The 10 Strangest and Most AWESOME Choose Your Own Adventure books

At the end of last week I talked about the genesis of the Choose Your Own Adventure books. Doing that research I stumbled across a bunch of my old books as well as a bunch of other books from Demian’s Gamebook Website that were, to say the least, wacky. I had forgotten some of the books even existed. It is amazing all of the different zany and offbeat stories and book covers you can find in all of these books.

Today, let’s take a look at 10 of the strangest and most awesome Choose Your Own Adventure books.

Mystery of the Secret Room (via Demian’s Gamebooks)
#63 Mystery of the Secret Room (1986) – Could they have come up with a more boring or generic name? How about Secret of the Mystery Room?  Room of the Mystery Secret?  And is it just me or does this cover look familiar?  Maybe JK Rowling borrowed this title for her second Potter book and the artwork for her third Potter book.  Generic mystery/secret + noun titles abound in this series.  Check out #141 The Secret of Mystery Hill.

Ninja Cyborg
#155 Ninja Cyborg (1995) – Yes, AWESOME! I don’t see how the story could live up to the bad ass title and cover but I give Jay Leibold credit for totally going there. A cyborg that is also a ninja.  This exists and it is bad ass.  Question: Am I the ninja cyborg or am I fighting the ninja cyborg? Points taken away if I’m fighting the ninja cyborg, but points given back if I’m also a bad ass ninja master.  Who’s the dude in the blue tights in the background?

Search for Mountain Gorillas (via Demian’s Gamebooks)
#41 Search for Mountain Gorillas (1985) – When I’m grabbing a book for a choose your own adventure, the last thing I want to read about is the majestic mountain gorilla. Unless, of course, said gorilla is a super strong mutant gorilla that has gone insane and started murdering a bunch of campers and/or scientists. THAT is a gorilla I want to read about.  Unfortunately, this is not the case here. This is, essentially, the novelization to the movie Gorillas in the Mist starring Sigourney Weaver.  And I cannot fathom ever wanting to read that.  EVER.

Tatoo of Death v2
#159 Tatoo of Death (1995) – Is the tattoo itself deadly or just the fact that you have it?  Look at the book cover.  Some dude in a wife beater and sunglasses pushes you off a dock right on top of a shark.  Did the dude see you had the “tattoo of death” and just decide to push you in the water to fulfill the prophecy?  Why is that shark so close to the dock?  WTF is going on?!

The Race Forever (Via Demian’s Gamebooks)
#17 The Race Forever (1983) – How do you win a race that never ends?  And if the race never ends, how can the book end?  I guess it can’t, so don’t read this book otherwise you’ll be reading FOREVER.

The Throne of Zeus (via Demian’s Gamebooks)
#40 The Throne of Zeus (1985) – Why is Zeus not actually sitting in the “throne of Zeus”?  And why is Zeus gently massaging the shoulders of a young boy that is sitting in the “throne of Zeus”?

House of Danger House of Danger 2 (via Demian’s Gamebooks)
#15 House of Danger (1982) – So the “House of Danger” looks more like the “House of Insanely Random Things”. In the book cover on the left, is that a psychotic Robert E Lee? Are those mutant gorillas (one can only hope)? Is that a stagecoach on the bottom? What the hell? And the cover on the right. Is that a burning building (no house?) surrounded by monkeys (no mutant gorillas?) dressed in prison stripes (huh)? Is everything being eaten by a Venus Fly Trap?! WHAT IS GOING ON?!

Fight for Freedom (via Demian’s Gamebooks)
#107 Fight for Freedom (1990) – This book is called “Fight for Freedom” and it depicts a young boy on the cover possibly fleeing from an older, male priest and an exploding house.  I’m not sure where else I can go that this book cover hasn’t already taken you.

Your Code Name is Jonah (via Demian’s Gamebooks)
#6 Your Code Name is Jonah (1980) – Jonah?  Why can’t my code name be Blade, or Spike or Shark?  It’s gotta be Jonah?  Ugh.  And I notice there’s a whale on the cover.  Is that just a fun call back to the story of Jonah and the whale or is there going to be an actual, live whale in the story?  And why am I caring at this point?

You Are A Shark
#45 You Are A Shark (1985) – Bad.  Ass.  Yes, I want to turn into a shark like Manimal.  Short and to the point, I don’t even need the sweet illustration of the kid actually turning into a shark.  But I like it.

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5 Responses to “The 10 Strangest and Most AWESOME Choose Your Own Adventure books”

  1. You are a Shark is now officially on the top of my To-Get list!

  2. WallabyJoe Says:

    I loved “You are a Shark” so much as a kid that I attempted to write a sequel myself in a spiral notebook, complete with horrible kid art. I may or may not have called it “You are a Shark Again.”

  3. Achieving a fast sale of your apartment is not easy in the current climate. But if you know where to look it can still be done.

  4. Afternoon, really well thought out , I have book marked your website and I’ll be back ;D

  5. hobgoblin238 Says:

    I have been collecting a few of these. I am getting Who killed Harlow Thrombey in the mail soon.

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