by JH Brennan, fantasy (1985)
Armada Books, $3.99, ISBN 0-440-99324-5
In Voyage Of Terror, the fourth gamebook in the campy comedic hack-and-slash series Grailquest, King Arthur and his Knights face a dire threat that is far different from the usual dragons, evil wizards, and fiendish knights. The Saxons are coming, oh no. Naturally, it is up to Merlin to summon you back in time into Pip the hardy adventurer's body for some Saxon busting.
This time around, the Saxons mean business. Their boss, Entwhistla, refuses any attempts at diplomacy. Worse, King Arthur discovers that his sword Excalibur is missing. Worst of all, Merlin bungles up the summoning spell, sending you into... a boat? Thus begins your Voyage Of Terror to recover Excalibur, as you encounter mangled versions of Greek and Egyptian mythological celebrities, old friends, and even cameos of characters from classic British novels.
This campaign is better off called Voyage Of Laughter because that is exactly what it is. The campaign still boasts ludicrously powerful opponents, but this time around, you do not have overpowered magic spells like Fireballs to blow them away. However, don't stop laughing. It's always fun to die in this campaign. Besides, you won't have met many people who didn't cheat while playing a Grailquest campaign, so you won't be alone in your secret shame.
In other words, Voyage Of Terror is pretty much like other Grailquest gamebooks - lots of fun to read, so much so that it often makes up for the ridiculous gameplay design. In this case, there is an added bonus of far less repetitive wandering in circles. Call me easy, but I have had too much fun not to give this one an indulgent pass.
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