I've got a small collection of TSR's old Endless Quest books. I'm thinking I'll do a little review series of them, both as books for kids and as fodder for RPG games.
Anyway, two things to note--first off, I was not too surprised to see on Amazon.com that WotC tried to bring them back a couple years ago. Also not surprised that despite hanging out in gaming circles, and having an elementary school librarian for a mother, I heard NOTHING of this until today. Good old WotC (It's a sport for your brain/Zee game eez steel zee same) marketing.
Secondly, I just ordered Dragon of Doom, Return to Brookmere, Revolt of the Dwarves, Raid on Nightmare Castle, The Endless Catacombs, Mountain of Mirrors, and Revenge of the Rainbow Dragons from a used vendor. $4 a pop, not too bad. That'll double my collection. (Thanks to libraries and borrowing from friends, I have read some of these before, but don't remember much.)
Endless Quest books, like the Choose Your Own Adventure books that inspired them, have some failings. Not that they're written for kids.
#1 was that the protagonists are almost always children. When I was a kid, I really loved the books, but I always liked the ones where "you" were a competent adult rather than some meddling kid.
#2 were all the moralizing Jimminy Cricket talking animal/worthless halfling/whatever sidekicks. Sure, these are for kids, but do we really need heavy handed morality plays? I think not. Again, when we were kids a common review of one of these books was "it was cool, except for the talking muskrat."
On the good side, usually threats are dealt with creatively, rather than through brute force. Sometimes the brute force carries the day, but other times it leads to one of those bad endings.
The Beginning of Something Wonderful
3 hours ago