Apr 20, 2022

Book Report - You Are (Not) Deadpool

 Thanks to NetGalley and the cool kids at Aconyte Books, I was lucky enough to get a review copy of one of the upcoming Marvel Multiverse Mission Adventures Gamebooks. Whew, say that five times fast! This copy was provided for free in exchange for my honest review.

While Marvel Gamebooks are new for Aconyte, they've put out 20 Marvel fiction novels to date with more on the way. I haven't read any of them yet but there are a pair of Doctor Doom books I've got my eye on.

You may ask yourself, what is a Multiverse Mission Adventure Gamebook? First, I'd say you've got a very wordy brain. Second, it's like a Choose Your Own Adventure but with dice and note taking.

Before I get into the "mechanics" of the Gamebook, here's the cover synopsis.

Things seem weird, even by Deadpool’s standards, when Matt “Daredevil” Murdock offers him a profitable – nay, straightforward! – contract. No chaos, no unpredictability, no funny business… C’mon, Murdock, that’s just not Deadpool’s style. Sensing something is up, Deadpool grabs an innocent bystander off the street to confuse any semblance of predictability the universe is trying to force on him. Good-hearted mischief spirals into a sinister plot full of impenetrable bank vaults, crime lords stroking their (lack of) mustaches in very evil ways, and an assortment of offensively stylish suits that are begging to be blown up, Deadpool discovers his choices are no longer his own – they’re yours!
You may wonder (my, you're introspective today) why in this action-packed Marvel Universe romp that you are some rando and not Deadpool himself. Well, that would really be a question for the author, Mr. Dedopulos. But if I had to guess, it's because Deadpool talking to himself for most of the book wouldn't be as much fun. After all, he's the Merc with a Mouth, not the Merc that Talks to Himself. Plus, you have that added feeling of holding a superhero's fate in your hands.
So, what makes this different than your average CYOA? Sit tight and I'll tell ya.

Deadpool has three skills: Merc, Mouth, and Focus. These values can (and will!) change depending on what happens. At some points, you'll have to roll one or more d6 (for you non-gamers, that's a regular die) and add a stat to it to determine the outcome of the situation. It could be a check to bluff (Mouth), investigate (Focus), or fight (Merc). Spoiler alert: a lot of it is fighting!

Throughout the book, there's also objects you can add to your inventory, but you can only carry five things at any time. No, it doesn't matter if it's a key that could fit in your pocket or a sledgehammer. Five's the limit, bucko! You're not the one with Rob Liefeld pouches.

There's also Qualities that you can pick up. Not physically of course, but this is where the note taking comes in handy. Let's say you happen to initiate the self-destruct of a bad guy lair under Central Park. I mean, you probably wouldn't do that in real life, but this is a comic book...book. You might get assigned Chaos +2. Different choices will assign you different Qualities and at certain points, you may have additional options, or penalties, depending on your level of particular Qualities. 

There's also a lengthy list of Achievements you can acquire, giving a little extra incentive to replay the book if you're the type that just has to check every box.

That's a whole lot about how the book works, but how is it? 

It's a lot of fun! Tim Dedopulos (can I call you Tim?) does a fantastic job running Deadpool's mouth and making with the funny. There's plenty of wacky antics and action (did I mention there's a lot of fighting?) to keep you entertained. This is comic based but if you're a fan of the movies, you'll no doubt read his dialog in Ryan Reynolds voice.
In addition to skill checks and fighting (a lot!) there are a few puzzles and mini-games to test your brain. This is where I have my little quibble with Tim. (Sorry, did we clear the whole first name thing?) One of the puzzles has you picking a character from a list that has no association with the X-Men. The correct answer is a name shared by two different 616 characters, one who was associated and one that wasn't.

One of the mini-games sticks you in a flowchart where you have to roll a d6 to determine where you go next. It is entirely possible that you'll loop around the chart for several rolls all for one of two possible outcomes. I totally get wanting to shake up the story with something different but between you, me, and Deadpool, I just picked one at random to move on.
Minor grip numero dos: there are no illustrations in the book, just clip arty things (see above). When reading CYOA or Fighting Fantasy back in the day, there was always a little thrill when you came across an illustration and this is based on a comic book!

Having said that, these are minor annoyances. I've played through a couple times to try different paths and the book is a blast. It's probably as close to hanging out with Deadpool as any of us mere mortals will get. You might even run into some other well known characters in your travels! 

Nothing against Deadpool, but I'm definitely looking forward to the other Gamebook, She-Hulk Goes to Murderworld, also written by my good pal Tim (even if he doesn't know it. I mean the good pal part, I'm sure he knows he wrote the book). I love Arcade and Murderworld! Both Gamebooks release on July 5th so you have something to do while recovering from fireworks injuries in the hospital.

About Marvel Entertainment

Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media for over eighty years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing, publishing, games, and digital media.

For more information visit marvel.com. © 2022 MARVEL

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