Thursday 13 September 2012

Where the Shadows Stalk

It is getting closer and closer to Halloween and I am putting myself in the mood. I bought another gamebook from Amazon, this time Where the Shadows Stalk and its sequel. It is from the Forbidden Gateway series, which sadly only had two titles. When I was a child, I had read and completed the sequel, which I might blog about in the upcoming months, but I never finished Where the Shadows Stalk, in fact I had barely started it. I remember now that it had strong Lovecraftian elements, which I had never seen before as I had not read Lovecraft yet. But it was also heavily influenced, I think, with classic Gothic horror tales and old Hammer movies. The action is set in Wales, in a little village. This is a perfect atmospheric setting.

I have started reading it yesterday and it is already a pleasure. You play a "psychic investigator" (whatever that is). Your primary weapon is a knobkerrie (which made me discover them, thank you Google, and isn't it a neat little bit of exotism), but you find others throughout the adventure, including some magical items. It is not as good as reading a good horror story, but it is an enjoyable interactive read, mixing adventure with horror. It reminds me of the old games of Call of Cthulhu I used to play, but (so far) without the sci-fi influences. The gamebook displays a more classic type of horror. And because the character is played by you (or, in that instance, me), it makes the reader/player more involved in the story as "normal" fiction. On a cool autumn evening, waiting for Halloween, it is a great read, as chilling as it is entertaining.


Chris 'Frog Queen' Davis said...

Never heard of these, sound cool. Thanks for sharing.


The Gill-Man said...

Love this kind of stuff! It's always fun to revist the books that thrilled you as a kid!

Guillaume said...

@The Frog Queen-I think they became more famous in the translation in the French speaking world.
@The Gill-Man-And there is more to come.