My Favorite Game Mechanic: Choose Your Own Adventure: House of Danger

Sometimes you want a game that’s easy to learn. Sometimes you want a blast from the past. Choose Your Own Adventure: House of Danger happens to be both, and your uncle Geekly found a lot of enjoyment out of the game. So much so, that I can’t wait for the next game of the Choose Your Own Adventure series.

If you’ve ever read a Choose Your Own Adventure book, you’re seventy-five percent familiar with this game’s mechanisms. Seriously. House of Danger adds a simple skill check system, but the rest of the game follows the original book. Yes. R. A. Montgomery released a Choose Your Own Adventure book of the same name in 1982.

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I think this game came at the right time. Many games borrow ideas from the classic Choose Your Own Adventure books (T.I.M.E. Stories and most escape room games), but House of Danger commits to recreating one. It’s simple, but it works.

Since the pages (of the novel) are split into individual cards, it’s easy to play the game as a family—and in saying you’re playing the game I really mean that a family or group of friends is reading a book together. I like how House of Danger draws the players’ attention to the Choose Your Own Adventure style of books.

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There were a few moments where die rolls took over the game—I’m looking at you, braving the underground maze—but the bulk of the game when I played with my family was engaging with the written material and making choices that went well or went horribly wrong. And yes, there are moments that make someone what to say that they never did that. Their finger was on the previous page the whole time.

It can be difficult to add a new element to something or manipulate how a story is consumed, but House of Danger does a good job of capturing the feel of a Choose Your Own Adventure, while making it feel new. The added die rolls and progress tracks don’t detract from the original fun.

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Many gamers won’t like that House of Danger has limited replay value, but it’s cheap and like the novels, you can gift them to someone else when you’re done. Sometimes it’s nice to have a finite number of plays. Sometimes it’s nice to relive the past. It also doesn’t hurt that House of Danger is inexpensive.

If you don’t agree with me, go to page 472 or you can leave a comment.

 

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