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 Battlepits of Krarth
The Kingdom of Wyrd
The Demon`s Claw
The Walls of Spyte
Download links for this series have been removed due to request from the copyright owners
Definitely one of the best gamebook series ever released, Blood Sword is an excellent fantasy gamebook series designed more for hard-core RPG players than casual readers. Set in "Legend," the fantasy world expoused in detail in Dave Morris & Oliver Johnson's Dragon Warriors RPG, Blood Sword books are well-written, fun, and challenging.
There are many innovations that make it more memorable than other series: The most intriguing idea is that you can control a party of up to four characters, or play it with up to three other people. Each player controls one out of four available classes: Sage (a fighter/monk), Enchanter, Trickster, and Warrior. The characters are well-balanced, and you can finish the adventures without having all four classes (although it would be quite tough to do that without a Sage).
The combat system is very well designed: the closest to an RPG system I have seen. When you engage in battle, you are shown a diagram of the battlefield before each fight. You can carry characters from book to book, similar to the Lone Wolf series. They are also much longer than your average gamebook: each book contains 500+ passages spread over 300 pages of mostly very descriptive (and at times gruesome) text. If you are looking for a challenging, absorbing, and mature gamebook series, look no further than this out of print and extremely rare classic.
Discuss this series on our forum!