Scholastic, $3.99, ISBN 0-590-51706-6
There is no horror in Into the Twister of Terror. You’ll be facing the threat of an incoming tornado threatening to flatten the farm of your Uncle Jed and Aunt Emily. They have a storm cellar, but your beloved dog Yoyo is missing. Sure, you can opt to get into the shelter anyway, but then you will be scolded for being a boring poo-head and have to go back to pick the option of going to look for Yoyo. You spot your dog and are about to give chase… when the twister smashes into that farmhouse of your uncle and aunt. Your adventure will diverge into one of two possible routes depending on your option from that point.
If you pursue Yoyo anyway, you will be led to a pretty dumb adventure which has animals including Yoyo being able to talk when there is an incoming storm, and you will either make Yoyo realize that you are his BFF, or you will be hounded by angry animals who want you dead. There is no happy ending if you end up in the latter circumstance, by the way. This route is obviously the filler segment of this campaign as it’s boring, random, and forgettable. The talking animals could have been frightening under other circumstances, but here they aren’t even played up for laughs. They are just sort of… there.
If you choose to go back to the farm house like some wannabe Clark Kent, you may end up in one of three possible routes. One will see you in some Twister-like scenario, with you helping two twister-chasing scientists whose intentions turn out to be pretty nefarious. Another will see you stumbling upon a movie about – what else – a tornado directed by a Sealberg. This is another one that has no happy ending. One more sees you stumbling upon Wendy, who tells you that she is the one responsible for summoning the twister, and she’d need your help to rectify her mistake and save the town.
The last one is arguably the most interesting route, as it’s probably the plot of an unsold novel retooled to be a gamebook, but if you have been keeping score, there are way too many twists and turns here. As a result, each route is painfully underdeveloped – some consists of only a few turns of the pages, mind you – and everything is going to be forgotten a few short hours after playing this thing. Why even bother? Is this gamebook completed solely as a contractual obligation? It really feels that way. Even the homage to The Wizard of Oz and Peter Pan feels perfunctory.
Into the Twister of Terror is definitely not going to blow you away.