TSR, $2.95, ISBN 0-88038-300-3
Captain America: Rocket’s Red Glare may have an unfortunately dirty title, but it allows you to play Captain America for a day. In this one, you will meet some old friends and old enemies as you try to foil a plot by the beautiful but sinister Viper and prevent some rockets capable of mass destruction from falling into the wrong hands. Naturally, in all this talk about the terrors of weapons of mass destruction, not a single mention is made about the “good guy”, America, having the biggest hoard of such weapons. Then again, Captain America is nothing but xenophobic, eh?
Like the other gamebooks in the Marvel Super Heroes series, this one offers a very linear campaign that subsequently has very little replay value. However, the story is a pretty entertaining one, suggesting that this one could have been a better novel than gamebook.
While the die-rolling component is pretty flexible in the sense that it’s quite difficult to get a score low enough to cause any disastrous results, it becomes tiring, however, to have to keep rolling the die whenever your character wants to do anything. Captain America may be the poster boy for American xenophobia, but he is capable of doing things on his own without requiring a die roll once in a while, I’m sure. It gets to a point here where it is as if he’d need a successful die roll to tie his shoe laces. Since it’s hard to actually flunk these die roll things, the whole practice becomes a chore more than anything else. This is one gamebook where it’s more rewarding to cheat than to stick to the tediousness of die rolling, especially when the practice seems pointless after a while.
Read this one for the story, rather than playing it for the gold.