (typically 2 six-sided ones) to play most games in the book. Each issue includes two to three different games, each starring heroes from the 2000AD magazine, including Judge Dredd, Torquemada, Slaine, Rogue Trooper, ABC Warrior, and Nemesis the Warlock. Given the "adult" nature of 2000AD stories in general (e.g. graphic depiction of violence and some sexual overtones), the games are quite interesting, and more challenging than the Be an Interplanetary Spy series. A nice feature is that each game has different types of gameplay, depending on the main character and the plot. The artwork is consistently very good throughout, and the stories are all action-packed and quite enjoyable. If you like gamebooks, or even just comic books in general, check this one out.
A big thanks to Zarbot Martianbeast, a die-hard gamebook enthusiast, for scanning these rare oldies.
Discuss this series on our forum!
Recommended 2000AD: Diceman links: