Well, I am rubbish at Fighting Fantasy. Reading the line, ‘YOUR adventure ends here’ seems to come ever earlier with each gamebook that I play.
My hero has died in all but the Warlock of Firetop mountain so far (and in that one I did cheat my way through the Maze of Zagor). On my most recent excursion to Fire Island with ill-starred Mungo, my hero died knee deep in mud. So I approached Scorpion Swamp with some trepidation. I like Scorpion Swamp – the book, not the place – I like the choice of quests, the fact that your hero can move back and forth from area to area, and that mapping is important for the story of your hero, not solely for the puzzle that YOU, the reader, are solving standing on the bodies of the countless dead and used adventurers that YOU have thrown into this sandbox meatgrinder.
But, like it or not, I am rubbish. I managed to explore a grand total of four clearings. Including the one in which that your hero starts. I know, my magic ring was warning me of danger, but when faced with the MASTER OF SPIDERS, looming threateningly on his throne, I thought I might talk my way out of trouble. No such luck. Not even a TEST OF LUCK. Next time, when I have a SKILL 10 adventurer, I’m going to just kill sinister guys on sight. Or Snow Witches.