It’s the middle of the month, which means another Gamebook. This time, it’s the Cave and the Treasure. Definitely not Halloween themed, but outside of the pinball game, there were exactly three pay-what-you-want games and this is one of them. It follows the same combat rules as Ghost Manor, HP + weapon dictates the threshold you must roll to inflict damage.
No plot here. There’s a cave. There’s also a treasure chest outside the cave. I decide to explore it and pry it open with the dagger, since I feel like this is the same situation as the lady at the manor, someone who might give me a powerup. I pop open the chest, and a snake pops out. I get hit for one HP because I failed to dodge him. Now the first fight begins.
But it’s over quickly. My to-hit threshold was at 3 (I have a dagger so that’s +1) and the snake’s HP was 1. So it’s dead. I put on the bracelet inside the chest that gives me a buff and I now enter the cave. It turns out I can’t turn back, only forward.
After some exploring, I find a door that’s open. There, I find a small room with a chest. I get treasure, six gold and a health potion. Next, I’ll walk to the right. There I encounter a skeleton. A fight ensues. After a bit of rolling, I manage to beat him. I get three more gold for a total of nine.
So, next I decide to explore a bit more, finding a large hallway. There, I end up getting into a trap that takes one HP away from me, leaving me at 2 health and four combat value. Some more searching later and I come across a merchant who I purchase a sword and health potion from, bumping my fight value to seven. Four health (picked up a +2 heatlh), Sword is +2 WM, then I got the bracers that give me another +1.
Now comes the phase of the game where I dissect the gamebook to get to the ending because I left a lot of things to chance and I don’t wanna be stuck. Now, to be fair, you are able to choose where to go, each section having their own odds and chances of rooms, but even then, you need to get three magic crystals to progress.
For instance, using the “walk forward” option, you’d need an 83.33% chance, then a 66.67% chance of making sure the door is unlocked (though if you have a lockpick, worth seven gold, you’d be able to enter no problem), then another 66.67% to get into a room with a treasure, though I say the small room is better since it gives you a 50% chance over the large room’s 33.33%.
There’s the Turn Right option that gives you a slightly smaller chance of finding a room in comparison to “walk forward” (66.67%), and then there’s the Turn Left option which cuts all the middle men and you have a direct shot at getting a chest, but only a 33.33% chance, the other 66.67% being an encounter with a skeleton.
Once you get to the chest, you have a 66.67% chance of getting the chest, the other 33.33% being devoted to a trap that always gives you damage. After that, you have a 33.33% chance of getting the crystal.
So, let’s combine all the chances.
- Walk Forward: You’ll get your crystal 11% of the time.
- Turn Right: You’ll get your crystal 58.33% of the time.
- Turn Left: You’ll get your crystal 44% of the time.
And then you combine those chances together to make sure you get three crystals. Though, I will admit, 61% is more merciful than the 25% chance of getting to the end boss in Ghost Manor, since, again, you can pick where you can go in this Gamebook.
So, let’s say I did some grinding and I finally got three crystals. What awaits me?
A final boss! Nice! One scuffle later and he is beaten. And much like Ghost Manor, there’s an ending for me that’s bittersweet, but this is more on the bitter side.
Personally, this is alright, a fairly basic dungeon crawler that does the base features it was given. If you’re looking for just a simple gamebook to sink your teeth into, this is good, but prepare for constant rolling and exploring of the same areas, only to get frustrated when your die rolls on the wrong choice every time you get to that treasure chest.
With that, bon voyage, gamers!