Archway, $3.50, ISBN 0-671-74112-8
Double Trouble marks Nintendo’s debut in the gamebook market, which is quite odd considering how gamebooks were fast losing leeway to video games in that time period.
This one allows you to make decisions for Mario, one half of the plumber duo of the Super Mario Bros fame. Clones of everyone and everything is plaguing the Mushroom Kingdom, and it’s up to you to help Mario save the day. I’m sure you can guess who the villain is.
This one is part Choose Your Own Adventure and part Star Challenge: you will sometimes be asked to solve some puzzles (mazes, codes, that kind of thing). Most of the time it’s just a simple matter of turning to the page of your choice. Some choices depend on the items Mario has collected in the adventure, while other items contribute to your final score, just like a video game. Things are not that complicated though, as this gamebook is geared toward younger kids.
Cute is how I’d describe Double Trouble. The puzzles are of low to moderate difficulty and the whole thing is pretty quaint. However, this gamebook also could use more adorable illustrations that would have livened up things and the writing is very pedestrian even for a gamebook aimed at kids. Therefore, this one is fun, but it could have been much more enjoyable.