Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Return to Brookmere by Rose Estes

Today, I'd like to look at a bit of nostalgia. The title is Return to Brookmere by Rose Estes. This whole series of books was one of my favorites. 

Title: Return to Brookmere
Author: Rose Estes
Year: July 1982
Pages: 153
Rating: ★★★★ 

In this title, you take the role of an Elf named Brion. The story starts with a multi-page character sheet, the description begins with your height, weight, and appearance before moving on to clothing, weapons, armor, and gear. Of note, you seem to be wearing elven chainmail and have a magic necklace. Your mission is to scout your former home of Castle Brookmere. 

Back in 1982, I would have been 10. This style of storytelling made quite an impression on me. It was a merger of Choose Your Own Adventure and classic D&D. Each entry usually ends with 3 choices to pick from to progress the story. It wasn't at all like the open-end D&D sessions but it was pretty close. Often you hit the "The End... go back to the beginning," which usually meant you did something careless. 

I have mapped out whole adventure games like Star Smuggler. It is rather unnecessary for this title as it's so brief. There are 12 endings, good or bad. There are 24 choice pages and 15 or so jump pages that ask the reader to move to a new page without a choice. I like to call these tension pages as the reader will flip through several pages of text before having to hop to another page for a choice. It's a neat trick. 

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