Tides of Chrome by Steffen Hagen
Warning! Review may contain spoilers!
I AM A ROBOT. This is how I talk, in Steffen Hagen’s TIDES OF CHROME. This has nothing to do with the webbrowser war. I am a droid, in a world of droids. I have a funnel for a head and whisks for fingers, for originally I was a cook-bot for sea-station DEEPCORE. After The Bad Thing Happened I was decomissioned, undecomissioned and now I’ve been sent back to find out what really went wrong.
My physical attributes mean I possess the following skills: FILTERING (good at watching boiling pans), OVERRIDE (many different attachments and orifices) and CONSERVE (part microwave). Lacking vital sounding skills like COMBAT and COMMUNICATION, I imagine my only chance of survival will be to avoid any kind of contact and run away really fast if anything slightly bad happens.
I am given one friend, a boat who is called Boat. We bond instantly, and I feel we could become good friends. Perhaps even lovers. Yet barely one paragraph into the gamebook something happens and Boat bravely offers to sacrifice itself. Of course I refuse, and am set down close to where I used to work, even though this puts me closer to my pursuers. This will ultimately be my downfall.
“No,” Boat admits. “I would eject you right before being crushed, a few kilometers above Deepcore. But don’t care about me. I am just a simple replaceable tool.”
We have a real good, solid gamebook here: a well written, interesting scenario with exciting developments. The skill choice is good, if a bit limiting. I deliberately built a crap-bot and put him in flight mode at any sign of danger. As a result I ran into a few laser pistol shots when running away from a massive centipillarpede thing and my adventure ended super early, which is very unfortunate. I don’t like sudden death paragraphs, and wanted to learn more about this mystery. In my next play through I created a combat-heavy terminator, and as a result did much better.
A challenging gamebook, but worth the effort and deserves to do well.