Bantam Books, $1.95, ISBN 0-553-25078-7
Oh no, civil war is about to break out between neighboring planets Pallax and Zavril! The two planets are squabbling over who gets to mine the element volanium on the moon Muron to overcome a fuel shortage. It’s up to you to prevent open warfare by locating Red Rocket, the missing spacecraft of a politician that once attempted to unite the two planets in a peace treaty, and recovering that peace treaty. As you zoom off to look for the Red Rocket, your past missions will come back to haunt you…
The only thing noteworthy in The Red Rocket is the fact that you will be tested on your memory of the previous gamebooks in this series. Of course, if you don’t remember or haven’t played those gamebooks, it’s not like you can’t guess – you have a 50% chance of getting things right, after all. There is also an interesting bad ending where you get swallowed by a monster that pretends to be a burger joint. Other than that, this gamebook is short, abrupt, and very unsatisfying. There are more illustrations than text this time around, and, indeed, The Red Rocket could easily be the shortest gamebook in the whole series! The “story” here is much more linear and shorter than that in the previous gamebooks, and it doesn’t help matters that there is a filler subplot tacked on in the last minute just to pad the pages.
The Red Rocket isn’t just a lifelessly short gamebook, it is more comparable to a brain fart than anything else. Perhaps that shouldn’t be a surprise considering that this is the eleventh gamebook in the series, but at the same time, that doesn’t mean that you should merely settle for this.