Ace Books, $3.50, ISBN 0-441-94978-9
You Can Be the Stainless Steel Rat is a gamebook that features Harry Harrison’s character James “Slippery Jim” DiGriz who is also known as the Stainless Steel Rat. However, you won’t be playing as Stainless Steel Rat here – instead, you are some nobody who is guided – and ordered around – by him as you undergo a wild goose chase of an adventure in a planet called Skraldespand. Your mission is to kidnap a Professor Geiseskrank, but it’s not as easy as it seems!
The good news is that this gamebook is impossible to fail. You won’t die. This is a Choose Your Own Adventure-style campaign, so instead of dying, you will only end up in circles as you come across the same pages again and again, heh. Just like the author’s science-fiction novels featuring the Stainless Steel Rat, this gamebook is humorous with plenty of tongue-in-cheek humor. The whole campaign has a feel of you being constantly barked at by a cantankerous, stern, but ultimately lovable camp master.
But the campaign isn’t the most interesting one once you take away the humor. There is a tendency for the campaign to loop itself should you take a wrong turn, and because the campaign is a pretty long one, the going can get pretty tedious after a while.
Still, this one will make a pleasant interlude between Grailquest campaigns for those who like their gamebooks to be tongue-in-cheek and irreverent above all else.