The Forces of Krill (1983)

For a minute there, it seemed like EVERYTHING had a line of pick-your-path books. To wit: Zork! The beloved Infocom videogames are interactive fiction themselves, so it perhaps isn’t that much of a stretch for them to make the leap to printed books, I suppose, but it will never not seem odd to me anyway. Love that it is “A What-Do-I-Do-Now Book,” a moniker that absolutely inspires confidence.

Anywho, this is the first volume, The Forces of Krill (1983) and it reconfigures the Zork games for a reading level of about…ten year’s old? Maybe a little younger even. There are two protagonists, a boy and a girl, which I find remarkably inclusive for the time. They’re also helped periodically by an uncle. There is a strange distance put down between the reader and the characters though, thanks to the book being written in third person. It would be more accurate to call it a “What-Do-They-Do-Now Book.” Anyway, bad wizard has a lizard army, and the only way to stop him is by getting some whatsits before he does. This can be accomplished above ground or underground (I haven’t counted but it seems like there are about two dozen potential endings, not counting the very clever cheater trap) and you can do it in about 20 minutes or so. The art is…OK. Something about the interiors evoke a sort of mock computer graphics and I like that, but they’re a little underwhelming overall. Also, aside of the cheater trap, the book lack the trademark Zork sense of humor, which is a big misstep.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *