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:
Download links for this series have been removed due to request from the copyright owners
One of the best gamebook titles ever made, The Way of the Tiger is a 6-book series with strong Oriental influence (similar to Origin's Moebius series of computer games). Written by Mark Smith and Jamie Thomson, and published by Knight Books between 1985 and 1987, the series stars your character as a trained ninja warrior, tackling all manner of evil in the world of Orb. Similar to other RPG-style gamebooks, each book in the series can be played separately, but playing them in sequence is recommended to grasp a large and complex overall storyline. The coolest part of these books is the combat system: you have a number of martial arts moves at your disposal (with names like "Teeth of the Tiger Throw" and "Leaping Tiger Kick"), as well as some very nifty ninja abilities (including the ability to feign death, shoot poison darts and shuriken, and escape from chains).
The passages are much longer and more descriptive than your average gamebook, and while the Japanese mythos sometimes appears hokey and bordering on stereotypical, the series as a whole is very well-written and provides well-balanced gameplay. If you like gamebooks, this series is a must-read.
Discuss this series on our forum!
Recommended The Way of the Tiger links: