Chooseco, $6.99, ISBN 1-933390-02-6
You are an undersea explorer, and in Journey Under the Sea, your quest is to locate the lost city of Atlantis. Okay, you’ve probably guessed this just from the title of this gamebook alone, but hey, it’s Atlantis! This will be exciting!
Or maybe not that exciting. Getting to Atlantis is actually quite easy in this adventure, but being entertained in the process may be harder than you’d think. A big problem here is Mr Montgomery’s bland narrative – he describes things in a manner more appropriate for shopping lists and IKEA manuals. You did this, you saw that, you went there, the end. More descriptions could have brought the setting to life; changes in pacing and tone could have created atmospheres of suspense, thrill, or danger. As it is, this one is like a dry and colorless field trip. It shouldn’t be like this, because there are twists and turns here that could have thrilled young kids, but that’s what it is, sigh.
As for those twists and turns, they are pretty clichéd for anyone who isn’t a young kid, as they deal with superficial eco-friendly messages like how people will be happy and live in peace forever after if they get rid of modern technology, hold hands and sing Kumbayah, and grow their own food. Yes, you’ve heard all of that before, I’m sure.
Journey Under the Sea could have been great, but it is just bland and forgettable instead.