And so we have a gamebook review! Here, I’m Reviewing the Midnight Legion book 1: Operation Deep Sleep by Aaron Emmel and illustrated by Aaron Kreader. This will be the first in a trilogy (book 2 is The World Reborn and book 3 is The Portal of Life).
It’s hard to give away the plot without spoilers, but when you begin, you are an android agent that has been woken up in the far future by a super computer called MELMA. The base you were put in stasis on is under attack, and you have a mission to carry out. However, you have no recollection of who you are, where you are, why you were put in stasis, or what your mission is.
Just as you are woken up, your room is attacked by large humanoid rats. If you manage to defeat them or escape them, you can explore the rest of the base. As you do, your memories will return and you will realise that things are not as you expected…
Aaron has a system where memories are gradually given to you, allowing for the story and your background to unfold as you read. This is a great strength of the book, where every few sections gives you a new insight into the mystery around you.
He also has insights (basically codewords) which allow different NPCs and situations to interact differently with you depending on what you have done with past decisions. The world here is not static.
There are also many secrets in this book – some skills allow you to gain extra information, which means that you can go to extra sections – for example, with hacking, you might be able to get more information from computer based items. Also, information you learn might allow you to interact differently with areas or people that you come across.
There are plenty of NPCs to interact with. First of all, you have MELMA, who you interact with Marathon style through different terminals (and who may be about as trustworthy as a Marathon A.I). Then you come across the invaders to your base and realise that it is not as simple as expected…
The art is great and conveys the futuristic setting very well and I hope the funding means that there is more of it.