Chooseco, $6.99, ISBN 978-1-933390-3
You get to be an adult for once in Lost on the Amazon, but since this is a gamebook meant for kids, your adult character is a pretty dim sort. Let’s just say that the title isn’t just about your missing buddies. You are an expert in tropical diseases, and in this one, you are coming to Brazil to locate “lost villages of the forest people” (how can they be lost if they can be located?) and do your Superior Wise Benevolent Savior from the West act on them. Indeed, the natives in this campaign are portrayed in one of two light: rude, corrupt and dangerous law enforcers and bandits (often the same thing) and dangerous primitive people who babble in cryptic phases. There is something in here to appease the white colonial in everyone!
Anyway, your friends are missing and the local enforcers are like, whatever. Your friends have a mysterious guide and he shows up to babble hippie gobbledygook while being of no use at all. You, the adult, sets out to find your friends without making any research or preparations, and maybe you will live, die, or get teleported to the land of the little ponies depending on Mr Montgomery’s whim. Seriously, at one point, you are asked to decide on an important choice by picking which closed fist – left or right – offered by the useless guide. In another charming end, you are said to be completely lost and presumably would starve to death in the Amazon wilderness – is that even possible? – despite the fact that the guide is with you. Hmm, perhaps the guide is a cannibal who decides to roast you alongside some potatoes? Who knows, Mr Montgomery is not exactly forthcoming in that area. It’s just… oh no, you are lost… forever! The end.
Lost on the Amazon is a time-waster, at the end of the day. It’s random, made of stereotypes, and boring. The cover art is lovely, though, if that is any consolation.