Gamebooks Primer

What are Gamebooks?

Gamebooks essentially started in the 1970’s with the “Choose your own Adventure” books series published by Bantam, which, according to Wikipedia, went on to sell 250 million copies.

The popularity of these books, and the worldwide success of roleplaying games such as Dungeons and Dragons led to Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson to write and release “The Warlock of Firetop Mountain” to great sales in 1982. This book and it’s subsequent spin offs,which eventually numbered over 70 different titles, went on to great success all through the 1980’s and beyond.

Of course, this success led to an other publishers getting in on the act by creating rival series, such as Joe Dever’s “Lone Wolf” series and the “Grail Quest” books by JH Brennan. Before the demand for these adventures faded, different publishers would provide quests from properties such as the Marvel Universe, Tolkien’s Middle Earth and the world of Star Wars.

In recent years these books have had somewhat of a resurgence of popularity, in print, and in books such as Michael J Ward’s “Destiny Quest” books. As technology advances aps made by developers such as Inkle Studio (Sorcery!) and Tin Man Games (Gamebook Adventures) have also reignited the genre for a new audience.

As for the future, writers such as Dave Morris (Fabled Lands) and Mark Smith and Jamie Thomson (Falcon) have set out to reprint their classic gamebooks for a new generation of readers, so the adventure can continue.

To find out more, go to some of these sites :

Demian’s Gamebook Page :

Fabled Lands :

Fighting Fantasy :

Lloyd of Gamebooks Blog :

Lone Wolf free downloads :



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