Saturday, November 10, 2012

Windhammer: 22 Reviews in 22 Days

Several members of the community have generously submitted their feedback, either to the authors directly, or by posting their thoughts publicly. I for one, deeply appreciate everyone who has done this. It provides a lot of food for thought and helps move this great conversation forward about what gamebooks are and what we love about them.

So now it's my turn :)

I started up writing my reviews in a document (laughably) titled "Quick Reviews." That turned out to be a misnomer, as I am pathologically incapable of being "quick" about anything. The "reviews" part however is true.

Because these reviews grew and grew to the point where posting them all at once would be about as kind as chucking a dictionary at you, I've decided to split them up. I'll be posting one review a day for 22 days. I wish I could have taken more time to be thoughtful and thorough in each of my reviews, to grade them according to my 25 point scale, and apply keywords to give quick insight into what I thought of each one, but I'm just really busy, so this is the best I could do. Ironically, in the words of a great author, "I didn't have time to make them short."

Hopefully the reviews, while not as well organized as they could be, will be thoughtful, thorough and helpful. Although I'll give fair warning, I did not read every gamebook exhaustively. Some of these are based on little more than first impressions. Furthermore, (to give the standard disclaimer) these are just one dude's impressions. Take what you will, leave the rest :)

Just one more thing, and this is from the heart: the Windhammer competition this year was a huge success. I was delighted to see so many quality entries.

I went to check my notes before writing this up and found, "These are almost universally shockingly well put together. Beyond just havnig *more* gamebooks, we also have a substantial jump in professionalism across the board, with all of them."

Kudos to everyone who participated. You guys all rock.

For the sake of simplicity, I will be reviewing them in the same order they are listed on the Arborell website. Stay tuned for review #1 tomorrow, "The Enchanted Windmill."

Edit: Let me apologize in advance for all the criticisms! I tried to be nice, but like certain other commentators, I can occasionally stray into bile and vitriol. It's possible I have strong opinions on these things. Maybe.


  1. 22 reviews across 22 blog posts!? Why didn't I think of that! haha

  2. I'm really looking forward to your reviews!

  3. Thanks guys! They're all lined up and, if I did everything right, should be trickling out one a day for the next three weeks. I do wish I'd had time to make them more concise and graded, but you do what you can. I didn't read each thoroughly enough to apply my grading system, and it seemed unfair to grade some of them but not others.

  4. Genius idea! Looking forwards to it!

  5. I'm enjoying your reviews while I wait for this year's entries to be posted. Gives me lots more to think about when rating gamebooks in the contest.

    What is your 25 point system for rankings?