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:
One of my favorite titles, Freeway Warrior is a four-book series written by Joe Dever of Lone Wolf fame. From the book: "You are Cal Phoenix, the freeway warrior, champion and protector of Dallas Colony One. A murderous gang of H.A.V.O.C. clansmen, led by the psychotic Mad Dog Michigan, are bent on destroying your fragile colony as it crosses the wastelands of Texas on the first stage of a life-or-death exodus to the California coast. These bike-riding clansmen are a formidable enemy: armed, cunning, and extremely dangerous, capable of launching a lightning raid at any time, day or night. You will need all your wits about you if you are to defend your people and reach your destination intact."
Like other Joe Dever classics, this series is full of interesting characters, great atmosphere, and excellent combat and puzzles. A random number table is included in the back of each book, so there's no need to carry dice around when you want to play. Like Lone Wolf, you can play each book separately, but playing them in order is recommended, because they follow a chronology (starting with Cal's departure in Book #1 and ending with his arrival in California in Book #4). If you like gamebooks, this series is a must-read. And if you don't, this is the one series that will convert you.
Discuss this series on our forum!
Recommended Freeway Warrior links: