We at GBN understand the enjoyment of diving into an adventure gamebook. Whether it’s a classic piece of Fighting Fantasy, Lone Wolf or one of the exciting recent additions to the genre, interactive fiction opens doorways into worlds of the imagination that can be as cinematic, engaging and memorable as any other form of entertainment. But – as with many things that are worthwhile doing – gamebooks can demand a fair investment of time…
Which is why GBN was delighted to receive an e-mail from game designer Geoffrey Golden – the creator of Adventure Snack – who has found a way to give us a zap of gamebook goodness without derailing the good part of a day.
Adventure Snack is an interactive story newsletter where subscribers receive (for free!) twice monthly e-mails to their inbox that resemble micro-gamebooks. In these bite-sized, one choice journeys, players command starships, solve ancient riddles, and escape an Italian restaurant as a sentient floating pizza! The games incorporate unique mechanics in place of traditional die rolls, like counting currently open browser tabs and determining the player’s level of Christmas spirit!
Adventure Snack launched in June 2019. On the newsletter platform Substack, Adventure Snack games regularly top their ‘Most Popular’ charts. Once again, games are free to play, and you can subscribe at adventuresnack.com
Most popular among these bite-sized morsels of quirky adventuring are:
Naturally, GBN wanted to play some of these games, so while waiting for our first bi-monthly interactive story newsletters to be delivered from Adventure Snack, we dived into their website, sampled the short-list of game links included above, and wrote up our first impressions.
First things first: all of the adventures are truly bite-sized – none of them took more than 5 minutes to complete (including replays) – and all the Snacks sampled by GBN were witty, surreal, and highly amusing.
I for one especially enjoyed the quacking DUCK GENIE who puts a waterfowl spin on any wishers desiring worldly wealth (what currency do YOU think ducks would choose, given the chance?), and though you may not have imagined what it might be like to delete a 5,600 year old tree called Balthasar from the Godbox (the universe has simply become too full), then it’s worth trying for a bit of cheeky fun!
For those with an appetite for classic fantasy Snacks, then there are two mini adventures that caught our attention…
Steal My Sunshard, where you play an infamous thief caught between a rock and a hard place (or in this case, a RED WIZARD and a CRYSTALSMITH), and Live Free or Die Bard, where life or death at the claws and fangs of GIANT SPIDERS may depend on your musical tastes..!
Each adventure contains charming little illustrations, images and stock photos that are cut in weird and wonderful ways, and I counted well over twenty Adventure Snacks, many of which are delivered in a style reminiscent of the great Douglas Adams of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fame.
To subscribe and browse Geoffrey Golden’s archive of mini adventures, head over to adventuresnack.com.
Article by KJ Shadmand