Bantam, $2.50, ISBN 0-553-25472-3
Tenopia Island kicks off the Escape from Tenopia series, which is an “advanced” version of a Choose Your Own Adventure series. I am not sure what “advanced” means here, because the only thing that differentiates Tenopia Island from a typical Choose Your Own Adventure gamebook is that you will be sent back to the same spot several times while you figure out a way to reach your goal.
You are a young Earth space cadet whose spaceship became meteor pie. Escaping into your lifepod, you eventually find yourself on the planet of Tenopia, supposedly the most mysterious and dangerous planet. As you try to locate the village of Zindor and discover the whereabouts of a friendly space station that will help you go home, you will encounter slavers, monsters, and more.
As been mentioned earlier, you will find yourself going back to the same paragraph again and again. You really cannot die here. Crogocide slavers will capture you and then contrive to become stupid so that you will escape, even if these same goons have already captured you a hundred times before. You can wander into a volcano and still escape unscathed. Nothing here is remotely a challenge, so much so that you will wonder what it is that makes Tenopia Island so dangerous. The only danger here is you becoming so bored by the pointless wandering and pedestrian writing that you will opt to end the whole ordeal by pitching this gamebook out the window and hurting some innocent passerby.
Let’s hope that the rest of Tenopia will pose a more interesting challenge.